7 Top Yoga Retreats Around the Globe

Once the purview of hippies and the rich-and-famous, yoga has now come into its own as a mainstream method of holistic exercise and stress-reduction.

Students, housewives, and construction workers are all learning about the many benefits of incorporating yoga practice into their daily lives.

The best known traditional yoga style is Hatha Yoga. Combining exercise with breathing and stretching, Hatha Yoga is the most popular style in the modern fitness community.

Two other yoga styles that are also enjoyed are the fast-paced Ashtanga Yoga, and its opposite – Vinyasa Yoga, known as “flow yoga” because of the way the moves slowly and smoothly glide into each other.

Regardless of what style of yoga you choose, somewhere along the line you are going to want to experience a yoga retreat.  Below are five of the top yoga beach retreats. This group offers something for everyone.

1. The Tides, Zihuatanejo, Mexico. 

Don’t let the small village location fool you.  The Tides offers one of the most sought-after yoga retreats in the world, mainly because of its celebrity instructor, Tom Morley.  Formally trained in both Hatha and Matha Yoga, Mr. Morley, who can be seen on Exercise TV, also brings his expertise as a massage therapist and energy healer.

At The Tides you will do your yoga in a palapa by the Pacific ocean.  You can also avail yourself of extracurricular activities such as a yacht cruise or a beachside tequila tasting.

2. White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center, Santa Barbara, California.

In the mountains that overlook beautiful Santa Barbara, and with views of the Pacific Ocean, you will experience the relaxation of sleeping in yurts at this yoga retreat that was started over 30 years ago by yogi Ganga White.

The philosophy of Ganga White, a practitioner of both Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga, is that yoga brings about a transformation, readying the individual to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

This retreat also has a Hopi-style underground Kiva temple.

3. The Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island, Whidbey Island, Washington.
If you are more into homey accommodations and simple and peaceful surroundings, this inexpensive retreat is just for you.

Along the edge of sparkling Puget Sound just 25 miles from Seattle here you’ll be doing your yoga moves amidst nature’s woods.

Vegetarian meals are provided, along with five acres of woodlands where you can explore lush landscape and even commune with gentle wildlife.

4. The Self Centre at Caneel Bay, St. John USVI
Another retreat founded by a yoga celebrity, this was established by Jan Kinder, the renowned mind and body expert.
Here on a bluff that overlooks the beach and the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean you’ll practice yoga that specializes in deep relaxation, and stress relief.

Watersports that include sailing and snorkeling, as well as sunbathing on one of 7 sugar-sand beaches are just a few of the extracurricular activities offered.

5. Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

This award-winning retreat is known for its exotic location where you’ll do your yoga on a platform in the open air that overlooks the ocean.

Here you can choose a personal yoga program, or join group classes.

“Kamalaya” means Lotus Realm, and this holistic resort is centered around a cave which once served Buddhist monks as a spiritual retreat for “unfolding” meditation.

6. Luna Lodge, Costa Rica.
The National Geographic has called Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park “the most biologically intense place on the planet,” and that’s where you will be doing your yoga moves at this retreat. Hanging over hillsides of rainforest you’ll be on a yoga platform with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

When you’ve finished your yoga for the day, you can hike to waterfalls, take surfing lesions, and even ride horseback along the beach.

7. The Island Experience, Iha Grande, Brazil.
This spot off the coast of Rio de Janeiro has an amazing106 beaches. Here you’ll enjoy yoga twice daily, combined with outdoor activities that include hiking and kayaking.

In the evenings you can let it all hang loose with classes in Brazilian dance.

Sheila Henry is a leading expert on helping individuals achieve greater happiness in their lives, and has worked for over 25 years with a private practice in the field of psychology. Ever since she was a child, she has loved dogs. Because of her love of dogs, she has named her website: www.HappyAsYourHound.com.

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