Searching for serenity? Rather than heading to a beach populated by shrieking children and their shrieking parents or boarding a cruise with a similar crowd, sign up for a yoga retreat to discover true inner peace. Built against scenic natural backdrops and established for the exact purpose of fostering tranquility, yoga retreats provide the quietude and relaxation necessary for discovery, reflection and rejuvenation. Vacations can be hectic and blow your stress levels through the roof. Shouldn’t a getaway do just the opposite? Check out our list of the top 8 yoga retreats in the United States and sign up now for a sojourn into deep, calming peace.
Nestled in a steep canyon on forty acres of land in the San Marcos Pass, the White Lotus Foundation overlooks the city of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands. Accommodations include indoor lodging, Yurts and campsites on plateaus overlooking the ocean. Founded by renowned yogi Ganga White, the facilities include gourmet vegetarian dining, an underground Hopi-style “Kiva” temple and a Library-Media center designed and crafted by Santa Barbara artists.
Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers a number of summer and winter yoga retreats in the scenic snow-capped mountains and fresh-pine forest of Montana. Combining yoga with activities like photography, skiing and hiking, Big Sky offers an experience that is both serene and leisurely. Big Sky prides itself on Cowgirl Yoga™–retreats for women with an emphasis on horseback riding. The vast Montana landscape provides the space necessary for unfettered personal growth and reprieve from the clamor and din of daily living.
Near the village of Greenbank, Washington, the Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island resides in a forest on Puget Sound. A retreat that put you close to nature, the surrounding area is full of lush vegetation and thriving wildlife, including eagles, owls, heron, rabbits, coyotes, deer and more. This environmentally conscious institution harbors multiple orchards, organic vegetable and flower gardens, a small pond and stretches of beach. Private, semi-private and group yoga lessons are available throughout the week.
In the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Kripalu is the largest and most established yoga and holistic retreat and educational center in North America. Kripalu focuses on lifestyle changes through immersion programs. Retreats combine yoga with healthy eating, sauna relaxation and close proximity to nature. Take a walk around the lake or enjoy a number of additional services, such as massages, energy work, facials, Ancient Ayurvedic treatments and health and nutrition consultations. A meditation room and quiet outdoor areas serve as excellent spaces for introspection.
Contained within a fully restored 1840s New England Farmhouse, Rolling Meadows sits on 100 acres of land in rural Maine. The building, perched on a high ridge, offers unobstructed views of rolling hills and bucolic landscapes. The grounds contain gardens, streams, woods, walking paths and a spring-fed pond for swimming. The farmhouse is small but elegant, housing up to 10 people at a time. In addition to yoga, the facility offers a wood-fired sauna and cross-country skiing in the winter months.
The Shambhala Mountain Center in northern Colorado offers a wide selection of yoga and meditation programs. The resort, nestled in a valley of meadows and pine forests, employs “authentic lineage teachers” who bring together a variety of mind- and body-healing disciplines. The Center is also home to The Great Stupa, a monument to peace, and has hiking trails and botanical gardens with optional massage therapy and healthy meals.
The first yoga studio in Sedona, Arizona, 7 Centers Yoga Arts is internationally renowned for transformational yoga teacher trainings. With scenic views of red desert rocks, the Center possesses a gorgeous Spanish-mission architectural style. In addition to teacher-training programs, the Center offers yoga therapy, classes and retreats to the public. Their retreat programs are extremely flexible (terrible pun), allowing guests to stay for as many days as they like any time of the year.
The Feathered Pipe Foundation in the Montana Rockies is a mountain sanctuary fueled by organic health food and mountain spring water. Guests can bask in the glory of the scenic Rockies while unwinding with any number of yoga programs. Many of their retreats are created with a sharp focus on yoga practice and therapeutic breathing exercises. Both personal and group retreats are offered year-round.