Whether you’re a somewhat-stiff novice or a super-supple guru, a yoga holiday offers the chance to stretch your mind and body in an exotic location.
You can rise with the sun for your first class of the day – taken on a Brazilian beach perhaps, or high up in the Indian Himalayas – then dine on healthy meals, before sinking a well-earnt sundowner and crashing out for a deep, satisfying sleep.
If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go, specialist operators such as Health and Fitness Travel (020 3397 8891; healthandfitnesstravel.com), Destination Yoga (020 8968 0501; destinationyoga.co.uk), Free Spirit Travel (01273 564230; freespirityoga.co.uk) and in:spa (020 8968 0501; inspa-retreats.com) can help point you in the right direction.
Salute to the sun
The laid-back lifestyle of the Balearics has long attracted a free-spirited crowd. But now there’s the chance to bend and stretch in the islands’ cool sea breezes with Formentera Yoga (07884 231 688; formenterayoga.com). The company offers regular retreats until late September on both Ibiza and its smaller, southerly sister, Formentera. Prices start at €995pp for a week-long escape, with accommodation in a beach house in Formentera or a tranquil country estate in northern Ibiza. Flights extra.
Bow to the moon
Head to the Thai island of Phuket for an alternative take on the country’s hedonistic full-moon parties. Set on a peninsula on the quiet south coast, the five-star, all-villa resort of Sri Panwa has devised a series of full-moon yoga sessions, which start on 14 May and continue on 12 July, 10 August, 9 September and 8 October in line with the lunar calendar. Guests who time their stay to coincide will be treated to classes on the hotel’s floating yoga deck, which faces out across the Andaman Sea. Best at Travel (020 7849 4100; bestattravel.co.uk) has a seven-night B&B package at Sri Panwa with transfers and flights from £2,949pp.
Pose up a mountain
Take a spiritual journey back to the birthplace of yoga by checking into India’s new Vana Resort. Opened in January, just outside Dehradun – the capital of Uttarakhand – it offers a range of wellness packages that blend the principles of Ayurveda, Tibetan healing and yoga with views of the Himalayas. Health and Fitness Travel has seven nights at the luxury estate from £2,295pp, including dietitian-designed meals, a yoga programme, spa treatments, transfers and flights.
Recline on a beach
If you’ve always wanted to look like a Brazilian beach goddess, consult the services of Yoga Body Rio (00 55 21 96905 6616; yogabodyrio.com). Run by a team of certified yoga instructors, it arranges year-round retreats based at luxury hotels around the South American nation. Upcoming options include the Rio Urban Retreat from 1-5 June, based at The Mansion, a new boutique hotel in Santa Teresa, for US$2,500 (£1,666pp); or, the Seven Sexy Chakras, a women’s-only holiday that heads to Trancoso in Bahia between 2-9 August for US$2,497 (£1,665pp). Daily yoga classes, half-board meals, excursions and transfers included. Flights extra.
Limber up in luxury
The Seychelles blends blissful beaches with an intoxicating fusion of French and African cultures. New operator, pureSeychelles (01422 240 730; pureseychelles.travel, specialises in spa and wellness breaks in the archipelago. For the ultimate indulgence, it recommends a week at The Station Retreat Hotel in Sans Souci on Mahé. A week-long package at the seven-bedroom boutique retreat starts at £1,550pp, including half-board meals, daily yoga classes, meditation sessions and spa treatments, with transfers to local beaches. The next retreat is 28 May, with more throughout the year. Flights extra.