6 yoga retreats just a hop, skip and stretch away
Apart from the health benefits, I can see three reasons to bend over backwards to get involved with yoga:
1. The potential to look like Miranda Kerr;
2. Half of the exercise is done lying down; and
3. It’s completely transportable. Roll up your mat and away you go.
Finding your chakra is easy when you can downward dog with sand between your toes and rainforest floor underneath your fingertips.
Swap the standard hotel getaway for a healthy one, and bend and stretch around these top yoga retreats:
1. A sanctuary for mind, body and nature
It doesn’t get much better than flowing into Vinyasana in the heart of two World Heritage listed ecosystems – the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. At the Prema Shanti Yoga and Meditation Retreat guests can map out their practice in purpose-built yoga studios overlooking the Coral Sea. After a workout, dial up your relaxation a notch with spa treatments, a massage and overnight stay in their boutique and deluxe accommodation.
2. Relax and revive the senses
Is your Qi (life force) getting the better of you? Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in the Gold Coast Hinterland specialises in reviving minds, bodies and souls in its relaxing mountain setting. Stay from two to seven days and maximise the experience by attending healthy living seminars, enjoying organic meals (and wines) and learning more about Chinese medicine practices. For those looking to add a little more luxury, their eco cabins are the perfect spot to retire after a day’s meditation.
3. Add flexibility and fitness to a weekend getaway
Increase your range of motion and fire up the flexibility on Stradbroke Island, joining one of Lisa Iselin’s beach yoga sessions, which run daily during school holidays and on weekends. Enjoy the rugged beauty of Cylinder Beach, as you give the sun a salutation, and relax into savasana on the sand. More serious yogis might like to try Lisa’s three-day yoga retreat, combining yoga with beach and bush walks, organic cooking workshops, massage sessions and breathing practices.
4. Try the whale pose
Grab a dose of healthy living with your next getaway and join Essence of Living for a whale watching yoga getaway. From on-board a catamaran, prepare to connect with humpback whales and their newborn calves as you sail around Fraser Island listening to their whale songs from a hydrophone on board. Add meditation to the getaway with daily beach yoga and sound therapy to soothe the soul.
5. Stretch the yoga practice a little further
Begin your practice with the rising sun and end it under the stars with Soul Kitchen Retreat at Mission Beach. Stretch out and improve focus from yoga huts hidden away in the rainforest canopy, where the only nature soundtrack is provided by real birds. Roll up the mat and learn how to prepare yogic food with hands-on daily cooking sessions and workshops.
6. Enjoy clear rainforest breathing
Relax, stretch and unwind at the luxurious Silky Oaks Lodge. With its calming rainforest surroundings, you can open your lungs with fresh Daintree air, listen to the sounds of flowing streams and embrace the natural beauty of the environment. With complimentary yoga on site, punctuate your practice with Daintree discovery walks, kayaking, snorkelling, bike riding and pure relaxation.