It’s not like anyone has to explain the benefits of yoga. You make yourself more flexible and less prone to injury. You get stronger, keep off that extra weight and improve your energy levels.
Then there’s the mental and spiritual side. I’ll admit I don’t know too much about that stuff. All I know is that yoga keeps the body loose enough to do the other things you want to do.
For some, the idea of a yoga retreat sounds amazing: immersing yourself in the spirit of the practice, surrounding yourself with yogis, eating healthy and reaching a new level of consciousness.
But why not combine it with the other passions in your life? Doing yoga is cool. But doing yoga and then riding Whistler or climbing Moab is really cool. Check out these five unique retreats this winter and enjoy the things you love.
Whistler Yoga and Snowboard/Ski RetreatWhere: Whistler, British Columbia
When: March 2017
Over 5,000 feet of vertical and an average of 39 feet of snowfall each year. Does it get any better than Whistler? Head up to British Columbia, rise with the sun and start your practice. Then you can get to shredding the 200 trails.
This retreat, run by Mindful Balance, is pretty deluxe. It’s held in an eight-bedroom chalet just a three-minute drive from Whistler Village that has its own private indoor yoga studio, a secluded outdoor Jacuzzi and a steam shower room.
The package includes your own suite in the chalet and three catered dinners by the private chef, as well as daily morning yoga and two restorative après-ski yoga classes. Lift tickets not included.
WanderlustWhere: Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
When: Feb. 23-26, 2017
Wanderlust is a traveling yoga festival that incorporates music, local/sustainable food, learning and dance in the most amazing places around the world.
Get the full experience at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. With the aim to put you on the path to an inspired, healthy life, this retreat offers different levels of yoga, meditation, interaction and workshops.
It’s a conscious party — plus it’s winter on the North Shore, where you can challenge some of the most powerful waves on the planet. If that’s over your head, try surfing in small waves with professional instructors or give standup paddling a go to find that inner peace.
Yoga and Rock Climbing WorkshopWhere: Joshua Tree, California
When: Multiple dates year round
Joshua Tree has been long associated with spirituality. It’s known as the place where the Mojave Desert meets the Colorado Desert and is home to bighorn sheep, black-tailed jackrabbits and coyotes, not to mention some of the best climbing in the country.
The Arizona Rock Climbing and Adventure School’s yoga and rock climbing workshop focuses on physical and mental techniques to build awareness for the present. Led by Elizabeth Suffolk, it’s all designed to help deal with the obstacles we face on the rock or in real life, the former often a metaphor for the latter.
There are all-inclusive packages that include all climbing gear, camping equipment and meals. Days of yoga and climbing are followed by nights of staring into the clear desert sky and stories around the campfire.
Samudra Yoga RetreatWhere: Rincon, Puerto Rico
When: Jan. 7-14, 2017
Welcome to the enchanted isle. The idea of this retreat is to disconnect from stress and devices to get reconnected with the world.
“Samudra” is the Sanskrit word for “gathering of the waters,” and that’s just what this is. Run by Yoga Bohemia, the thoughtfully designed retreat house is just 300 feet from the famous beach and Tres Palmas Marine Reserve — not only Rincon’s big-wave spot, but also featuring world-class snorkeling.
The property features a private chef and multiple gazebos for practicing yoga, and the package includes art classes and two daily yoga sessions, some accompanied by local musicians. Rincon is also home to over a dozen surf spots, many of which are protected from winter’s northerly winds.
Moab Campout Red Rock Glamping RetreatWhere: Moab, Utah
When: May 17-21, 2017
Moab is home to some of the most intense scenery in America. This Utah bucket-list spot is where Canyonlands National Park, the Colorado River and Arches National Park all converge, a place with a long list of recreational opportunities.
So after you wake to the cool desert air and a morning practice, this retreat offers mountain biking, hiking, climbing, bouldering, trail running and even rafting. Led by Boulder, Colorado’s Gina Caputo, of Yogascapes, it includes daily yoga, rock climbing, meals, local guides and hiking in Arches National Park.
And remember, this is glamping, not camping. Think comfy tents, nice bathrooms and gourmet meals at the riverside campsite.
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