How many times have you returned from a holiday feeling exhausted after eating and drinking everything in sight, and pushing yourself to the limit with excessive sightseeing?
A holiday doesn’t necessarily mean you have to tire yourself out mindlessly, whether it’s a solo trip or not. If you want to come back feeling recharged, healthier, and fitter than before, then perhaps it’s time to consider a healing holiday.
We’re talking about an increasingly popular trend: yoga retreats!
A yoga retreat involves travelling to a place that is surrounded by natural beauty. Think relaxing your body, mind, and soul, by practising yoga and meditation on glorious beaches or in the shadow of towering mountains. Forget stressful trip-plannings with your friends or families, this is one holiday where it’s purely all about yourself. So is there really a better way to connect with nature and feel an intimate sense of rejuvenation? We think not.
Here are some of the best yoga retreats in Asia where you can catch some Zen and strengthen your mind and body. Prepare to leave feeling better than when you first came!
1. Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa, Bali
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Mention “yoga retreat” and the first place that’s likely to emerge in your mind is Bali. With a reputation for its serenity, Bali is where you can find plenty of options to choose from. And among them, our favourite has to be the Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa.
Situated at a dramatic hideaway nestled in the heart of the rainforest in Payangan, this spa is a captivating destination with villas embracing the lush rainforest and mystical Ayung River – where the energy is so powerful that a shift in consciousness is almost inevitable.
In addition to a dynamic Vinyasa flow in the morning and restorative yoga in the evening, you’ll also learn to cook traditional Balinese dishes, trek to Mt. Batur volcano at sunrise and partake in the blessing ceremony in the mystic Ayung River, said to be powered by God Siva, who represents the idea of divinity in everything.
2. Mutiara Beach Resort, Bintan
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While most yoga retreats market themselves as luxurious, this one revolves around being comfortable and being simple so you can avoid excessive wastage. For a truly rustic return to nature, escape to a private beach in Bintan where you can expand on your self-care practice with yoga and meditation techniques of awareness and mindfulness to help you access clarity and wisdom from within.
Besides daily yoga & meditation practices, you can look forward to curated yoga workshops which emphasise on a skilful blend of movement, ancient and classical philosophy, and more for you to acquire an integrated sense of strength and ease.
With rooms following the kampong style, huts will be located right by the beach and there’s even a spa offering authentic Indonesian massages, fresh Indonesian fare, and a spectacular view of the ocean as you become one with nature here.
3. Dharana Meditation Centre, Phuket
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New to yoga? No problem. The regular four-day retreats here are suitable for beginners and combine the practice of time-tested meditation with the science of modern-day mind training techniques. Focusing on the art of releasing stress, the aim here is for you to gain direct insight into the nature of your mind.
Whether it’s the healthy vegetarian meals, daily yoga classes, private tuition or the famous morning-excursions, the retreat supports healing and transformation on all levels.
You can expect the benefits of the class to last long beyond the few days here as you learn the art of empowering your mind through stillness, relaxing under pressure, cultivating resilience, and more. Forget the world, and explore your being here.
Price: 12,500 Baht (~SGD560) for 7 days of programme, excursions, and study materials. Prices not including accommodation.
More Information: https://phuket-meditation.com/product/dharana-mind-training-retreats/
4. Tri Sri Lanka
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Set in an old cinnamon plantation in Sri Lanka, this ultra-sustainable yoga retreat overlooks Lake Koggala, providing the perfect Zen backdrop for a fruitful yoga retreat. Switch off in style here with sessions held in a treetop sala atop the bamboo grove.
You might be tempted to spend your days lounging in the infinity pool but try a Quantum Yoga lesson that’s tailored to your dosha, or your individual energy. Keep active by kayaking around the lake, try stilt fishing or climb a coconut tree (it’s harder than it looks!)
The food here is sensational, with a whopping seven courses for dinner – prawns from the lake and herbs from the garden are among the local ingredients used in these authentic Sri Lankan dishes. Mealtimes are also accompanied by distant chanting from a nearby Buddhist monastery – a stark and welcoming difference from the city life we’re so used to.
5. Hinterland Village, Kerala
Unlike most other yoga retreats which follow a set programme, the uniqueness of this retreat lies in the fact there there are no fixed manuals, traditions, or rules imposed. By evaluating each individual and respecting their choices, the aim is to ensure participants feel completely at ease and learn more about their body and mind.
The retreat also includes daily vegetarian meals organically grown and freshly made by the resort’s cook.
The Bodhi Ayurveda and Yoga center at Hinterland Village is a spiritual paradise set amidst jungle giants overlooking a paddy field. The space around this centre is a paradise for bird watching and nature walks. The magic of the Keralan countryside guarantees that at the end of your stay, you will feel an unparalleled sense of lightness.
6. Surf Goddess Retreats, Seminyak
Sorry guys, but this one’s just for the ladies.
Designed with active gals in mind, Surf Goddess Retreats is a week-long health and well-being program in Bali that includes daily surf lessons, yoga sessions, unlimited spa treatments, organic meals, and accommodation in a gorgeous sanctuary in the heart of stylish Seminyak.
You’ll also get access to the Bali Fitness Centre, the Surf Goddess Retreats cookbook, a one-day excursion of your choice and more. Meditate in quiet pavilions over looking lush tropical gardens in yoga lessons suitable for beginners, as well as advanced yogis. The supportive environment amongst sisters in yoga here invite deep exploration.
You might go as a solo traveller, but you’re sure to return home with new friendships made!
7. The Farm, Philippines
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Known for his bubbly and friendly personality on and off the mat, Paulo is a community builder and is committed to teaching yoga to transform and touch people's lives. He has been teaching in a group setting since 2004, and his love for movement and mindfulness has allowed him to experience different modalities like the Les Mills program, Zumba, and Classic Freestyle group fitness. He graduated with 800 hours various yoga trainings in the Philippines. He continues to evolve in his practice and teaching by taking certification courses on different Yoga styles including Anti-Gravity Fitness with Christopher Harrison in 2011 and Yin Yoga with Chris Su last May 2018. He recently graduated from a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Briohny Smyth, Dice Iida-Klein, Honza Lafond, and Claudine Lafond in Koh Samui, Thailand. He co-founded Yoga For Life, a community of HIV advocates empowering people living with HIV and fellow advocates through the practice of yoga. He is the founder of Naked Yoga Manila, a community that practices non-attachment, empowerment and a deep sense of personal liberation. He created Functional Yoga, a smart and fun yoga practice that builds strength, creates greater range of motion and flexibility, and inspires creativity and play. Join our month-long celebration of International Day of Yoga and move towards climate action! Call +63 2 884 8074 / +63 918 884 8080 to book today. Visit our website to view all-inclusive, Life-Changing Programs, link in bio! #TheFarm #TFSB #TheFarmAtSanBenito #DayAtTheFarm #InternationalDayofYoga #Yoga #YogaLife #Wellness #Healing #Holistic #Retreat #Health #Lifestyle #Vegan #VeganWelcome #Escape #Getaway #Holiday
There’s a serious back-to-nature vibe going on at The Farm, a gorgeous holistic wellness retreat in the middle of the rainforest in Batangas, Philippines. As proof of their effective yoga programmes, the resort wins consistent accolades for their medically-guided programmes that cover everything from detoxing to de-stressing, weight management, and sports recovery.
Each programme begins with a consultation and check-up by a holistic doctor and it includes accommodation in a luxe villa, vegan and raw food meals, and healing treatments like therapeutic baths, detoxifying body wraps, and massages.