World’s Most Incredible Yoga Retreats
Whether you’re a weekend warrior attending once-a-week classes at your neighborhood studio or a seasoned yogi(ni) who has made the practice a way of life, GAYOT has discovered the Best Yoga Retreats in the World.
Our selections span the globe, from ashrams (complete with communal chores) in New Zealand to a member of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux group in India. As for the common bond each of these destinations shares: top-quality instruction in beautiful locales.
No matter your preferred style of yoga, these retreats promise soothing escapes and life-changing experiences. So roll up your mat and start planning your perfect yoga getaway. Namaste.
1. Anahata Yoga Retreat
This remote ashram-style yoga retreat welcomes guests with gorgeous views and savory vegetarian cuisine.
At this intensive yoga getaway on top of a mountain overlooking Golden Bay, guests stay in a variety of accommodations: hotel-style rooms, tents and even a private straw bale round house (definitely the most coveted). Rates vary according to the type of lodging you choose and include meals, which are vegetarian and sourced from local growers or picked fresh from the garden. Group retreats and private programs are offered year-round, with a focus on personal growth in the Satyananda tradition, which draws on a number of yoga styles, including hatha, raja, karma, jnana, mantra and bhakti. Non-yoga activities include walks, kirtan (chanting), cooking and gardening.
2. Big Sky Yoga Retreats
A sassy cowgirl attitude and Big Sky scenery make this retreat a unique option for yoga aficionados.
Ready to add a little “yee-haw” to your namaste? Yoginis of all skill levels are welcome for these all-inclusive, women-only yoga retreats with an emphasis on outdoor fitness. Summer and fall Cowgirl Yoga retreats combine yoga and horseback riding (beginner equestrians welcome). There is also an annual Cowgirl Yoga Costa Rica retreat in January, where you can discover yoga and horses in a tropical setting. A Winter Wonderland & Wellness retreat blends yoga and cross-country Nordic skiing, plus cooking and tea-making lessons and massage. Additional retreats focus on photography and wine tasting. The majority of retreats are held at the Double T River Ranch in Montana, and accommodations vary depending on the retreat location (Costa Rica, Yellowstone, etc.). Big Sky Yoga Retreats also offers a program called Cowgirls vs. Cancer, featuring healing with horses and yoga for breast cancer survivors.
3. Dahlonega Spa & Resort
This romantic resort entices guests with a variety of creative wellness and yoga experiences.
Viewed from the rocking chairs on the front porch of this country bed-and-breakfast, the rising Blue Ridge Mountains beckon in the distance, while nearby Dahlonega offers historic sites, fine shopping and dining. The 22 accommodations are housed in the main house and in cabins scattered around the grounds for enhanced privacy. They are sparely furnished, in a clean, simple and not-quite-Spartan aesthetic. Guests can explore the grounds along a nature trail or wash away fatigue in the hot tub. They can also gather with other guests around the fire pit after dinner, or participate in a yoga class and then order up a massage. Breakfast is an event with an ever-changing menu, and lunch and dinner are offered at the on-site Pure Vida restaurant, with cooking focused on healthy fare. The culinary team even roasts its own coffee from green Costa Rican coffee beans, and wild blueberries growing on the property make their way into some of the dishes. The resort’s wellness and yoga retreat center is its main draw, and the owners also have health-focused resorts in Tulum, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
4. Esalen Institute
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean this dynamic institute paved the way for the popularity of personal growth retreats.
While not a hotel in the traditional sense, this legendary retreat offers overnight accommodation to those who come for its workshops. Of note are the private Point House suites with living rooms, sleeping lofts, full kitchens, private redwood decks and outdoor claw-foot tubs. Esalen emphasizes the balance between mind and body, as well as science and spirituality. It offers a variety of yoga retreats throughout the year, all of which provide an opportunity to focus in a peaceful wilderness setting. In addition, workshops encompass a wide variety of disciplines with categories that range from Body and Movement to Leadership and Society. Meals are served in the historic lodge and provide a balance of nourishment and nutrition.
5. Shreyas Yoga Retreat
This dedicated yoga retreat offers the experience of a high-end luxury resort.
