This article is a guest post from our friends over at Wander Wellness Travel Magazine. Wander is the world’s largest magazine for inspiring wellness travel experiences.
Yoga retreats are an amazing opportunity to deepen your practice during a travel experience dedicated solely to your well-being, personal growth, and optimal health.
Facilitated and led by extraordinary teachers, typically in stunning locals – think Tulum, Mexico, Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, lush Bali, or mountaintop cabinscapes – yoga retreats incorporate daily practice with rest and rejuvenation, time in nature, nourishing food and juices, connections with like-minded souls, and often, spa treatments, workshops, and meditation.
And while yoga retreats with yoga as the primary focus have exploded in popularity, retreats that incorporate other modalities and themes are emerging as well. Move over lemur yoga…here are five retreat trends we think have staying power.
Horses & Yoga
Add a little yeehaw to your namaste and throw in some real space…think vast, physical landscapes to move, breathe, and connect with spirit and nature at large ranches and rural homesteads. These retreats specifically incorporate “equine therapy,” in essence, a method of healing that results from the magical connection between horses and humans.
Incorporating riding with horse care and meditative moments, equine retreats will deepen your yoga practice while steadying your mind. Two of the main benefits retreat-goers describe after this type of experience with horses is feeling more intuitive and finding the courage they need to take the next steps in their lives.
Surfing & Yoga
We come to the mat to quiet our minds and experience the fullness of each moment…and there are few other places where you are forced to do exactly that than in the ocean. For newbies especially, yoga and surf retreats offer a rich taste of both worlds, on the mat and in the water, pushing inward and feeling a deep and inspiring post-session glow.
Learning to surf is not as easy as it looks, nor is yoga, which is probably why these retreats are so powerful – and popular. The soothing sounds of water, invigorating sport, and yoga by sunrise or sunset are some of the wonderful experiences you can look forward to, all powerful catalysts for release and change.
Creative Writing & Yoga
Unwind, get vulnerable, and share your stories with others – this is the overarching approach of writing-slash-yoga retreats. Yoga is used to ground, find balance, and release what is being held in the body, so writing can then be used as an outlet, a way to let go.
Whether you’re in need of a creative boost, in the midst of a transition or difficult place, or wanting to share your story on paper, these retreats promise emotional introspection, restorative yoga, and connections with like-minded souls. So powerful is the self-discovery, yoga retreats based around art and other forms of creative expression are also emerging.
Reiki & Yoga
Reiki is a Japanese healing technique whose name means “universally-guided energy.” Reiki is performed by laying the hands on or above areas of the body to transmit energetic healing, so blockages are cleared, and shifts can occur more naturally. Learning this ancient technique from an experienced healer while on a yoga vacation can literally change your life - helping with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Away from distraction, outside of your daily routine, your body can fully relax, so that the healing powers of reiki may be even more fully absorbed. Most retreats combine these experiences - on both group and private levels - with nourishing meals, meditation, and quiet time to connect with yourself and others, and surrender to relaxation and healing.
Volunteer & Yoga
Yoga retreats, in general, do not have to mean escapism, but rather discovering, or rediscovering, your inner self, and gaining the tools you need to improve your well-being. Being in service is one of the surest paths to feeling things more deeply within your core and intertwines beautifully with deepening your yoga practice and aligning body and mind.
These types of retreats incorporate volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas, from conserving local eco-systems to helping in the local community, perhaps with education or healthcare. Depending on your placement, you could expect to work 2-6 hours per day, with ample time to immerse yourself in yoga classes and further connect with your surroundings.
Combining yoga with any of these experiences on retreat mean authentic, lifelong connections are sure to happen both on and off the mat.