Yoga communities are on the rise: only in America, there are over 36 million people who practice yoga, according to the research conducted this year by the Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance. Yoga is not just another beneficial fitness activity: it has its focus on the mind-body connection and a deep spiritual dimension to it. This is why many yoga enthusiasts decide to turn a regular traveling experience into a spiritual one by exploring different destinations that help them reach new levels of knowledge. Here are the best destinations for a yoga lover.
Paradise for the eco-conscious yogis: Tulum, Mexico
Tulum in Mexico is the perfect destination to get your oms while savoring everything the city has to offer. Many choose to practice yoga independently on the beach: soft white sand and the gaze at the turquoise Caribbean Sea create an incredible ambient filled with serenity that enables you to be more focused on breathing and positions. Amansala resort’s beach is the most popular one here: even though it can get a bit crowded, it gathers people from the yoga community so the overall vibe is really nice. There are also possibilities of signing up for an individual class, such as the one at the Boutique hotel Azulik (around $14) or renting a yoga studio with sea view (around $30 for 75 min). Healthy food restaurants and juice bars will make your stay even more pleasant.
Perfect destination for the free-spirited: retreats in Bali
Bali is known as the “Island of Gods” with thousands of different temples you can visit. Add its mesmerizing nature that includes a number of waterfalls, springs, botanical gardens, and national parks – and you’ll see it makes a perfect destination for understanding the spiritual side of yoga. There are many retreats you can visit. While Ubud is probably the most popular city: there are many resorts where you can sign up for one class or purchase a package of several classes, such as the Yoga Barn, Ubud Yoga House, or Intuitive Flow. Prices vary from $9 to $60, depending on the number of classes and the chosen package. There is also an offbeat destination, Nusa Lembongan: here, you can sign up for Bali yoga teacher training and become a certified yogi. It is a small island located southeast of Bali that’s also popular among surfers.
Nature’s heaven and tranquility: area of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan is located in the highlands of Guatemala and it’s packed with yoga resorts. The scenery is simply breathtaking: deep blue lake surrounded by volcanoes and lush forests will instantly slower your heartbeat. Tiny villages and small places make the yoga experience worthwhile. Consider San Pedro: it consists out of two parts – the Panajachel dock and the Santiago dock. The latter one has a lot of healthy food menu offers (e.g. smoothie bars, vegan or gluten free food) and you can sign up for a yoga class at the San Pedro Yoga school (5$ per class). Other great destinations include Santa Cruz or San Marcos.
Transformative trip to where it all started: Pune, India
Yoga origins date back over 5000 years, in India. Although Rishikesh is considered to be “yoga’s world capital”, consider going to Pune. There you can apply for in-depth courses and get a fuller understanding of the way Hinduism intertwines with yoga. You can practice all types of yoga, while Hatha and Raja yoga are the most popular ones. The famous Osho Meditation Resort is located here, so you can explore the power of meditation and learn more about the esoteric aspects. Enjoy massages (such as the Ayurvedic Yoga massage) and keep your mind open.
Recharge your spiritual batteries: Phuket, Thailand
The perfect tropical climate of Phuket will make your yoga trip a life-long memory. Phuket is really wellness-focused and most of the resorts offer exquisite spa treatments and detox programs. Yoga here is a part of the specific mindset: unlike at home, where you go to the yoga class and get distracted with other things the moment you roll up your yoga mat – here, it’s all about continuous self-care. Try going on a 7-day retreat, yoga or meditation – in order to relax your body and mind. Some of them provide an opportunity to discuss everything you’re curious about with the Buddhist monks (such as the Middle Way Meditation Retreat). Other renowned centers include Atsumi Healing, Atmanjai, Kata Hot Yoga, etc.
If you’re on your way to become a devoted yogi, set off on a mesmerizing journey of self-discovery. These destinations will certainly inspire you!