Who: Alex Auder and David Regelin of Tribeca's increasingly hot Kula Yoga Project. Likely to draw Kula loyalists, a crew of downtowners with serious practices, i.e. the sort who might have a tattoo or two and get to downward dog via hand stand -- though also the stray Brooklyn writer, or Wall Streeter with a heart and eager for a change of scenery.
What: Three meals a day. Surfing and acupuncture on demand. Stay in a bunk house, a cabana, or an actual house....
Where: "Off the grid" at "ecologically sustainable" Rancho Kula on Panama's Pacific Coast at the Playa Venao. (Fly to Panama City.)
When: February 21-28
Why: The name of the retreat is "Change Your Life Forever." Which is to say Alex and David have a sense of humor. David's regulars are addicted to his "Multi-Intenso" style of acrobatic, muscular flow. Alex is Jivamukti trained and grew up in the Chelsea Hotel with a mom who hosted Kirtan evenings. Two hours of yoga a day with these two might just change your life. Also, they say the surf break is very good. In short, this will be a funky, fun trip.
How Much:~$1,200, depending on lodging option
Link: Kula Yoga Project. (Click through on "Retreats.")More...
- Who: 02 Yoga, a very cool-sounding blend of Astanga Yoga with a vinyasa flow format. 02 was created in 1998 by Mimi Louiero, a Boston-based, nationally certified, 20-year yoga practitioner who has been practicing for almost fifteen years.
- What: Two 2-hour yoga classes every day. Between classes swim, SCUBA, snorkel, walk or bike to the Mayan ruins. You can also just get a massage or mellow out on the beach.
- Where: Maya Tulum
- When: January 16-23 & January 23-30, 2010
- Why: Maya Tulum is beautiful, and it's also hilarious. A once-upon-a-time rustic little retreat center, it's now become a full-blown bourgeoise bohemian enclave of health and spiritual wellness. It's also as pretty a place as you'll ever visit. And 02 yoga sounds perfectly retreat-worthy—just rigorous enough to get your heart rate up, but not totally exhausting. Plus, doesn't the thought of eating fish tacos while relaxing in a palapa post-chataranga sound sort of amazing?
- How much: From $1,635-$1.980
- Link: 02 Yoga Retreat in Maya Tulum
- Who: Sarah Powers, author of Insight Yoga, creator of two instructional DVD's and co-founder of Metta Journeys, an organization that offers yoga retreats to women and children in developing countries.
- What: Five hours of yoga daily. Breakfast, brunch and several dinners included.
- Where: Fancy COMO Shambala Estate in Bali, frequented by the likes of Donna Karan and Dr. Robert Thurman, Uma's super-cool Dad.
- When: December 10 - December 16
- Why: Because Sarah Powers is a famous, real deal yogi who incorporates Taoist and Buddhist philosophies into her practice. And Bali is stunning and spiritual, while the COMO Shambala is a bourgeois-bohemian utopia.
- How much: From $1,210.00-$3,515
- Link: Insight Yoga Retreat in Bali With Sarah Powers
- What: Rock climbing! Hiking! And then all the other good stuff: Yoga, guided meditation, and organic fresh foods.
- Who: Inner Passage, a company founded by a crew whom we guarantee all have subscriptions to Outside magzine. Plenty of Himalayan climbing under their belts, NOLS instructors, certified first responders. White guys who look very good in sunglasses, as well as musicians, martial artists, and yogis who have studied dance in Thailand. These people aim to reconnect you with your "leadership potential."
- Where: Cochise Stronghold Rock Climbing Camp, Tuscon, AZ
- When: Soon! November 13-November 15
- Why: Because don't you want to go on some character building, slightly touchy-feely, bizarrely random rock climbing retreat in a few weeks? And when's the last time you've rock climbed, meditated and practiced yoga all in the same day? Plus, Tuscon, Arizona this time of year will be all blue skies and clean dry air and wide open vistas—you'll finally clear your head of all the junk that's been clogging your mind these past few weeks.
- How much: $425
- Link: Mindfulness, Yoga and Rock Climbing Retreat
- Who: Rachel Meyer Welch of Sukha Yoga Collective on 25th Street (Lululemon's "New York Studio of the Month" in October.)
