Transformative Travel: 5 Fabulous Yoga Retreats Around the World

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Yoga is a great way to enhance other sporting and fitness activities that you do – and it brings a mindfulness to your life. It’s important to slow down and be present and aware, all lessons that we learn from yoga that can benefit other areas of our lives. Here are six great retreats you can do around the world.

1) Permaculture & Yoga Retreat (Costa Rica)

Spend some time with Rancho Delicioso and Anamaya in the jungle of Costa Rica and learn to plant a life-supporting garden. Modern consumerism causes the world to face many challenges from loss of habitat to environmental degradation and social disconnection. Rancho Delicioso believes it’s time to educate and to cultivate opportunities for positive change. Permaculture — derived from the words permanent and culture – uses scientific design to mimic efficient patterns and relationships found in nature and promote self-sustainability. Permaculture is yoga for the land, as yoga is permaculture for the body. Their permaculture and yoga retreat includes daily yoga and permaculture gardening classes, aerial silk and archery classes and healthy cooking workshops.

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Yoga in Aerial Silks in Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of Rancho Delicioso.

2) Spain Yoga and Cycling Retreat (Mallorca, Spain)

Chillout Retreats has teamed up with international cycling experts Cyclespeed to offer a week of yoga and cycling in a Spanish island. Mallorca is a biker’s paradise and a training ground for professionals, though they welcome riders of all abilities. Every day, you will go on guided rides around the island coupled with traditional Hatha yoga classes that are fused with Pilates strategically designed to help cyclists.

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Photo courtesy of REI Adventures

These yoga classes are complemented with meditation sessions, which help you strengthen and gain control of your mind. Building awareness is a tool that can help you in life and especially on long, challenging cycle rides. You’ll also re-energize the body with healthy, nutritionally balanced meals designed for athletes.

3) Yoga & Volunteering & Spanish Immersion (Argentina)

Las Tierras de Avalon is a yoga retreat center 30 miles outside Buenos Aires, Argentina that also offers yoga coupled with volunteer opportunities. You will experience the harmony caused by yoga and meditation, enhanced by helping others in daily projects. Las Tierras de Avalon offers a rich cultural Argentinian experience, and can boost your Spanish language skills in a peaceful ambiance and an ecological environment.

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Sevasana in the salon at Las Tierras de Avalon in Argentina. Photo courtesy of Las Tierras de Avalon.

Volunteers work three hours a day while receiving comfortable accommodation, vegetarian organic cuisine, and Hatha yoga and meditation classes. Volunteer activities are catered to interests and need but can include bringing firewood, painting, helping in the vegetable garden, building with earth and natural materials, and feeding animals of the farm. The property has llamas, horses, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

3) Yoga and Ayurvedic Cooking Course (Kerala, India)

The healing system of Ayurveda dates back more than 6000 years and is considered the oldest system of medicine in the world. It is becoming increasingly popular for people hoping to lead healthy, balanced lives. Santi Yoga’s 7-day intensive Ayurvedic Nutrition & Cooking Course in Kerala, India will teach you about various aspects of healthy living expounded by Ayurveda.

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Improve your cooking and yoga.  Photo courtesy of Santhi Yoga.

You will learn how to create nutritious vegetarian meals made from grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, dairy products, fat, spices and herbs, based on Ayurvedic principles. Cooking and theory classes will be complemented with a daily yoga asana.

4) Yoga & Extreme Adventures (Caberete, Dominican Republic)

If you’re a woman who loves to play in the outdoors and has a penchant for thrilling adventures, Explorer Chick has just the trip for you. Their 8-day female-only Dominican Republic trip combines travel, community, fitness and adventure. On this excursion, you’ll jump from waterfalls in a jungle canyon, learn to surf, fly on a trapeze, hike Mt. Isabel de Torres and float down a lazy river in the Dominican countryside. You’ll balance out the adrenaline rush with morning yoga classes in an ocean loft and evening fitness class in a tiki hut.

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Jumping Ciguapa Falls. Photo courtesy of Nicki Small, Explorer Chick Adventures.

You’ll stay in an eco hotel that runs 90% on solar power and collects and uses rain water. Most of your meals will be organic farm-to-table thanks a partnership with a local farm, which you’ll visit to learn how the farm operates and how they are becoming completely self-sustaining. After your farm tour, enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the property.

5) Writing, Culture & Yoga (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Spend five days with Pink Pangea in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel exploring your fears and your dreams. Through yoga and interacting writing activities you will reflect and open your heart, strengthen your mind and body, and reconnect with yourself. At the same time, you’ll deeply experience the Israeli culture by sampling the foods in the outdoor market, ambling through Jaffa’s ancient plazas, admiring the handmade crafts of Tel Aviv’s artists and relaxing on the beach. You’ll even meet a few of Israel’s contemporary artists.

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Yoga on the beach in Israel. Photo courtesy of Pink Pangea.

Which of these yoga adventures sounds best to you? Please share in the comments below.

 

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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