inner development goals

Everything You Need to Know About the Inner Development Goals

I first encountered the Inner Development Goals through a friend, and since then, have been using them as a starting point to create positive, meaningful changes in not just my professional life but all aspects of my life. Despite the name, the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are not some new-age, self-help manifestation thing — it’s actually a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a more sustainable world and a prosperous future for all humanity. Using the latest scientific and modern research, Inner Development Goals has devised a framework to help effectively navigate some of our time’s most pressing challenges and threats—on the global macro and micro individual level. They focus on how everything from thoughts, patterns of behavior, and developing specific mindsets and skills can help us be proactive in creating positive change.

inner development goals

IDGs are most often employed by organizations, institutions, and businesses. However, as their method focuses on individual action, I believe they are a powerful tool for fostering change in your personal life too. I have found using their approach helps me feel more positive overall, especially as someone who can spiral when thinking about the terrifying state of the planet, humankind, and of course, animal welfare. The IDGs framework of skills has helped me to feel empowered, engage with people in more productive ways, and make better choices—all without destroying my mental health!

This blog is an intro to IDGs and how to work with their essential framework of transformative skills in daily life to support your values, foster your inner growth, and create positive change. As most stuff about IDGs is tailored to organization settings, the focus of this guide to IDGs is how to engage with their philosophy by yourself, on your own terms!


About Inner Development Goals

Inner Development Goals was founded in 2020 by three influential sustainability and environmental organizations: sustainability consultancy The New Division, sustainability non-profit the Ekskäret Foundation, and personal growth app 29k.

The name is a direct reference to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are 17 global initiatives UN Member States are committed to tackling, ranging from eliminating world hunger and reducing inequality to creating sustainable cities and climate action. They are all amazing goals… but not only do some feel like overwhelming challenges, they also can’t be isolated from each other as individual objectives—they are all symptoms of a whole, every component intersecting, but often in complex ways. In addition, if you put the onus on governments, how does this translate to corporate and individual responsibility? These questions and challenges helped spawn the IDGs initiative.

IDGs identify attributes, attitudes, skill sets, and goals that offer a comprehensive plan individuals and companies can take that directly feed into the SDGs. They posit that developing these inner capacities and honing our communication skills are essential for successfully enacting the UN SDGs. Basically, we need change on a truly fundamental level to facilitate societal, social, and global change. The IDGs had put together a research-based framework that identifies the necessary skills needed to comprehend, communicate, and act to address a wide range of issue and the complex, global challenges.


IDGs

The Inner Development Goals Framework

The heart of the IDGs is their framework of 23 transformational skills and qualities split into five interrelated categories. They consider implementing this framework to be ‘the greatest possible accelerator to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and create a prosperous future for all humanity.’ Some pretty big claims! But their idea is that understanding, working on, and addressing these skills and areas—covering personal development and honing your interpersonal skills—helps to enact the changes that feed directly into the UN's sustainable development goals.

Although the five categories roughly expand from fostering inner abilities to broader community and organizational changes, the skills they contain are designed in such a way that they complement each other and you can move fluidly across them all. Some of these may challenge your old patterns of behavior or thinking, or be completely new tools and skills you have never encountered before. What I try and remember is that we are works in progress—and I truly believe doing your best, even if you don’t always get it right, helps contribute to a better world.

The IDGs Toolkit report has some helpful questions, which I have included and adapted for each category. They are great journaling prompts and can help you fully understand and apply the principle or skill.

Being – Relationship to Self

The skills and qualities in this category focus on how we relate to our entire being—our thoughts, feelings, and physical body. (There is a lot of overlap with yoga and mindfulness practices here). The emphasis is on building solid inner skills which can have transformative inner and external consequences. It also gets at the idea that if we don’t possess this attributes on a fundamental level, how can we expect to engage effectively with others?

  • Inner Compass: this pertains to your awareness of being and things beyond yourself. Specifically, it means having a sense of responsibility towards others and values that align with creating a broader positive impact.
  • Integrity and Authenticity: these qualities help govern our actions and empower us to act with true agency. 
  • Openness and Learning Mindset: be curious, be willing to change your mind, and stay open so you can learn and grow! Even if what you are learning feels challenging or at odds with your current or previous beliefs.
  • Self-awareness: your yoga and mindfulness will help with this one—be aware of your thoughts and feelings. When uncomfortable and challenging feelings arise, can you self-regulate? 
  • Presence: are you able to be in the present moment? Can you recognize when you are distracted? Can you integrate this into your reactions and relationships with others (and yourself) to help you stay non-judgemental, open, and compassionate? 

As you can see, many of these qualities interact with and build up on each other—for example, presence and openness help develop your inner compass. However, what they all have in common is that they are strongly tied to inner lives and overall state of being.

Questions to develop your Relationship to Self:

Inner Compass: What are your three most important values? In what ways do you want to serve the good of the world?

Integrity and Authenticity: In what situations and why do you stop being yourself? In what situations do you feel challenged to be true to your values and who you want to be?

Openness and Learning Mindset: How do you stay open when you have different values or opinions from someone?

Self-awareness: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you actively or nurture skills that help to keep you aware of your thoughts, judgements, reactions, and emotions? If so, in what ways?

Presence: What is most alive in you right now? Are you able to name a time you were able to engage with someone in an open, non-judgmental way, even when you felt provoked?

Thinking – Cognitive Skills

This category focuses on assessing and developing cognitive analytical skills, which help to build our understanding of complex issues and ideas, recognize the world as an interconnected whole, and make better decisions as a result! Developing robust cognitive skills are considered a cornerstone of adult development.

  • Critical Thinking: this is our ability to assess information objectively and clearly. Asking questions and trying to clarify where factual statements or ideas have their roots are key parts of critical thinking. It is closely related to Perspective Skills, which addresses how unconscious bias can influence how we, or others, see something.
  • Complexity Awareness: this pertains to how issues may be incredibly complex and include many interrelated aspects. As an idea, it is largely rooted in Systems Thinking, which encourages holistic methodologies for looking at things, as opposed to trying to split the world into isolated parts. 
  • Perspective Skills: this relates to understanding where your own, and others, points of view have come from. Throughout life, we develop ideas that may be full of contradictions, assumptions, and unconscious biases. This is normal. Recognizing these helps lead to better cognitive skills, but identifying them in others is also important. It’s less ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’, but acknowledging how our belief systems are products of our experiences and environments.  
  • Sense-making: this relates to our innate ability to create stories that provide meaning. This is not a bad thing. Instead, IDGs encourage our sense-making tools to align with our larger values.

Long-term Orientation and Visioning: this is the ability to both think in the longer term and broader context but also to keep open, adaptable, and willing to evolve.

Questions to develop your Thinking skills:

Critical Thinking: How do you identify blind spots in your belief system? Do you ever ask inquiring and critical questions to yourself and others?

Complexity Awareness: Are you able to think in terms of ‘both, and’? Do you probe the deeper meaning of issues you are concerned with? e.g. what are the causes and consequences of the issue and how do they interact with other issues?

Perspective Skills: Who has perspectives or beliefs that challenge you deeply? Are you able to make use of contrasting perspectives when navigating challenging issues?

Sense Making: What stories give you meaning? What are the stories you have created about the issues that engage you?

Long-term Orientation and Visioning: What three things are most important to you to consider or address in the next five years? Ten years? 100 years? Do you feel motivated to engage in work that addresses issues that will take a long time to resolve and serve future generations? If not, why?

Relating – Caring for Others and the World

This category focuses on fostering meaningful and caring connections with others—from our direct communities to non-human creatures and the environment. As with the other categories, these qualities of relating all inform upon each other.

  • Appreciation: having an attitude of appreciation towards the beings and places we encounter helps establish a sense of care and gratitude
  • Connectedness: recognizing, acknowledging, and truly feeling how we as individuals are part of broader things—local communities, all of humanity, and the global ecosystem.
  • Humility: recognizing the needs of others over the needs of the self and acting accordingly.
  • Empathy and Compassion: relating to others and situations with these qualities are the foundation of emotional intelligence. 

Questions to develop your Relating skills:

Appreciation: Who has contributed to your success? Do you consciously turn your attention to that which is worthy of appreciation, such as people’s efforts and the beauty of the world?

Connectedness: Who and what would you like to be more involved with? Do you nurture and sustain a keen and deeply felt sense of belonging to and being a part of a much larger whole, such as humanity and the global ecosystem?

Humility: What helps you put the “we” over the “I” when the situation calls for it? Do you sometimes feel more concerned about looking good than you would like to?

Empathy and Compassion: Who and what helps you move into action when you perceive the suffering of others? In what ways do you work on your ability to feel empathy and compassion even towards people who are very different from yourself and who may act in ways you disapprove of?

Collaborating – Social Skills

This section focuses on developing the skillset to be able to articulate and share your concerns and values with others. There is a strong emphasis on leadership development in this category.

  • Communication skills: effective communication balances active, attentive listening and clear articulation of your message. It also includes advocating for yourself when needed, conflict management and resolution, and being able to adapt your communication styles depending on who you are engaging with.
  • Co-creation skills: creating and innovating with others in an effective, safe, and productive way. 
  • Inclusive Mindset and Intercultural Competence: this means both being able to and seeking out a diverse community to collaborate with. It draws across many skills in all the other categories about being open and willing to do things in ways that are different to your own.
  • Trust: being both trustworthy and able to trust others is an essential skill for creating positive collaborative experiences.
  • Mobilization skills: Finding others and organizations that share your beliefs and passions and helping inspire action.

Questions to develop your Collaborating skills:

Communication Skills: What helps you contribute authentically in real, meaningful dialogue? What communication skills would you like to develop further?

Co-creation Skills: How can you hold the tension between shaping and being shaped? How can you become even more creative and constructive in collaborative efforts?

Inclusive Mindset and Intercultural Competence: What helps you include those who think differently? Do you feel that you are willing to make an effort to understand and include

people who have different perspectives from what you are used to?

Trust: How do you consciously build trust? Are you working on your skills in building and maintaining trust in relation to different people?

Mobilization Skills: What do you believe is the best motivation for achieving common goals? Do you attend sufficiently to the task of inviting and energizing other people to work for shared visions?

Acting – Enabling Change

This section focuses on what qualities need cultivating in order to persist and keep acting in line with our beliefs.

  • Courage: Having the courage to stand up for yourself and others, take action, and perhaps challenge others is scary! It’s important to acknowledge that and actively remember to be brave and act in accordance with your values.
  • Creativity: coming up with new, innovative ideas to overcome challenges and disrupt conventional solutions that aren’t working. 
  • Optimism: staying optimistic is an essential—surprisingly hard—skill. It’s crucial for your own wellbeing, but it can also really inspire others.
  • Perseverance: stay committed to your goals, keep going, and be patient even if you encounter setbacks or progress is slow!

Questions to develop your Acting skills:

Courage: When did you last do something daring? What are some situations where you would like to be able to act more courageously?

Creativity: How can you foster more creativity? What can be your specific contribution, considering your own personality, to more creativity in your field of work?

Optimism: What good do you think will happen this century? Do you have the ability to draw your own and others’ attention to hopeful signs and initiatives when it concerns something you want to continue to promote?

Perseverance: What is a major challenge that has helped you to grow? What ideas do you have about how to strengthen our individual and collective ability to sustain engagement and effort over time?


True to its ethos, the Inner Development Goals framework is a project of ongoing development, where skills and attributes may be amended or changed over time. If you are looking for a community to explore the current idgs framework with, I recommend seeking out an IDG hub to find your local idg community. They often have meet-ups which are safe spaces to come together and encounter original ideas like like-minded people focused on global, holistic, and social change!

If you want to take a deeper dive into the organization, I recommend reading the IDGs' full report. As well as the framework, it covers the origins of IDGs, its founders and affiliated team of international researchers and entrepreneurs, such as Robert Kegan, Amy C. Edmondson, and Jakob Trollbäck, the research behind the science-based skills they identify, and how their work contributes to sustainable change, human development, and addressing the different needs of the global community whilst working towards a common goal of a sustainable future.

I have also found a lot of synergy between the IDGs framework and Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, especially the Yamas and Niyamas.


couples retreat near me

Where to Go on a Couples Spiritual Retreat

Couples who travel together stay together - as the old saying goes. Although I'm not quite a prime example of that myself haha, I'd love to help you find your ideal private retreat to bond with your loved ones. I'm just doing God's work here really. So how about going on an intensive couples spiritual retreat together?

Not only does a couple holiday allow you to create some amazing memories during uninterrupted time with your partner, but it's also the perfect opportunity to increase communication, trust, and intimacy in a relationship. Especially if the trip you’re taking is a specialized retreat for couples.

retreats for couples


On a couples spiritual retreat, you’ll be able to spend some uninterrupted quality time together away from your normal routines and reconnect with each other in a unique and beautiful setting. It's a truly transformative experience in intimate settings.

Whether you’ve only been in a committed relationship for a few months or you’re celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, any couple's retreat, relationship retreats, or one of the best marriage retreats can offer is guaranteed to add a little romance and spice, and reignite that spark that all too often gets dulled by the monotony and stresses of everyday life.

Below are some fantastic couples retreats - from eating in Italy to wellness retreats, to spiritual healing in India - that are sure to renew your relationship this year. So come with an open mind and be ready for new experiences...


The best couples spiritual retreat


4 Day Wellness Couples Holiday in Tabanan, Bali

couples retreat near me

Could there be a more perfect spot for a romantic couples retreat than the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali? This relaxing 4-day honeymoon retreat takes place at the magical Bali Green Retreat and Spa in Tabanan and is the ultimate holiday for couples looking for a little slice of paradise.

As well as enjoying daily yoga workshops, mindfulness meditation sessions, and plenty of relaxing wellness spa treatments together, you’ll also get to explore the surrounding area, with optional excursions to the local village, trekking through the famous rice terraces, visiting waterfalls, and even a trip to the slightly further afield town of Ubud. You’ll also be treated to a romantic candlelight dinner in a private gazebo with a tasty three-course Balinese menu.

Style: Wellness, Yoga Practice, Personal Growth & Meditation Retreat for Couples
Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
Price: From $790 per couple.
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (34km).
Airport pick up included? Yes.
Languages: English and Indonesian.
Vegan Friendly? Yes, there are vegan options.


3 Day Yoga & Hiking Retreat in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

couple retreats

When looking for a couples spiritual retreat near me here in Germany, I came across this fantastic 3-day yoga classes and hiking retreat for couples in the Stromberg Nature Park in Baden-Württemberg.

Run under the spiritual guidance of trained yoga teachers Claudia and Hans-Peter who have years of experience, these couple's retreats will help you embrace the principle of active relaxation through attention training. With regular yoga sessions and ‘soul exercises like effective communication and spiritual connection,’ you’ll learn to relax your mind and body, while a planned schedule of activities including hiking and cycling in the beautiful surrounding park. This will give you the chance to connect with nature and with each other on a deeper level. An experience any loving relationship is worth!

Style: Couples Retreat Yoga + Hiking
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Price: From $307 per couple.
Closest Airport: Stuttgart Airport (43km).
Airport pick up included? No, but can be added on for €30 per person.
Languages: German, English and Spanish.
Vegan Friendly? Specific needs accommodated on request


5 Day Yoga, Wellness and Hiking Retreat in Utah, USA

marriage retreat

Located in beautiful southern Utah, this 5-day yoga and hiking wellness retreat is perfect for couples looking to refresh their mind, body, and soul and get in touch with nature.

The retreat features daily classes such as morning yoga sessions, guided meditation classes, tai chi, and wellness workshops led by top professionals in the field, as well as daily nature hikes amongst the breath-taking scenery of close by Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. In your downtime, you’ll also be able to enjoy the amenities of the luxury cabin which include a large deck with incredible views and a relaxing hot tub and steam room. You can also stay at a nearby accommodation, either before, during, or after. To discover more romantic lodging options, check out hotels, vacation rentals and Airbnbs with cozycozy.

Style: Yoga & Hiking Couples Retreat.
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights (I think there might be some day packages too)
Price: From $2,995 per couple.
Closest Airport: Salt Lake City International Airport (399km)
Airport pick up included? Yes.
Languages: English.
Vegan Friendly? On request.

Check out my other guide f you're looking for more yoga retreats in USA.


8 Day Romantic Yoga Holiday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

retreat for couples

One of the longest couple holidays on this list, this 8-day romantic yoga holiday and intensive retreat in Mexico is ideal for couples looking to spend as much quality time together as possible in a beautiful retreat location by the beach. Although targeted towards honeymooners, this retreat is a great option for anyone looking for a romantic couples holiday, and maybe even for a best friend holiday.

The Xinalani Wellness Center is an eco-resort located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, with stunning sea view rooms - many of which have their own private terrace or balcony - and a program of twice daily yoga, relaxing massages and spa treatments, wilderness trekking, hiking, and plenty of watersports at the pristine beach nearby. This couple’s spiritual retreat is perfect mix of relaxation and adventure in a natural setting. Explore Mexico by visiting Natvisa’s online guide.

Then to add an extra sprinkle of romance, the couples retreat package also comes with a bottle of champagne and flowers on arrival and a romantic dinner on the beach with wine tastings.

Style: Yoga & Surf Camp Couples Retreat.
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: From $3,999 per couple.
Closest Airport: Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (22km).
Airport pick up included? Yes.
Languages: English and Spanish.
Vegan Friendly? The private chef can accommodate on request.


3 Day Transformational Couples Retreat in Floyd, Virginia

couple holiday

Embark on a transformational journey together on a married couples meditation retreat at the Anahata Education Retreat Center, set within the calming natural beauty of Floyd, Virginia. This couples retreat is completely personalized to you and begins with a consultation where you can tailor your schedule to your own unique needs as a couple.

You can work with a member of the Anahata team to embark on a healing journey through personalized yoga instruction, Aromatherapy couples massages, Reiki, sound healing, silent retreats, couples deepening sessions, and more. Or you can choose to simply use your free time to spend together in private, making the most of the center’s fantastic amenities including kayaking on the Little River, relaxing in the hot tub, and exploring the many scenic walking trails nearby. The perfect place to relax, bond, and infuse in positive vibes and creative activities. An unforgettable experience!

Style: Spiritual couples retreat
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Price: From $1,260 per couple
Closest Airport: Roanoke–Blacksburg Regional Airport (48 km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added on for $50 per person
Languages: English, German and Spanish
Vegan Friendly? Yes


5 Days Culinary Holiday in Umbria, Italy

romantic retreat umbria

If you’re thinking of heading on a romantic retreat over the holidays, look no further than this culinary couple holiday in the Italian region of Umbria. On this laid-back culinary escape, you’ll get to stay in a charming working farm in the heart of Umbria, set peacefully in between the olive groves, vineyards, and orchards of the surrounding countryside.

You’ll spend your days learning how to make delicious regional delicacies, using the freshest products from local producers, during several hands-on cooking classes with your local host Rafaella. Is there anything that brings people together more than food?

In between all of the cooking and eating (of course), you’ll also get to go on fun excursions to see the largest Christmas tree in the world in nearby Gubbio and the famous Monumental Nativity Scene uniquely sat in underground vaults in Città Della Pieve. This couples retreat is guaranteed to get you both in a festive mood!

Style: Culinary Couple Meditation Retreat
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Price: From $1,717
Closest Airport: Perugia San Francesco d'Assisi (11km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added on for $18 per person.
Languages: English and Italian.
Vegan Friendly? Yes


Couple Meditation Retreat in Goa, India

couple retreat in goa

The final pick on my list of the best retreats for couples is this private 4-day spirituality healing retreat in Goa, India. The best way to bond on a spiritual level. This luxury couples retreat is run by European couple Tanya and Michael of Move BeYond, who use their extensive knowledge and experience as Master healers to offer private transformative and Tantra retreats for couples at their ashram on Goa’s gorgeous Patnem beach (I personally love the local area!)

Through a personally tailored program of yoga, meditation, Reiki, clairvoyance sessions, and unique spiritual teachings, this spiritual retreat for couples will help you to take your relationship to the next level by teaching you how to really open your heart and release any negative habits. After 4 days with Tanya and Michael, you’re sure to leave feeling more at peace with yourself and much happier and stronger in your relationship with each other. Definitely one of those incredible experiences of a lifetime.

Style: Private spiritual retreats for couples
Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
Price: From $2,980.
Closest Airport: Goa International Airport (47km).
Airport pick up included? No, but can be added on for $30 per person.
Languages: English.
Vegan Friendly? Yes, all the healthy meals can be made vegan.


liquidrom berlin

In the Buff at Liquidrom Berlin

I’m not sure why, but y’all here seem to really enjoy having me getting nude in the city and sharing about it. So, kind as I am, I decided to take yet another one for the team after Vabali and Kitkat Club, and bare it all again, this time at the much anticipated Liquidrom Berlin and its fancy steam baths.

liquidrom berlin

Liquidrom is a mixed-gendered urban spa lounge in the heart of Berlin that I’d read and heard much about and I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally visit. But finally, I did! Did Liquidrom Berlin have the promised finest house vibes? Was there Liquidrom sex in the salt pool as several Liquidrom reviews had purported? Had Vabali ruined every other spa in the city in advance? Let us first disrobe and dive right into it.

*flails imaginary dong*


The Lowdown on Liquidrom Berlin

First things first. I may have gotten a little overexcited there. You don’t need to be naked everywhere at Liquidrom. In fact, swimsuits are mandatory in the main darkened dome pool. That is, I’m assuming, to try and deter couples from having sex, but spoiler alert, it doesn’t really seem to stop them. Other areas such as the himalayan salt sauna rooms are to be visited nude, and all other areas are clothing-optional. If you’re a noob, etiquette (and hygiene) has it that you must put a towel under all skin touching the wooden bench – that includes your feet too. So do bring along a large enough towel, some flip-flops, and whatever else you feel comfortable in, like a bathrobe for lounging. Sauna sessions in Germany are full of rules — shocking.

You might also like:

  • In the Buff in Berlin at Vabali Spa
  • In the Buff in Berlin at Kitkat Club
  • Liquidrom is located within Tempodrom, this odd building that looks like a birthday hat and a circus tent had a baby. The cost to use the steam rooms and warm salt-water pool varies based on the amount of time you spend there and the day of the week. At max, it’ll set you back 30€ for four hours. There are packages including indian abhyanga massag, towels, bathrobes, and what have you. There’s a small café on-site too. Liquidrom is open from 9:00 am til midnight Sunday to Thursday, and from 9:00 am til 1:00 am Friday and Saturday for the night owls. That’s a late night dip, boi.

    Fun fact: the site of this abstract ultra-modern structure with its surreal crown appearance used to be a massive train station during World War II but the remnants of those locomotive days are long gone and now replaced by this minimalist architecture structure hosting top of the line spa facilities spanning over 1000 square metres, recently brand new changing facilities, and all your standard relaxation options. The perfect place for an urban spa experience.

    Was Liquidrom Worth it?

    What’s promised on the website are the Liquidrom large domed hall pool with its immersive experience of underwater speakers playing a mix of gentle downbeats (the heart of the Liquidrom), Finnish sauna and steam bath, Omm-sound pool, Himalaya salt sauna area, Japanese-inspired outdoor thermal baths with lounge chairs, hot water Onsen pool, and Kelo herbal sauna, and even the occasional special events such as live music gig (including electronic music, what else would you expect!) — but I’m not sure I saw all of that. What I did see, however, was nice, for the most part.

    A Saunameister came in on the hour and poured cedar, minty, himalaya salt saunas things, and lemony stuff onto the coals (there’s a schedule with the actual Aufguss menu just outside the sauna), then whipped the air and did that sauna thing I’ve never experienced outside of Europe. The Aufguss is the real reason you come to the sauna, and it’s included in the price, so don’t miss that. Don't forget your sauna towel! I just wish there was more than one infusion per hour, but Liquidrom is small and in that way, Vabali has spoiled me.

    A few things weren’t great during my visit to Liquidrom spa Berlin, however, and I feel it’s in large part due to the staffing at the moment of my visit. The Liquidrom pool, for a start, had no underwater classical music as advertised and seemed like it wasn’t really attended to by anyone. A Christmas song played in full (in April) at some point while couples were making out all around me. Such Merry, very Christmas, wow. And this leads me to my next point. I visited late on a Friday night and couples all around me were FOR SURE having that old Liquidrom sex in the pool. I didn’t really mind. But I can see that it could be disturbing to some people. And I really wanted underwater music — some kind of whale songs to drown the making-out noise maybe? Urgh.

    Along the lines of the place being completely unsupervised, a lady was in the outdoor plunge pool talking to a friend on her mobile phone on goddamn speakerphone, I kid you not. So long for any privacy policy also. And when I was done with my visit, I found her in the changing room blaring dance music for everyone while she was doing her makeup. Why nobody came to shut her up at any point still boggles my mind a bit.

    All in For Naked Saunas in Berlin

    Aside from those anecdotal faux-pas I experienced at Liquidrom, I enjoyed my experience and thought the steam room offers were pretty good and will definitely go back. It's definitely a unique experience. I really recommend putting it on your list of to-dos for a weekend in Berlin. It’s a beautiful space to relax and unwind smack in the center of the city, and the convenience and beauty of the space definitely outweigh weird people’s behavior. The warm salt water pool with its vaulted ceiling was one of my favorite features and the crown jewel of the spa, and the variety of different saunas and different programs was pretty good. It's a really cool spa, kind of straight out of a science fiction novel when the moonlight shines through the windows at night.

    You’ll notice I have very little to say about full nudity in co-ed changing rooms and saunas this time around. The novelty has worn off, I love it now. If you take lust or sex out of the equation, nude bodies are just nude bodies and there is nothing frightening or exciting about it. It’s just... nice. So why don’t you just step out of your comfort zone and give it a try, nobody knows you and you might come out with a newfound appreciation of your own body after a hot stone massage.

    Just one last thought. I think Liquidrom should organize a once-per-month sex sauna Berlin day where anything goes because I find it unfair that these types of establishments are so far only for gay males. Everyone wants a bit of Berlin sauna sex fun once in a while, amirite!?


    Have you visited a nude sauna in Germany? Would you do it? Where would you like to see me get naked next? Would love to hear your thoughts!


    barre yoga

    What is Yoga Barre and Where to Try it Online

    You know what yoga is, you’ve heard of barre… but what is yoga barre? Some might say the best of both worlds: barre yoga (or yoga barre) is a training style that is a fusion of the strengthening and toning physical aspects of a low impact barre workout with the psychological and mindful elements of a yoga practice. The combo of the two can be a game changer, keeping your body strong and functional and your mind calm and focused!

    yoga barre

    Until recently, barre was one of those fitness trends that passed me by, I thought it was kind of Pilates but with some ballet moves tossed in. But it’s actually way more! I’ve been amazed to find out all the physical benefits of barre, from building strength to rehabbing injuries. If, like me a couple of months ago, you’re not super familiar with barre and you’re wondering if you might benefit from it, I’ve put together a mini guide below to help you decide if barre is right for you.

    I’ve also sourced the best online barre classes available right now—because dragging yourself out of the house to get to the gym or yoga studio when it’s winter feels like a workout in and of itself, so why not practice barre classes online from the comfort of your home!

    What is Barre?

    Barre is a strengthening, full-body workout consisting of ballet-inspired movements. It was invented in the 1950s by a ballet dancer, Lotte Berk, who created the method to help rehab an injury. It gets its name from the ballet barre, the railing you sometimes see in dance studios. Typically, dancers do their warm-ups at the barre, but they also use it to refine their form, train body awareness, and focus on developing strength and flexibility in a supported and safe way. This is one of the reasons why barre is such a great workout—it emphasizes really zoning in on specific muscles and movements and strengthening them in a targeted way.

    If you’re someone who worries about bad form in their yoga asana, then cross-training with barre can be super helpful as it teaches you exactly how to engage your lean muscles effectively. Although barre is intended to work all major muscle groups, I have found it to be especially amazing for core strength! It’s also a great functional movement style of exercise that can make a key difference in getting you through the trials and tribulations of daily (desk job) life. Most of barre is done using body weight and the only essential prop is some sort of a barre—a chair is absolutely perfect. But you can also add equipment like ankle weights, resistance bands, hand weights, etc, for that extra burn.

    The barre workout methods have had a bit of a glow-up in the last decade, and there are so many fun dedicated barre studios where you can live out your ballerina dream or loosen things up with upbeat music and a more contemporary vibe.

    What is Yoga Barre?

    barre yoga

    Barre yoga is a fusion style, combining elements of yoga and barre. Some barre yoga classes are mat-based and more of a yoga workout but combined with certain movements and poses that are beneficial for dancers.

    Other bar method styles are essentially extra mindful barre classes. One of the things that makes yoga different from most exercise classes and training styles is its emphasis on mindfulness, being present with the body and breath, self-acceptance, and non-judgment. IMO, this is the best kind of barre yoga class! And, even if it’s not a specific yoga barre class, you can make it one by committing to being mindful during your workout!


    Benefits of Barre

    Full-body Workout

    And I mean full body. The first time I did a barre workout, I was not prepared for the jelly legs, aching arms, and shaking core. Barre classes focus on working every muscle group and area of the body separately, which is great for improving muscle strength and functionality. It’s nice to do a workout that focuses on the entire body in equal parts, as opposed to predominantly working one muscle group.

    Many barre class postures are isometric exercises, which are exercises where the muscles are contracted and held, and the use of joints are limited. For example, a plank pose, and in barre, holding various plies. Barre also involves a lot of small pulses in postures which is great for building strength and really getting the muscles firing.

    Injury Prevention and Rehab

    As mentioned before, barre was originally developed as a method for working with injuries and injury rehab. Barre is a low-impact exercise, so it’s gentle on the joints. Because you work with isolated areas of the body, it’s easy to tune in to what is happening in that area of the body, which means you can minimize or intensify the posture depending on what you need.

    Gentle Cardio

    Barre is not a cardio workout, but in my experience, it’s also not not a cardio workout… basically, it gently elevates the heart rate with small movements in a way that won’t leave you gasping for breath but is excellent for heart health!

    Great for Cross-training

    I’ve become a bit of a gym bunny recently, and not only is barre great for improving muscle strength and engagement in a very isolated way, which helps to keep me safer in the gym—but I love that I also get to use gym equipment in my barre workouts. Holding light weights helps intensify bicep, tricep, and back exercises, and if I really want to give my calves, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles a turbo-charged barre class, I whip out the ankle weights.

    I have also found doing body weight exercises that focus on different major muscle groups in a more isolated way has been a really great addition to my practice of yoga strength. In general cross-training is a great way to enhance your fitness routine.

    Feeling good, but also looking good…

    Looking good is always secondary to feeling good (kinda 😅), but perhaps one of the best ‘side effects’ of a barre workout is the gorgeous, elongated, dancer-like lean muscle tone you get!


    Best Barre Experience and Yoga Barre Online Classes

    Equipment

    – a chair to hold on to (your ballet barre)

    Optional Equipment

    – a yoga mat
    – resistance bands
    – ankle weights
    – free weights, such as light dumbbells to intensify arm workouts or a barbell plate to hold.

    YouTube

    Not only do you find the largest selection of fitness classes on YouTube, but they are also free + no class schedule to try and keep up with! It’s worth hunting around for your fave barre teacher, but here are my top three YouTube barre workout recommendations:

    Alo Moves

    In recent years Alo Moves have become big contenders in the fitness streaming space, with many class types from online yoga to dance classes, yoga nidra to reiki—as well as a huge selection of first class barre classes!

    I recommend their 21-day barre sculpt program to really kickstart your barre habit. They also offer a two-week free trial.

    Pure Barre

    Pure Barre, powered by Xponential+, is a platform dedicated solely to online barre classes! If you are serious about developing your barre practice, then this is a great choice. They also offer a one-week free trial, which gives you access to all Xponential+ brand classes, including spinning and treadmill classes, as well as yoga and Pilates.

    Pilates Anytime

    Although this is primarily a Pilates platform, it has a solid barre class offering. This is a great option if Pilates is your main form of exercise, but you want to spice it up with some barre classes now and again.

    Yoga Vibes

    This platform has a huge selection of barre classes under Exhale Spa’s proprietary system called Core Fusion. They span everything from a few-minute tutorials to 75-minute classes, so you are guaranteed to find something that suits your schedule and yoga experience!


    Need some more inspiration for your yoga-style workouts? Then check out my guide to Rocket yoga for something more upbeat and Angamardana for a spiritual system.


    Yoga Teacher Training Europe

    Best Yoga Teacher Training Europe 2024 Guide

    My first yoga teacher training was in India in 2015, not only was it an amazing way to deepen my yoga practice and learn about anatomy and yoga philosophy, but it was an incredible journey of self-discovery, and I met some truly special people there… a time and people which led to me exploring the beaches of Goa, healing from some pretty devastating heartache, learning Thai massage in a hill tribe village outside of Chiang Mai, and ultimately cycling through Asia to Europe and ending up in my now home of Berlin! When I reflect back on that YTT, I realize that the transformation I experienced during those four weeks on a spice farm in Goa has had a pretty profound influence on my life beyond becoming a registered yoga instructor. So today I wanted to talk about Yoga Teacher Training Europe 2024 options!

    Yoga Teacher Training Europe

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the best yoga teacher training Europe destinations for 2024 and where to go to become a certified yoga teacher. After some pretty extensive research, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide covering the top foundational and 200 hour yoga teacher training course in Europe for the dedicated yoga student who wishes to take their own practice to the next level through these intensive yoga courses.


    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

    Your Guide to the Best Yoga Teacher Training Europe Courses


    Yoga Teacher Training in Germany

    When I first arrived in Berlin I didn’t know how long I would stick around for, but 8+ years later I’m still going strong! It wasn’t just the amazing vegan culture that won me over, but also all the incredible yoga. For those non-German speaking ex-pats (hi!), you will be pleased to hear that Berlin is the main hub for English-language-led yoga classes and yoga schools in Germany. Also, whatever neighborhood you end up in, chances are that there will be some incredibly high-quality yoga on offer in a gorgeous studio and in a range of styles of yoga — from fiery Vinyasa flows to the mellowest of Yins, from Tantra to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.

