When you pack all of your little black yoga pants and take off for a yoga retreat, there are a ton of upsides to being on a highly scheduled, all-veggie-grub spiritual getaway. But sometimes, you might want to order a cocktail to celebrate holding crow pose for longer than you have before or take off for an island’s famous dive bar instead of going to sleep at 9 o’clock. So, bring on the filet mignon, margaritas, and free time that lets you explore the amazing locale where your retreat is taking place: These yoga vacays offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to making your trip your own.FIT with Tara Stiles at the W Hotels: The fact that these yoga retreats take place at trendy W Hotels around the world is clue No. 1 that they’re different than most. For starters, they last just three or four days and instead of sparsely decorated digs, you sleep in the lap of W luxury and eat (and drink) on or off the property. Also, before you check in, you’ll get a call from the retreat director asking questions that’ll help the team customize the experience for you -- everything from your favorite music to your preferred activities (biking, kayaking and snorkeling, anyone?). Even better for newbie yogis, Stiles’ “Strala Yoga” style is great for people with all kinds of experience, and there’s zero chance of chanting, if that's not your thing. Just awesome yoga, delish food, and Stiles’ fun yoga in amazing locales, such as Vieques Island, Bali, and the Maldives. Prices start at $609 nightly per person.
Finger Lakes Yogascapes: When you’re visiting one of the largest wine regions in the country, it can be nearly impossible to drive by countless tasting rooms without pulling in for a sip. So, while you can sign up for one of the many scheduled, women-only yoga retreats at Yogascapes (you’ll find everything from a weekend “Life on the Lake” getaway to the day-long “Unwind and Indulge” that includes yoga and local wines paired with artisan chocolate) -- you can also customize your own private escape with a group of your best gal pals that’ll give you plenty of time to tour and taste what the area has to offer. (Don’t miss the biking and stand-up paddle boarding tasting room tours.) If your summer vacation is already booked, keep their “Snowga” offerings in mind for the colder winter months. Price: $40-$599 and up, depending on length of stay and activities.
SwellWomen Surf & Yoga Retreats: When you travel to Maui -- an island with arguably some of the best surf in the world -- there’s a good chance you’ll want to catch some waves after those sun salutations. Enter SwellWomen Surf & Yoga Retreats at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, where you can customize a seven-day wellness adventure that includes everything from surfing instructions to a sunset catamaran cruise. Another nice touch: When you arrive, the team will work with you one-on-one to understand your personal goal for the week. Looking to drop a few pounds, clean up your diet, or work on specific yoga poses? They’ll do everything they can to help you get there. Price: $2,295-$3,695.
Retreat in the Pines: Got a group of girlfriends scattered around the country? Meet at this Dallas/Fort Worth-area log cabin, which offers women’s retreats most weekends of the year. Choose from yoga, hiking, wellness workshops, meditation, wine tasting, cooking classes, massages, and more. Your itinerary will also include plenty of free time to let you head into the local town to visit a winery, day spa, dive bar, art studio, or antique store. Prices start at $369 for three days, shared accommodations.
Rancho La Puerta: Located on 3,000 private acres of gardens, mountains, and meadows on the Baja Peninsula, Rancho La Puerta offers weeklong or partial-week getaways that include a lot more than yoga: With more than 80 fitness classes on offer, including TRX, Pilates, guided hiking and more, you’ll find plenty of get-fit options that let you kick your fitness up a notch -- or not. If you’re looking for more than yoga when it comes to getting centered and inspired, consider the “Yoga and Power of Poetry” retreat, with yoga classes dedicated to inspiring your mind, body, and spirit toward a greater understanding of spiritual disciplines through poetry and meditation practices. Prices start at $3,050 for weeklong retreats.