These Are the Best Yoga Retreats, According to a Yoga Teacher
Satisfy your wanderlust with a yoga retreat and experience the benefits of cultivating a daily practice under the guidance of some of the world’s best teachers. You’ll not only feel better and more relaxed, but you'll also leave with simple techniques to infuse into your daily routine, bolstering your mental and physical health for months and years to come.
Thanks to yoga’s skyrocketing popularity, there are a wealth of options to choose from, and you’re in good company: wellness tourism is growing more than twice as fast as general tourism. Here are some of the best expert-led retreats happening in 2020 to amplify the restorative impact of your next trip. All prices exclude flights.
Related:More Yoga and Wellness
Alchemise Yoga Retreat - Ubud, Bali
If you’re interested in the magic of ritual and sound healing, this is the perfect setting to experience it. Under the guidance of Lululemon ambassador and yoga instructor Annie Clarke and her team of local guest teachers and healers, you’ll enjoy twice daily mindful yoga and meditation classes overlooking the jungle, as well as optional workshops and transformational ceremonies. The schedule is curated with the intention to create a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment in a private luxury villa, providing ample free time to explore Ubud’s nature and culture when you’re off the mat.
March 28th - April 4th, from $2,120
360º Retreat - Bordeaux, France
Hosted at the 16th-century former cognac estate Maison de la Vaure, this retreat is led by six Lululemon ambassadors who together offer a holistic approach to physical and mental health. Combining cardio, strength, and mobility work with yoga, meditation, and personal development alongside a focus on nutrition and mental wellbeing, the team has designed a unique program that’s sure to leave travelers feeling healthy, energized and relaxed.
April 1 - 6th, from $982
Ski & Yoga Retreat - Morzine, France
With twice daily ‘shred ready’ yoga classes designed specifically for skiers – an energizing flow to set you up for a day on the slopes, and a restorative practice to soothe sore muscles in the evening – this winter retreat allows you to improve both your carve and your practice, regardless of your skiing or yoga experience. Based at MoreMountain’s flagship luxury chalet, the retreat includes daily hot breakfast, afternoon tea, and a 4-course dinner with wine, a private hot tub, daily ski lift shuttles, and airport transfers. All activities are optional, allowing you to suit your needs on the day – and unlike more traditional yoga retreats, the hosts encourage and welcome you to party at the end of the day, ideal for yogis looking for a balanced vacation.
January 12 - 19th, from $1930
Extended Summer Yoga Retreat - Crete, Greece
Yoga teacher Jaime Hepburn runs multiple retreats during the year, but her Greece retreat is not one to be missed. Hosted at the exclusive Beach House Arvi, where celebrities like Matthew McConaughey stay, you’ll start the day with a meditation and dynamic yoga practice and close with a restorative Yin practice, both followed by a meal catered by renowned plant-based retreat chef Soph Gordon. Day activities include guided hikes, on-site massages, cultural visits, optional yoga workshops, and use of paddle boards and kayaks, and Jaime also likes to surprise guests with events like a candlelit dinner on the beach. 2020 retreat dates and locations will be announced in the new year, and her sights are set on Italy, Portugal, L.A., and Guatemala (in addition to Greece).
Multiple dates and locations, starting at $1484
Sen Wellness Sanctuary - Sri Lanka
Founded by London-based osteopath Dr. Sam Kankanamge, the Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a retreat center nestled on the southern coast of Sri Lanka providing tailor-made wellness programs throughout the year rooted in Ayurvedic treatment. In addition to meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic treatment, the programs include sound and gong baths for deep relaxation and energy clearing, as well as Ayurvedic cooking classes, catered vegetarian food, turtle watching, lagoon boat rides, and trips to the local market and Buddhist temple.
Multiple dates starting at $950
Mandali - Lago D’Orta, Italy
Offering bespoke three- or five-day yoga programs as well as a wide range of themed retreats throughout the year, Mandali is a non-profit retreat center dedicated entirely to cultivating self-reflection, healing, and relaxation, and it overlooks northern Italy’s Lago D’Orta. The center is deeply committed to sustainability—it was built with recyclable materials, its heating system relies on natural wood chips, and the kitchen and swimming pool are powered by solar energy, while any surplus power is delivered to the local community. All levels are welcome, and the tailor-made option is especially useful if you’re new to the practice.
Flexible dates, starting at $850
Ashiyana - Goa, India
No list of yoga retreats would be complete without an option in India. In addition to training new and experienced teachers, Ashiyana suits practitioners of all levels, offering an extensive range of retreats throughout the year, as well as design-your-own yoga holidays, where you can opt for drop-in classes, one-to-one holistic yoga therapy, or the Ashiyana Elixir Program, which combines yoga therapy, massage, meditation, and pranayama (breath work). Rooms range from beach huts to luxury suites, and you’ll have access to Ayurvedic treatments at the onsite spa as well as Ashiyana’s creative activities and workshops, including AcroYoga, inversions, Yoga Nidra, karma yoga, painting, essential oils, and creative writing. Ashiyana’s second location opened in Brazil this year.
