7 “Yoga and More” Retreats to Nurture Body & Spirit

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | October 21st, 2013 | 9 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Fitness, Green Living, Yoga

yoga retreats stand-up paddleboarding

If you’ve avoided yoga retreats as a vacation option because you’re worried you’ll spend all your time contorted in meditative silence, it’s time to take another look. Not only do many yoga retreats blend spa treatments and body work with asanas, but a whole new trend combines contemplative practice with activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding and other outdoor pursuits.

The rise of these “yoga and more” retreats is part of a continuing growth in wellness travel as a major tourism trend. See if one of these options offers the perfect combination for you!

1. Yoga & Horseback Riding

Blue Sky Cowgirl YogaBig Sky Yoga Retreats, Montana

At Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Bozeman, Montana, you’ll have a chance to get up on a horse as well as down like a dog. Here, where “Yeehaw” and “Namaste” come together, choose from a variety of programs centered on Cowgirl Yoga: a chance to pursue inward discovery in some of the most gorgeous outdoor scenery on the planet. Guests explore the link between yoga and riding to improve balance and body alignment while nurturing the horse-human connection with a horse assigned just to you. Three-night retreats feature yoga, riding and horse-care lessons, plus a Cowgirl Cookout. Choose a deluxe B&B or classic ranch setting. Big Sky also offers yoga and hiking retreats in Yellowstone country and Nordic skiing and yoga combo programs in the winter.

2. Yoga & Kayaking

Madeline Island Yoga RetreatsMadeline Island Yoga Retreats, Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands on Lake Superior are a world-class kayaking destination. Paddlers can explore rugged shorelines decorated with tamaracks and wild roses and sea caves hollowed out by the waves. Yoga classes incorporate poses to balance and support the body, enhancing the ability to develop the technical skills of kayaking. A typical yoga adventure includes two afternoons with an experienced kayaking guide and one afternoon hiking the shores of Madeline Island, one of 21 small islands that comprise the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Apostle Islands, with their rocky coastlines and six lighthouses, were heralded by National Geographic as the top national park in the U.S. for picturesque beauty. Retreats combining yoga with horseback riding, stand-up paddling or art are also offered. Guests enjoy accommodations at The Inn on Madeline Island overlooking Lake Superior.

3. Yoga & Surfing

Harmamara Yoga RetreatHaramara Retreat, Mexico

Just north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast lies the artsy surfer town of Sayulita, beloved by expats and locals alike. Here you’ll find Haramara, named one of the 10 best yoga retreats in the world by Yoga Journal. Tack on surfing classes at Sayulita or Punta de Mita and you’ve got the makings of a sporty, restorative tropical break. Haramara offers a variety of build-your-own-sampler packages, and you can also add massage at the open-air jungle spa situated just above the surf. Every structure of the retreat center is hand-built using traditional methods. Two open-air yoga pavilions, cooled by ocean breezes, have high thatched roofs and handcrafted hardwood floors and are positioned to offer 360-degree views of the verdant mountains. As the cabanas have no electricity, guests enjoy a genuine retreat, away from the intrusion of electronic devices. Oil lamps provide soft lighting in the cabanas and restaurant, which serves fresh seafood and organic vegetarian cuisine.

4. Yoga & Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Lumeria Maui Yoga RetreatLumeria, Maui

Stand-up paddleboards (also known as SUP) have become wildly popular in the last few years and offer a perfect complement to yoga for contemplative physical activity. In some cases, both are combined, with yoga done atop the paddleboards for an extra balance challenge. At Lumeria, a wellness-oriented boutique retreat on Maui’s laid-back north shore, you’re immersed in the magic of the Hawaiian ocean while increasing physical fitness and stamina via both yoga and this popular new water sport. The resort’s expert paddling guide offers personalized instruction, enhancing your balance, confidence and muscle tone while enjoying the relaxed culture of aloha. In addition to yoga and water sports activities, Lumeria offers a slate of well-being and horticulture classes. Guests enjoy ocean views from a historic clifftop estate.

