I can’t decide which one I love more – yoga or travelling.
Combine them both and it’s absolute bliss – a yoga retreat! It has been close to an annual affair for me for some time. There is nothing quite like removing yourself from the daily grind, and fully immersing yourself in nature, yoga and general good vibes.
Though travelling seems like a distant dream for the time being, I remain ever hopeful that the world will heal itself, and that the borders will open very soon.
In the meantime, here are some of my personal favourite destinations around the region, for your consideration when we can start flying again!
- Samahita Retreat (Koh Samui)
This is one of my personal favourites as they offer a full-year calendar of excellent yoga retreats, featuring many internationally renowned teachers. It was here that I attended my first full-fledged retreat under Chuck Miller and fell obsessively in love with Ashtanga! This is a full-board type of retreat so accommodation and all meals are included in the package. The rooms are modern, comfortable and well furnished, and I remember each meal being super wholesome and scrumptious! It is also a great place to network with and be inspired by fellow yoga aficionados as the majority of participants are pretty passionate about their yoga practice.
Having said that, a plus point about this retreat is that it also offers numerous non yoga-specific wellness programmes (such as the CoreCycle programme, which is more fitness-based), so this provides a bit more flexibility if you wish to travel with someone who is not that into yoga.
2. Yoga Barn (Ubud Bali)
This is more of a yoga school than a full-fledged retreat (though they do offer personalised yoga retreats) but I like it for the comprehensive selection of classes on offer each day, including very interesting ones like Ecstatic Dance in which participants engage in free-form dance to high energy music. Sound meditation and Kirtan are also scheduled. You can just stay at any of the dozens of accommodations located within walking distance away, buy a class pass, and attend all the classes you like! Great for anyone who prefers more flexibility in their schedules than following a strict daily routine.
I also love the cosy cafe that’s situated within the compound. Overlooking lush greenery and offering healthy vegan food, it is the perfect place to chill out after the class.
Speaking of delicious vegan food, Ubud has a really bustling restaurant scene, offering vegan-friendly creative cuisines in gorgeous settings. I do hope all of them managed to stay open despite the current pandemic.
3. Tallala Retreat (Sri Lanka)
Situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka facing a beautiful stretch of beach, Tallala Retreat was definitely worth the slightly longer travelling time. It is set on quite a big space and offers a variety of accommodation options, from ‘glamping’ huts to the more luxurious villas, so it caters to different budgets. The vibe is very laid back here – almost everyone walked about barefooted the last time I was there!
I had only paid for my room, meals and daily yoga when I last stayed there. However, I see now that they offer more holistic yoga packages that also include excursions and cooking classes. Should be interesting!
I would also highly recommend exploring more of the southern coast before or after your retreat as Sri Lanka is such a beautiful and peaceful place. I had checked out a few more beaches, did whale watching in Mirissa and stayed at the charming historical town of Galle.
And finally these are on my wish list (again keeping fingers crossed they will re-open / stay open)
- Desa Seni Bali
Love the eco village vibe of the place, and the schedule looks pretty comprehensive too.
2. Purple Valley Goa
For fellow Ashtanga fans