Flexible dates, starting at $1000
Shanti Boom Yoga & Surf Retreat - Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Hosted by Charlotte Welfare, who trains teachers as the Head of Yoga Development for London’s largest chain of yoga studios, MoreYoga, this retreat is ideal if you’re looking to improve your practice and deepen your spiritual understanding of yoga philosophy and the chakras, without taking it all too seriously. Charlotte is known in the London yoga community for her challenging sequences, transformative adjustments, and revitalizing Yin classes alongside her playful and accessible approach to the spiritual elements of the practice. You’ll stay at Casa de Olas, a boutique hotel with terraces in every room, two outdoor swimming pools, a rooftop bar, and yoga shala, and it's only a short walk from the beach. Designed to take you on a journey through the chakras, the retreat includes twice daily yoga classes – a dynamic flow to start the day, and a restorative session to close – as well as a fire ceremony on the beach, full use of the onsite tennis court and equipment, bicycle rental, and the option to take surf lessons in your down time.
9-15th March, starting at $775, Email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com for bookings
Flow into Freedom Oceanfront Retreat - Baja, Mexico
Guided by international yoga instructor Jonelle Lewis in partnership with leading yoga holiday provider Yoga Explorers, this oceanfront yoga retreat turns the typical beach holiday up a notch with whale-watching yoga classes at the shala overlooking the sea. A strong believer in making the practice available to everyone and every body, Jonelle is a great teacher for both beginners and advanced practitioners and will take you beyond yoga's physical postures to explore the benefits of meditation, mantra (chanting), pranayama (breath work), and mudra (hand gestures). The retreat includes all meals, airport transfers, yoga mat and props, hot tub, sauna, and swimming pool, plus twice-daily yoga classes, and the option to extend your stay to include a two-day trip to Magdalena Bay.
March 14th – March 21st, starting at $2188
Blue Spirit Retreat Center - Costa Rica
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile long white sand beach and turtle refuge, Blue Spirit lies in one of the world’s five Blue Zones, where people report the highest levels of wellbeing, and it is unsurprisingly a popular destination for retreats among leading international yoga teachers. Shiva Rea, one of the best-known yoga teachers in the U.S. – possibly because Vanity Fair hailed her as the Madonna of Yoga – runs several themed retreats throughout the year, including the option to dive deeper by embarking on a three-week immersive Prana Vinyasa teacher training, a full spectrum practice built on cross-cultural understandings of yoga, tantra, and the Krishnamacharya lineage. Shiva’s retreats include all meals, a range of accommodation options from eco-huts to nature suites, daily Prana Vinyasa, and access to Blue Spirit’s saltwater infinity pool.
Multiple dates, starting at $1565
White Owl Retreats - Marrakech, Morocco
This weekend retreat brings together mindfulness, yoga, dance, and healthy eating under the guidance of psychologist and yoga dance teacher Lucie Andersen-Wood and ‘functional food’ nutritionist Paula Ellis-Hill. In addition to daily rooftop yoga and meditation at the ornate Marrakech Riad and the chance to explore the cacophony of the surrounding old town and souks, you’ll try your hand at journaling and guided visualizations, learn more about nutrition through immersive cooking workshops, and have access to the onsite hammam and Argan oil massages.
Multiple dates, all 4-nights from $644
True Nature Retreat - Olhao, Portugal
Held at luxury villa Casa Fuzetta, this retreat is designed to help you deepen your yoga practice and reconnect with yourself. You’ll strengthen your mind, body, and soul connection with a mixture of dynamic Vinyasa, meditation, and soothing Yin on the villa’s rooftop swimming pool, and you'll have the option to partake in skills workshops and cultural group activities. Located in the heart of Olhao Old Town, Casa Fuzetta is Algarve’s hidden gem, and it holds space for a number of retreats throughout the year guided by some of the world’s best teachers, including Cat Meffen and Steffy White.
April 9-14th, 2020, 5 nights from $1284
Shambala Gatherings - Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
A lakeside retreat center in the wild forest of Bergslagen, just a two-hour drive from Stockholm, Shambala Gatherings provides the perfect setting to go offline and get back to basics - and nature. You’ll replace screen time with yoga, meditation, forest walks, wild swimming, journaling, kirtan (shared devotional song), and add-on treatments like water meditation, oil massage, and craniosacral therapy. International teachers host different themed retreats throughout the year, pairing the restorative impact of yoga with the Scandinavian culture of friluftsliv (free-air-living), spending time in nature for physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Highlights include a floating wood-fired sauna and hearty vegetarian meals inspired by Ayurveda.
Dates year-round, starting at $640