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More Yoga Retreats
So, you've discovered yoga in a big way. Now it's time for the rest of your clan to loosen up. How to get everyone into Downward Dog?Go on a yoga retreat—and take your toddlers and teens, too. At these five well-regarded—and well-situated—outposts, people of all ages and experience levels are welcome, and special family programs cater to kids. You can go for a trial weekend or practically move in—and, no, you don't have to do yoga all day. There's swimming, hiking, and tennis, along with astrological consultations and a full menu of massage possibilities. Silent meals and chanting optional.
These long-established spots favor first-rate instruction over luxury. Time your visit right and take classes with visiting celebs like Rodney Yee and Deepak Chopra.
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck, New York
THE VIBE Choose your own New Age adventure. Tai chi, Sufi meditation, and the Dance of Tennis are among the 250 programs offered for anyone over 18. THE SETTING A 140-acre campus with a garden and walking paths in a wooded corner of the Hudson River Valley. WHERE YOU SLEEP In platform tents with electricity or in dorm-style cabin rooms.THE YOGA Six styles, from Ashtanga to Kundalini. ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES From May through October, a kids' camp for ages 4 to 12 has the same hours (9 a.m.-noon, 2:30-5 p.m.) as the adults' workshops. An overnight camp for teens takes place at a nearby location from mid-July to mid-August. BEYOND YOGA Swim and canoe on the private lake, get a tennis or basketball game going, or sign up for a shamanic healing session. (845/266-4444; www.eomega.org; from $140 per adult; $20 per child;two-night minimum, including meals and daily yoga and meditation classes.)
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, Massachusetts
THE VIBE Yoga-intensive (first class at 6 a.m.), but you can also play hooky at Lake Mahkeenac. THE SETTING A 1980's brick building on the Carnegies' former Berkshires estate, with a lake and mountain trails. WHERE YOU SLEEP In spartan rooms: two low twin beds or one double. For more space and a private bath, request a Standard Plus. THE YOGA Kripalu, which can be gentle or challenging, depending on your ambition. Sign up for multi-day workshops, such as Yoga for Beginners—or drop in on daily classes. ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES Circus Yoga for Kids and Families (April 9-11; July 11-16; November 26-28) teaches parents and 8-to-13-year-olds partner acrobatics, juggling, and, yes, yoga. During Holiday Retreat for Kids (December 16-January 1, 2005)5-to-12-year-olds play Yoga Freeze Dance and make twig art. BEYOND YOGA There's swimming and hiking in summer, sledding and snow-shoeing in winter. You can also visit Tanglewood, the Norman Rockwell Museum,and the outlets of Lenox. (800/741-7353; www.kripalu.org; from $155 per adult; children free when staying with two adults, $30 per child with one adult; children under five free.)
Forget the recorded chimes of your local yoga studio. At these tropical centers—bare-bones but blissfully inexpensive—you can attempt the Boat Pose to a sound track of crashing waves.
Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Paradise Island, Bahamas
THE VIBE No meat, no salt, no caffeine, no breaking the strict schedule: meditation at 6 a.m., yoga at 8, brunch at 10, yoga at 4 p.m., dinner at 6, meditation at 8. Repeat. THE SETTING An enclave of brightly painted cabins, gardens, and picnic tables between a bay and a white-sand beach. WHERE YOU SLEEP In Om Sweet Om or one of the other 53 cabins. (Warning: no private baths.) THE YOGA Sivananda's set series of postures rarely strays into leg-behind-the-head territory, so the yoga-curious need not be intimidated. ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES Though there are no kids' programs, and no babysitters, youngsters of all ages can (and do) join parents at yoga and meditation classes. BEYOND YOGA Play on the beach or the basketball and tennis courts; escape a half-mile down the shore to the Atlantis Resort for a cheeseburger fix and a go on the 60-foot Mayan-temple slide. (242/363-2902; www.sivananda.org/nassau; from $79 per adult, including meals, yoga classes, and meditation sessions; children under 12 half-price; children under three free.)
Kalani Retreat, Big Island, Hawaii
THE VIBE Sleep late, eat well—there are no yoga classes before 8:30 a.m., and the menu includes pizza and seared ahi with pineapple salsa. THE SETTING A black-sand beach with Olympic- and kid-sized pools on the island's southeast coast. WHERE YOU SLEEP In a cottage or a room in one of the four lodges. THE YOGA Hatha, a classic style that focuses on breathing. Kalani's private introduction to yoga is perfect for shy beginners. ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES During weeklong Family Experience sessions (July 10-September 30), kids 5 to 15 devote four hours a day to yoga and meditation, along with volleyball, swimming, and pottery, while their parents attend workshops and have Thai massages or craniosacral therapy. The rest of the year, kids join in yoga classes. BEYOND YOGA Go swimming—and try to spy spinner dolphins—at the retreat's beach; hike the Waipio Valley; and get close to the lava tubes of Kilanea, an active volcano. The Kalani will take care of excursion details. (800/800-6886; www.kalani.com; from $135 per adult; children ages 3 to 12 $40; children under three free.)
All the vacation frills, plus a daily dose of serious stretching.
Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
THE VIBE The Kennedy Compound goes tropical. THE SETTING A 170-acre, 166-room resort with seven secluded beaches. WHERE YOU SLEEP In beachside cottages or double rooms. THE YOGA The resort's wellness-focused Self Centre offers everything from Vinyasa, a vigorous flowing style, to "yoga in a chair." ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES An all-day children's program (ages 3 to 12) and on-call babysitters (for ages three and under) guarantee uninterrupted yoga time for parents—plus some optional stretching for kids. BEYOND YOGA There's on-site scuba diving, sailing, fishing, and windsurfing. And the island, largely national parkland, has superb snorkeling, horseback riding, and hiking. (340/776-6111; www.rosewoodhotels.com; doubles from $375; one child under 16 free, additional child under five free; children's program $65 per day.)