5. Yoga, Hiking & Walking Meditation

EcoYoga AdventuresEcoYoga Adventures, Banff, Canada

There may be no more stunning setting in which to practice yoga than the legendary Canadian Rockies. Dramatic rock walls and spires rise above glacier-fed turquoise lakes, while bighorn sheep, mountain goats and elk frequent the slopes and meadows that surround them. EcoYoga Adventures offers an “outdoor spa treatment for the soul” with hiking and walking meditation retreats that combine journeys on foot with yoga. Explore both inner and outer nature as body and spirit are refreshed on weekend, week-long or custom retreats. And you won’t sacrifice the calm you’ve created by spending the night on the ground in a chilly tent: Retreats include overnight stays at luxurious mountain lodges.

6. Yoga & Cycling

SoulFit AdventuresSoulFit Adventures, International Destinations

On SoulFit Adventures’ “Soul Soothing Italy Yoga & Cycling Retreat” you’ll enjoy a delightful blend of mindful yoga practice and guided cycling through idyllic environs in northern Italy. Home base for the week-long program is the Villa Benvenuti, a 17th-century country villa set among 17 acres of natural woodlands just outside of one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities, Lucca. Or, choose a Southeast Asia yoga and cycling adventure in Laos, cycling through the lush northern countryside where you’ll meet the local people as you stretch and strengthen with yoga in boutique resorts along the way. SoulFit also offers a beachside yoga retreat in Bali, complemented with snorkeling and hiking.

7. Yoga & Backpacking

Kaf Canyon Lands RetreatKaf Adventures, Utah & Washington

Few settings are more inspiring for yoga than the wilderness backcountry, and Kaf Adventures offers two distinctly different opportunities to combine them. Get your inner warrior on with either the Canyon Lands or Mount Rainier guided backpacking adventure. In Mount Rainier National Park, glacial vistas and lush meadows of wildflowers set the scene for a summer yoga sojourn. Or trek into the White Canyon complex north of Lake Powell in Southern Utah to commune with the red-rock desert in autumn. Trips include twice-daily yoga classes, plus meditation practice. Kaf also offers shorter overnight yoga and backpacking retreats in the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle, with three yoga sessions during the two-day program.

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  1. Our meditation retreats are held on Isla Amantani in Peru. We provide Yoga, spiritual retreats and silent meditation retreats. During the retreats we practice Meditation, Yoga and Self-enquiry together in order to awaken the spiritual heart and directly experience the deepest levels of our being. Spiritual Retreats

    meditation | October 29th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  2. Hello! Really nice options for enjoying yoga everywhere.
    I was in Santa Reresa, Costa Rica , an amazing place in the north pacific of Costa Rica, where I enjoyed a surf and yoga retreat. I have been a yogi since 10 years ago, but I had never surfed before. The experience was really nice, all the instructors were amazing, and Santa Teresa is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

    Danny Alvarez | November 12th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  3. With yoga we can do other stuff because every people has different hobbies.So in this new year back your bags and make this new year with yoga .

  4. I too write blogs, not specifically on yoga though. But I have a couple of blogs on my thought changing experience with spirituality through yoga. I have penned them down.

    Julie Wilcox | January 28th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  5. Costa Rica is a top destination for yoga travelers, many places as Nosara, Hermosa, Tamarindo and San José are well know for yoga friendly amenities.Hope to read a post about yoga in CR

    Nosara Costa Rica | January 28th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  6. I heard alot about the Costa Rica Place .Some of my friends had very nice experience spending there and me to planing to go there …

    Yoga Holidays 2014 | February 19th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  7. this article is very helpful to anyone trying to find that perfect retreat and you have also shared nice 7 tips of yoga, these are very helpful with us. thank you for sharing great article.

    Michael Brighton | April 11th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  8. Costa Rica is one of the best place for yoga.

    Anny | November 18th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  9. Nice stuff. The varieties of Yoga you have mentioned will provide a new dimension to the people who are engaged to it. It is very true that Yoga has become so much popular due to its better fruitfulness to life. So, if anyone does not follow the guidelines, everything will be in vain. I got the assistance from YOGA Venture and achieve the satisfaction. Thanks to Yoga Venture.

    mattwatson | February 16th, 2015 | Comment Permalink

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