When looking for the perfect yoga retreat, some of the first images that come to mind include towering temples in Thailand, acres of greenery in Bali, or the serene beaches of South America. Exotic destinations make for a truly memorable retreat experience and can lead to self-discovery, career advancements, and deepen your practice, but what’s a yogi to do when she needs to get away for the weekend or enjoy a fulfilling retreat experience closer to home?
You may be surprised to learn, like I was, that some of the world’s best yoga retreat destinations and wellness centers are located right in the U.S.! These spots are a great option if you’re looking to save a few dollars on airfare or if you’d like to grab a few girlfriends and get away for a restorative weekend retreat.
Worried that you’ll miss out on the picturesque hikes, beaches, and scenery that define exotic retreats? Well sit back, grab a glass of rosé, and get ready to plan the yoga retreat you’ve always dreamt of because my destination picks are located in some of the most gorgeous spots in the country! Whether you’re dreaming of hiking in the Berkshires, surfing in Hawaii, or meditating in a glamping-style yurt, you’ll find the perfect yoga retreat right within arm’s (or a short car ride’s) reach. (Brb…packing my bags right now!)
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health – Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Located right in the middle of the Berkshires, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is one of the most popular yoga retreat destinations on the east coast. Kripalu’s full calendar of themed retreats, programming, and lectures mean that there’s always something to learn, and its lakefront property sitting on over 100-acres provides plenty of space for exploration.
Looking for something a little less organized? Stay on the property through Kripalu’s “R&R” program! As an R&R guest, you’ll have the freedom to plan your own itinerary and choose from a variety of activities, including yoga and meditation classes, outdoor recreation, fitness classes, and even spa treatments.
The best part of all? Your reservation with Kripalu includes the accommodation of your choosing, restorative evening programming, more yoga classes than you can count, and three healthy, all-natural meals per day!
Ready to book your stay? Learn more about the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Heath here!
White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center – Santa Barbara, California
If meditating under the stars and spending the weekend in a decked-out yurt is more your style (because let’s be honest, who isn’t down for that?!), look no further than the White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center. Nestled in the woodsy hills of Santa Barbara, White Lotus is known internationally for its authentic and restorative retreat experience. Each year, White Lotus offers a handful of unique retreats, and guests can enjoy a variety of bodywork offerings, guided meditations and pranayama, yoga classes, hikes, vegetarian meals, and opportunities for dance, special ceremonies, and discussions on yogic philosophy.
What sets White Lotus apart though from other yoga retreat destinations in the U.S. though are its unique accommodations. Unlike other retreat destinations, the majority of guests at White Lotus stay in fully-furnished yurts! Don’t worry about “roughing it” during your stay, these yurts are fully-furnished with ornate Balinese daybeds, skylights, heating, and electricity.
If you’re looking for more traditional accommodations, White Lotus also has a three lofts, several furnished tents, lots of space for you to BYOT (bring your own tent), and even private houses for couples!
Want to learn more? Check our White Lotus’ website here!
Shambhala Mountain Center – Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
Situated on over 600-acres of scenic real estate amidst mountains, valleys, and forests, the Shambhala Mountain Center is your destination for practicing yoga in the fresh Colorado air. In addition to a variety of yoga and meditation classes, the Mountain Center also offers arts and creativity workshops, wellness sessions, hiking tours, family and work-life balancing, and other outdoor activities.
The Mountain Center focuses on the meditation discipline of Shambhala, which helps develop confidence, compassion, and openness. The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, one of the most meaningful examples of Buddhist architecture in North America, is also located on the premises, giving guests a uniquely spiritual experience.
As an added bonus, guests at the Mountain Center can choose from nine different types of accommodations from basic tents to junior suites! You can also enjoy three healthy meals per day during your stay or, if you’re looking for a meditative day trip, enjoy everything the Mountain Center has to offer during a day visit.
Sound like your next getaway? Check it out here!
Kalani Retreat Center – Pahoa, Hawaii
Looking for something a little more tropical? Grab your yoga mat and bikini, and head on over to the Kalani Retreat Center located on the big island of Hawaii! Seated just steps from some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, Kalani is truly a U.S. retreat experience like no other. During your stay, you can expect world-class yoga and wellness services like therapeutic bodywork, yoga, meditation, aquatic bodywork, spa treatments, hypnotherapy, spiritual baths, wellness coaching, and kinesiology.
Surrounded by a thick jungle of palm trees, vibrant flowers, and plenty of sunshine, the Yoga Center located on Kalani’s grounds is the perfect place to deepen your practice. You can find a variety of yoga classes during your stay here from powerful Vinyasa flows to Transcendence and Yin practices.
Kalani also offers several accommodations for yogis of all walks of life, including treehouse rooms, sprawling lodges, and private cottages! Packing your bags yet? Each retreat reservation includes fresh, local meals that are enjoyed in the private dining lanai, a 60-minute aquatic bodywork session or a 90-minute land-based treatment, up to 50 classes per week, and special events daily.
Ready to set your out of office email and fly to the islands? Check out accommodations and booking here!
Take Time to Relax (and sip on a cocktail with an umbrella in it…)
There’s no denying the benefits of a yoga retreat on your body, mind, and yoga practice. These destinations in the U.S. are a great way to supplement your yearly retreat calendar and can help you deepen your practice in between global getaways. It’s also easy to plan a weekend getaway to any of these destinations or a special yoga trip with friends and loved ones.
In my own life, I’m debating whether to sign-up for my first global retreat in 2018 and am drawn to these locations (okay, maybe not the one in Hawaii…although that does sounds glorious) as a way to introduce myself to yoga retreats before taking the plunge. Have you gone on an out-of-this-world retreat to any of these destinations or other ones in the U.S.? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Where do you think I should take my first yoga vacation? Comment below!
The Yogi Lawyer