Bend and Balance: Top Yoga Retreats - Page 3

Page 3 of 3
Hot stone massage
RELAXATION STATION: Who says a yoga retreat can't involve a hot stone massage every now and then?  (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty)

Adventure Yoga Retreats Around the World
If you are one of the rare hybrids that combine the yogic quest for inner peace with being a total adrenaline junkie, believe it or not, there are yoga retreats out there tailor-made just for you. Adventure Yoga Retreats will arrange a vacation that seamlessly blends yoga classes in beautiful locales with extreme skiing or an African safari. Ted McDonald, a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher and the company's founder, has taken adventure-seeking yogis surfing in Costa Rica, hiking on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and whitewater rafting in Chile. The company, which organized its first retreat in 2004, now plans 15 to 20 trips per year to exotic locations like Bali, Fiji, Peru, and Vietnam, to name a few. The staff takes care of travel arrangements, accommodations, and healthy meals prepared by a specially-hired chef. During trips McDonald or another instructor teaches yoga classes on location. Immersion in local culture is key, and travelers are introduced first-hand to the customs of the host countries. So on a trip to Peru, for instance, a village shaman might pop in for dinner and perform a ritual. The company, which advertises mostly by word-of-mouth, encourages those with "adventurous spirit and an open heart" to join them for a trip

Shreyas Yoga Retreat in Bangalore, India
Lastly, if you are a yogi with a substantial vacation budget, you may want to splurge and spend your yoga retreat in the country that started it all, India. And if you're going to spring for the airline ticket, you might as well go all the way and choose the luxurious "ashram-style" resort, Shreyas Yoga Retreat, a picture-perfect pampering 5-star haven located an hour away from Bangalore on 25 acres of beautifully landscaped land. The retreat was conceptualized by a former investment banker as a place for "reflection, meditation, and yoga without sacrificing worldly comforts." A week's stay at Shreyas doesn't come cheap—it can run as much as $4000 per person during high season, which runs from October to January. But it's an indulgence that comes with candle-lit gourmet meals served on the lawn, a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi, aromatherapy and massage sessions, and even a cricket field. Guests are offered opportunities to experience local culture and even practice some Karma yoga—if they so desire—by doing some community service in the surrounding villages. A yoga purist may scoff at this "authentically" Indian experience—it is indeed a far cry from the ascetic principles of yoga based on simplicity. But after all, you are on vacation. Right?

Page 3 of 3



Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »