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Find Your Zen on a Yoga Holiday

There’s no denying it – yoga has taken the world by storm and its popularity continues to grow.

In our busy world of deadlines, social media and commuting, it’s little wonder that more and more people are gravitating towards a healthier lifestyle and looking for a relaxing and mindful escape, even if it’s just for one hour a week.

In addition to incorporating yoga classes into our weekly schedule, wellness and yoga themed holidays are also on the rise, offering a more sustained relief from the stresses of daily life. And it’s not all pampering and indulgence. The appeal of going away is no longer to sit and chill, but rather to do something a little different and capitalise on our hobbies and what makes us feel good – namely, health, fitness and being active.

So, whether you’re looking for a full yoga retreat, a yoga and surf trip, an SUP and yoga experience or a regular yoga class, here we’ve picked our top holidays from around the globe to help you find your Zen. And we’ve also asked the people in the know about the benefits of yoga and the joys of heading to a retreat.

The Float Spa Managing Director

What can people expect from a yoga centre as opposed to a retreat
In our complete wellbeing centre we offer yoga in a cool ground floor studio with plenty of natural light, yet tucked away from the busy city. We also have floatation pods, a resident chiropractor, massage, meditation and nutrition available – meaning we are a one-stop shop for all your wellbeing needs. Floatation is an incredible experience and can help you stop over-analysing the world around you and take a break to be still, compose, be calm and refocus on the important things. 

Do you have to be a particular yoga level to join your class?  
We have classes suitable for all abilities and ages; we have kids classes too. We have people just starting yoga who are retired and have never done any form of exercise in their lives. 

Co–Founder W15 Escape SUP Retreat

What are the general benefits to enjoying a regular yoga practice?
Being in the moment with breath-centred mindfulness that enriches not just your body but also your soul. The body naturally follows, producing not only strength and flexibility but also a sense of calm in any ‘on board’ practise.

Do you have to be a particular yoga level to join an SUP and yoga retreat? 
Everyone is welcomed at our retreat – from complete beginners to accomplished yogis. W15 Escape SUP Yoga Retreat is Asia’s only dedicate SUP Yoga Retreat and one of the few worldwide, and we’re aware that many participants will have never taken part in the wonderful practise of Yoga.

Yogaion founder and yoga teacher

What does a regular retreat day look like?
Most yoga retreats start the day with an early class, followed by a delicious and nutritious breakfast before heading off for the day’s activities… we head to the beach for a surf and lunch. In the evening there is another yoga class (our own is completely aimed at restoring), another delicious dinner and then relaxation time.

Best thing to eat in Portugal? 
What I really enjoy the most about Portugal is all the fresh, tasty produce. In the heat a real favourite is watermelon – it’s so easy to make a simple meal that is still full of flavour.

Hotel Komune Resort and Beach Club Founder and Co-Owner

What are the best yoga poses to improve your surfing ability? 
Instead of a particular set of poses, I would recommend taking a variety of classes to improve surfing ability. For example, a power yoga class is great for building core strength and the explosive power required for getting to your feet early, a bikram yoga class great for all-round flexibility, and yin yoga class for working deeply into joints especially tight hips and hamstrings. Mixing it up is the key. As an active lifestyle brand, our vision is to create a resort experience where you don’t have to just sit in your room or by the pool.

Best thing to eat in Bali? 
It would have to be a classic Nasi Goreng or Nasi Campur. We offer a healthy menu based on organic food we grow in our farm and sourced locally. 

Nicole Cain

Lead Yoga Instructor at Hotel Komune in Bali

Why would you recommend yoga to a surfer?
Regular yoga practice creates a balance of strength and flexibility, which reduces the likelihood of surf related injuries. It develops core strength, increases the range of motion, improves balance and helps to release tightness in the muscles and the deeper connective tissues – all of which are essential for surfing. Like surfing, yoga also requires discipline, teaches patience, builds confidence and helps train the body and mind to relax and breathe during uncomfortable positions – which is of course important when surfing bigger waves. 

Who are surf and yoga retreats for?
Yoga and surf retreats are ideal for people who have an active and healthy lifestyle and enjoy having some fun.