For a lot of us, lazing by the beach during summer vacation just won’t cut it. According to an annual forecast report by SpaFinder Wellness Inc., wellness tourism and healthy hotels are expected to be two of the top getaway trends in 2013.
This coincides with a rise in popularity of yoga in the U.S., where the number of participants has risen by almost 30 percent in the past four years, according to a study compiled by Yoga Journal. An estimated 20.4 million Americans use yoga for flexibility, general conditioning, and stress relief, as well as to improve overall health and fitness. And needless to say, they also take vacations.
If you’re among the enlightened who are looking for your next getaway, consider the options below.
Domaine De La Grausse
Domaine De La Grausse: Clermont, France
A 17-acre estate in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, Domaine De La Grausse offers guests a week of yoga, clean mountain air, pure spring water and organic meals. In between classes, yogis can see the region’s famous prehistoric cave paintings, hike to one of the numerous waterfalls or visit a nearby Medieval town.
AkBol: Ambergris Caye, Belize
The first yoga retreat center and Eco Resort in Belize, AkBol offers daily classes, private sessions and workshops. Stay in a thatched hut or the yoga barracks and enjoy food from AkBol’s Soul Kitchen, which offers local favorites such as pupusas, as well as wood-brick thin-crust pizzas and fresh juice and smoothies made from the retreat’s home-grown produce.
Shreyas: Bangalore, India
Shreyas not only offers Ashtanga and Hatha yoga classes, but also massages, beauty treatments and Ayurveda treatments at the onsite Rejuvenation Spa. Meals for guests are tailor made after a consultation with the in-house Ayurveda or Naturopathy doctors. The recipes, made with fresh produce from the organic garden, are inspired by many different cuisines: Indian, Mexican, Continental and more.
Togat Nusa: Pitojat Island, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
Located on a private island, Togat Nusa offers not only yoga and meditation classes, but also swimming, snorkeling, fishing and beachcombing. The Mentawai Islands attract surfers from across the world thanks to the quality of waves and the area’s consistency as a surf zone. The retreat provides daily transport to surf breaks for anyone interested to try the sport.
Esalen Institute: Big Sur, California
The Esalen Institute is an American original, hosting numerous yoga workshops throughout the year in styles ranging from Raja to Vinyasa. When you’re not on the mat, you can soak in amazing views of the California coast or share a meal with fellow yogis in the center’s dining area, where food is prepared from ingredients grown in Esalen’s organic garden.