Yoga retreats are not for the idle practitioner. They are designed to enhance the mental side of your training, expose you to new techniques and styles, and in some cases, improve your nutritional profile. The idea of a yoga retreat is important to those of us who are serious about our practice, as it offers a rare opportunity to retreat into ourselves and block out mundane concerns in our lives. we. As a result, many retreat centers do not allow guests to use the Internet, telephone, or have regular contact with the outside world. At some retreats, you have to give up keys, cell phones, etc., until it’s time to leave.
For starters, you can check out resources like Yoga website (www.yogasite.com), offers visitors an online yoga resource that sells mats, clothing, and books, but also includes information on meditation, yoga styles, and retreat centers. Yoga Directory (www.yogadirectory.com) and Yoga Finder (www.yogafinder.com) has similar resources. We have listed some upcoming retreats that may interest you if you are determined to take your yoga practice to the next level but need some guidance to make it happen.
Public speaking guru and yoga teacher Charles MacInerney offers classes and teacher training in Austin, Texas, and leads hatha yoga retreats (tel. 512 / 459-2267; www.yogateacher.com/text/retreats.html) explores the relationship between yoga and meditation, yoga and writing. In the past, he has led trips to Mexico, Texas and Costa Rica with writer Patricia Lee Lewis. The “Yoga and Writing” trip, February 17-24, takes place at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala at the Villa Sumaya Retreat Center. According to the company’s description, many of the participants were yoga practitioners with little writing experience, and many were writers with little yoga experience. The fee is $1,650 and includes accommodation in a two-person room for seven nights, three delicious vegetarian meals a day, a daily yoga class, and a daily writing workshop. You take care of the plane ticket yourself. Another yoga and writing retreat will take place March 17-24 at the Los Naranjos Retreat Center in Yelapa, Mexico, and another retreat in Chappell Hill, Texas on April 5-8.
Meditation is an integral part of yoga, although some styles emphasize it more than others. Himalayan Institute (phone. 800 / 822-4547; www.himalayanins Girl.org) in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, offers business-only ongoing fee-based meditation retreats based on single accommodation, priced at $85 for institute members and $95 for non-members, and Includes vegetarian meals and hatha yoga classes. According to the Institute’s Marge Watkins, many stay for two to three days, but ten-day residency programs are also available. At $400 for members, $440 for non-members, a longer stay offers many avenues for personal improvement, whether this means hatha yoga classes and practice sessions, 5 hours of yoga per day, seminars or other activities such as study and relaxation. This show is held around Friday to and departs the following weekend. You are only accepted by application and the Institute requires you to submit your application at least 30 days in advance. A non-refundable deposit of $75 is required once they have accepted your application.
Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center (phone. 866 / 200-5203; www.kripalu.org) is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, and boasts special sessions with teachers like Beryl Bender Birch and Baron Baptiste, and leading thinkers like Dr. Deepak Chopra and writer Julia Cameron . Kripalu has a wide range of services and is currently running a “specially inspired” program where you can save $100 on tuition for a five-night stay through January 26 for Kripalu’s new Healthy Living program . This program includes various retreats focusing on integrated weight loss, strength training or building your yoga practice, including curriculum of classes and workshops, one-on-one sessions. For one, art therapy treatments, accommodation, meals and full use of the center’s facilities. For example, “Build Your Yoga” is a five-night break that begins on Sundays with sessions January 7-12, February 11-16, March 25-30, the April 22-27. A five-night dorm stay costs $790 per person, and prices increase based on your privacy and whether your bathroom is shared.
Shoshoni Yoga Retreat (phone. 303/642-0116; www.shoshoni.org) in Rollinsville Colorado, is a residential ashram and spiritual retreat center about 35 minutes west of Boulder. You’re in a cabin and daily classes include meditation, hatha yoga, pranayama, and chanting. You can opt for weekend retreats that include three daily vegetarian meals, accommodation, two yoga classes and two meditation sessions, and use of the hot tub, sauna, and hiking trails long nearby. You can customize your treatments and options, with Ayurvedic consultations, cooking classes and others, or you can choose to stay longer. Room rates vary depending on the season, but they are nightly, and an individual cabin costs $170 per night, a double room $115, and a dorm room $90. Right now, Shoshoni is offering an off-season sale, offering 15% off overnight accommodations for stays through May 1, 2007 for Monday through Thursday nights.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta . Center (www.sivananda.org) is part of a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching classical yoga. With locations in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and India, the institution’s campuses span city centres, affiliated sites and ashrams, followed by regular periods. Vacation in the countryside with contemplation, study and selfless service. The courses are taught by teachers with Sivananda yoga training, based on the philosophies of Swami Sivananda. The center itself was founded by his disciple Swami Vishnu-devananda and its practice emphasizes the five points of yoga and the four paths of yoga. In North America there are locations in Montreal, Toronto, California, New York and Chicago with different schedules and services for guests. In New York, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm (phone. 845 / 436-6492; www.sivananda.org/ranch) is located in Woodbourne, about 100 miles north of New York City in the Catskill Mountains. You can choose weekend retreats or longer yoga breaks, but rates start at $55 per night for members ($65 for non-members) in shared rooms for vacations Sunday through Thursday and starting at $60 for shared room members on Fridays and Saturday evenings; weekly rate for a shared room is $350. Choose something in a warmer environment, such as Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas Ashram Yoga Retreat (phone. 800 / 441-2096; www.my-yoga.net). The yoga break there begins at 6 a.m. with meditation, chanting, an hour and a half of yoga, meals, workshops and another yoga class at the end of the day, followed by dinner and meditation. Accommodations range from tent spaces for $55 to $89 for a single room, and other options in between, including shared beachfront rooms with two single beds for $84. There may be additional fees for activities depending on when you visit.
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