Looking for the best yoga holidays in the world? Retreat guru Caroline Sylger Jones suggests five yoga retreats to suit different tastes
Best for: COMPLETE BEGINNERS
Though these holidays are open to all levels, many guests on Satvada Retreat holidays have no previous retreat or yoga experience, and the team’s gentle touch ensures your body and mind will feel safely taken care of. Teachers focus on mindful hatha yoga, with a focus on awareness and alignment, and meditation is always included. Their holidays include short breaks in the UK, wellbeing weekends in Marrakech and yoga and walking breaks in the Atlas mountains, where yoga takes place on a large terrace overlooking the swimming pool and surrounding mountains. The group trips run on set dates throughout the year.
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Best for: YOGA PURISTS
One of our favourite finds of last year, Yobaba Lounge is a stylish little chateau tucked away in the village of Chalabre in the French Pyrenees. The teacher on their yoga, meditation and wellbeing retreats is Mangalo, who teaches classical hatha yoga, unfussy and pure. Everything is guided by the breath, and the majority of the class is conducted using Ujjayi breath (the hissing breath commonly associated with Ashtanga). Mangalo spent time in Buddhist monasteries, and this tradition underlies the retreats, giving them a comforting structure. His classes are suitable for all levels, including complete beginners and experienced yoga teachers. Retreats start in April and run till the Autumn.
Read more about Yobaba Lounge
Best for: THOSE WITH INJURIES
Ken Eyerman teaches ‘Yoga with Awareness’ – his own mix of the dynamic power of Ashtanga yoga and more gentle, understated Feldenkrais movements which help ease you into new postures while encouraging you to explore movement in a way that is both developmental and restorative. As a result, the yoga is great for people who want a slower pace, including complete beginners and those who have injuries or are restricted in their movement. Ken will teach at the beachside venue Atsitsa Bay on Skyros in Greece during August this year, and at The Grange on the Isle of Wight in late October, Skyro’s contemporary B&B.
Read more about Skyros here
Best for: MINDFUL YOGA
Are you reasonably confident at yoga, but feel you’ve just been putting your body into shapes in your (rather large) local class and want to understand more? Kaliyoga teachers approach yoga as much for its mindful spirituality as for its physical benefits (as indeed all yoga teachers should), and the boutique venues in Italy and Spain have a house-party vibe, making the holidays a fun treat too. In Italy you’ll be taught by Tashi, who teaches mindful dynamic yoga with poise – combining deep spiritual awareness with warmth and humour. In Spain the main teacher is Lelly, who teaches mindful vinyasa flow in a slower, quieter and more meditative way. This July they will run a family yoga camp in Somerset in the UK too.
Read more about Kaliyoga here
Best for: A CHALLENGE
Reclaim Your Self’s yoga holidays led by Anusara yoga teacher Lisa Sanfilippo are some of their most popular yet, because people find Lisa challenges them whatever level they are at. The style of Anusara yoga blends held and flowing yoga poses, precise healthy alignment, breathwork and meditation together, and Lisa, a London based teacher with over 10 years experience, is adept at getting students to explore their limits and safely step beyond them, and will add extra workshops and one to one sessions where needed too. Choose from a gorgeous villa in Italy or a manor house in the UK near London.
Read more about Reclaim Your Self here
For more ideas on yoga holidays, take a look at Queen of Retreats
Read more of Caroline’s Healthista Spa Trekker blogs here
Caroline Sylger Jones is an author and freelance journalist who travels the world checking out spas, yoga retreats and healthy holidays for international newspapers, glossy magazines and websites. She is the editor of healthy travel site Queen of Retreats, for honest reviews and expert advice on spas, retreats and healthy holidays and runs The Retreat Consultancy for people looking to set up or improve their own retreats.