Consistent yoga practice has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and improve your mood. But you can do yoga in your living room, so you might wonder why one would go on a retreat? (And also, what is a yoga retreat?)
The best yoga retreats immerse you in the tenets of yoga — relaxation, meditation, proper breathing, nourishing diet, and exercise. They’re led by an instructor or group of instructors with yoga sessions spread throughout the day. In between, you can relax, go for hikes, swim, bike, or dig into a craft project, depending on the retreat.
Retreats typically include lodging, meals, and sometimes a bit of pampering, such as massages or skin treatments. Some perks cost extra, so check to see what’s included with the quoted price. Meals tend to be simple, healthy, and (often) vegetarian.
If your muscles start aching even thinking of doing yoga all day, rest assured that yoga isn’t the only thing you’ll do on a retreat. Many retreats feature hikes, horseback riding, ziplines, and other added adventures in the United States or abroad.
If you’re more about reading a book and lounging by the pool, there are retreats for that too. A look at the retreat’s itinerary will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s right for you.
Yoga retreats are often an all-inclusive trip, except for flights. The most luxurious can cost several thousand dollars per person (minus the cost of travel to the retreat). Others are day or weekend retreats that are surprisingly affordable and close to home.
Below, we’ve rounded up the 11 best yoga retreats, covering a range of prices and locations, that promise an om-azing experience.
All prices are per person.
- $ = under $1,000
- $$ = $1,000–$2,000
- $$$ = $2,000–$3,000
- $$$$ = Over $3,000
Big Sky Yoga Retreats
Did you read every book that had a girl and a horse on the cover as a kid? If so, these yoga retreats are for you. Nestled in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana, you can expect lots of one-on-one time with horses to accompany your flow. While Big Sky Yoga’s getaways vary slightly by theme — photography! Equine coaching! Hiking! — most feature a healthy mix of yoga, trail rides, gourmet eats, stargazing, and wine.
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
The Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has a long history of providing yoga training. This is a great option for yogis of all levels, as you can choose a retreat duration that fits your goals and needs. Expect your day (or days) to be packed with yoga sessions, optional hikes and crafts, delicious food, and time for self-reflection. Kripalu retreat schedules might be more packed from sun-up to sun-down compared to other options on this list, but it’s a fantastic choice for those looking to make the most of a short amount of time — or just get that fully immersive yoga experience.
La Vita Bella: Yoga in Umbria
Yoga in Italy? Si, per favore. At this retreat, you’ll stay in beautiful Umbria, practice yoga, sip wine, and see the countryside. Day hikes, group outings, and access to a steam bath and spa only add to the luxury. Yogis seeking a retreat that also feels like a vacation, click that button. 👇
Calling all jet-setter yogis: Yoga Explorers offers yoga retreats in Morocco and France (oo la la!). Each retreat has a theme, from recharging to building resilience. With only two yoga classes per day, these retreats give ample time to chill by the pool and soak in the sun. Even better, you can build your ideal yoga getaway with flexible stay duration and room selection.
Get ready for some serious rest, relaxation, and pampering. This 400-acre resort takes care of everything, including access to fitness equipment and classes, yoga (of course), a pool, and a spa anytime during your stay. You’re welcome to stay for a day, but after dipping your toe in this heavenly experience, you’ll probably want to book some extra time. While this retreat makes for a fantastic solo-yoga experience, we think it’s a great choice for couples too.
Adventure at Aro Ha
Does anything say yoga more than the lakes and mountains of New Zealand? The Adventures at Aro Ha offers two daily yoga sessions and a whole lot of adventure in the middle. Yes, there’s yoga, but there’s also hiking, Pilates, TRX training, and cooking demos. If your wellness depends on pushing your body physically while feeding your soul through nature, this might be the retreat for you.
Boho Beautiful Retreat
Let’s say travel is out of the question and/or your budget is small, but you desperately need a physical, mental, and emotional retuning. Boho Beautiful Retreat is a 7-day online retreat led by yoga and Pilates pro Juliana Spicoluk. You get 14 yoga sessions, 7 reconnect sessions, and a workbook, allowing participants to work at their own pace. It’s not an immersive, pampered experience, but it can certainly recenter your mind and body (and save some cash).
The Omega Institute, located in Rhinebeck, NY, offers 250 acres of exploration, yoga, and fun. These retreats work well for those who don’t want a strict itinerary, but prefer go with the flow (pun intended 🙏 ). Most retreat packages include lodging and meals, and you can take any of the open classes (yoga, tai chi, and more!). You can also enjoy hikes, kayaking, and relaxing outdoor activities. Adventure, thy name is Namaste.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm
This yoga farm is located in Grass Valley, California and its retreats are a special kind of chicken soup for the soul. You can schedule a “yoga vacation,” which includes yoga, guided meditation, and daily community service. There’s also downtime to relax, read, or take a swim. This is a great option if you don’t necessarily need pampering. Plus, you get the added benefit of giving to others as well as yourself.
Yoga in Haines, AK
Alaska’s ruggedness invites adventure, which you can blend with yoga on this 7-day retreat in Haines. There are several daily yoga sessions, but in between, you’re free to explore the Alaskan frontier. This is an escape from the city (and technology) with more rugged accommodations (aka glamping in yurts). You’ll also get to see wildlife galore while you take in stunning views, open skies, and fresh air.
If you’re looking to escape from technology, the Esalen Institute is the place to be. You can still use your phone, but the Wi-Fi goes out 15 minutes before and after meals to encourage conversation. There’s also not enough bandwidth for streaming services, but that’s what sets this retreat apart. Here, you’ll disconnect from tech to connect with those around you. Attendees also love the long list of open classes and ample free time to explore, meditate, or whatever suits your fancy.
Before booking a yoga retreat, we strongly recommend checking the local government’s safety measures, rules, and restrictions related to COVID-19 and/or foreign travel. Keep your own comfort levels in mind too. You want to relax and rejuvenate, and certain restrictions might get in the way of that, so plan accordingly.
Many countries are opening their borders to fully vaccinated travelers. However, both domestic and foreign travel plans could get changed if new COVID-19 variants start spreading. Political unrest in the region could also affect reservations or travel itineraries.
Keep in mind that destinations closer to home are less likely to face cancellations or changes. The point of a yoga retreat is to recenter yourself. If you’re dealing with travel anxiety or coronavirus anxiety or both, a day retreat or location near home might reduce those anxieties.
Take a look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel page and the World Health Organization’s latest travel advice.
Yoga retreats combine the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of yoga with spa treatments, hikes, outdoor adventures, or camping. They get you away from a hectic professional life and let you focus on your inner being. They range from rustic and off-grid to pampered and restful.
You can pick a day, weekend, or week-long retreat at an exotic location or close to home. If there’s a destination you’re longing to visit, chances are there’s a yoga retreat waiting for you.