Forget ashram-style deprivation: Nirvana and high thread counts go hand in hand at these well-appointed retreats that welcome the bendy yogi and the curious novice alike. Flowing classes, indulgent spa therapies, and dazzling surroundings? Just say om.
LESS THAN $1,500
A mountainside hideaway enables guests to explore Costa Rica as well as the inner self.
RETREAT In airy pavilions at Pura Vida Retreat and Spa overlooking the capital San José, instructors teach a variety of yoga styles, from slower, less flowing Iyengar to the more dynamic vinyasa and power flow varieties.
RELAX Guests with sore muscles can find relief at the spa, where therapists offer treatments such as Cloud Forest Magic, a holistic, deep-tissue massage that incorporates aromatherapy and a detoxifying steam for the body.
BEYOND Excursions include zip-lining through a cloud forest, white-water rafting the Pascuare River, and surfing the Pacific Coast’s Playa Jacó.
DETAILS A $1,325 five-night package covers meals, accommodations, a massage, a full- and a half-day guided tour, twice-daily yoga, and transfers. 888-767-7375; rrresorts.com/pura_vida_spa
ALTERNATIVE Instruction from Samahita Yoga Thailand’s founder, an expert in vigorous Ashtanga, makes a trip to Koh Samui, in the country’s south, worth it. (Gentle classes are also on offer.) The $1,130 seven-night stay includes lodging, meals, and twice daily yoga. Guests can also pay for a custom holistic detox program. 011-66-77-92-0090; yoga-thailand.com
MORE THAN $1,500
Indian tradition meets modern comfort at a 25-acre retreat center on Bangalore’s outskirts.
RETREAT Going beyond the postures – twice-daily Hatha and Ashtanga classes and three private sessions – the elegant Relais & Châteaux-approved Shreyas provides guidance in meditation, breathing, deep relaxation, and yogic philosophy.
BEYOND To improve their karma, guests can tend the center’s organic garden or serve food to local children and elderly residents at the village school.
DETAILS A $1,780 five-night yoga retreat includes lodging, a wellness consult, gourmet veggie meals, group yoga classes, three private sessions, and two massages. 011-91-80-2773-7102; shreyasretreat.com
ALTERNATIVE Near Mexico’s boho-chic Sayulita, Haramara Retreat is an oasis of quiet. Open-air structures host twice-daily yoga with 360-degree views of the Pacific. To fully unplug, guests stay in palapas sans walls and electricity. A visit runs $1,650 and covers lodging for seven nights, most meals, and a massage. 888-494-3688; haramararetreat.com
MORE THAN $3,000
Parrot Cay, a private island in the Turks and Caicos, offers an ultraluxe path to enlightenment.
RETREAT One-on-one sessions with instructors at Como Shambhala help yogis address lingering physical or mental issues and try previously challenging, pretzel-like poses. The nearby wetland wildlife provides the soundtrack for group classes.
RELAX If nights snoozing in Balinese beds draped in voile and teatime on breezy verandas don’t release tension in guests on this secluded island, five therapies might do the trick: Ayurvedic remedies, with varied massages, restore the body’s equilibrium.
BEYOND When arriving (and leaving), guests consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner on a holistic, natural treatment plan based on their constitution.
DETAILS A $5,233 five-day wellness program covers lodging, meals, two Ayurvedic consults and five treatments, and daily yoga classes, plus two private sessions. 649-946-7788; parrotcay.como.bz
ALTERNATIVE The Berkshires’ Canyon Ranch caters to seasoned yogis as well as beginners: Offerings range from the basics to yoga for athletes, designed to help improve balance and flexibility. A $4,640 five-night package ($6,360 after June 29) covers lodging in a single deluxe room, meals, and spa services. 800-742-9000; canyonranchlenox.com
From the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
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