A swathe of yoga holidays have popped up over the last couple of years promising strung-out Londoners a break from the rat race and a solution to physical and mental stress. But with so many to choose from, how do you work out which are worth your precious holiday time?
Whether you want to tie in your meditation time with a destination of your choice or are tempted by a week-on, week-off holiday in Ibiza, SL have narrowed down the most luxe yoga retreats so you can unwind in style.
Big Sky Yoga Retreats, Montana, USA
Add some ‘yeehaw’ to your Namaste at Big Sky Yoga, an unforgettable retreat that specialises in cowgirl yoga. Based in the stunning surroundings of Montana, with everything from snow-capped peaks and mountain meadows to waterfalls and glacial lakes in view, you’ll instantly feel more connected to nature. Combining yoga classes with the likes of high-altitude hikes and horse-riding, depending on the season, you can retreat to the Double T River Ranch for post-workout rest and relaxation.
Cal-A-Vie, Vista, USA
Escape the hustle and bustle of home at this Southern Cali oasis. The Cal-a-Vie Health Spa resembles a serene French village and is spread across a whopping 200 private acres in San Diego. Their Mind Body Spirt program uses the ancient arts of yoga and meditation to better your mental focus, as well as your body, and classes take place in a 400-year-old chapel. Plus, there are spa treatments on tap to really recharge your batteries.
COMO Shambhala, Bali, Indonesia
Where better to practice your downward dog than in beautiful Bali? The COMO Shambhala Estate encourages guests to make real and lasting improvements to their health and lifestyle, and the idyllic backdrop of Indonesia certainly helps in that department. The Estate teaches Hatha Yoga, a practice that combines asanas (postures) with better breathing and meditation rolled in, and best of all they’re suitable for families, beginners or regulars. No wonder their yoga retreats are world-renowned.
The Dwarika Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal
This holistic lifestyle retreat draws on ancient Himalayan knowledge to help guests feel more at one with themselves. Set in magnificent natural surroundings (they’re so good you may well be distracted during class), their yoga packages consist of either six days or eight days and aim to revitalise ‘mind, body and soul’.
Ibiza Retreats, Ibiza, Balearic Islands
The ‘Boutique Yoga and Detox’ programme at Ibiza Retreats is perfect for those who like a week-on, week-off approach to working out. Their luxe programme on the White Isle provides a nourishing sanctuary where you can give your mind and body a real break, with detoxification that includes healthy food and juicing (yes, there’s a juice fast) and daily vinyasa flow yoga. We recommend a week of partying before a week of re-setting your body in time for heading home. Win-win.
Kaliyoga, various locations
Kaliyoga has gained a reputation for its supremely relaxing and nurturing yoga holidays. They have an HQ in Spain but every time they open at a new location, retreat-going yogis' ears prick up – a telltale sign of a hotspot getting it right. They now have locations in Puglia, Italy – a 16th-century masseria (farmhouse) that houses up to 16 people – and if you fancy a staycation, a spot in London, too. These are luxury retreats firmly focused on healthy living and accessible yoga in an uplifting environment. The aim is to help you to find new, better and healthier ways of living over the week-long course so you go home with improved health habits. Sound appealing? We certainly think so...
Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand
Always wanted to visit Thailand? The award-winning Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa resort is just the excuse you need. Centred around a cave that once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat, the package offers private one-to-one yoga sessions along with customised instruction along with complementary treatments, including Ayurveda therapies, asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing) and meditation. You can even tailor the classes to fulfil your own healthy goals or to address physical ailments.
Silver Island Yoga, Euboea, Greece
A privately owned, untouched dream of a resort, Silver Island is just a few miles from the Greek mainland, but you’ll feel a world away from any stresses and strains. Set in 60 acres of gently rolling hills, small idyllic coves and ancient old olive groves, guests stay in beautifully decorated rooms as they take part in two-hour dawn and sunset yoga classes or top up their tans on the nearby beach.
Upoltha, Sri Lanka
Named "the best yoga retreat in the world" by The Observer Magazine, Ulpotha has been around for thousands of years and remains a perfect place for a yoga holiday or an Ayurveda retreat. Tucked away in the heart of Sri Lanka, book in for an all-inclusive stay and it will cover accommodation, all meals, snacks, drinks, two yoga classes a day, a one-on-one consultation with their resident doctor, a full-day excursion, a massage and the use of bicycles, sauna, steam bath, and hot-water bathing area. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.
Yoga Works, various locations
With retreats taking place in locations as varied as India, Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean, Yogaworks is a must-book for those wanting to tick off a bucket-list trip and stay healthy. Ditch your day-to-day routine and take your practice to one of the world's most blissful destinations, where you’ll be greeted by fellow yoga enthusiasts for once-in-a-lifetime classes and mediation experiences.