What is ‘retreat’? The practice of relaxing in order to devote themselves to meditations and prayers is, in fact, a real retreat. However, retreats can be different, and the religious component in them is not always present. Yoga retreat is a great example, which is available to people with any beliefs. To participate in it, you don’t need to even have experience of practicing yoga – the most important is a sincere desire to spend time with body and mind benefits.
Strictly speaking, yoga retreat is not a relaxation in the literal sense of the word. At least, this is not like staying at an ‘all inclusive’ resort hotel. Instead of cocktail parties and dancing until dawn, there’s a daily schedule with early awakenings, and instead of a buffet there’s a vegetarian diet, and even a detox menu of raw fruits along with natural juices. Of course, yoga retreat is not only one of the possible but also one of the most interesting ways of relaxation, because it involves a trip to exotic places and new acquaintances. So, where to go for yoga retreat? We’ve found 5 interesting places for those who want to enjoy it. Probably, you’ll need a car to get to these unique destinations – click here to find the best option right now.
Ulpotha Yoga & Ayurveda Retreat, Sri Lanka
Ulpotha in Sri Lanka serves as a venue for yoga and ayurvedic retreats annually in July-August and from November till March. The rest of the time, this place lives the ordinary life of a tropical village where rice is grown. This yoga center is not very cheap, but the best teachers from all over the world come there with their programs. The surrounding is remembered for a long time: the houses have no walls, despite the fact that there’s a tropical forest with an abundance of living creatures, in particular, wild monkeys. This is a unique place where you can feel the unity with nature and is guaranteed to get rid of phobias that are inherent to the inhabitants of large cities.
Address: 7.907945, 80.365928 Embogama, 60718 Sri Lanka
Stowe Mountain Ranch, USA
If you prefer horses rather than monkeys and elephants, then you should follow the other side of the world the US state of Vermont, where Stowe Mountain Ranch retreat center is situated. The local climate and situation remind of Asia’s retreats a little – the atmosphere of the Wild West reigns there. What’s more, the menu, in addition to organic vegetables, fruits and cereals, includes fish and game. However, the variety of programs held throughout the year, including the unique “Yoga with horses”, doesn’t allow to doubt that this place is not in vain called one of the best yoga retreats in North America. Of course, vegetarian food can be negotiated with the chef.
Address: 5504 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672, USA
Villa Sumaya, Guatemala
Villa Sumaya retreat center is located in Guatemala, on the shores of Lake Atitlan, which is framed with volcanoes. Great advantages of this place are presented with the fascinating views opening both from comfortable rooms and yoga studios, a variety of retreat programs held all year round, the presence of a SPA complex and a varied vegetarian menu.
However, to completely disconnect from the usual schemes, willpower is required there: there’s Wi-Fi and a bar with alcoholic beverages in the center. Of course, the last ones are not included into the retreat menu, but they can be bought for an additional fee. If you are sure of yourself, it’s time to book a place in the retreat: from May till October the “green season” lasts at Villa Sumaya – during that time, the number of visitors is less and the prices are lower.
Address: Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014, Guatemala
Lotus Yoga Retreat, India
Lotus Yoga Retreat is located in Asia, in the main resort of India – Goa. It consists of two retreats in one: you can sleep, eat, practice yoga and meditate while listening to the whisper of the waves of the Arabian Sea, or you can enjoy the same retreat in the rainforest 2 kilometers away from the beach. In any case, this is a very budget option to stay at huts made of bamboo, cane and palm leaves and a varied vegetarian menu of organic products, freshly squeezed juices and herbal teas.
You can come there with a friend or girlfriend who didn’t practice yoga – while you practice the retreat procedures, your companion can simply enjoy life in the eco-village. By the way, besides India, Lotus retreat is also available in Spain.
Address: Patnem Beach, South Goa, India
Do you like the idea of a weekly detox based on natural juices and smoothies in one of the two Juice Master retreat centers? Of course, yoga and other forms of physical activity are also present: fitness, table tennis, volleyball, hiking and cycling are among them. However, in this center is not yoga, but the nutrition system is a fundamental element. You can try out the author’s approach of Jason Vale until October in Turkey and in October-December in Portugal. Conditions are more comfortable than in Asian retreats, and prices are quite reasonable.
Address: Ponte Vale da Ursa, 6100-302, Portugal