South America

8. Jatoba Terra Prana Lar Yoga, São Carlos, Brazil.

Highlights: Founded by Lila — a former dancer — on her family farm, this retreat provides a surround-sound experience in the Brazilian countryside, with daily yoga offerings as well as vegetarian meals throughout the day. Also, like other ashrams, Lila welcomes work-exchange visitors.

Lodging: Simple suites and shared rooms with outdoor bathrooms.

Types of Yoga: Kundalini (more meditation and chanting than other forms), Yin Yoga, slow Hatha Yoga.

Other offerings: Sweat lodge, Zen Shiatsu massage, waterfall hikes.

Yoga at Macchu Picchu by lululemon athletica

9. Willka T’ika Garden Guesthouse, Cusco, Peru.

Highlights: A good add-on for Macchu Picchu hikers, founder Carol Cumes calls this retreat her “labor of love” dedicated to the heritage and spirit of Andean communities, as her largely Quechua staff contributes to the retreat’s menu, therapies and teachings.

Lodging: Garden-view private bedrooms.

Types of Yoga: Depends on the group/workshops booked, but ranges from just meditation to Vinyasa Yoga.

Other offerings: Massage, solar baths, treks to local Incan sites.

10. Atmananda Yoga Retreat, Cartagena, Colombia.

Highlights: Just for the week of February 6-12, 2011, the owner of the Atmananda Yoga Studio in New York City will be hosting a retreat in the coastal city of Cartagenas, making it the only one on this list held in an urban environment, albeit one that his inspired more than one literary great.

Lodging: Rooms in the 16th century mansion Casa Pombo, which includes a full service staff.

Types of Yoga: Atmananda Sequence, based in the sweat-inducing Vinyasa tradition.

Other offerings: None mentioned, although the city of Cartagena is at your disposal.


Lanzarote by Santiago Begueria

11. Holistic Holidays, Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

Highlights: Hosted in the UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve, as well as one of the only European spots that maintains a summer climate year-round, Lydia Smith brings 10 years of teaching experience to help groups and individuals explore yoga at their own pace.

Lodging: Choice of the owners’ Villa (fills quickly) or nearby accommodations that the owners can book for you.

Types of Yoga: Mix of alignment-based Iyengar method and Vinyasa; based on needs of the students.

Other offerings: Swimming pool at Villa, independent hiking, sightseeing, and water-based sports available in Lanzarote.

12. Semperviva Yoga, Kythira, Greece.

Highlights: In another temperate European region, this yoga retreat is based on registrants’ needs. But most importantly for a cleansing experience, it is located on Kythira Island — one of the most remote in Greece.

Lodging: A choice of small, family-run hotels in nearby fishing villages.

Types of Yoga: Unspecified, but likely basic Hatha or Vinyasa.

Other offerings: Sunrise meditation, local water activities.


13. Shreyas Retreat, Bangalore, India.

Highlights: One of the most reputable yoga retreats in the world, this one is located on 25 garden acres, and is dedicated to providing a fully immersed experience in traditional yoga and meditation philosophies and practices.

Lodging: Rooms in the Garden and Poolside Cottages; Well-designed tents.

Types of Yoga: All types, offered various times a day.

Other offerings: Gym, pool, full-service spa that includes massage, daily meditation and chanting.

Hua Hin by Pix of Stuff

14. Chiva-Som Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand.

Highlights: Also a full-service spa and resort, Chiva-Som offers individualized “Yoga For Life” packages that can range from 3 to 14 nights, including individualized yoga lessons, massages, and treatments.

Lodging: A range from ocean-view hotel rooms to luxury suites, which come with personalized butlers.

Types of Yoga: Individualized blends of Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga, or Iyengar Yoga.

Other offerings: Full-service spa which includes the namesake Chiva-Som massage, pool, gym, and Medi-Spa.

15. Kumara, Bali, Indonesia.

Highlights: The “Escape the World” yoga package speaks for itself, particularly because it takes place in a retreat that restricts children under 14 years old and does not have any televisions.

Lodging: 10 “deluxe” rooms that have views of the neighboring rice paddies.

Types of Yoga: Unspecified, but likely basic Hatha or Vinyasa.

Other offerings: Two pools, full-service spa, bicycle tours, Balinese ritual classes, rice paddy tours, meditation.