Top 10 Unique Ways to Retreat Across the Globe
Everywhere we turn, we see advertisements, posters, Instagram hashtags and yogi-adventurers bragging about their upcoming yoga retreats. As the retreat trend takes over the international travel scene, teachers and resorts are forced to take drastic measures to stand out in a hyper-saturated yoga crowd. Here are some of our most fascinating finds for yoga and wellness retreats across the globe.
Bachelorette Party Yoga Retreats
The classic dancing, shopping and binge drinking bachelorette trip to Vegas is out and a five day yoga program, complete with detox, adventure and meditation with your BFF”s is in. The active, health-conscious bride to be and her crew are more and more often retreating to local and international yoga centres to indulge in natural foods, spa treatments, intention setting ceremonies and daily yoga classes. Rather than returning home guilt-struck and bloated, they are coming back centred, rejuvenated and deeply connected. Check out our Nicaraguan friends at Payaya Wellness for their edgy retreating options.
Vino and Vinyasa
On the flip-side, some yogi’s enjoy a fine glass of merlot after a sweaty practice on the beach, and with wine cellars popping up at retreats around the world, it is not surprising that Wine & Yoga Retreats are a happening trend, bridal party or otherwise. Check out local Toronto gal Christine Noonan Yoga and her “Yoga For Real Life”, including her upcoming vino and vinyasa yoga classes and retreats!
Women’s Writing and Yoga Retreats
I met Aimee teaching one of my very first yoga classes in the jungles in Colombia over ten years ago - while she was not yet a yoga teacher, I saw a spark in her then and it continues to shine now. Only now, she is a yoga teacher, and a story-teller, and she hosts some of the most dynamic yoga, writing and storytelling retreats in the world. Learn more about Aimee at The Story Teller Within.
Sweet selfies, sweet abs and sweeter late night treats are the essence of the eternally popular bikini boot-camp trend. Amansala Eco-Chic Resort & Retreat in the yoga destination of Tulum, Mexico has stretched the bikini bodies of Sienna Miller, Cindy Crawford, Drew Barrymore and Charlize Theron. Imagine power workouts in the morning, strenuous hikes, salsa dancing and organic foods to keep you sexy and zen all at once.
Tired of hearing people tell you what to do? How to live your life? Does the loud music at every urban restaurant burn your sensitive ears and the wails of your newborn have you wishing for isolation? Maybe a silent retreat is just the fix. From the incredible five day Yin/Insight Yoga SILENT Retreats from Sarah Powers (Buddhist, Yin Trainer, Transpersonal Psychologist and beyond) to silent Vipassana meditations, these programs, literally available across the globe, are designed for folks truly looking to go inward and stay there, alone, in silence, with nothing to enjoy but the company of themselves for anywhere from 5 - 50 day stints.
I first discovered this sub-culture of healers during my yoga teacher training outside of Pisaq, Peru at Etnikas in Cusco. For days, weeks, months and beyond, seekers from across the world joined with Shamanic healers beneath moonlit temples in the sacred valley of Peru to drink the worlds most powerful ‘medicine’, meditate, practice yoga, sing, learn about Inka ceremony and reconnect to their truth. For better or worse, the ayahuasca retreat has become increasingly popular. Choose your guide wisely and mindfully.
Volunteer Yoga Retreat
Somewhere between Ass-tastic Yoga and Pilates classes, yoga selfies and $100 yoga pants, we lost complete touch with one of the foundational pillars of yoga - karma yoga - otherwise known as selfless service. With the increase in Western yogi’s travelling to developing countries to practice in the yoga equivalent to gated communities, volunteer yoga retreats break down the studio walls and take yogis into the communities they travel to, invite them to engage in language classes, volunteer work and community involvement.
With the increase in Western yogi’s travelling to developing countries to practice in the yoga equivalent to gated communities, volunteer yoga retreats break down the studio walls and take yogis into the communities they travel to, invite them to engage in language classes, volunteer work and community involvement.
Kids Yoga Camp
What better way to instill discipline, respect and self-love in your children than yoga camp. Sivanada is one of the globes most well-respected yoga centres, and has hosted a kids and teens yoga camp founded by Swami Vishnudevananda since 1972. The goal of the camp is to teach youth the essentials of yoga as a tool for mental, physical and emotional health, while introducing youth to vegetarianism, yoga, pranayama, relaxation, positive thinking, discipline, patience, tolerance and peaceful behaviour. If you want to get your kid started on the yoga retreat experience early, check out Sivananda’s annual retreats in Quebec, Thailand and India.
If the idea of sending your offspring out to a yoga retreat makes you nervous, don’t fret - you can go together. Family retreats are exploding as an alternative to the traditional family vacation. Many resorts offer family friendly private retreat options (at a hefty price), and Sivananda has family options as well.
I was in my mid 20s when I first stumbled across The Yoga Sanctuary in Thailand - where yogi’s wandered with glazed eyes during their 5 night detox retreat, complete with fasting, colonic flushing, herbal steam rooms and organic food. What seems totally ludicrous at 23 seems oddly alluring at 30. Take a peek for yourself at The Sanctuary.