Choosing a yoga vacation

Choosing a yoga vacation


which yoga vacation is right for you

As with most things these days, there is an incredible amount of choice out there when it comes to choosing a yoga vacation. This might sound silly, but the first thing you need to think about is how much yoga is actually involved: some retreats offer classes once daily, others twice; some retreats are yoga only, others combine yoga with another activity.

Once you know how much yoga you want to do, work out where you want to do it – do you want to be up in the mountains, or down on the coast, and, importantly, how isolated do you want to be? Consider the style of yoga that you want to practice be it slow and steady, challenging and sweaty, or both, and finally, research it all again – you can never ask too many questions. The point of a yoga vacation is to leave you feeling even better than when you arrived, which is as personal a point as how you take your tea and toast.

Types of yoga vacation


find your yoga style

Beginner’s yoga

Being a yoga newbie can be daunting; there’s little worse than walking into a class full of people chatting merrily while holding their feet above their heads and realising it’s been years since you’ve done a crab let alone a wounded peacock. But fear ye not, there are loads of vacations for people who are starting out, or brushing up – you’ll still learn all the basics and clock up some serious yoga hours, just at a reasonable pace.

In-depth yoga


Surprisingly not just for serious yogis, an in-depth yoga vacation is ideal for anyone who wants to become a yoga teacher, but be warned, it isn’t easy and although yoga novices are welcome, the schedule is intense. You’ll begin at sunrise with meditation and then practice your postures and listen to lectures all day before wrapping up with some more meditative downtime after dinner and a much-needed early night.

Women only yoga

It might be that you want to get away on a vacation with the girls with fewer, ahem, distractions; perhaps you feel more comfortable bending your body around in front of other women; or maybe you are dealing with hormonal changes or health issues exclusive to ladies. Any or all reasons are welcome and it’s important to remember that women only yoga vacations are about focus and fun, and not about angry feminist man-bashing.

Yoga +1


As if a vacation dedicated to health and flexibility wasn’t brilliant enough, you can also pick from all sorts of equally brilliant plus ones to pack more in to your yoga adventure – pilates, massage, dancing, even diving, are all covered. Each are cleverly interlinked with the founding principles and practices of yoga to enhance your experience of learning about both.

Yoga for fitness &
weight loss


The term ‘boot camp’ can strike fear into the hearts of anyone wanting to shift a few pounds, but yoga boot camps are more about a gentle push to kick start a new health regime than being made to jump squat for your supper. Focusing on a daily programme of yoga, hiking and circuit training (usually made far more bearable by the presence of a beach), together with nutritional workshops and healthy, cleansing meals to encourage weight loss goals, you put the work in, but in a very nurturing environment.

Yoga for relaxation


Before the days of yoga studios cranking up their temperatures to 40oC and having you sweat out your sins by the bucketload (which is actually very effective if you like punishment with your posture work), the whole point of the practice was relaxation, something a lot of yoga vacations offer. How your yoga to relaxation ratio sits is up to you, but a typical day involves two 90-minute sessions daily, topped up with optional and untaxing activities and plenty of herbal tea.

Yoga & your
spiritual side


Yoga plays a huge part in giving people a framework to cope with modern life’s stresses and there are vacations with a significant ‘healing and recovery’ slant for those searching for clarity, peace of mind, or time with others. As well as daily yoga practice, these trips are a chance to immerse yourself in nature and recharge your batteries, share stories with people from all walks of life, and set to work finding your inner peace.

Choosing a yoga vacation


SOME ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERTS

Julie Slade, from our supplier, Real Boot Camp Spain, shares her advice on how to choose a yoga vacation: “Research thoroughly – you are investing a significant amount of money into a healthy vacation and your health has to be the organiser’s number one priority. Think about what you want and look at the retreat as a whole package – how long have they been going? Have they got a comprehensive biography of their team? You quite often see retreats that are run out of a hotel and you’ll find that they are run by kids with little or no experience; I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but generally you’ll need to be in the hands of someone well-qualified who can offer you a high quality, structured experience.”
Nicole Stone, from our supplier, Yoga Breaks, shares her advice on how to choose a yoga vacation:

“Location is really, really important. We’ve been running yoga retreats for ten years now and have used several different locations in Spain. We used to use a beautiful hotel up in the mountains, but it was in a little village and we found that after three nights there people used to get a bit stir crazy because they’d walked around the village several times already and there was no real night life or shops nearby. If somebody doesn’t want to be too remote and then they end up at a mountain location, they’ll be frustrated and annoyed at their choice. Be sure to read the vacation description carefully, so you know what you’re getting.”
Photo credits: [Topbox: Zach Dischner] [Beginners yoga: The Yoga People] [women only yoga: GoToVan] [Yoga for fitness and weight loss: Eli Christman] [Yoga and your spiritual side: Rob Bertholf] [Advice: Matthew Ragan]
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