    Having been around the Berlin yoga block once or twice, I’m pretty confident in saying I’m somewhat of an expert in the Berlin yoga scene. There are a lot of great yoga teacher trainings in Berlin, but one, in particular, is a real stand-out…

    300 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at High on Yoga

    300 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at High on Yoga

    This is a strong foundation 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Europe that differs from the many others available that adhere to the 200-hour yoga teacher training Europe standards. The extra 100-hours of this course means you will deepen your knowledge of Sanskrit, yoga anatomy, how to structure and teach a high quality yoga class, get really in-depth hands-on adjustment experience (my favorite part!), and also take a deep dive into the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Bhagavad Gita — the two most influential yoga philosophy texts on contemporary yoga.

    The backbone of the course is Ashtanga, which is the style of yoga from which vinyasa flow, power yoga, and all dynamic styles stem from. So if you are curious about Ashtanga, I would really recommend this course, as not only will you develop a Mysore self-practice in your daily life in order to integrate what you are learning and deepen your personal practice, but you uncover more of the lineage of this practice by exploring the original Krishnamacharya/Pattabhi Jois methodology. Also, if you want to deepen your yoga practice but are not sure you are ready to commit to a full teacher training, you can take the first 100 hours of the course as a standalone training, with the option to continue with the further 200-hour training at a later date. A truly transformative experience.

    If you are based in Berlin (or looking for a place to work remotely whilst doing a high-quality yoga TT) and want to balance these kinds of training programmes with your existing work schedule, I couldn’t recommend this YTT enough! It takes place over a series of nine intensive course weekends spread over 3-ish months, and as the course develops, there are opportunities for assisting and teaching classes with your assigned HOY mentor. The yoga studio is sun-filled and beautiful and the course is taught in small groups by amazing experienced yoga trainers. There is no better place in Berlin!

    Duration: 9 intensive teacher training weekends spread over three months + extra for assisting/teaching
    Price: from €3,690
    Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced (an established yoga practice is a prerequisite)
    Languages: English


    Yoga Teacher Training Spain


    21 Day 200-Hours Multi-style Yoga Teacher Training from Indian School in Mallorca Island

    yoga teacher training spain

    This three-week yoga journey YTT in Spain packs a serious punch, with training in a variety of yoga styles from Ashtanga, to dynamic Vinyasa Flows, Hatha yoga, Yoga Nidra, Sivananda, and Yin — with an Ayurveda workshop and optional SUP yoga too! So you get to tackle many aspects of yoga :) Not only will you spend your days in yoga asanas, anatomy, philosophy and physiology classes, but you will have over four hours of guided meditation, Kirtan (chanting), pranayama, and asana practice a day. If this all sounds a bit full-on, don’t worry — you will be staying in one of the most beautiful retreat centers set in lush grounds, with a saltwater pool. You are also just ten minutes drive from the beach, and you can even arrange for a massage onsite, so during your breaks there are plenty of ways to unwind and natural beauty to explore! Best place to relax while doing YTT courses!

    This is a solid foundation if you are looking for experience in lots of different styles, particularly if you are also looking for a yin yoga teacher training in Europe. It’s also suitable for less experienced yoga practitioners. Upon completion, you will receive your certificate, which makes you eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance International.

    I have a full article on yoga retreats in Spain too if that's what you're looking for. Spain is a great place with beautiful beaches and many amazing schools with a holistic approach and comprehensive curriculum.

    Duration: 21-days (20 nights)
    Price: From €2,300
    Closest Airport: Palma de Mallorca Airport (8 km)
    Airport pick-up included? A minibus is arranged for the first and last days of the YTT costing €10 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English, organizers also speak German, Italian, Spanish
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    29 Day 200-Hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Training Yoga Course in Cádiz, Andalusia

    ytt spain

    This four-week, small group (maximum 15 people), Ashtanga-based yoga teacher training will equip you with the teaching skills you need to teach modified Ashtanga and Vinyasa style classes with tons of practical experience. You will start your day with meditation and pranayama before a two-hour Ashtanga class. For the first couple of weeks, the Ashtanga class will be guided by the teacher, and after that, you will transition to the Mysore self-practice style, to further deepen and integrate your asana practice. After a late breakfast, you will have your anatomy, alignment, teaching methodology, and philosophy classes. You will have a long lunch break, where you can enjoy the relaxing surrounds of the villa accommodation and swimming pool, and round off your day with a 90-minute workshop before dinner at 7 pm. This yoga teacher training program runs 5-days a week, with a half-day on Saturday, and Sunday completely free, which gives you plenty of opportunities to explore the local seaside villages, hilltop towns, and even have a few surf lessons!

    I recommend this Vinyasa yoga teacher training in Europe if you want a more relaxed timetable, but are a more experienced practitioner who wants to learn specifically about Ashtanga or deepen their existing practice from dedicated and experienced yoga practitioners. A thorough deep dive into the depths of yoga not only to teach but also for your personal growth.

    Duration: 29-days (28 nights)
    Price: From €2,750
    Closest Airport: Jerez Airport (La Parra Airport) (60 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be arranged for €90. Car rental is good value.
    Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English, organizers also speak Spanish
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Yoga Teacher Training in Portugal


    21 Days TTC 200-Hour Integral Yoga Teacher Training in Madeira, Portugal

    yoga teacher training Portugal

    On these 200 hour yoga teacher training courses on the beautiful island of Madeira, you will immerse yourself in the world of Integral Yoga — a style popularized by Sri Swami Satchidananda that combines Hatha style asana with pranayama, meditation, chanting, and kriyas. The daily 12-hour program, starting with yoga asana and pranayama practice and ending the day with a meditation, will ground you in everything you need to teach yoga. You will be under the tutelage of two experienced dedicated teachers whose formal education and expertise transcend beyond Integral Yoga to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Qong, Educational Psychology, and extensive yoga philosophy knowledge. Expect a comprehensive overview of yoga anatomy and physiology, a deep understanding of the Integral Yoga system, and a well-rounded exploration of essential yoga philosophy texts and figures.

    This registered yoga school is one of Europe’s most affordable as it is self-catered and accommodation is arranged at a nearby apartment complex where you can make your own meals or enjoy the local eateries.

    Duration: 21-days (20 nights)
    Price: From €1,980
    Closest Airport: Madeira Airport (15 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English, organizers also speaks Portuguese
    Vegan Friendly?: self-catered


    24 Day 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training in Maxiais, Castelo Branco

    ytt portugal

    If you are looking for an amazing experience in an Ashram but can’t make it all the way to India, then this is your next best option. Set in a beautiful estate on the edge of the forest, you will be off the grid and living in harmony with nature, staying in simple eco-wooden huts. The Yoga teacher training is rooted in the Gitananda principles and style — but don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with this as you can complete a short foundation course beforehand to ground you in the essentials. There will be extensive study of yoga philosophy and pranayama techniques, specific Hatha asana and sequences, and yoga anatomy.

    This yoga teacher training in Portugal is accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals, a UK-based accreditation body that is not affiliated with Yoga Alliance (confusingly).

    Duration: 24-days (23 nights)
    Price: From €2100
    Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (176 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, but there are plenty of buses that can take you to Castelo from where the ashram will collect you.
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: yes, but confirm with the organizer in advance


    Yoga Teacher Training in Greece


    3-week Yoga Teacher Training in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga

    alpha yoga school

    This yoga teacher training keeps it focused. This course is perfect for those who like dynamic styles of yoga, want to improve their alignment and physical practice, and want to become yoga teachers. You will learn how to improve your practice with Ashtanga Yoga and learn how to teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga.

    Alpha Yoga is a Western yoga school for the Western yoga audience. You won't waste time with cacao, fire, or dance ceremonies. You will experience not only a transformative physical and inner journey but also a proper science-based yoga education. For three weeks, you will practice yoga, swim in crystal clear waters, and wake up to stunning sea views. You will be treated with Greek-style hospitality. Remember “My big fat Greek wedding"? That kind of hospitality :-)

    Upon completing this yoga teacher training in Greece, you can register with Yoga Alliance USA and UK, so you can find a job in any yoga studio around the world.


    Duration: 22 days (21nights)
    Price: From €2710
    Closest airport: Athens International Airport (170km)
    Airport Pick up included: No, but Alpha Yoga arranges shared minibusses for all students
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Language: English, Greek
    Vegan Friendly: Yes (especially the lava chocolate cakes in Lefkada Island)
    Dates: April, July, September, October every year

    Check out yoga vacations at Alpha Yoga School now!

    23 Day 200-Hour Autumn and Winter Yoga Teacher Training in Charming Palairos

    yoga teacher training europe greece

    The founders of this YTT drew on their experience of learning and teaching yoga in India and Bali to create a slice of yoga heaven in the Greek coastal town of Palairos, one of the best places in Europe to come and learn yoga. As well as versing you in yoga anatomy, philosophy, alignment, meditation session, and pranayama, this YTT emphasizes how to teach students through small and large group instruction and giving physical adjustments. Your dynamic morning practices and more restful evening practices (such as Hatha, Yin yoga, Restorative, or Nidra) take place in a cliff-top yoga shala with views over the clear blue Ionian sea and surrounded by the scent of botanical herbs and olive trees. Three daily vegetarian meals are provided, and the range of accommodation reflects the lifestyle of this corner of the Mediterranean.

    On completion of this 200-YTT in Greece you will be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance.

    Duration: 23-days (22 nights)
    Price: From €2,100
    Closest Airport: Athens International Airport (283 km)
    Airport pick up included? No, but a pre-booked seat in a shared taxi costs €80.
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English, organizer also speaks Greek
    Vegan Friendly?: yes, but confirm with the organizer in advance.


    25 Day 200-Hour Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training on the Island of Amorgos

    ytt greece

    Torn between doing a yoga teacher training, visiting a Greek Island, and booking a luxury stay in a spa hotel… well, this Yoga Alliance recognized yoga teacher training in Europe has you covered. With daily meditation and pranayama sessions and two asana classes a day, on top of six hours of study dedicated to philosophy, anatomy, and teaching theory, as well as group discussion time, you will have a rigorous and in-depth YTT experience. All of this will take place in the multiple, beautiful yoga shalas and facilities of the Aegialis Hotel and Spa, and you will be fuelled by nutritious vegetarian and vegan food from the award-winning restaurant. Of course, on your days off and during your free time, you can unwind by the pool and make use of the spa facilities, or head out to explore the island.

    Duration: 25-days (24 nights)
    Price: From €3,268
    Closest Airport: Athens International Airport (212 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: yes


    Yoga Teacher Training in France


    10 Day 200hr Mentoring One to One Yoga Teacher Training in Charente, France

    yoga teacher training in France

    This unique yoga teacher training is a mix of one-on-one online and in-person modules designed to guide you through an immersive, bespoke, and in-depth experience. During your in-personal modules in the southwest of France, you will stay in a private house and have the opportunity to explore your yoga practice and teaching in a truly personalized way. This YTT is a great option if you are looking to work one-on-one with students, particularly those who experience chronic pain or health conditions that may not make group classes accessible. You will be supplied with a well-stocked fridge full of food you have requested to take care of your own breakfasts and evening meals, and you will share a daily vegan/vegetarian lunch with your yoga teacher.

    Please note, the certification is through the World Yoga Alliance — which has no affiliation with Yoga Alliance.

    Price: From €3,864
    Closest Airport: Poitiers–Biard Airport (62 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English — confirm with the organizer
    Vegan Friendly?: yes


    25 Day 200-Hour Intensive Yoga Teacher Training in Saint Michel de Chabrillanoux, the Ardèche

    ytt france

    This Hatha YTT in the south of France will give you the flavor of both rustic countryside living and an ashram experience. You will get to know your small cohort of fellow trainees (up to 10 people) well and enjoy sharing meditation, pranayama, yoga, and the theory modules together, as well as taking turns preparing food for the group in a gesture of Karma yoga. Everything about this retreat is about living in accordance with yogic principles and finding community whilst connecting deeply with yourself. This is a Yoga Alliance recognized yoga teacher training.

    Duration: 25-days (24 nights)
    Price: From €2,400 for a dorm, so you can send an inquiry about camping.
    Closest Airport: Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport (104 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: Instruction is in French, but the organizer also speaks English.
    Vegan Friendly?: yes


    This is my round-up of the best yoga teacher training in Europe for 2023 and 2024! Not quite ready to commit to teacher training? Check out my list of 2024’s best yoga retreats and the best yoga retreats in Europe right now!


    yoga retreat europe

    Yoga Retreat Europe: Where to Go

    Summer is almost here! It’s time to plan a yoga retreat Europe vacation! I know many of you (including myself) often look towards South-East Asia (Thailand and Sri Lanka are high up on my list) or South America for a yoga retreat, but when the budget is tight and the time is short, there’s no need to go too far afield, as there are amazing options for a retreat in Europe. And while some countries may seem more appropriate than others for the best yoga retreats Europe locations because of their proximity to beautiful beaches or nature such as in the Canary Islands, I’ve found that there are beautiful locations where to go in Europe for stress relief with daily yoga classes and meditation, especially for a short break.

    yoga retreat europe

    Below are the best European countries and best places on my radar for the best yoga retreat Europe options in 2024. I've tried to cover all bases from luxury yoga retreat Europe centers to more affordable yoga retreat options. For more spiritual practice retreats ideas, check those out if you're after either a detox retreat, a retreat for couples, some meditation retreat options, or, why the hell not, an ayahuasca retreat.


    Yoga Retreat Europe Travel: My Recommendations


    7 Days yoga holiday europe in Algarve, Portugal

    European yoga retreats

    Located along the beautiful Algarve Coast of Portugal (a popular destination in and out of itself), this seven-day week-long peaceful yoga retreat with The Jewel of Yoga offers European yoga retreats trips to relax and unwind through yoga sessions, meditation classes, and spa treatments. Daily yoga sessions and pranayama are paired with free time for you to hit the beach, hang by the pool, walk in the national park, take surf lessons, or treat yourself with a relaxing massage. You can also rent a car to visit the surrounding coastal area.

    The intimate accommodation is five minutes away from famous surf camps and beautiful trekking areas. Pair that with fresh organic meals, comfortable facilities, and a relaxing environment, and you've got yourself in a great way for a wonderful hatha and kundalini yoga holiday Europe trip you'll remember forever.


    Duration: 7 days
    Price: From $1,363
    Closest Airport: Faro (60 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Good for all yoga practitioners
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Vegan and vegetarian meals on request

    Check out wellness retreat options in Lagos now!


    Sun Salute Retreats in Costa Blanca, Spain

    top yoga retreats in europe

    Kilometers upon kilometers of white sand beaches and beautiful cliffs will be the natural beauty backdrop of one of the best yoga holidays in Europe at Sun Salute Retreats in Costa Blanca, Spain. What more can you ask for? A yoga retreat in Spain that’s located a mere few footsteps from the beach? You got it all, at Sun Salute Retreats — it's the perfect place. Here, you can combine various activities in small groups, and create your very own schedule away from the bustle of everyday life, and the prices are really fair. Great value!

    Discover the Spanish culture, sample the local cuisine, relax on the beach, go scuba diving, go cycling, discover local markets, and of course do plenty of yoga style, including both restorative yoga and yoga nidra at the end of the day! One of the best yoga retreats in Europe, Sun Salute is a really amazing way to combine your European travels with a yoga retreat and do a bit of everything. The Sun Salute crew is an inspiring community that promotes the wellbeing of the spirit and body through natural healing and fitness. Cozy accommodation and vegan-friendly local cuisine. Sold.


    Duration: 5 days
    Price: From $563
    Closest Airport: Murcia-San Javier (30 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes!

    Check out retreats at Sun Salute now!


    Europe Retreat on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

    retreats amalfi

    Experience the rugged terrain and pastel-toned villages of the nearby Amalfi Coast as you join this yoga and culinary retreat. Alongside daily yoga and meditation sessions, the retreat includes cooking classes, good food, and several excursions to local villages, farmers' markets, and wine cellars. The lovely hosts are passionate yogis who have been traveling around the world in search of alternative ways to improve their lives, live at a slower pace, and practice yoga for over ten years.

    Join them for a few days to experience all the health benefits of a great yoga break and amazing nutritious healthy food, alongside a lush swimming pool, and breathtaking views of nature, drenched in extra virgin olive oil!


    Duration: they are 5 day trips
    Price: From $1,200
    Closest Airport: Naples (31 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out retreats in the Amalfi Coast now!


    Jiva Healing in England

    best yoga retreats europe

    Looking for yoga retreats in the UK? The English countryside will always have a special place in my heart. Wiltshire is a great reminder of the small town vibe and all the wonderful lush green nature I remember so fondly.

    With an abundance of verdant landscapes and prehistoric majesties, Wiltshire is a place that tantalizes all senses. At Jiva Healing, you can combine yoga by different teachers and feel inspired by the impressive 17th-century watermill set in a ten-acre property of woodland and meadows. I can’t really think of more relaxing and rejuvenating beautiful settings for a day yoga practice! One of the best yoga retreats Europe has to offer. What’s even cooler is that the mill is run entirely on renewable energy. Be inspired by the healthy cooking and nutrition classes, alongside daily yoga, meditation and hot tub sessions. Your afternoons are free to explore the surrounding area. One of many great retreats in England!