If you have a yen for an upscale yoga experience, then aim your chakras towards Shreyas Yoga Retreat in Bangalore, India. This sleek escape is devoted to promoting the authentic spiritual tradition of yoga in an environment that’s normally associated with luxe hotels. Shreyas is spread over 25 acres of landscaped gardens and utilizes natural resources with initiatives such as rain water harvesting, solar heating, ayurvedic and medicinal herb plantations, organic farming and organic waste disposal on-site. Guests can enjoy ashtanga and hatha yoga, chanting classes, silent retreats, meditation, massages, ayurvedic treatments such as abhyanga and shirodhara and community service exercises. Amenities include an infinity pool, hot tub, steam room, and walking trails. The only member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group to feature a totally vegetarian menu, Shreyas also boasts a dedicated culinary experiences retreat. With just 14 rooms accommodating up to 25 people, personalized service is a highlight here.
6. Silver Island Yoga
Exclusivity defines this charming yoga retreat on private Silver Island.
Adrift off the mainland, about a four-hour drive from Athens, Silver Island Yoga was named for the shimmering leaves on the private island’s 60-acre working olive farm. Run by sisters Lissa and Claire Christie, whose family has owned the small island for half a century, the retreat shares the lush property with nothing more than a church and a lighthouse. The resort’s five rooms are divided between the main house and the villa, two traditional white buildings with blue shutters that can accommodate up to ten guests. Visitors arrive to the pebbled beach by boat, and spend Sunday through Saturday participating in two-hour dawn and sunset yoga sessions overlooking the ocean, taught by a revolving selection of diverse instructors. The Christies encourage guests to take advantage of the picturesque Mediterranean seascape with kayaking and snorkeling; there are also hammocks for unwinding and art supplies for those so inspired. The resort provides vegetarian meals made from produce harvested sustainably from local farms, served communally beneath a large palm tree.
7. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Dedicated yoga practitioners will appreciate the discipline and serene natural beauty at this island retreat.
Whether you choose to stay in a tent, cabin or beachfront suite, your experience here will focus on one thing: yoga surrounded by crystal blue waters, white sands and swaying palm trees. This Paradise Island retreat follows a rhythmic pattern: You’ll rise at 6 a.m., meditate through dawn, chant until tea time and do two hours of hatha yoga before breaking for your 10 a.m. vegetarian meal. The afternoon follows a similar pattern with a second session of hatha yoga, 6 p.m. dinner and then an end-of-day presentation, live chanting session or dance performance as part of the daily satsang gathering. Guests also volunteer for karma yoga, which involves ashram duties (known to non-yogis as chores). This retreat, in the lineage of classic principles founded by esteemed yogi Swami Sivananda, also offers teacher training and escapes with themes such as positive thinking, Ahimsa: the Yoga Practice of Non-Injury, and Yoga, Stress and Food.
8. Vajra Sol Yoga Adventures
A beachfront location and stylish boutique hotel welcome practitioners to this pampering retreat.
A holistic approach to tending the body and spirit underlies the approach at this upscale yoga retreat. Vinyasa flow yoga classes are offered in a refreshing open-air studio along with surfing, stand-up paddling and massages. For those who want a more focused experience, Pure Yoga retreats are also on the schedule. A free-form swimming pool and gourmet organic cuisine add a resort atmosphere, while 17 boutique accommodations in attractive villas and bungalows provide sleek Indonesian style and a relaxing escape at the end of the day. Vajra Sol was founded by former humanitarian aid worker Sandra Tedeschi, who uses her wealth of experiences to create a well-rounded yoga getaway.
9. Yoga Breaks in Spain
Tosalet S/N, La Vall De Laguar, 03791 Alicante Spain
+34 620-147089, Official website
The coast of Spain provides an idyllic setting for yoga classes at this charming retreat.
The World Health Organization has named the Costa Blanca region of Spain as having one of the healthiest climates on earth. In this picturesque setting, guests of Yoga Breaks in Spain stay in boutique hotels in the charming towns of Altea or Denea, depending on the season. Twice daily yoga, suitable for beginners and intermediates, is designed to open your body, loosen your joints and ease tensions. Delicious ayurvedic-inspired meals nourish and sustain you, while meditation and pranayama (breathing) workshops take you into a deep state of inner peace. We love that this isn’t your typical, strict yoga retreat for ascetics but more of a yogic holiday escape where you can feel free to enjoy a glass of wine and tapas in the local villages. Optional activities include coastal hikes, mountain biking, kayaking, Spanish cooking lessons, massages and aromatherapy facials.