Our Top Recommended Yoga Holidays for 2015
As we head into April, you may be starting to think about improving your health and wellbeing for the rest of the year. A yoga holiday could be the perfect break to get back in touch with your body and to reset your mind. Deciding what sort of retreat to go on can be daunting, with so many options out there, but never fear – our travel experts are always here to give their first-hand advice.
There are both individual or private retreats, and group retreats on offer. Both types have their different benefits, for example an individual retreat might be better suited towards those who are relatively new to yoga practice or those who have specific issues to target within their own practice. The assistance of an instructor one-on-one will be invaluable in these cases. People who are recovering from injuries or surgery would also be better suited to private retreats; this will ensure the full attention of your instructor to make you don’t push your body further than it is ready to go.
Group yoga holidays are great for those who have a good grasp of their yoga practice, who are looking to interact with like-minded yogis and have more social relaxation time between classes. Both group and private retreats can be a great opportunity for yogis to practice with visiting practitioners who are specialists in their field, and who wouldn’t ordinarily be available.
Each retreat detailed below is very different, with varying specialisations and benefits.
7 Night Yoga@Mayr Programme – Parkhotel Igls, Austria
Parkhotel Igls is the leading medi-detox spa in the Mayr field, however on this occasion the aim of the game is very much yoga practice alongside the Parkhotel Basic Programme. This means you will have a medical consultation upon arrival, and you will also be on the Modern Mayr meal plan. During the 7 days there will be 2 one-on-one yoga classes as well as group classes, 5 partial body massages and a beeswax liver compress. Running from the 1st August to 30th September, with check-in either on a Wednesday or Sunday, this retreat embraces the best of the Modern Mayr philosophy while also improving your yoga practice – with the added benefit of one-on-one classes any issues will be attended to in a personalised way.
Technically a private programme with access to group classes, it will leave you feeling rejuvenated from the inside out, and probably a bit lighter than when you arrived.
Absolute Sanctuary is the go-to place in Thailand for everything yoga and Pilates, and this seven day programme that operates year round will have you at the top of your game with unlimited yoga classes at the Absolute Yoga Centre. There is an incredibly wide selection of styles from hot to hatha, vinyasa to yoga Pilates – there will be something for everyone, including special introductory classes for beginners.
The programme also includes daily massages and vegetarian cuisine, expertly made in their Love Kitchen, and two fresh juices and smoothies a day. You will feel revitalised from the inside out, and can also benefit from an additional 10% discount on all spa, detox and a la carte treatments. You could also opt for two additional complimentary nights at Absolute Sanctuary as an exclusive offer for Healing Holidays.
SwaSwara is a haven of spirituality and tranquillity, and describes itself more as a sanctuary than a spa. The Swa Programme, which runs year round, is their most basic but still thorough – and aims to strengthen your understanding of yourself (Swa in Sanskrit means ‘the self’) through yoga and Ayurveda. Upon arrival there will be a detailed consultation with an Ayurveda doctor, and as part of the programme there are four full body massages.
Created with yoga beginners in mind, the programme will introduce you to kriyas, asanas (postures), yoga nidra, meditation and pranayama (breath exercises). Daily group sunrise meditation sets you up for group yoga sessions, and the days end with evening meditation. There will also be access to one-on-one sessions overseen by the experienced instructors, check-ups with the Ayurveda doctors and a cleansing Yogic kriya session using a neti pot to cleanse the nasal tracts and sinuses. This cleansing procedure will be supplemented on the third day by a special elimination juice diet as advised by the Naturopathy doctor to cleanse the body of toxins.
6 Night Group Optimal Fitness Retreat – 38 Degrees North, Ibiza
Ibiza may be the go-to party island for the height of the summer, but year round its reputation as a haven for fitness fanatics is going from strength to strength. Based at Aguas de Ibiza hotel in the town of Santa Eulària des Riu, this programme at 38 Degrees North is an extremely focused yoga retreat that is best suited to those who are confident in their practice.
There will be yoga every day; there are eight group classes as part of the retreat along with two private yoga sessions. There are also two guided group meditation sessions to ensure the balance between mind and body is maintained, as well as a guided walk on the island. Lots of relaxation time means you can enjoy the scenery of the island, as well as any additional group classes you may want to take part in. The spa and fitness facilities will also be at your disposal. The group will have a maximum size of ten people, and the retreat is run twice this year: from 17th – 23rd May, and 20th – 26th September.