    Duration: 3 to 8 days
    Price: From $795
    Closest Airport: Southampton (51 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out more retreats in the UK!


    Suncokret Body and Soul Retreats in Hvar Island, Croatia

    yoga retreats in croatia

    There’s little else that screams yoga retreats Europe holiday other than a yoga retreat on beautiful islands! Recenter yourself and find inner peace with the holistic program at Suncokret Body and Soul Retreats. Set in the cute village of Dol Sveta Ana on Ivar Island, on a backdrop of lush greenery, Suncokret is one of my top yoga retreat Europe 2021 options for the Summer. The program includes daily yoga practice with the wonderful Evening Marie, nature walks on a private island via a short boat trip, organic and nutritious meals, meditation, and a lot of downtime to let you explore and recharge.

    Located in the eastern valley of Dol in Hvar island, Dol Sveta Ana will charm you with fragrant lavender plantations, stone cottages, and farmland. Croatia is always a good idea when it comes to a European yoga retreat!


    Duration: 6 to 8 days
    Price range: From $877
    Closest Airport: Split (48 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner & Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out more European retreats in Hvar now!


    Fykiada Retreats, Greece

    Fykiada boutique retreat organizes exclusive luxury yoga retreats Europe trips on the Greek islands in high-end locations a with world-acclaimed yoga teacher selection. From cosmopolitan Mykonos to the otherworldly scenery of Koufonisia and the authentic island of Kythnos, each retreat is one of a kind and tailored to the needs of the group. What makes the greek retreats even more special is the fact that Fykiada Retreats is run by two girls, Anna & Eranthi, who are island experts and take care of every single detail. From a selection of stunning seaside locations to stylish interiors, conscious welcome gifts, and local touches, everything promises that you'll be taken excellent care of.

    Activities at Fykiada include sea-kayaking to hidden beaches, hiking to ancient temples, private sailing to sacred islands, food workshops, dinner to local tavernas and live music are always part of the special experience that it's offered.

    Fykiada Retreats collaborates with international yoga teachers who provide unforgettable trips, amazing yoga retreats, and high-quality learning experiences.


    Duration: various
    Price: Depends on duration
    Closest Airport: Depends on location
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner & Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out retreats at Fykiada now!


    Back to Nature Mountain Retreat, France

    Set in a beautiful location amidst the snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, waterfalls, forests, and lakes of the beautiful French Alps, these retreats combine the rejuvenating activities of yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, hiking, and forest bathing, with inner development work with a certified life and leadership coach. This is an opportunity to press pause on the everyday and immerse yourself in nature. Mountain guides will take you beyond the beaten path to explore the natural wilderness of the magnificent Alps. With plenty of time outdoors, you will welcome deep sleep at the retreat base – a stylishly renovated Alpine farmhouse – along with relaxing soaks in the hot tub and time out in the sauna.

    The four-night, fully inclusive retreats take advantage of the stunning mountain season, and a delicious menu made with locally sourced and foraged ingredients. Space is limited to 4 to 12 participants per retreat so go ahead and reserve your spot at one of the amazing retreats.


    Duration: 4 days
    Price: From €2000
    Closest Airport: Geneva (60 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out retreats at Alikats Mountain Holidays now!


    Disclaimer: Some of the links to these yoga retreat holidays in Europe are affiliate links from Tripaneer websites, meaning I get a small commission if you click through and use the service at the other end. This will never cost you any extra and will help me run this blog for your viewing pleasure!


    ayahuasca retreat

    What are the Best Ayahuasca Retreats? A Guide

    So you’ve decided you want to embrace ancient shamanic plant medicine by heading to an Ayahuasca retreat in 2024 but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

    Deciding to take the plunge into your first Ayahuasca retreat is a pretty big deal (it's a very transformative experience), and deciding which retreat to go to is an even bigger one. Some will say let the medicine call you on your path to personal growth, you'll know when the time is right — and I have to agree. You’ll have many questions. I certainly did when I had my first Ayahuasca experience. I've since done a second Ayahuasca retreat this past year and it was truly a life-changing experience, especially on the last day at the end of the retreat. Just like Lindsay Lohan said it would be :P Jokes aside, I see a huge potential in this with regard to how Western medicine is evolving around the topic of treating mental health.

    What can I expect from an Ayahuasca retreat on my first plant medicine ceremony? Where can I find the best retreats? Will it be a highly hallucinogenic experience? How do I choose the right Ayahuasca retreat centers for myself? And what about iboga?

    Below I’ve put together as much information as possible about Ayahuasca retreats and their spiritual practice as well as a number of Ayahuasca retreat 2024 recommendations (make sure there are no travel restrictions and that you get your travel insurance), including many Ayahuasca retreat Europe destinations, as well as the best Ayahuasca retreat USA 2024 or nearby spots.

    ayahuasca retreat 2024 recommendations

    If you're in search of some Ayahuasca retreat Berlin 2024 options, it's a tricky one for sure, but they do exist if you know where to look. Alternatively, the Netherlands or Spain are good options where such things are often legal or at least more tolerated than in Germany.


    What is Ayahuasca?

    First things first, what actually is Ayahuasca?

    The Ayahuasca plant is a psychoactive brew that can date back over 1,000 years in South America and was traditionally used by ancient Amazonians and indigenous people to aid deep healing and in spiritual and religious practices. The natural plant medicine often dubbed the "vine of the soul" is made by boiling together the leaves of the Psychotria Viridis shrub with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis Caapi vine.

    The leaves of the Psychotria Viridis plant contain a natural hallucinogen known as DMT (N.N.-Dimethylptamine), while the Banisteriopsis Caapi Ayahuasca vine contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) called beta-carbolines that stop the body from breaking down DMT, allowing its effects to work.

    The combination of these ingredients creates a powerful psychedelic brew that causes its drinkers an altered state of consciousness which usually includes out-of-body experiences, visual and auditory hallucinations, and feelings of euphoria. It can be some of the most transformative life experiences and even induce physical healing for some, but medicinal plants are no recreational drug. Please do your research and treat the plant with great respect before embarking on your Ayahuasca journey of the spirit world.

    best ayahuasca retreats


    Why do people go on an Ayahuasca Retreat?

    While Ayahuasca has its origins in ancient Amazonian ceremonies and indigenous tribes throughout the Amazon basin, the psychoactive brew has more recently become a focus of spiritual tourism and general plant medicine healing.

    Ayahuasca is a natural healing medicine and is praised for its ability to help users access repressed memories, increase self-awareness, let go of past traumas and negative thoughts, and feel more connected to the natural world through heightened states of consciousness. Describing the exact effects of Ayahuasca is difficult as everyone's journey is different, but many people come away from the experience with profound realizations about themselves and the world around them and a sense of spiritual awakening.

    The Shamanic medicine is now also believed to have many long-term health benefits, including reducing depression and anxiety, as well as treating PTSD, sexual abuse trauma, substance addiction, and more. What better way to venture into the fascinating world of psychedelics than with these powerful medicinal plants?

    A pretty impressive resume for a simple Ayahuasca brew! Makes sense why more and more people are choosing to go on Ayahuasca retreats as part of their healing process and why more and more recent research and clinical trials are turning to Ayahuasca to help patients with resistant depression and traumatic stress disorder — and the significant improvements found have been amazing.

    With Ayahuasca being illegal in some countries such as the USA, Canada, and the UK (so sadly I don't have any specific Ayahuasca retreat UK (specifically Ayahuasca retreat London) or Ayahuasca retreat in USA recommendations for you, but if you're willing to travel, I think it's the best option), Ayahuasca retreats also mean that people from all around the world can travel to a safe setting and experience the substance’s transformative effects without resorting to any sketchy underground Ayahuasca dens back home.


    What happens at an Ayahuasca Retreat?

    An Ayahuasca healing retreat is somewhat like a yoga retreat in that a group of people comes together to go through a spiritual journey under the care of qualified and experienced teachers and support staff. Except in an Ayahuasca retreat, guests also take part in Ayahuasca ceremonies led by indigenous shamans, also with years of experience.

    During an Ayahuasca ceremony, which commonly takes place at night, a shaman prepares the sacred brew and gives it to retreat participants who gather in a safe sacred space. The effects of Ayahuasca (also called mother Ayahuasca, or Mama Ayahuasca by many because it is known to give a very motherly life-changing experience) usually take around 30 minutes to begin and can last for around 5-6 hours.

    While the Ayahuasca ceremonies may be the focus of many retreats, most also combine them with ceremonies using other "Master Plants" - plants used in natural shamanic medicine - as well as the healing arts of yoga sessions, meditation, massage, music, sound bath, and the grounding of Mother Earth to aid the overall transformation process in a safe space. They can be held in small or larger groups.

    Almost every Ayahuasca retreat will also include participants undertaking a special master plant dietas before and during the retreat, which includes cutting out most meat, caffeine, alcohol, spices, dairy, citrus, and refined sugars in order to prepare your body for the medicine ceremonies.

    Read my first Ayahuasca experience for a breakdown of what goes down and Ayahuasca retreat reviews, but do know that Ayahuasca has a purging effect and there will be little puke buckets and a roll of toilet paper as part of your experience :P Spoiler - mine was an amazing experience that's had many positive effects on my life and the plant spirits stayed with me long after the experience.


    Recommended Ayahuasca Retreat 2024 Centers

    During an Ayahuasca ceremony, you’ll be putting your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing into the hands of the shaman and the retreat organizers. That’s a lot of responsibility right? This is why it’s best to do your research in advance and stick to the most reputable and recommended Ayahuasca retreats to feel like you truly are in a safe environment to do the medicine work.

    When it comes to choosing an Ayahuasca retreat, there are a few main things to consider and these are the best ways to feel at ease with this new experience. These include the reputation of the retreat center, the experience and qualifications of the shaman, the type of other guests who will be in the retreat and taking part in the ceremonies with you, the other natural medicines used - are you comfortable taking part in these too? - and the other activities and facilities available at the retreat — because there are some luxury ayahuasca retreat options and some more basic ones.

    Below are a few of my recommendations for the best Ayahuasca retreats around the world to get you started on your path to long term unconditional love and spiritual growth.


    Ayahuasca Retreat 2024 in the Americas

    Spazio Buzios Brazil

    brazil ayahuasca retreat

    Let’s be honest - the idea of trying Ayahuasca for the first time can be a little daunting, and that might be the reason why so many of my US readers are landing here in search of an Ayahuasca retreats USA destinations. It’s totally understandable if you’re not comfortable immersing yourself immediately into nightly ceremonies in a hut in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest - it’s a bit of a step up from your average detox retreat.

    If you’re looking for a soft introduction to Ayahuasca and Santo Daime in South America, this Brazil Ayahuasca retreat is one of my top recommendations. Set in a cozy guesthouse in the beautiful coastal resort town of Armação dos Búzios, this six-day Ayahuasca retreat offers a single Ayahuasca ceremony - in a small group under the guidance and open arms of a respected shaman - combined with plenty of other wellness activities including twice daily yoga, meditation, massages and reiki. Plus, the retreat also includes excursions around the beautiful beaches and islands of Búzios so you can enjoy some fun and exploration in between ceremonies. Definitely one of the best Ayahuasca retreats in the natural beauty of South America for those who are new to Shamanic plant medicine. A fantastic way to take care of your mental health and get away from your daily life.

    Style: Yoga and Ayahuasca Retreat
    Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
    Price: From $1,131
    Closest Airport: Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport (133 km)
    Airport pick up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
    Vegan Friendly? Yes


    Vikara Lifestyle Ecuador

    recommended ayahuasca retreat ecuador

    The only sacred plant medicine retreat center right on the beach in Ecuador, Vikara offers luxury Ayahuasca healing retreats that combine the healing properties of the ocean with the transformative powers of natural medicine to offer guests a life-changing spiritual experience. At their nine-day retreat you’ll be able to experience the profound transformative qualities of two ayahuasca ceremonies, along with the healing effects of other natural medicines through the San-Pedro ceremony - which uses Huachuma, another psychoactive hallucinogenic plant - and the Mexican Temazcal - sweat lodge - ceremony for purification and rebirth. The resort also features an outdoor swimming pool and yoga shala overlooking the ocean to take care of your body as well as your mind on this highly recommended Ayahuasca retreat. Another good one to look into is Gaia Sagrada.


    Style: Yoga and Ayahuasca Retreat
    Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
    Price: From $1,332
    Closest Airport: José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (105 km)
    Airport pick up included? No, but can be added for $81 per person.
    Skill level: Beginner and intermediate
    Languages: English, German and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? On request


    Huamanwasi Ashram, Peru

    peru

    Experience Ayahuasca where it first originated by immersing yourself in the magical Amazon jungle and the sacred valley of Peru, surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes rich in a variety of plants and animal species and the guidance of indigenous Peruvian shipibo healers. Where better to connect fully with the natural world? Huamanwasi Ashram is home to one of the best Ayahuasca retreat options Peru has to offer, with 14 days to clarify and purify your mind, body and emotions through daily yoga and meditation, medicinal plant baths and ceremonies evoking the healing powers of the ancient Amazonian Master Plants of ayahuasca, wachuma and yawar panga. Look no further for a safe, accommodating, and transformative Ayahuasca retreat in Peru.


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga
    Duration: 14 days / 13 nights
    Price: From $1,592
    Closest Airport: Cad. FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport (15 km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced
    Languages: French and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? On request


    Kula Collective, Guatemala

    guatemala ayahuasca

    For those looking for an Ayahuasca retreat USA location, South American countries' retreat centers might be your closest option as Ayahuasca is not currently legal in the United States. Awaken your inner truth at this transformative yoga and Ayahuasca retreat in Guatemala. The retreat is run by Kula Collective at The Yoga Forest, a young, dynamic earth-based spirit community. Through daily yoga, meditation, reiki, and other healing arts on the edge of sacred Lake Atitlan, surrounded by towering volcanoes, you’ll learn to live in the present moment and purge the physical and emotional blockages which are holding you back, followed by ceremonies using ayahuasca, washuma, and medicinal mushrooms to cleanse yourself on a spiritual level, aid your journey of self-realization and help manifest your dreams. This full shamanic cleanse is guaranteed to help you get as much as possible out of your ayahuasca experience.


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga
    Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
    Price: From $1,466
    Closest Airport: La Aurora International Airport (80 km)
    Airport pick up included? No, but can be added for $94 per person
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced
    Languages: English, Sanskrit and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? On request



    Ayahuasca retreat recommendations in Costa Rica


    Ayahuasca Retreat Europe 2024

    Ayahuasca retreat in Barcelona, Spain

    Imagine this: you're laying down next to a tree, in front of the lake. It's 7am and you just walked out of the best night of your life. Your breath is fuller, your heart more open as you accept that you're loved. If I had to describe Avalon, it would be this precise feeling. Avalon is a retreat center found near Barcelona (incidentally, do check out my vegan Barcelona guide!), in a place designed for celebration: 6.5 hectares of elegant gardens, tall trees, a breathtaking lake, and a flour mill restored to pamper all one's senses.

    Designed for self-discovery and deep healing journeys, Avalon brings together the ancestral wisdom of sacred medicine and modern therapy. Ayahuasca, Bufo Alvarius, and Kambó are being shared ceremonially by highly experienced shamans, trained according to various indigenous traditions. Expect to feel truly held in a safe space as the ceremonies include 6 to 9 people trained to hold space, including a medical advisor.

    Avalon's strong point is its integration program led by a trained psychologist and a team of 25 people - all there for you through practices such as - yoga, energy therapies, healing massage, hypnotherapy, silent ecstatic dance, and holotropic breathwork, just to name a few. Avalon carefully guides your entire journey. They'll start by answering any questions you might have about plant medicines, and offer pre-guidance and post-integration, not to mention the individual guidance session and four integration workshops during your stay.

    Style: Holistic Ayahuasca Retreat
    Duration: 6 days / 5 nights or 4 days / 3 nights
    Price: From $1,950
    Closest Airport: Barcelona Airport (152 km)
    Airport pick up included? Yes
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced.
    Languages: English and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? Yes


    Malaga, Spain

    ayahuasca retreats in europe

    Although Ayahuasca may have originated in South America, and many people do still choose to travel there to take part in Ayahuasca ceremonies - USA-based travelers in particular due to its closer proximity - the increasing popularity of natural plant medicines has seen ayahuasca retreats pop up all across the world, including many much closer to home here in Europe.

    This six-day Ayahuasca retreat Spain 2024 option includes three Ayahuasca ceremonies led by an experienced Peruvian shaman, as well as daily hatha yoga, a sanango ceremony in which eye drops are used to cleanse eyes and mental processes, and a rapé ceremony using a traditional herbal blend for detoxing both mind and body and getting rid of bad energy. Malaga may sound like an unusual place for a spiritual healing retreat, however, the experience takes place in a charming villa set within 400 hectares of beautiful private countryside, with its own olive grove, vegetable garden, and lake for taking long walks amongst Mother nature, plus a swimming pool, outdoor terrace and badminton court for relaxing in your spare time.

