Yoga is a far wider, more diverse world than many realize. Today, at retreats and centers around the globe, dozens of yoga traditions are providing travelers benefits from weight loss to mental restoration to fitness and spiritual growth. Taking a day, a week, or even a month at one of these holistic havens can do wonders for those ready to improve their internal and external state of being. Below are some of the most nourishing, healthful forms of yoga practiced today and the best Trepic-approved destinations for you to explore these yogic paths yourself.
Ashtanga Yoga: “Ashtanga Yoga Koh Phangan” – Why Nam Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Weight loss, muscle toning, and athletic fitness are why many take up the demanding, physical routines of Ashtanga Yoga, often called “power yoga.” Centered around training and exploring every major muscle group and every corresponding karmic zone in the body, a session of Ashtanga leaves each student with a beautiful, intensive feeling of both physical and spiritual expansion. “Ashtanga Yoga Koh Phangan” at scenic, restful Why Nam Beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand, run by talented and experienced partners Kirsten Berg and Rolf Naujokat, is perfect to all looking to push their own muscular and karmic boundaries.
Hatha Yoga: “Jiva Healing” – Ithaca, Greece; “Chiva Som Yoga” – Hua Hin, Thailand; “Mysore Mandala” – Kantaka, India; “The Yoga House” – Mumbai & Varanasi, India
When many aspiring yogis first imagine life in yoga, Hatha is the famous form that comes to mind. Honed over millennia to provide a restful, accessible release to anyone practicing at any level, it is beautiful, lifelong path for those seeking to maintain a focused heart and soul. To practice hatha, “Jiva Healing” is a trusted, well-staffed Hatha Yoga oasis nestled in iconic Ithaca, Greece where the supportive teachers would love to accompany your journey into the Hatha Yoga path. For more tropical surroundings, Hatha students can also imagine spending their time at “Chiva Som Yoga” in the quiet, restful beach city of Hua Hin, Thailand. For traveling to Hatha wisdom’s source in India itself, “Mysore Mandala” in lush and historic Karnataka, India and “The Yoga House” (with facilities in both exhilarating Mumbia and spiritually-steeped Varanasi) are experienced, enriching centers.
Bikram Yoga: “Lux Yoga” – French Riviera; “Casa Om” – Cancun, Mexico
The hot, challenging Bikram Yoga method (known as “hot yoga”), created by popular yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury, is focused on exploring and pushing each participant’s spiritual and mental limits. Practiced in spaces heated to a tropical 35-40°C (95–108 °F) with steam raised to a cleansing 40% humidity, Bikram moves students through 26 intense asanas (poses) that feel even more intense and purifying amid the demanding temperature and perspiration, serving to focus and cleanse the mind and body. To immerse yourself in the Bikram experience, consider “Lux Yoga,” a Bikram-focused center in the heart of the relaxing French Riviera which seeks to push its guests deep into intensive Bikram practice. For those seeking a more holistic, wide-ranging yoga experience with a touch of Bikram, try “Casa Om,” an all-inclusive, comprehensive yoga center built near the beach in exciting Cancun, Mexico.
Iyengar Yoga: “Kumara” in Bali, Indonesia; “Rancho La Puerta” in Baja California, Mexico; “Xinalani Retreat” in Playa Xinalani, Mexico
Patience and focus, rather than pure physical and mental endurance, are what students seek in Iyengar Yoga. Time stops as each pose is slowly and precisely mastered, with the journey between the poses and the breath which carries that journey receiving just as much attention as the poses themselves. It is a journey into time, breath and space just as much as into the body itself. To focus on this patient path yourself, consider the lush and luxurious “Kumara” retreat in tropical Bali, Indonesia. Or find your focus on the breezy, temperate Mexican beaches of Baja California at “Rancho La Puerta” or Playa Xinalani at “Xinalani Retreat.” In the beautiful Mediterranean, consider “Hotel Tigmi” in Marrakech, Morocco or the all-inclusive “Les Passeroses” in Les Passeroses, Frances.
