Yoga retreats might sound a little extreme for the amateur yogi, but there are, in fact, retreats designed for students with all levels of experience. With the rise in yoga class attendance, retreat centers are shifting their focus from traditional routines of multiple yoga and meditation sessions each day, to more customizable packages. They can feature hiking trips, massage and spa treatments and full fitness centers; in addition to a variety of yoga and mediation classes.
There are several options for students who want to plan a yoga retreat. Yogis on a budget might want to consider researching a specific yoga studio that offers many different types of classes, and then book a hotel nearby. This is also ideal for students who want flexibility in their vacations, but also want to take multiple yoga classes during their stay. Another option is to find a retreat center that features outdoor activities, spa amenities, fresh food and premium beach access, all in one package. This is the wellness equivalent of an all-inclusive resort, making life easier for students who are new to yoga, or who want a well-balanced vacation.
Regardless of the activities offered at each retreat, the goal remains the same; guests come to take a break from their hectic schedules and reconnect with their goals and health priorities, aiming to learn new skills that can bring a bit of mindfulness back into their home life.
Here’s our list of the top yoga retreat choices for students:
- Stress Less Yoga Retreat (Ft. Lauderdale, FL): This yoga retreat touts its flexibility in class schedules and yoga styles, making it ideal for first-time retreaters and yogis. Yoga retreat packages include hotel accommodations in Ft. Lauderdale, transportation from the hotel to yoga class spots (classes are conducted on the beach), daily yoga sessions in both the morning and afternoon, paddle board yoga classes, meditation instruction and more. Prices during the high season (December-May) start at $1000 for four-day retreats, $1300 for six-day retreats, and $1470 for eight-day retreats.
- Miraval Resort and Spa (Tuscon, AZ): Highly recommended by the yogis of Yoga Journal, this relaxing getaway can be a welcome change from urban Miami life. Though it might not be the tropical beach scenery that yoga retreats typically bring to mind, the desert landscape can be just as beautiful and nourishing. The resort offers a wide variety of yoga classes, including aerial yoga, and also has many added benefits like bodywork sessions, instructed meditation classes, massages and other spa treatments; even guided hikes. Best of all, one-on-one sessions with staff instructors help make each stay unique and personal for every guest. Prices vary for Miraval packages, so your best bet is to pick your dates and then check the resort’s availability online.
- Kalanai (Pahoa, HI): Nothing says yoga retreat like a week on the Big Island of Hawaii. At Kalanai, retreaters can stay in single or double occupancy rooms, and are provided with fresh, healthy meals throughout their experience. Kalanai also has spa facilities and introductory sessions for hula, meditation and weaving. For yoga newbies, Kalanai offers a special “Introduction to Yoga” package. Prices range from $800-$1200 for a seven-day package, depending on guests’ room choices.
- Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas (Nassau, Bahamas): This yoga retreat center is an ashram, which is an isolated site for spiritual and physical practice. This ashram has opened its doors to the public, taking pride in its customizability through different midday activities and yoga classes that cater to all levels. A typical day begins with a morning meditation session, followed by a two-hour yoga class. Guests are then given free time to explore the area through snorkeling, swimming, relaxing on the beach and other activities. Another yoga class is held in the afternoon, and the day ends with meditation and a group discussion. Prices vary, but are mostly between $100 and $200 per night, depending on the length of the stay.
- Maya Tulum (Quintana Roo, Mexico): Just a short drive from Cancun, this Maya Tulum is a great alternative to the typical spring break trip. The retreat center offers many different seven-day packages throughout the season, led by experienced yoga instructors with a wide range of yoga styles. The hotel also helps create a picture-perfect yoga vacation, as it offers beach cabanas, eight massage rooms, a 100-person restaurant and a lot more. With nightly rates ranging from $150 to $500, this retreat isn’t cheap; but it’s the perfect place for
- Shreyas Retreats (Nelamangala, Bangalore India): With a limit of around 20 visitors at a time, Shreyes Retreats focuses on a superb guest experience. The center boasts authentic, personalized yoga classes, an award-winning spa, gourmet vegetarian meals, trips to local villages, community exercise, massages; to name a few. It’s been touted as one of the top yoga retreats in the world, and with good reason. Depending on the season and length of stay, retreaters could be looking at a $5000 reservation.
word _ amanda wood. photo illustration_yili wu.
Amanda Wood is a senior from Vermont studying ecosystem science and policy. She’s interested in environmental education, health and wellness, which why she picked to write about yoga. This summer, Amanda hopes to get her own yoga teacher certification.