    Looking for more Spain retreats? I have a full guide here.


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga
    Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
    Price: From $1,466
    Closest Airport: Málaga Airport (8 km)
    Airport pick up included? No, but can be added for $100 per person
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced
    Languages: English and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? Yes


    Ayahuasca retreat Portugal

    portugal

    Set in a clifftop villa overlooking the ocean in Portugal's stunning Algarve, this six-day European Ayahuasca retreat includes transformative Ayahuasca ceremonies with a Peruvian shaman, daily yoga and rapé sessions, a kambo ceremony, san pedro ceremony, and sananga ceremony. Then, in your free time, you can make the most of the retreat's idyllic location by exploring the area's many scenic hiking routes, surfing on one of the little hidden beaches or simply staying back and enjoying the outdoor pool and terrace with amazing views along the coast. A unique feature of this ayahuasca retreat is that you can also take part in two special 90-minute educational courses with the resident shaman, who has worked with Master Plants in the Amazon rainforest for over 20 years, to help you fully understand the history, traditions and processes behind the ceremonies you’re taking part in. Perfect for the more inquisitive spiritual traveler like myself. A fabulous Ayahuasca Portugal option.


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga
    Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
    Price: From $1,370.
    Closest Airport: Faro Airport (40 km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced
    Languages: English and Portuguese
    Vegan Friendly? Yes


    Inner-journey, Netherlands

    netherlands ayahuasca retreat

    Combining sacred plant medicines with another of my favorites - a silent retreat - this unique Ayahuasca Europe retreat in the Netherlands is dedicated to helping people overcome trauma, no matter what type or to what degree. It may be a little pricier than other retreats but it’s certainly worth it for the program which is packed with shamanic medicinal ceremonies, healing therapies with specialist trauma therapists and other activities to aid you in your spiritual healing journey. The silence will give you the opportunity to really listen to and process your thoughts away from the noise and distractions of everyday life, while the schedule of ayahuasca, magic mushroom, kambo, sacred cacao, rapé and sananga ceremonies will aid in cleansing negative thoughts, toxins and energies, leading to deep spiritual and mental healing. If you're on the lookout for Ayahuasca Berlin 2024 ceremonies, this is the closest "legal" option. For those looking for an Ayahuasca retreat London option, this is perhaps your best bet.


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga Silent Retreat
    Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
    Price: From $2,995.
    Closest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (13 km)
    Airport pick up included? No, but pick up from Haarlem Train Station is
    Skill level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced
    Languages: Dutch and English
    Vegan Friendly? Yes


    Ayahuasca Ibiza 2024

    ayahuasca ibiza 2024

    Ibiza might not necessarily be the first destination that comes to mind when you’re planning a healing spiritual retreat, but hear me out. Set in a beautiful house secluded in nature with an outdoor pool, garden and large deck for yoga practice, Villa Chaya is the perfect spot for embracing the natural world and connecting with your inner self on this seven-day Ayahuasca retreat. Led by two qualified yoga teachers from Peru and Argentina, you’ll take part in daily yoga classes, shakti dance sessions, and mindfulness and breathwork workshops, all leading the path to the ancient medicine ceremony which will help you boost your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and awareness in a supportive space. Ayahuasca Ibiza 2024? Don't mind if I do...


    Style: Ayahuasca and Yoga
    Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
    Price: From $1,000
    Closest Airport: Ibiza Airport (16 km)
    Airport pick up included? Yes
    Skill level: Intermediate
    Languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish
    Vegan Friendly? On request


    Traveling as a Vegan in Greece

    The Best European Cities For Vegans

    Today I wanted to talk about my top 10 best European cities for vegans.

    Europe is a magnet for travelers from all over the world, and for the vegan travelers, it definitely deserves the title of meat-free mecca continent-wide. The same is also true for travelers and those on vacation who just want to eat healthier, and do their bit for the environment and animal compassion. We don’t all have to tuck into animal products all the time, and you too can embark on a travel odyssey as part of your exploration of the best vegan cities in Europe. Being a vegan in Europe has definitely become easier in recent years!

    vegan europe 2021

    So, which are the best European cities for vegans, the most vegan friendly countries, and the best vegan tours and vegan cuisine? Just about any of the major cities, in fact. Even the French capital city, known for its lack of vegan options a few years ago, is fast becoming a fantastic vegan-friendly city and one of the best places to visit for those on a vegan diet, offering amazing vegan cheese, vegan bakeries, and vegan products of all sorts. Speaking of, here you can find my vegan Paris guide. Many European cities also have a vegan hotel! So, get ready for your Europe rail tours, download happy cow, tuck into this guide to the best vegan holiday destinations Europe has to offer, and soon you could be reveling in the best vegan cities Europe has to offer.


    Here are my European vegan guides:
    * Vegan packing-list for Europe
    * The best Apps for Vegans
    GERMANY:
    * Vegan Berlin Guide
    * Vegan Munich Guide
    * Vegan Frankfurt Guide
    * Vegan Leipzig Guide
    * Vegan Hamburg Guide
    ITALY:
    * Vegan Rome Guide
    * Vegan Bologna Guide
    * Vegan Parma Guide
    ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE:
    * Vegan Manchester Guide
    * Vegan Stockholm Guide
    * Vegan Reykjavik Guide
    * Vegan Bucharest Guide
    * Vegan Barcelona Guide
    * Vegan Paris Guide


    My 2024 Europe Vegan Travel Guide

    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


    1. Berlin

    vegan berlin

    Potentially a biased opinion, but Berlin is one of the best vegan cities in Europe — dare I say, the best city. My home for eight years now (!!), Germany's capital is home to one of the most dynamic and commercially thriving vegan scene in Europe and a perfect stop for those on a vegan lifestyle. It now boasts well over two dozen no-meat cafes and restaurants, as well as vegan bars, vegan-friendly accommodations, an even more impressive collection of vegetarian restaurants, and an array of incredible vegan shops. This European political powerhouse is no slouch in the vegan kitchen, with German chefs' creativity giving the individual city flair to everything from burgers to pizzas, bowls, and a whole lot more. Li.ke, Kopps, and Brammibals are among the top vegan eateries not to be missed. We even have vegan grocery stores! Read my full Berlin best vegan restaurants guide. I've heard many saying that Berlin was the vegan capital of Europe, and I really believe this to be true. I don't think I've ever lived in a city with such a large number of vegans. And the number of vegan restaurants keeps increasing year on year.

    And whether you're a solo traveler in Berlin or with someone and want to meet fellow vegans in the city, you can head along to a monthly meeting of like-minded folk or arrange your trip to the wildly popular Veganes Sommerfest Berlin, said to be the biggest such festival in Europe and happening every August since 2007. All that aside, there's so much to do in Berlin, you'll love it! Pretty sure you can book a vegan food tour organized by local vegans too. One of the best vegan destinations period.


    2. London

    vegan food at camden market

    London is still one of the best European cities for vegans as people are still flocking to the British capital for their fill of some of the most succulent cruelty-free fare around. One of the real charms of visiting England is its famous traditional pubs, and for vegans, the great news is there’s now a growing number catering to vegan tastes, offering vegan and vegetarian options. And in early 2018, the capital got its first-ever 100% vegan pub, the Spread Eagle, with great food catered by sister company Club Mexicana, a vegan taco favorite among foodies spending a few days in London.


    3. Prague

    vegan prague

    Charming Prague, a popular weekend getaway destination for Europeans, is known for its meat-based dishes, but there's a growing number of vegan Prague cafes springing up all around this gothic-style city with a pervasive bohemian air and is fast becoming one of the most vegan friendly cities in Europe. Growth in tourism in recent times means people of all shades and tastes have been descending on the Czech Republic capital in greater numbers, and with a correlating rise in veganism, menus are changing to accommodate them. Among the handful of current Prague vegan cafes and restaurants are the not-to-be-missed Moment Kavarna, Forrest Bistro, and Pastva. One of the best vegan cities Europe options for 2024!


    4. Warsaw

    vegan travel europe - poland

    Also, one of the best cities for vegans traveling around Europe is the Polish capital Warsaw. There are tons of vegan restaurants in Warsaw, catering to all kinds of meat-free tastes. Edamame Vegan Sushi is really amazing, with their Japanese-inspired creations that look amazing. It just goes to show that this is one of the most vegan-friendly cities on the continent. Other places to consider in Warsaw for brilliant vegan fare include Vege Miasto, MomencikVegan Ramen Shop, and Leonardo Verde. Traditional cuisine such as pierogies can easily be found vegan too. Warsaw surprisingly also has many vegan-friendly fine dining options and there's also quite a lot to see a little further afield from the city.


    5. Barcelona

    barcelona vegan

    I can’t mention some of the most vegan friendly cities in Europe without including the Spanish city-by-the-sea of Barcelona. This shimmering metropolis is among the biggest tourist attractions in Europe, and is a place where you can combine high art, fresh fruit, street food, beach life — and great vegan European cuisine. While the Catalonia capital is awash with jamon and queso, here you’ll also find a world of wonderful food that will totally satisfy your vegan palate. These include VeganCat Bar, Tulsi, Eqvilibrivm Cafe, and La Trocadero. Here's my full vegan Barcelona guide. There are also amazing places to stay in Barcelona.


    6. Stockholm

    vegan stockholm

    Stockholm was one of the few places I got to visit last year and the vegan scene, albeit relatively small, is diverse and really exciting. From the incredible vegan fast food at Dirty Vegan to the best vegan Chinese cuisine at Lao Wai, Stockholm's compact vegan scene has a bit for every taste and will keep any vegan content for several days in a row. Scandinavia as a whole seems to be super vegan-friendly from what I've seen so far, and I'm excited to go back and explore more (I've already spent some time in Malmö and it's equally super vegan-friendly)!


    7. Budapest

    vegan europe - budapest

    We have now come to Budapest, which is rapidly becoming a favourite destination among the health, animal-welfare and environmentally-conscious. After immersing yourself in one of the romantic city’s health-boosting outdoor thermal baths, give yourself some flavorsome lovin’ at Napfenyes Restaurant, Vegan Love, Mennyorzag Szive, or Szabad Bisztro. Wherever you end up on your vegan travel Europe around Budapest, you’ll be hungry for more. Budapest is such a beautiful city and you won't have any trouble finding vegan breakfast, or well, anything really! Including some vegan versions of some traditional dishes.


    8. Amsterdam

    vegan amsterdam

    For a super vegan holiday in Europe filled with delicious vegan food, look no further than the crazy and amazing Dutch capital of Amsterdam, one of the most vegan-friendly city out there. In this freewheeling, anything-goes, totally-boho-vibe place you’ll be in absolute vegan heaven. And if you feel like being a bit of a slob and pigging out while on your vegan travel in Amsterdam — and why not? — gorge on burgers, fries, and more at Vegan Junk Food Bar. Hey, it’s not like you’ll be stuffing your face at Burger King. For a calmer vegan-dining experience, opt for TerraZen Center, serving up big-portion Japanese and Caribbean dishes. And it may seem like a mission impossible, but Amsterdam's tiny vegan restaurant Men Impossible is run by just one guy, who serves up Japanese dishes except for sushi.


    9. Rome

    vegan in rome: markets

    Italy has come a damn long way in terms of veganism, and I'm excited to add Rome to the vegan tour of Europe! Despite the fact that only a small part of the contemporary Romans are actually vegan, there are still quite a few places to check out downtown that specialize in vegan food. Some of the best ones include Romeow Cat Bistrot, Solo Crudo, Flower Burger, and iPhame. I have a full guide to vegan Rome that includes a lot of inside tips on what to eat and how to order vegan dishes, including some DIY tips!


    10. Manchester

    vertigo manchester

    Now, whether or not the United Kingdom is part of Europe in your book, you do you, but Manchester fell on my radar because of a tattoo artist I have been visiting, and I was excited to discover one of the vegan friendly European cities and delighted to have to go back quite a few times for a rather extensive back piece tattoo! And here is a fun fact: a man called William Cowherd (the irony...) who was the minister of Greater Manchester in the 18th century was also one of the forerunners of what would become the Vegetarian Society. So there you go: the plant-based diet actually has its origin in Great Britain. No wonder there are so many amazing vegan-friendly restaurants in Manchester! You can read my full vegan guide here.


    What's your favorite vegan friendly cities Europe destinations?


    yoga mudras

    Yoga Mudras To Try Now

    You know me, I’m always looking for ways to deepen and enhance my yoga practice — and yoga mudras are a great, easy way to do that! I’ve actually been working with mudras for several years (you might have been, too… even if you didn’t know it), but recently, I’ve been delving deeper into the wonderful, sometimes strange, world of yoga mudras. And I love them!

    Mudras are a great way to add extra juice and flow of energy to meditation, pranayama, and even asana practices. There are mudras for healing, mudras for focus, mudras for energy, and so much more! So, jump in and learn more about the use of mudras in yoga poses and how you can start building them into your regular yoga practice!

    yoga mudras


    What is a Mudra?

    The short version… The term mudra represents a symbolic gesture often done with the hands (Hasta Mudras), which enhances the energetic effect of a yoga practice during meditation or pranayama.

    The longer version… The Sanskrit word mudra can be translated as a gesture, seal, or mark. Typically, mudras are a symbolic action done with one or both hands, but some mudras use different body parts, such as the tongue(!) or the entire physical body. In some yoga traditions, energetic seals (bandhas) are classified as mudras, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika even lists the asana Viparita Karani as a mudra.

    Hand mudras can be used with mantras, breathing practices, asana, or spiritual ceremonies to evoke or portray a particular energy or state. Some mudras are closely tied to Ayurvedic principles and are said to encourage specific healing properties and give the immune system a boost.

    mudras in yoga

    Mudras aren’t just a yoga thing; they are associated with a wide range of religions with South Asian origins (you could even say that the Christian tradition of bringing your hands together when you pray is also a mudra…). You have probably seen some mudras in Hindu and Buddhist images and iconography. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the different postures and poses of the deities and what they are doing or holding with their hands communicate a state or story to the viewer. For example, it’s common to see Buddhas sitting in lotus pose, Bodhisattvas, and Hindu deities with their right hand raised to shoulder level, palm facing out. This is Abhaya Mudra to indicate fearlessness and signal safety and reassurance.

    What Are Mudras in Yoga?

    Mudras are intended to be used as energetic seals, heightening and sealing in the Prana cultivated in your yoga practice. They’re also purported to help blood circulation in some cases.

    The mudra you are probably most familiar with in yoga is Anjali mudra, or prayer front of your chest position, to mark the end of your yoga practice. This mudra represents giving thanks and honouring yourself as well as your teacher. It can also embody bringing together all the different energies and elements in yourself (the left and right/Ida and Pingala/yin and yang).

    Traditionally, mudras have been used in many different ways in the different lineages of yoga. However, most often nowadays, a specific mudra is incorporated into a meditation or pranayama practice (or sometimes with asana) to symbolically (or literally, depending on your beliefs) evoke a particular quality.

    How Many Mudras Are There?

    Well, like many things in yoga, it depends on who you ask…

    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika lists 10; other classical texts say three and some people will say thousands… An important resource for mudras is the Nātyaśāstra scripture, a classical treaty on performance art and dance from circa 200 BCE-200 CE, which lists 24 mudras with one hand and 13 with two hands. If you have ever watched a Bollywood film, you will see the use of mudras in dance is still pretty prevalent!

    How To Use Mudras

    The best way to work with mudras IMO, is to learn more about what different mudras represent, particularly on an energetic level, and start working with that one in your practice. For example, if you need a little more vitality, you could work with Surya mudra or more courage then explore Kali mudra.

    Primarily drawing from Ayurveda, some mudras are touted as having specific health benefits. There are mudras for digestion, mudras for headaches, mudras for weight loss… tbh, in these instances, I would think of them as symbolic or perhaps a little psychological nudge to working with your overall health goal. Basically, if you want more lustrous locks then you probably need to do more than just use a mudra for hair growth! And please, don’t switch out your insulin for a mudra for diabetes — I’m no doctor (Ayurvedic or Western), but I can assure you it won’t have the same effect.

    Instead, the health ones I prefer to draw on the Ancient Indian conceptions of the body working with different elements, energetic pathways, chakras, and winds.

    9 Best Yoga Mudras

    1. Gyan Mudra

    Other names: Chin Mudra
    Gyan Mudra

    Even if you don’t know this mudra by name, you will definitely recognize it as the typical meditation mudra (think Budha sat cross-legged, backs of his hands on his knees, tip of your thumb and tip of your index finger touching). It is the mudra of wisdom and knowledge and is intended to help maintain inner stability and balance.

    As mudras in yoga practices are said to form energetic seals, this mudra can be considered to support and balance the flow of Prana throughout your practice. As sustained states of meditation are the goal of yoga, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, this mudra helps to cultivate the inner knowledge and energetic stability required for deeper states of meditation.

    From a Hindu perspective, Gyan mudra is said to embody the union of Atman (the self) with Brahman (the universe), with the thumb symbolizing Brahman and the index finger Atman. Gyan also means "consciousness” in Sanskrit, so the index finger represents individual consciousness, while the tips of your thumb represent the universal consciousness.