- What: Super high-end "yoga vacation." Two hour yoga class in the morning, followed by organic breakfast. In the afternoon take pilates, walk on the beach, or learn to salsa dance.
- Where: The Tides Hotel, Zihuatanejo (which Travel + Leisure placed on its "500 List" of top hotels.)
- When: Um, like ONE WEEK from today. November 9-15th
- Why: You've got an unexpected break. You need to fully center yourself before the family Thanksgiving. Retreats don't always have to be about grungy and trendy eco-chic palapas. The Tides is a five star hotel, and Rachel is a real-deal teacher, certified at Laughing Lotus. Just crazy enough to be a good idea....
- How much: $2800 (not including airfare)
- Link: Yoga Retreat In Zihuatanejo, Mexico
- Who: Tevis Gale Trower, E-RYT. (In case you're wondering, that stands for "Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher." Tevis also has an MBA.)
- What: Tevis, love-her-or-avoid-her local Equinoxer goes to Kripalu. A corporate girl turned yogi with chutspah, Tevis will teach quick, practical ways to connect with your highest self, and to use the five koshas to achieve work-life “balance." She'll use transformational theory to help shift your perspective from conflict to harmony.
- Where: Kripalu
- When: January 29-31, 2010
- Why: Because yoga isn't just about doing asanas on the mat, and it might be helpful to have some meditation techniques under your belt when your boss drops the ball on you. Because if you're a corporate junkie and a slave to your job, learning how to deal with stress from a yogic perspective might be a useful skill. Because Tevis, who has a loyal following, is a pioneer in bridging the work-yoga connection. Also, it's only a few days, and, in January, the Berkshires will look dreamlike on account of the frosting.
- How much: From $420-$950
- Link: Success Is An Inside Job
- Who: Jen Breen, runs a yoga studio on Bainbridge Island, a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle. Population well below 4,000. Five of whom are her four kids and husband. Breen specializes in hot yoga. Her first studio was a Bikram operation in Austin, and she she has trained with Bikram, Erich Schiffman, Baron Baptiste and Bryan Kest.
- What: Six days of yoga and high end villa. Two 90-minute classes each day, and a daily one-hour surf lesson. Villa Amor in an open-aired oceanfront kind of spread. Think maid service, breakfast, massage, and three group dinners. Likely to be an interesting mix of Puget Sounders and people drawn in by Via Yoga, a retreats-only operator.
- Where: Sayulita, Mexico
- When: January 25-31, 2010.
- Why: We like Breen's vibe, and her experience is impressive. Might be especially good for the yoga mom's out there looking for a getaway. Sayulita, a fishing village located along Mexico's Pacific Coast, is gorgeous. Practicing yoga at Villa Amor will be so much more glamorous than watching streaming yoga downloads in January in your dark living room.
- How much: From $2,595 to $3,895
- Link: Yoga/Surf Retreat in Sayulita
- Who: Kristin Leigh and Sharmila Desai of The Shala
- What: Surfing, yoga, hiking
- Where: Boca Sombrero Retreat Center in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
- When: March 20-27, 2010
- Why: Because the Osa Peninsula is off-the-grid and no one can bother you once you're down there. And sleeping in netted beds, waking up to tropical fruit, amazing coffee and the sounds of wild monkeys playing in the trees is pretty much as awesome as it gets. Plus, practicing ashtanga on the water is just what you need post-Winter to transition seamlessly into Spring.
- How much: Prices start at $1,310
- Link: Winter Costa Rica Surfing/Yoga Retreat
- Who: Julia Kirkpatrick and Jules Febre, Jivamukti Advanced Certified Teachers.
- What: The 16th Annual Giving Thanks Retreat. Vegan feast on Thanksgiving Day. Two "healing" Jivamukti Asana classes per day. Enlightened evening meditation classes. Sanskrit and Ecstatic Musical Performances.
- Where: Andanda Ashram
- When: November 26-29
- Why: Because practicing yoga at the Ananda Ashram will be so much more peaceful and interesting than the standard stressful unhealthy turkey fest you usually spend with your family. And it'll be a great chance to chill out among the changing leaves before right before the winter rolls in.
- How Much: $325 until November 1. $360 after Nov. 1.
- Link: Jivamukti Thanksgiving Retreat at Ananda