It may have seemed like a fleeting fad when it first hit the U.S., but there’s no denying now that yoga is here to stay. Between its centuries long spiritual history and its great health benefits, there’s plenty to get out of even the most basic yoga session in your hometown. Serious devotees might even dream of jetting off to an overseas yoga retreat. Consider striking your favorite pose in one of these top destinations.
Yoga may be something of a 21st century fitness phenomenon in the Western world, but it’s called India home for thousands of years. If you’re looking for a retreat in yoga’s birthplace, you have plenty of options. Want to incorporate just a little yoga into a typical sightseeing itinerary? There are ample studios in Delhi, which will allow you to enjoy a sunrise stretch before visiting famous sites like the Taj Mahal, Gandhi’s final residence, and the Amber Fort of Jaipur. Down south, the beaches of Goa are mostly lauded as a stop on the hippie trail, but behind that party-hard surface, you can find relaxing sessions at Purple Valley Yoga. If you prefer to tap into the more spiritual side of this traditionally Hindu practice, head for the holy city of Rishikesh. The tiny mountain town is home to many an ashram, where you’ll find extensive programs on the history and practice of yoga.
Bali & Lombok
This resort-laden slice of Indonesia boasts as much rest and relaxation as it does glitz and glamour. The serene island of Gili Trawangan is quite inspiring to yogis, and there are plenty of studios scattered throughout the towns of Denpasar and Ubud, including the Yoga Barn and Intuitive Flow. For an extra special experience, time your visit for the spring to coincide with the Bali Spirit Festival. This annual celebration of music, dance, and yoga aims to promote positive individual change and harmony with community, god, and nature.
Got an adventurous streak? The Caribbean is chock full of stunning eco-resorts where yoga practice is far from the only popular activity. You can likely find yoga sessions at properties throughout the region, from Belize and Costa Rica to Saint Lucia and the Dominican Republic, but an especially memorable experience waits for you on the island of Jamaica. The Trip Tribe’s unique retreat pairs your lotus and your downward dog with stand-up paddle boarding. Kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are additional options in the five-day package.
Who says you need a passport to enjoy an amazing yoga retreat? Every corner of the U.S. is riddled with fabulous yoga resorts offering a variety of tour packages. Take a desert getaway at the Miraval Spa in Tucson, Arizona, where yoga is just one of several options on the health and wellness menu. Explore the contemplative arts beyond the simple striking of a tree pose at the super spiritual Shambhala Mountain Center in the Colorado Rockies. Unplug at the Hawaiian resort Kalani, where 12 yoga styles, tai chi, and Lauhala weaving take the place of television and even phones. Or, escape to a quiet corner of Maine and savor included vegetarian meals at resorts like Rolling Meadows and Sewall House.