    How to do Gyan Mudra:

    On both hands, touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger to create a circle. The remaining fingers are outstretched and the palms of the hands face upwards. Rest the backs of your hands on your knees in your favorite seated meditation posture. Another mudra I really enjoy using in seated mediation is Dhyana Mudra.

    You can work with this mudra in asana, too, for example, with the top hand in Trikonasana or the extended arm in Natarajasana.


    2. Vayu Mudra

    Vayu Mudra

    Vayu translates as wind, or the air element, and in the context of the energetics of the body, refers to how energy flows all around the body, influencing how the systems of the body function. The Vayus, as energetic winds, represent a holistic way of understanding how emotions, matter, and physiological processes move through the body, and, therefore this mudra is considered to be very healing.

    An uninhibited and balanced flow of the different Vayus are important for optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health, so working with this mudra helps support this.

    How to do Vayu Mudra:

    Find a comfortable meditation posture, and place your hands, palms facing upwards, on your knees. Fold your index finger into the palm of your hands and gently push your thumb down onto your index finger, just beneath the middle knuckle. Keep your other fingers extended.


    3. Prana Mudra

    Other names: Pran Mudra
    Prana Mudra

    Prana is the vital, universal energy that flows throughout the energetic networks (nadis), of the entire body. It is actually one of the five Vayus and certainly the most well-known! A smooth flow of Prana indicates balance in body, mind, and spirit—and part of a yoga practice is building greater physical and mental health to keep our Prana topped up, flowing freely, and eliminating potential blockages. It is also closely related to the breath, as the Sanskrit translation of Prana means both vital energy/breath of life and simply breath.

    So, Prana mudra is all about enhancing, balancing, and working with our Prana and activating your dormant energy! In terms of chakras, this is a great mudra to do when working with the root chakra, the base of prana stores.

    How to do Prana Mudra:

    Bring the tips of the thumb, tip of the ring finger, and tip of your little finger together on both hands. Keep your remaining two fingers gently pressed together and extended.


    4. Surya Mudra

    Other names: Agni Mudra, Prithvi Mudra
    Surya mudra

    Surya means sun in Sanskrit (like Surya Namaskar as in Sun Salutations), and the Surya Mudra represents the energy we receive from the sunlight. Much as plants require sunlight for photosynthesis, in some yoga traditions, the sun is believed to be a vitalizing force from which we can draw energy (tradtionally, Surya Namaskar were practiced facing the rising sun to soak up this supercharged sun power).

    The ring finger plays an important role in this mudra, because astrologically that finger is associated with the sun. It is also sometimes referred to as Agni mudra. Agni means fire and it is the element associated with ring finger.

    How to do Surya mudra:

    On both hands, bend the ring finger into the palm so the tip of the finger reaches towards the base of the thumb, then place your thumb on top of the ring finger. Not only does this help secure the bent ring finger, but it is also said to eliminate the earth element associated with the ring finger and strengthen the fire element associated with the sun.


    5. Apana Mudra

    Other names: Apan mudra
    Apana Mudra

    Apana is another one of the five Vayus, and the one spoken about most after Prana. It is the downward, eliminatory energy, and it is integral for a healthy digestive system and being able to have a, ahem, good poop.

    If you are experiencing any digestive issues, why not try experimenting with Apana mudra in your asana or meditation practice and see if it makes a difference! It’s also the mudra of the heart — with claimed benefits both for the emotions a well as the physical heart (eg. helps with chest pain).

    How to do Apana mudra:

    On each hand, place the tip of the middle finger, the tip of the ring finger, and the tips of the thumbs together, and apply gentle pressure between the tips of the fingers. Keep your two other fingers extended straight.

    If you are using this mudra in meditation, rest your hands on your lap. But if you are incorporating it into asana, explore letting the hands reach to the sky, such as in Viribidrana I.


    6. Kali Mudra

    Kali mudra

    Someone once said to me if you invoke Kali, you better make sure you are ready for her lesson. So, consider yourself warned. In Hinduism, Kali is a goddess associated with destruction—specifically, she destroys evil to defend the innocent and oppressed. She also represents female empowerment and the hidden power that resides within us. Basically, she’s the epitome of courage, fearlessness, and speaking truth to power… but she’s not afraid to teach a hard lesson. If there is something internally you need to overcome (your own inner demon, evil, or inner saboteur, to quote Ru Paul), she will force you to confront it.

    Visualize, invoke, or call up on the spirit of Kali in your healing journey when you need the courage to overcome challenges!

    How to do Kali mudra:

    The nice thing about this mudra is that it works well in combination with strong asana, such as Viribidrasana I and III or Goddess squat. Although you can also practice it seated in meditation.

    Clasp your hands together, ideally with the right finger at the bottom and, therefore the left hand thumb on top. Extend your index fingers, creating a strong, powerful pointer. You can either point the fingers upwards overhead or toward the ground if you require more grounding.


    7. Shambhavi Mudra

    This mudra isn't performed with the hands, but with the eyes and works with Ajna, the third eye. This mudra is said to foster benevolence because it involves focusing your spiritual consciousness towards the divine. It has an important yoga lineage as it’s one of the 10 mudras listed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It’s often used as part of a more extensive Kriya yoga sequence, popularized by the spiritual guru Sadhguru. The Shambhavi mudra can be incorporated into your meditation or pranayama practice.

    If you find it helpful, you might want to explore the full Kriya practice, which revolves around meditation and breath practices. A scientific study conducted on people practicing the full kriya regularly found it helped with anxiety and depression and improved overall wellbeing.

    How to to Shambhavi Mudra:

    Prepare for your pranayama or meditation practice. Close your eyes, and keeping them closed, direct your gaze to Ajna, the third eye chakra located in the space between your eyebrows. Allow this action to be gentle; ensure you aren’t forcing the eyes and building up pressure in this area.


    8. Khechari Mudra

    Other names: Nabho Mudra

    This Mana mudra (mana mudras are mudras that involve the head) is used to attain deep spiritual, life-sustaining states. It is said to support the liberation of the body by trapping the energy of Bindu (an energetic center in the head). As a mudra to use in meditation, it can help with focus and concentration.

    Khechari mudra also plays an important role in Hatha yoga lineages, and is mentioned in many core Hatha yoga texts, including the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Like many traditional Hatha Yoga practices, it involves extreme physical manipulation to attain a spiritual state. The full expression of this mudra involves the elongation of the tongue by stretching it and progressively severing the membrane beneath the tongue so it has the mobility to travel back and up behind the nasal cavity. The tongue can then make contact with the Bindu and taste the sweet life-sustaining nectar, Amrita, that drips down from this area. A more contemporary interpretation of this is that the Amrita is discharged from the pituitary gland, and the tongue makes contact with the pituitary gland… but seeing as this would mean being able to get your tongue through bone up into your brain, well, I don’t see that happening any time soon!!

    From a Tantric perspective, this mudra supports Kundalini energy rising up the central energy meridian to the head.

    How to do Nabho Mudra:

    Safe to say, I wouldn’t recommend cutting the membrane beneath your tongue or trying to wiggle it up into your nasal cavity. Instead, you can try Nabho mudra, the initial stage of Khechari mudra.

    Set up your meditation posture. Softly bend your tongue backwards so the underside of your tongue rests against the palate. As you rest your tongue here, focus your awareness at your third eye.

    The more frequently you practice this mudra, the easier it becomes. To begin with, you may only feel comfortable taking a few breaths like this, but in time you will be able to rest the tongue for longer periods.


    9. Ashwini Mudra

    Ashwini mudra translates to horse gesture or horse seal. It involves contracting and releasing the anal sphincter to draw Prana (life force) up Shumuna Nadi. This mudra helps create energetic awareness of the lower chakras and promotes better digestion, according to Ayurveda. The muscles of the anal sphincter also form part of the pelvic floor, so improving your control of this area can also help support better core control, Mulha Bandha awareness, and improved pelvic floor health.

    How to do Ashwini Mudra:

    Start in a comfortable seat, either cross-legged or kneeling. Drop your awareness into the bowl of your pelvis and consciously relax all the muscles of your pelvic floor and core, from your navel to your buttocks and thighs. Rest your awareness at your anus, and keep all other muscles relaxed, contracting your sphincter on an exhale. Hold for a few breaths and release the contraction fully. Repeat for a minimum of five rounds.


    spiritual retreat

    Best Spiritual Retreats in the World

    Apart from, well, retreating, it can be hard to know what you want when picking a relaxing getaway or retreat... especially when you require something more in depth than typical yoga retreats, but straight-up meditation retreats feels too intense. My recommendation? A spiritual retreat!

    A spiritual retreat, meaning a retreat where you are nurtured not only in mind and body but on a deep soul level, is a great way to get a deep holistic reset and work on personal growth as well as spiritual growth. They are more well-rounded and emotionally tailored than a yoga retreat but not quite as mind altering and intense as an ayahuasca ceremony! Spiritual retreats can be spaces to unpack some deep shit, or they can be gentler, more comforting experiences that help you to feel restored.

    spiritual retreat

    I've put together a curated selection of the best spiritual retreats in the world right now — from iconic locations for spiritual retreats like Sedona, India, and Bali to more niche options like small group retreats on the UK's rural Norfolk Coast and a women’s only retreat in the Texan woodlands! Whether you want luxe or on a shoe string, deep spiritual work or more of a chilled vibe, these are the top spiritual retreats right now!


    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


    The Best Spiritual Retreats in the World


    Spiritual Retreats in Bali

    3 Day Watkuru Yoga and Meditation Retreat in a Balinese Village

    Spiritual Retreats in Bali
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    There's nowhere on earth quite like Bali: the culture, the people, the traditions, the crafts, the magical vibrational energy… although it's fair to say that intense tourism has become an issue in the last few years. This meditation and healing retreat in a traditional Balinese village allows you to harmoniously embrace and respect the culture and experience the authentic Bali while ensuring your visit also brings some good to this incredible island!

    You will have daily classes in the traditional Balinese style of yoga, Watkuru yoga, and meditation. You also have the possibility to partake in traditional activities and practices in the Sesandan Megati village where the retreat is based. These range from learning how to make Canang sari, the amazing Balinese Hindu floral offerings you see everywhere on the island, to making your own coconut oil and cooking classes. One massage is included, and there is even the opportunity to have your Eat, Pray, Love moment and visit a Balinese shaman for a blessing ritual to give you the whole Bali spiritual healing retreat experience!

    All meals are provided and accommodation is a mix of homestays and guesthouses to further steep you in the village community.

    Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
    Price: from €132
    Closest Airport: DPS Ngurah Rai International Airport (34 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be added for extra cost of €32 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    4 Day Personalized Wellness Retreat with Raw Food, Meditation, and Yoga in Ubud, Bali

    spiritual retreat in bali
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    If you are after a luxury spiritual retreat in Bali then look no further! These curated wellness retreats will ensure that you get to experience the best of Ubud's yoga, cafe culture, and activities along your spiritual journey. Every day features personalized recommendations based on the information you supply about your health, wellness, and spiritual goals and interests. The program is also flexible, so if something doesn't appeal to you or you would prefer an afternoon chilling by the pool or in your upmarket accommodation, then no problem!

    I have never encountered a retreat like this, but with so many incredible yoga classes, teachers, and places to eat in Ubud this is a perfect way to have your (raw, vegan) cake and eat it!

    Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
    Price: from €930
    Closest Airport: DPS Ngurah Rai International Airport (34 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be added for extra cost of €27 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats in Bali


    Spiritual Retreats in India

    7 Day Ayurveda Wellness Retreat in Kerala

    Spiritual Retreats in India
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    Ayurvedic cleanses are an amazing way to take complete holistic care of yourself and beautiful, luscious Kerala is world renowned for its Ayurveda. On this retreat you will be assessed by an Ayurvedic doctor, who will determine your Ayurvedic type (dosha) and diagnose your imbalances. Then a personalized program of therapies, yoga, and meals will be developed to restore your complete health—mentally, physically, and spiritually.

    Your daily program will start with yoga and meditation, include at least one massage therapy treatment with essential oils (possibly more if recommended), and you will be well nourished with three satvic, balanced meals. If you are looking for an encompassing, holistic, and more spiritually aligned way to take care of yourself, then I highly recommend getting started with this spiritual retreat in India!

    Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
    Price: from €790
    Closest Airport: Cochin International Airport (17 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Ayurveda is typically vegetarian, get in touch with organizers to see if a vegan option is possible

    Find more spiritual retreats in India


    Spiritual Retreats in California

    3 Day Spiritual Retreat in Joshua Tree

    Spiritual Retreats in California
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    Make your way to California's spiritual mecca of Joshua Tree and spend three days under the guidance of Julia Quena Kavi, a certified sound therapist and hypnotherapist who has studied healing practices, cleansing rituals, and plant medicine across Central and South America.

    The retreat includes multiple rituals and practices, from cacao ceremonies to ecstatic dance, as well as yoga, sound baths, hypnosis workshops, and Osho-style dynamic meditations. You will also explore the magical desert surroundings and get to know about the energy vortices that give Joshua Tree its unique spiritual energy. Each day will end with an integration circle and stargazing. You can either sleep under the stars in your own tent, book a spot in the yurt, or in the retreat center if you prefer!

    Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
    Price: from €524
    Closest Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (182 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    5 Day Relaxing Yoga Retreat in Los Angeles

    california spiritual retreat
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    Rarely do you hear LA and spiritual retreat in the same breath, but Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is not only a well-respected and established retreat location but the only dedicated spiritual retreat center in LA!

    Spend five days immersed in ashram life with twice daily satsang (meditation, chanting, a talk, or reading), two hours of yoga, karma yoga service to give back to your ashram community, and a workshop on yoga philosophy. If you are looking for an authentic and affordable spiritual retreat in California, then this is a must!

    Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
    Price: From €548
    Closest Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (12 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats in California


    Spiritual Retreats in Arizona

    4 Day Unwind and Rewild Women's Wellness Retreat in Sedona

    Spiritual Retreats in Arizona
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    Find healing by returning to nature and embracing your authentic feminine self with this spiritual retreat in Sedona, the spiritual heartland of the US. Each day of the retreat is focused around different elements which you will explore not just through yoga and the chakras, but immersive experiences such as a fire ceremony, sound bath, and hikes to some of Sedona's most majestical natural wonders.

    There's plenty of time to bond with the fellow women on your retreat, and there is also a lovely garden and a hot tub to kick back and relax in. Extra activities such as massages or even a psychic reading can be arranged!

    Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
    Price: from €1,322
    Closest Airport: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (152 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, available for €55 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats in Arizona


    Spiritual Retreats in Florida

    4 Day Couples Retreat in Key West

    Spiritual Retreats in Florida
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    This couples retreat has a flexible program and roster of activities so you and your beloved can choose what will help you bond deeper, heal, or just have a good time together! Whether it's partner yoga and tantric exercises, or a tarot reading and a vinyasa class are more your style, you're guaranteed to find what you both need. You will also partake in a private three-hour workshop where you can choose the emphasis from releasing trauma or overcoming anxiety to manifesting your destiny. When you are tired of all that self-work, enjoy some of Key West's iconic offerings, from dolphin watching and snorkeling to a relaxing sunset cruise. Focusing on your partner and not just yourself makes this a unique spiritual retreat. And Florida is the ideal location for it, with amazing weather and a great mix of things to do!

    Your accommodation is a comfortable bed and breakfast with a swimming pool, and is located within walking distance of the yoga and healing sanctuary where your classes and workshops take place, providing a perfectly balanced couple luxury getaway.

    Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
    Price: from €4,251 (couple price)
    Closest Airport: Key West International Airport (3 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats in Florida


    Spiritual Retreats in Texas

    3 Day Self Love and Acceptance Retreat for Women

    Spiritual Retreats in Texas
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    Nurture yourself on this gentle, caring women's retreat in the peaceful Texas woodland. Spending time in community with women can be incredibly healing, and that is the emphasis of this spiritual retreat. It's all about the softer side of healing and with a wine reception, nourishing food, yoga, meditation, and workshops that focus on self-love, gratitude, and acceptance—and, of course, great company! This spiritual retreat in Texas is the perfect short but sweet self-care break.

    Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
    Price: from €708
    Closest Airport: Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (43 km), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (148 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Get in touch to confirm with organizers

    Find more spiritual retreats in Texas


    Spiritual Retreats in the UK

    3 Day Finding Space Yoga Retreat on the Norfolk Coast

    Spiritual Retreats in the UK
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    Recalibrate and make yourself at home on this intimate breath and yoga retreat! Your capable guide is breath coach and yoga teacher Bridget Rooth, who will not only teach you methods to connect to your breath and open up the body as well as offering spiritual guidance, but you will stay with Bridget in her Norfolk cottage. This intimate retreat only accommodates four people maximum (two double rooms are available) and promises to give you a truly attentive and personalized experience.

    Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
    Price: from €622
    Closest Airport: London Stanstead Airport (115 km),
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats UK options


    Spiritual Retreats in Costa Rica

    6 Day Revitalize and Rejuvenate Yoga Retreat near Tamarindo

    Spiritual Retreats in Costa Rica
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    Get the full tropical island healing retreat experience at this amazing eco-lodge set in lush surroundings. Twice daily yoga and meditation, in addition to chakra balancing workshops (you'll get a deeper understanding of chakras if it's yours first time), will take care of your physical and spiritual self. This retreat promises a great community, with optional activities such as hikes, dance, and trips to the beach. If you need more solitude, relax on your porch with a book or lounge by the eco-lodge's swimming pool. Nourishment is a central part of this retreat, not only will you get three delicious meals a day, but nutrition and diet advice for more vitality is also available!

    Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
    Price: from €1,030
    Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (43 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more spiritual retreats in Costa Rica


    Sometime soon, I hope to put out a guide for spiritual retreats near me in mainland Europe! But in the meantime, why not chase some winter sun by traveling to one of the spiritual retreats on my guide or how about a yoga retreat in Thailand or India? Or if you're ready to go all out, check out my recommendations for silent retreats.


    veganuary

    My Veganuary Recipe to Succeed on Your Veggie Month

    I meant to write this Veganuary tips article long ago, but here I am, a few days after the new year and the beginning of Veganuary. Oops. If you’re taking the 30-day vegan challenge and going vegan this month of January for the now-famous Veganuary, congrats on this new beginning. You will never regret going plant-based or eating less meat. Here's my easy Veganuary recipe to help you have a delicious and fulfilling month.

    veganuary recipe

    If you’re reading this, I guess you’re already familiar with what Veganuary is. I’m also assuming you’re here for some Veganuary tips or an easy Veganuary recipe on how to make your vegan month a success or at least make it more bearable. Nervous, already feeling like giving up? Don't be. Research shows that it takes 21 days to pick up a new habit (healthy or otherwise...) so give it a try, it may end up changing your life, such as it did for me when my vegan journey began 13 years ago. There are many apps for vegans you can already download — a great way to make your month easier, and why not read these vegan quotes to get your mojo working.

    Below are my top tips in how to do Veganuary I’ve gathered over the years. Please get in touch on Instagram where I am most active, and let me know how you get on and ask as many questions as you want. There’s little in life I feel more strongly about other than veganism. So congrats on reading this in the first place and let’s get cracking with my Veganuary recipe already!

    More on the topic of veganism on the blog:
    * The Essential Vegan Grocery Stores List
    * My Vegan Sneakers Collection
    * The best Vegan Documentaries you Should Watch now
    * Vegan Travel Europe: the Ultimate Guide
    * Tips to Ease Into a Zero Waste Lifestyle
    * The Best Apps for Vegans
    * The Guide to Vegan Alcohol
    * BCAA for Vegans: Where to Find Them
    * My Favourite Vegan Health Supplements
    * My Favourite Vegan Winter Boots
    * All you Need to Know About Collagen for Vegans


    My Veganuary Recipe to Ease Into Veganism in 2024!


    Find a Veganuary Buddy

    Doing anything alone is always harder, so why not partner up with someone? That's one of the best Veganuary tips to begin with. This may be difficult if you live with a partner or flatmate who isn’t doing the 30-day vegan challenge, so perhaps there’s an incentive for them to humor you in this? It’s only a month long, what could you do in return for them the next month? Why, sexual favors, of course.

    I originally went vegetarian and then vegan with my then-partner and, admittedly, had it not been for him, I don’t think I would have been able to do this on my own, leave alone stick to it.

    So find yourself a pal or an accountability buddy, and if you can’t, reach out to me!


    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


    Find your one Meaningful Reason to do the Switch to plant-based foods

    There are dozens of reasons why going vegan is the best thing you could ever do for yourself and the planet, but finding the one thing that strikes a chord with you the most is essential. Document yourself and find what you’re most passionate about.

    Fitness is what did it for me.

    As I said, I went vegetarian before going vegan (and here’s a very old article about it) and the appeal of sports performance was the biggest lure. After several years of smoking, eating crap, and being a couch potato, I had a moment of panic before entering my 30s and decided that I did not want to age into a gross ol' flapjack. I first started working out at the gym, then I started running, and quickly signed up for my first half-marathon. Inspired by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier and his book The Thrive Diet, as well as Matt Frazier, known as No Meat Athlete, I found something I was passionate about that would make these new habits stick. And they did!

    Weight loss can be a great incentive to switch to a vegan diet because vegan food tends to have fewer calories than omni, so you can likely eat as much as you want and would still lose weight. And it goes without saying that there are many health benefits associated with switching to a plant-based lifestyle — going vegan can have such a positive effect not only towards a more sustainable future and slowing down climate change, but is also linked with a decrease in chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.


    Subscribe to Veganuary

    Veganuary isn’t just a word, it’s a full-blown non-profit organization founded by Matthew Glover that’s there to promote veganism and support people in their transition by offering the OG Veganuary recipe, as well as tips and advice. Lazy? Take the month-long challenge pledge and sign up to their newsletter to receive daily vegan and new plant-based recipes, tips and more right to your mailbox. The veganuary website is full of precious information to make your month a success. Also worth checking out is the website of Vegan Society.

    Reading this and it’s not January? No problem! You can start Veganuary — and sign up to take the pledge — at any time of year.


    Document Yourself

    Knowledge is power, and I would have never been able to transition to a vegan lifestyle had it not been for documentaries. I so happened to be in university studying design while I transitioned, so I used veganism as my research topic for a lot of my school projects. Here’s a fun website I did as part of a jquery class, haha.

    Below is a list of my favorite documentaries:

    Here a list of more vegan documentaries to watch!


    Clean up Your Kitchen

    Increase your chances of a successful Veganuary challenge by making a few adjustments to your kitchen pantry planning a vegan grocery shopping list full of vegan alternatives. First, it's a good idea to get rid of all animal products - this includes gravy, stock, butter, and all non-vegan baking supply. But please don’t throw them away! Give them to someone. Someone you don’t like, preferably. Lol.

    Second, get a few vegan food pantry staples and be open to new flavors. This includes nutritional yeast to make everything taste cheesy, black or kidney beans and tempeh for a great vegan meat replacement and to make sure you get enough protein (plus there are so many great meat substitutes these days!), chia or flax for egg replacement, fresh veggies, as well as fresh herbs and indian spice to make everything tasty, an excellent peanut butter (or any nut butters really), a good quality olive oil for healthy fats, maple syrup to replace honey, a good butter replacement (Earth Balance was my favorite in North America and now I swear by Naturli in Europe) and milk replacement (Oatly Barista Edition is my fave of all plant milks of all time but I also like soy milk for the added protein). Also, something salty for those cheese cravings — olives and roasted smoked almonds do it for me. Or vegan cheese, they're not half bad these days. iHerb is the right place to shop for vegan products!

    Super processed vegan options and plant-based alternatives such as sausages, vegan burger patties of veggie ground meat are a good way to ease into transition periods and for new vegans, but don’t rely on these in the long run unless it’s for an occasional treat. They're not super healthy and quite processed, but they can be tasty plant-based options to enjoy in moderation. Instead, aim for nutritious, whole foods and whole grains. If you live in Europe, the fake dairy products are heaven (well perhaps they’ve evolved since I lived in Canada and the vegan yogurt tasted like wallpaper glue). Just give new things a try and make sure you read the ingredients list. You may be surprised — pleasantly or otherwise. Just be curious to try new foods. Some people find it helpful to have full-blown Veganuary plant-based eating meal plans, but I personally find this a little restrictive. You do you, my bro babe. And whatever you do, stay hydrated! A vegan diet is definitely not the only answer to good health. I personally swear by my fridge with water dispenser for icy cold water.


    Find Some Easy, Delicious, and Healthy Vegan Recipes

    Finding vegan meal ideas that are both easy to make and delicious is key. I’m a very lazy cook and often my vegan menu consists of steamed veggies, crispy tofu or tempeh in some sort of dressing, or lentil dahl, but this works well for me. Find a few good websites with easy veganuary recipes and be ready to have your mind blown at the amazing array of tastes you can get from plant-based food. With a little imagination, pretty much any of your favorite meals can be made into a vegan version. Vegan pizza for example? Easy!

    Below are some of the best vegan recipes that I keep making over and over again. You can also follow my vegan plant-based meals recipes Pinterest board. Vegan cookbooks in general are also great!

    A vitamin B 12 supplement should also be on your radar if you're planning to be on a plant-based diet. If it's Winter months, also consider a vitamin D supplement, but that goes for everyone, not only vegans.


    Shit Happens and it's OK

    Last but definitely not least on this list of tips for Veganuary. Don’t panic, shit will happen. It always does, even to me, still after over a decade. When you go out, when you travel as a vegan, when you're invited over to someone's house. We’re all human, and we’re trying our best and that's the most important thing. Having a slip doesn’t mean we failed, that’s something important to remember. Make sure you download the Happy Cow app for when you go out, and always offer to bring something when you get invited over for dinner.

    Repeat after me: shit happens. Easy does it. You got this. The best way to transition into a new habit is to stay positive!

     eating sticky rice in ao nang beach, krabi thailand


    Thailand

    10 years

    December 31st, 2013. After months of brainstorming, quitting jobs, tying loose ends, slimming down material possessions, and locking up a few things that would end up decomposing in an overheated locker in St-Henri before being painfully thrown away with the rest of our relationship memories three years later, we sat and ate leftover broccoli and English muffins in a surreal state.

    January 1st, 2014. We locked the door of our beautiful 1440 Tower Street loft apartment in Montreal one last time and dropped the key in the mailbox on the way out for the new tenants to pick up. It unceremoniously thunked to the bottom. We each had a backpack, a train ticket to New York, a flight to London, and another one to Bangkok. The long-awaited trip of a lifetime I knew would be transformative was finally here. I was 32.

    I naively chronicled our two-year-long Southeast Asia trip from day one, first on a blog without a name living adjacent to my graphic design portfolio. I don’t think I had much of an agenda (a lot of it has also been taken down in the wake of a post-breakup depression) other than maybe making others jealous of this out-of-the-norm path we had taken when everyone else was either making babies, buying houses, or otherwise feeling the discontent of another harsh Montreal Winter.

    We had escaped.
    We were in love.
    We were free.

    Thailand

    Time and seasons stopped having any meaning for what would be two years. We had no plan of returning home, no place we exactly called home anyway (Montreal had been an artificial home for the six years that I was finishing my studies). There was nowhere else we would rather be. I experienced for the first time in my life what it was like to truly live a stress-free life and be fully immersed in the present. Because the present was the best time of our lives. For two full years.

    Until that trip to India. Until everything started to fall apart.


    Related: Saying Goodbye to Southeast Asia

    In the years that followed the breakup, after I retracted to a youth hostel in Malaysia for four months to figure out how to continue life on my own to finally decide this would be in the form of buying a used bicycle in Kuala Lumpur and cycle to Germany to start anew, I often regretted dropping that damn key in the mailbox and taking that trip to begin with. I blamed travel for expediting a thought process that led my partner to decide he needed to be alone without really knowing what that meant for either of us after ten years of what I saw as The Forever One. I blamed myself for willingly taking him into a space of perspective where he could choose the unknown over the comfy everyday life we had built.


    Berlin.

    Those two years in Southeast Asia were for long the latest reality I had as an anchor, my point of reference, so to speak. The last time I had lived. As the years clocked by in Berlin, I drifted closer to my 40s, depressed, single, childless, an immigrant in a place where I didn’t really want to be. The breakup, and the depression that ensued, became my narrative. The second half of my 30s was a blur of cycling through various depressive holes, climbing back out of them, falling back down, etc. I saw Berlin as a parallel universe I’d fallen into and never wanted to know existed. Every new year that passed never took me any further away from 2014-2015. I just became older.

    I returned to Asia for three months in 2018 to do an Ashtanga retreat and somehow try to rewrite history and put a lid on the past. It helped a bit. I was able to cry, feel my pain, and let it happen. It served the purpose of making it plenty clear that the only way out is undeniably through.


    Trying to live independently for the first time in my life, having a lease to my name, and building a career were all done through very poor mental health, on autopilot, and out of survival. A year had turned into eight, I was a 40-something who had worked hard to get herself out of a hole through therapy, yoga, time, and psychedelics. Time slowly started taking back its normal shape.

    To this day, still, 2014 sometimes feels like yesterday. I am the same yet so different. I found a way to balance my baggage and understand that everyone is more or less dragging the same shit along, in some shape or form.

    Aging is a gift not everyone is given. Statistically, the more you live, the more you expose yourself to pain. To think that yours is special or more vivid than that of others is ego talk. The real task at hand is to make space for pain yet eventually move on, and accept that all of that is part of the gift. It’s all so arbitrary and that is kind of amazing. One day in 2005 I met a British boy in a youth hostel in California. We built a life, left it behind in Canada, and then he dropped me out of the rest, and left me a broken empty shell.

    Almost 20 years on, I am 42, childless, single, and immensely grateful for having made it this far. And still not very fluent in German. We’re dealt the cards we’re dealt and it’s how we bounce back from not playing them best that matters. I left Canada 10 years ago and it still feels like yesterday, with the added juiciness of being thankful for the mistakes I made and having both experience and plenty of time ahead to play the next ones A-OK.


    Finding the best yoga retreat 2024 edition

    Since I get asked this question by yoga enthusiasts regularly, here comes my yoga retreat 2024 roundup. This is a collection of the best yoga retreats 2024 options, as well as wellness retreats that I have either been visiting or have been dreaming of visiting this coming year. You'll find all sorts of spiritual retreats for all levels and budgets — from luxury yoga retreats abroad to more affordable yoga retreats near me and you. The practice of yoga can be done anywhere in the world, just bring your yoga mat — the most important part!

    And since I'm always up to trying out new things when I practice yoga and adding to the list, what do you think are the best yoga retreat 2024 options? I'm always on the lookout for the perfect retreats to add to this guide.

    All-inclusive yoga retreats are a hot holiday trend right now and for good reason. What better way to slice right through a slump and get away from daily routine than to reconnect with nature and with yourself on a deeper level through daily yoga practice at one of the best yoga vacations in a beautiful place, while meditating, dipping in hot springs (or a hot tub) to heal your soul and sore muscles on your free time, and eating delicious healthy food? None in my book, even if just for a long weekend. Come home a better version of yourself, feel fit and have done some personal growth.

    So without further ado, here are my recommendations for what I think the best yoga getaways in the world are! I've tried to include all styles of yoga and the best retreats for everyone, especially solo travelers. Ready to find the perfect place to dive into yoga? Let's find your very own yoga retreat for 2024...

    Ps. Don't forget your travel insurance! That's also part of self care.

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.


    Dreaming of more yoga trips? Here are some destination-specific guides for your perfect yoga and meditation retreat:
    * Retreats in India
    * Retreats in Europe
    * Retreats in Costa Rica
    * Retreats in Bali
    * Retreats in Greece
    * Retreats in Thailand
    * Various retreats in United States
    * Best yoga teacher training destinations


    Best yoga retreats 2024: My top picks


    EUROPE & NORTH AFRICA


    Nefeli Nine Retreats, Attica, Greece

    Greece is as always high up on my list of 2024 yoga vacations! Dreamy turquoise water, cozy sand-washed stone buildings, mild climate, a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables - those are pretty much the only prerequisites for a great yoga retreat in Greece, am I right? I hear Athens is also a top vegan location, so I'm really dying to go. Nefeli Nine invites you to join them for a week-long, no-nonsense, luxury yoga retreat. The luxury yoga retreats 2024 are fitness-oriented and include daily yoga sessions, daily outdoor activities, and daily classes such as HIIT, boxing, functional training and kettlebells in their fitness center. To top this up, fresh local food is served and massages are available.


    Duration: 3 to 7 days
    Price: from $660
    Closest Airport: Athens (26 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request


    Yoga with Perumal, Imlil, Marrakech, Morocco

    This retreat is the country's first-ever mountain yoga vacation location. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, in an extraordinary setting, with welcoming and charming staff, plenty of free time, delicious food, as well as highly skilled yoga teachers. The optional group rental venue has an outdoor swimming pool and an amazing rooftop view of North Africa where you can attend meditation workshops or full meditation retreats. Come here to indulge in mindful movement with daily yoga classes, restorative yoga,or therapeutic yoga and get a sense of deep connection with the surroundings.

    A yoga retreat in Morocco is high on my list for 2024 and Perumal's yoga retreats is my top pick! With small groups and direct flights between Berlin and Marrakech, I think those could count as yoga retreats near me, whatcha think? ;) I'm dreaming of immersing myself in the local culture and local community...


    Duration: 4 to 7 days (I suggest the week-long retreats)
    Price: from $840
    Closest Airport: Marrakesh Menara
    Airport pick-up included? No, but can be booked for an additional cost of $25
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and more seasoned yogi
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request, and there's always plenty of fresh fruits


    Body And Mind Holidays, Vouliagmeni, Greece

    yoga retreat in greece

    The Body and Mind Holidays offer incredible health and wellness yoga experiences at this yoga retreat center for your whole being to regenerate and become revitalized and in wonderful spiritual health. You can enjoy daily yoga practices in various teacher styles, pilates, tai chi, gentle therapeutic water exercises, all while staying in the stunning yoga resort in single rooms situated in hilly Vouliagmeni, near the historic city of Athens. Nearby, you can explore the beautiful beaches of Vouliagmeni or discover the Parnitha Mountains. They have a variety of exciting activities, from trekking to preparing healthy Greek meals on-site during your best yoga holidays. Yoga mats are provided at this self-guided retreat.

