Every strip mall in every corner of America has a yoga studio.
But where do you go if you want a week-long yoga retreat? If you are looking for something more upscale and exotic, with a nearby beach or a pool and lots of sunshine? How about one for busy moms with fantastic vegetarian meals and childcare? Sound impossible? Read on for some amazing global options! (Yes, we've even found a toddler-and me yoga retreat with childcare included!)
Lotus Yoga Retreat, Goa, India
What better place for a yoga retreat than the place where it all began? India plays host to many yoga retreats for foreigners, and some are better than others. Lotus Yoga Retreat, on Patnam beach near Goa, rises above the fray. Run by Simon Low, one of the founders of Tri-Yoga in London's Primose Hill, this intensive 12-day retreat will push your physical boundaries and challenge your identity as a yogini. The rate includes two yoga classes as day and accommodation in beachfront bamboo huts.
Airport: Goa Dabolim Airport (domestic - GOI) Mumbai Airport (International - BOM)
Blooming Lotus Yoga Center, Bali, Indonesia
If you are a wandering spirit who defines happiness as a first class plane ticket, a passport, a backpack, and a bikini, then Bali may be the site of your dream yoga retreat. The island embodies the spirit of spiritual and physical release of the material world and its related stresses. But you don’t have to surrender your material comforts to enjoy a transformative yoga retreat. The luxurious Blooming Lotus Yoga Center offers 4-11 day yoga retreats with two daily yoga and meditation sessions, an optional daily field trip, three meals a day with vegetarian and non vegetarian options, and housing in the retreat’s new 5-star villas with en-suite kitchenettes and private plunge pools.
Airport: Bali Denpsar Airport (DPS)
Yoga Pilates Ibiza, San Carles de Peralta, Ibiza, Baleares, Spain
Slightly closer to home, there are many ways to escape city life in Paris, Berlin, Barcelona. A great option for those who don't want to retreat entirely from the world is Yoga Pilates Ibiza. Set on the idyllic island of Ibiza, this course is led by the extraordinary Opale. A yogini since 1995, Opale has been certified in Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga and numerous branches of yoga in India and France. She is also a Master teacher of Pilates.
Each day includes 3 hours of yoga practice which is suitable for everyone from absolute beginners to experienced yoginis. Massage is available, as is childcare. Accomodations are in apartments (shared or private) with terraces overlooking the sea or the swiming pool. Two vegetarian meals are served per day. For the third, particiapnts are free to wander to the nearby quiet beach of Cala Martina, where there are several renowned restarant options.
In the afternoons, you are free to explore the island, visit the many close-by white sand beaches (scuba and other water sports available) or relax closer to home and get a massage, swim in the pool, read or chat with friends, new and old. In the evenings, you can walk 15 minutes to the lively port of Es Canar, where you will find a variety of fun options for restaurants and night life. You can also choose to cook dinner in the quiet of your apartment. Nearby Santa Eularia is a charming port town with a wide sandy beach, services such as a pharmacy, banks, and a shuttle boat to the sister island of Formentera.
Ibiza Airport (IBZ) (Catalan: Aeroport d'Eivissa, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Ibiza)
Holy Mama, based on Ibiza, Spain, with options in Andalucia and Morocco
As much as I dream about it, there aren't many opportunities in my world for me to drop my kids and do a retreat by myself for a week. If that is your situation too, here is a miraculous solution. Led by the amazing Opale of Yoga Pilates Ibiza, this toddler-friendly retreat is a unique opportunity for you to travel with your little one to a serene and supportive spot where you can meet like-minded moms and their kids and take time to recharge your batteries. One or two week (!!!) option available. Check their website to see where the retreat is being held, as it rotates from its home base on Ibiza to include a week in Morocco and a week in Andalucia. Price includes yoga practice, meals, childcare and accommodations.
Airport: Ibiza Airport (IBZ) / various
Our Stylish Retreat continues next with part 3: Riding Retreats and part 4: Surf Retreats