November 16, 2016

 Years of practice and countless experimentations of new yoga poses have given me more than I could have ever imagined. I have a calm state of mind, while staying focused, my physical strength has improved exponentially since I tried my first sun salutations, and I breathe smoothly and easily.
 Having said all that, and without diminishing my pride in the progress I’ve made over the years, I still feel that yoga is another bullet in my oh-so-long to do list. I wish this wasn’t the case, and of course, this is by far one of my favorite “tasks” during the day, yet yoga classes remain another 1 hour activity in my google calendar.
 One of my tricks to incorporate yoga into my modern life is to sneak away once in a while to a coveted yoga retreat. Getting away from the burdens and hardships for a just few days has an immense power to escalate the process you are engaged in your day to day life. I feel that working through even the exact same yoga routine but in a different location, or changing the environment and people around you, can restore your entire body’s system.
 I highly recommend the following 5 retreats to experts and novice’s alike. These retreats take place all over the world so there is no doubt at least one of these resorts will fit your wants and needs for your life changing yoga retreat. Trust me, you will be motivated when you go back. And if you succeed in letting a little bit of yoga into your life, you won’t know how you ever lived without it.
 Here they are, our all-time favorite Yoga retreats.
1. Miraval Resort (Arizona, USA)- Situated in the warm shade of the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson, AZ, on 400 acres of idyllic land, Miraval is a top-rated all-inclusive destination resort and spa dedicated to helping guests live life in the moment. Since 1995, the property has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top destination spas by Travel + Leisure, SpaFinder and Condé Nast Traveler. Offering an array of dynamic growth and development programs, one-of-a-kind, luxurious spa treatments, authentic, flavorful and healthful cuisine as well as an expert staff of renowned wellbeing specialists, Miraval helps to open eyes, minds and hearts. In 2012, the resort unveiled the Miraval Life in Balance Spa with Clarins, a state-of-the-art oasis designed to transform guests both physically and emotionally.
2. Yoga Retreats Italy- Yoga retreats Italy blends good health with good living!  Stay in a historic and stunning Borgo turned luxury 10-room boutique villa set in the Italian countryside—and immerse yourself in an old-world appreciation of Italian cuisine, culture, wine, nature and yoga—all wrapped in classic Italian luxury!
3. The Sanctuary (Haad Tien Bay, Thailand) - Treat yourself to a Yoga Holiday Package at The Sanctuary (3, 7, and 10 Day Packages Available). The Sanctuary’s packages offer daily yoga classes and spa treatments, as well as healing therapies, steam room passes and private sessions with our excellent therapists and teachers.The Yoga Holidays allow you to create your own schedule as you choose, offers 3 daily Yoga classes so there are plenty of yoga opportunities throughout the day, and you can book your private sessions at the times that suit you. Haad Tien Bay is situated on the east coast of Koh Phangan – an island known for its Thai friendliness and, more recently, for its famous full moon parties in Haad Rin.
4. The Yoga Retreat (Koh Phangan, Thailand)- The Yoga Retreat is nestled in the jungle just ten minutes away from Haad Salad beach and provides a nurturing environment to develop your practice and cultivate a better life. The Yoga Retreat believes in self-healing and that students are their own best teachers. The aim is to provide you with the tools to deepen your own personal awareness.
5. Switzerland Yoga Retreat- Surrounded by stunning alpine scenery and spectacular hiking trails, step into your peak season of health and fitness with a revitalizing week of yoga and meditation— and enjoy luxurious spa services, sun-bathing, the swimming pool, fitness centre and gourmet restaurants—or add altitude and adventure—with hiking, biking, paragliding or even heli-sightseeing! Luxurious accommodation at the 5-star W Hotel in Verbier in the heart of the alps!
What I realized after taking the jump was that it’s really nice for once not to worry about planning out your day. It’s a good exercise to let go of the steering wheel and let the day take you wherever it pleases. And for those that need a breather, remember the schedule is structured, but nothing is mandatory. There’s no problem with reading by the pool or taking a walk in the surrounding area at any time.
Be prepared for unbelievably tasty food. And healthy. You’re burning enough calories during the practices to indulge guilt free. Beat that.
Most importantly, you can take more than pictures home with you from your vacation. Whether it’s breathing techniques or motivation to be more active, the things you learn on your yoga retreat can be incorporated into your everyday life fairly easily.