Kundalini Yoga: “Yoga Land” in Canacona, India; “Maya Tulum Resort” in Tulum, Mexico; “Sen Wellness Sanctuary” in Netolpitiya, Sri Lanka
Energy and its movement within is what moves each body through a Kundalini session. And the ordering and maintenance of that deep karmic power is a lifelong commitment which Kundalini is built to help you keep. Through visualization, breath, poses, and the slow channeling of power up through the seven chakras, Kundalini reorders our life within in order to improve our outer and inner existence. It is a mental and spiritual lifestyle for all who seek to feel sustained joy on and off the yoga mat. Introduce yourself to the world of Kundalini at “Yoga Land” in Canacona, India.
Sivananda Yoga: “Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat” in Nassau, Bahamas
Breath lies at the heart of Sivananda Yoga and its sessions of relaxing, rest-based pose routines. By focusing entirely on the body’s rest and breath, Sivananda makes yoga into an exercise entirely of self-love, wholeness and peace from beginning to end. Sessions begin with long periods of rest and inner communication before moving gradually through basic yoga poses. The objective is to leave each session feeling whole and rested, rather than sore or exhausted. You can explore this restful yogic lifestyle on the beautiful, breezy beaches of the Bahamas at the “Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat” across from incredible Nassau.
Prenatal Yoga: “Samahita Retreat” and “Kamalaya” in Koh Samui, Thailand; “Formentera Yoga” on Formentera Island, Spain;
When expecting a child, practicing some of the healing, spiritually cleansing poses of yoga can be a beautiful way to love yourself and your baby. Many doctors now see the benefits of yoga to both the physical and spiritual health of expecting mothers. Prenatal yoga moves through traditional yoga poses with the aid of supportive cushions and simple blocks and bands to ensure that every pose feels restful and safe. Yoga sessions also emphasize breath capacity and mindfulness in order to strengthen the mental and spiritual calm that is vital to both mother and child. Explore prenatal yoga at “Samahita Retreat” or “Kamalaya,” two restful retreats on tropical Koh Samui island in Thailand. In the Spanish Mediterranean, consider “Formentera Yoga” on quiet Formentera Island near beautiful Ibiza. In the beautiful French Alsace forests, experience the personalized yoga programs at La Clairière Bio & Spa Hotel.
Viniyoga: “ Soulshine Bali” in Bali, Indonesia; “Domaine de la Grausse” in Clermont La Grausse, France; “Grove of Narbeth” in Narbeth, Wales.
Many struggle with traditional yoga due to physical problems brought on by age or illness, but that should not keep yoga aspirants from experiencing the spiritual and physical renewal of yoga. Viniyoga is a recently developed series of yoga routines designed to stretch and strengthen the bodies of those who would benefit from poses adapted specially to their own personal flexibility level. Viniyoga can be personalized to all ages and physical abilities, with a focus on overall wellness rather than pose perfection. Enjoy the health and wellness benefits of Viniyoga in beautiful Bali at “SoulShine Bali,” in a renovated mountain chateau amid the French Pyrenees at “Domaine de la Grausse” in Clermont La Grausse, France, or in the rolling Welsh countryside at the luxurious “Grove of Narbeth” country house.
Yin Yoga: “Somabay” on eastern Red Sea, Egypt; “Melia Cala Galdana Hotel” in Menorca, Spain
Yin Yoga is not about routines and movements; it is about celebrating the stillness of the pose itself. By holding poses for long spans (up to 10 minutes), students feel their bodies stretch and strengthen gradually and naturally. The quiet, mindful inner life of each Yin Yoga student embodies the lessons found in Taoism, Hatha yoga and other eastern Asian mindful paths. To find your own quiet Yin Yoga life within, consider spending time at contemplative “Somabay” on the Egyptian Red Sea, as well as the luxurious “Melia Cala Galdana Hotel” on the historic island of Menorca, Spain.
Vinyasa Yoga: “Yogaworks Retreat” in Tulum, Mexico; “Yoga Barn” in Bali, Indonesia
Vinyasa is the warm, embracing experience of unity–a community breathing, moving, and posing together in one routine as one body. For many students, releasing themselves to simply hear the session’s cues and breathe in rhythm with their routine is the kind of mental rest that no one other yoga can provide. Vinyasa is at its core about trust: handing over the direction and pace of one’s own movement to a fellow yogi so that the soul within can briefly breathe and rest. To experience the comfort and community of Vinyasa, spend time at a “Yogaworks” retreat on the temperate, sandy beaches of Tulum or indulge in the lush, tropical warmth of the “Yoga Barn” in Bali.
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