    The popular destination retreat hotel is luxuriously designed and will meet every one of your needs as a guest. The Margi Hotel is personal, welcoming, and has a warm charismatic atmosphere, the best accommodation for your body and mind holiday. One of the top yoga retreats in the world to finally find a sense of peace.


    Duration: 4 to 8 days (again my preference is for week-long yoga retreats)
    Price: from $840
    Closest Airport: Athens
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and experienced yogi welcome
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request


    Fykiada Retreats

    Fykiada organizes exclusive luxury yoga retreats on the Greek islands in an ideal setting high-end locations with world-acclaimed teachers. From cosmopolitan Mykonos to the otherworldly scenery of Koufonisia and the authentic island of Kythnos, upcoming retreats are one-of-a-kind and tailored to the needs of the group. From a selection of stunning seaside luxury resort locations to stylish yoga studio interiors with great guest rooms, conscious welcome gifts, and local touches, everything promises that you'll be taken excellent care of. The food served at Fykiada Retreats represents the best new ways of Greek nature and culture and is personalized to suit guests' preferences and food allergies. Vegan and gluten-free organic meals options are always part of their menu, as well as twists on local recipes.


    Duration: various
    Price: from $1,800
    Closest Airport: Depends on location
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Akasha Yoga & Wellness in Transylvania

    Romania might not be the first country that pops to mind when you're planning your next yoga holiday or yoga trip, but hear me out! I think the photo above speaks for itself, and I'm so excited that this is a yoga retreat near me!

    The lovely Akasha Wellness Retreat is located in a quaint little village up in the mountains of Transylvania, an hour's drive from Brasov. It is the perfect and easiest retreat getaway from Western Europe to get a big bowl of fresh air with amazing benefits and reconnect with your true self. What you'll find here: the freshest, purest of mountain air in the great outdoors, the most beautiful mountain views (you are literally up in the clouds!), incredibly peaceful meadow nature walks, and the best and healthiest home-cooked vegan food. This is a small family-run business that is so totally inspiring and will leave you nourished and rested. My best discovery of 2024 and one of the more affordable yoga retreats 2024 options! These are yoga retreats for beginners, but really it's a yoga experience for all levels.


    Duration: various
    Price: Depends on stay
    Closest Airport: Bucharest
    Airport pick-up included? From Brasov train station
    Type of retreat: Beginner
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes, all vegan!


    ASIA


    Any Retreat in Koh Phangan, Thailand

    koh phangan yoga

    Not a yoga school recommendation per se, but Koh Phangan as a whole is my secret magical place away from the western world for all things yoga and positive energy. Whether you are after a kundalini yoga retreat, some yoga nidra classes, or everything in between, you'll find all yoga styles and more on the magical Thai island. I have done yoga in many Koh Phangan schools and it's always been incredible and some wellness experience maybe a little out of my comfort zone. Koh Phangan is one of those places where I'm always the best version of myself, can free my mind and meditate, feel at one with nature, and just live in an extremely balanced way. Add to that almost-free papaya and coconut, and let me tell you, Koh Phangan is the best idea on the planet ever, period. Always. The natural beauty of the island will mesmerize you. Here you can find both luxury yoga holidays and more affordable ones. Some of the best yoga retreats in the world for beginners are here too, and for a very good value. Oh, and papaya — did I say?


    Duration: various
    Price: Depends on stay
    Closest Airport: Koh Samui
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Levels of yoga: All
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Mostly


    6 Days Rejuvenating Meditation Practices and Wellness Yoga Retreat 2024 Ubud, Bali

    yoga retreat

    For the ultimate pampering experience and one of the best yoga trips, look no further than this luxury yoga retreat in Bali. Offering more than just yoga, this lovely yoga retreat also includes daily Ayurvedic spa treatments to get you feeling your very best. You could even take surf lessons at a nearby surf camp.

    Located at the Adiwana Resort, everything you could possibly need lives within the yoga resort’s walls — although you will definitely want to visit the surrounding area; Bali is gorgeous. Included in the cost of the retreat are daily meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and an afternoon fruit basket served with tea. Each retreat also includes one cultural excursion for local activities outside of the resort included in the price. Your morning will start with one-hour yoga courses taught by experienced instructors, followed by one-hour meditation sessions and 2 hours of spa treatments. For yoga holidays, Ubud is in simple ways one of the best places to be and Adiwana offers an all-inclusive yoga retreat you will remember forever.


    Duration: 3 to 22 days
    Price: From $700
    Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai (35 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Rasa Retreat, Goa, India

    beaches of Goa

    If you like to escape to somewhere warm for winter yoga retreats, Rasa yoga retreat India is a humble place where guests can find their inner peace and be immersed in the heart of spiritual Goa by the Indian Ocean, in India. This yoga retreat is perfect for those looking for a full yogi experience, with highly knowledgeable yoga teachers offering a traditional teaching style in a peaceful retreat environment and beautiful setting. The team at Rasa Retreat is on hand to provide you with all the care, patience, and guidance you require to make sure your stay is memorable and rejuvenating. You can also take excursions to the nearby sights which shouldn’t be missed such as hikes in the nearby jungle and discovering the best nearby tourist spots such as Srinagar. The food is mainly ayurvedic meals with vegan and vegetarian options featuring healthy natural ingredients. You can also get ayurvedic treatments - ayurvedic massages at an extra cost for a unique experience.


    Duration: 3 to 20 days
    Price: From $350
    Closest Airport: Goa Dabolim (30 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner and Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    THE AMERICAS


    The Retreat Costa Rica Wellness Center

    retreat

    The Retreat Yoga Costa Rica was initially created as a place to strengthen, restore, nourish and heal the mind and body. It is said that after visiting this transformative place you will come out with a different view on the way you nourish your body with food, a new mindset, and improve the way you live your life amidst the lush vegetation.

    Here you can indulge in spa services, with a variety of packages to choose from as well as unlimited access to dip into the stunning outdoor pool. The yoga therapy retreat daily schedule offers an advanced wellness and healing program, including special culinary options for weight loss in a heavenly setting. The plush yoga resorts sit highly on a quartz mountain with jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and beyond. While in Costa Rica, consider also experiencing an Ayahuasca Retreat. There's nothing like working on yourself in exotic locations!


    Duration: varies
    Price: Depends on the duration
    Closest Airport: San Jose
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner and Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Go Natural Jamaica

    yoga retreat in jamaica

    One of the best international yoga retreats, this exotic yoga trip is the perfect beach getaway to boost your body and mind. Come and enjoy a de-stressing, yoga holiday at the Go Natural Jamaica retreat, where you can sit back and relax on the tropical island of Jamaica and enjoy snorkeling in the ocean, horseback riding, discovering secret waterfalls, and reconnecting with nature. Go Natural offers organic, light, and healthy meals with fresh colorful fruits and nutritious smoothies to help your body detoxify during your yoga retreat. There are two daily yoga courses for beginners all the way up to advanced, as well as nearby idyllic white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, and relaxing living rooms at the end of the day. There's also the opportunity to study yoga postures in-depth, as well as take yoga philosophy classes. You’ll be in real paradise, the private room set is lovely! It's also one of the most affordable yoga retreat options.


    Duration: 4 to 30 days
    Price: From $499
    Closest Airport: Norman Manley (53 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Sagrada Wellness, San Luis Obispo, USA

    san luis obispo

    The USA is a gold mine for world-acclaim yoga retreats, from Esalen Institute, Art of Living Retreat Center, to Shambhala Mountain Center. Making no exception, the Sagrada Wellness Retreat yoga center is nestled amongst the quiet hilltops of Santa Margarita, California, about three hours away from Los Angeles. This yoga retreat is spectacular, and one of the most special yoga retreats in the world with a quirky boutique style where you can disconnect from technology in a safe space, practice wholesome yoga, meditate in peace and enjoy organic wholesome foods, and why not a cheeky wine tasting.

    The retreat was founded by a couple of yoga instructors, who had a dream to open a yoga-focused retreat in the idyllic Californian hills, and they made it a dream come true! You can look over the Californian hilltops and shoreline where you can reflect and reconnect with yourself in the yoga retreat and during meditation classes. You can also enjoy the eco-friendly accommodation, which is 100% solar powered with a dreamy pool, Jacuzzi, and many nearby trails and hiking spots. Spoil yourself with a variety of healthy, delicious meals ranging from vegetarian meals to vegan to gluten-free delights, all sourced locally and organically. This retreat also offers a complete digital detox retreat with no Wi-Fi, and they encourage you to stay off all technology during your California yoga retreat. Bliss.


    Duration: 3 or 4 days (perfect for those who don't have time for a week yoga retreat)
    Price: From $875
    Closest Airport: San Jose (252 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: First time Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    For more in the Americas, check out these retreats in Mexico and East Texas.


    ashtanga yoga

    50 Gifts for Yoga Lovers

    Let’s face it, sometimes purchasing gifts for our loved ones is no easy feat. I still have a hard time getting gifts for even the people I think I know best. If you have a special yogi in your life (or need a treat for yourself!), then look no further than this gift guide with awesome gifts for yoga lovers. Since we all have a yoga enthusiast in our life, here are 50 of the best gifts for yoga lovers — not just for the holiday season!

    ashtanga yoga

    Related: Best Spiritualy Gifts

    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links that come at no additional cost to you and allow me to earn a small commission which help me keep running this blog :)


    Best Gifts for Yogis – Under $15-ish


    Lotus Incense Holder

    Lotus Incense Holder
    • ➤FEATURES: This incense stick holder is made of high quality zinc alloy, solid and durable for long-term usage. The oversized design won't make the ash fall out of the tray.
    • ➤MULTIFUNCTION: 5 holes can hold a variety of incense. Hole diameter 1.5-3.2mm, the largest hole in the middle, can support incense sticks with maximum height of 11.8inches. Detachable design - Remove the stick holder and it can be an aroma stove. Can be used with Stick/Cone/Coil incense/Aromatherapy burner. Also a great home decoration.
    • ➤FUNCTION: Create a relaxed, peaceful and pleasant atmosphere easily. Helps freshen the air, calms emotions, relieves anxiety and fatigue. Ideal aromatherapy accessory for home, bedroom, study, kitchen, office, yoga meditation room and Zen room.
    • ➤PACKAGE INCLUDED: 1 x Incense Sticks Holder, 1 x Incense Sticks Tube.
    • ❤BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: We provide 24-hour email customer service, if you have any dissatisfaction, please contact us, we replace or refund any defective products.

    This lotus incense holder is the perfect gift for someone who burns incense during their home practice. The petals are wonderful at catching the ashes and it’s easy to clean!


    Tibetan Prayer Flags

    Tibetan Prayer Flags
    • Handmade in Nepal
    • Handmade Tibetan Buddha of compassion Prayer flags Tibetan with English Translation (6x8)
    • We combined our knowledge of Tibetan prayer flags with the amazing quality of flags made in Indonesia, Indonesia to make these unique prayer flags. These cotton flags are surged, which enhances their beauty and durability.
    • Prayer flags are traditionally hung outdoors (on trees, homes or mountain tops) so that when the wind blows their energy and prayers are released into the universe. These flags would also look beautiful as an indoor decoration to set the intention in the space. Each flag measures 6 inches by 8 inches. Tibetan prayer flags
    • Handmade Hands Of Tibet

    I love my Tibetan prayer flags so much that I actually brought them with me when I decided to travel full-time around Europe. These were made by Tibetan refugees and will make any home yoga space beautiful.


    Tongue Scraper

    Tongue Scraper
    • GET RID OF GUNK & BAD BREATH: Whether you are trying to clear out the white, coated layer on your tongue or maintain better oral hygiene, MasterMedi tongue scraper for adults has got you covered. Not just that, immediate benefits of scraping your tongue with this self care product include fresh breath for improved confidence and better overall health.
    • STAINLESS STEEL TONGUE SCRAPER: This gentle tongue cleaner keeps you plaque free, improves taste by sprucing up your taste buds and helps you enjoy every last bite. The sturdy material is not naturally susceptible to rust or mold, making it super durable and easy to clean - just throw it in a dishwasher or opt for gentle hand wash.
    • ERGONOMIC DESIGN AND EASY TO USE: Our metal tongue scraper with the 'U' shaped curve is flexible enough to twist and turn, scraping all the corners of your tongue. This personal care essential has been designed by over 50 global professionals to be ultra-smooth and easy to use. It has two non-synthetic handles for good grip, ensuring convenient usage and effective cleaning.
    • TRAVEL FRIENDLY: The 2-piece kit has individual cases for each tongue cleaner (limpiador de lengua), making it easy to carry around. You can just keep one at home and another at work. It is a comfortable size for adults. The high-quality stainless steel tongue scraper can be cleaned without any hassle and won't break, unlike other alternatives.
    • APPRECIATED BY CUSTOMERS ALL OVER: MasterMedi is a highly regarded brand in dental hygiene. Our products are supported by excellent customer support to ensure your satisfaction. If for any reason you are not happy with our tongue scraper, you can return them within 30 days - no questions asked. We value your feedback and strive to quickly resolve any issues you may have.

    My tongue scraper is another thing that’s traveled around the world with me. It’s a must-have for ayurvedic self-care and a great gift for the favorite yogi friend in your life who likes practical gifts.


    Yoga Strap

    These yoga straps are one of the best yoga gifts for those who are working on their flexibility as it has 12 separate loops to help deepen the stretch. The perfect gift for any yoga lover!


    Blank Yoga Note Cards

    Blank Yoga Note Cards
    • INSIDE GREETING: The inside is ungreeted, making this perfect for your customized notes for all occasions! COVER - Bovine Yoga
    • "Square-Tops" is our original proprietary name and refers to the unique NEW innovative layout with a distinctive size. These cool note cards are 4" x 5" overall with an unusual 4" x 4" square-shaped smaller cover page that creates a surprising multidimensional appearance, and fit perfectly into the included 4.18" x 5.5" conventional rectangular mailing envelopes so no extra postage is required!
    • Perfect, humorous stationery for writing all occasions wishes; ships with envelopes. Card's cover pages are printed on coated stock and have a high gloss finish, while the cards interior pages are uncoated for a smooth and flawless writing surface.
    • SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE - Keeping US jobs at home, our products are Made in the USA (and Canada) for almost 40 years. We use thick, white, glossy cardstock, w/ 30% recycled content (no papyrus, naturally). We work to minimize environmental impact!
    • AWARD WINNING BRAND - Founded in 1980, NobleWorks - and The Best Card Company, its non humor division - is an award winning, national brand. We’re an American based, family owned, stationery publisher and a member of the Greeting Card Association.

    These adorable animal yoga cards are perfect for thank you’s, love notes, or just a quick ‘hello.’ They’re a great gift for yogis when you don’t know what else to get!


    Silk Massage Gloves

    Silk Massage Gloves
    • Garshana 100% Raw Silk dry brush gloves for Ayurvedic face and body massage with NEW IMPROVED adjustable velcro closure for no slip and better fit. One size fits most- skin exfoliation, body detox, cellulite reduction, lymphatic therapy, weight loss aid, balances Hormones, helps relieve depression.

    These massage gloves are perfect for exfoliating before a shower and stimulating your lymphatic system. Dry massage is a common self-care ritual in Ayurveda.


    Chakra Wall Art

    Chakra Wall Art
    • 8x10 UNFRAMED PRINTS - NOT Canvas or Tin Sign
    • UNIQUE WALL ART DECOR - Cool original home decorations for office, living room, bedroom, bathroom, family room, man cave, dorm, dining room, kitchen, classroom, apartment, bar, baby nursery
    • PERFECT PRESENT FOR EVERY OCCASION - Cute gift ideas for women, wife, girlfriend, her, girls, daughter, men, guys, boys, son, husband, boyfriend, him, kids, teens, best friend, cat lover, Christmas, Xmas, holiday, Halloween, housewarming, cheap inexpensive gag gifts, presents, bridal shower, wedding, birthday, anniversary
    • SO MANY STYLES! Boho, bohemian, abstract, aesthetic, mid century modern, minimalist, contemporary, black art, African American, goth, gothic, pagan, country, rustic, vintage, shabby chic, farmhouse, typography, positive quotes, inspirational, motivational, Zen, religious, Christian, funny sayings, nautical, tropical artwork, beach, arte decoracion, retro, encouragement, glam
    • SAVE ON MULTIPLE POSTERS, PRINTS, PHOTOS, PICTURES - See details at left

    This gorgeous chakra wall print will brighten up any room and can serve as a quick reminder to re-center, re-ground, and stay in the moment. The perfect yoga gift for anyone.


    Yoga Magnetic Poetry

    Yoga Magnetic Poetry
    • A meditative collection of words about the ancient practice of movement and breathing.
    • CONTAINS - over 200 themed magnetic word tiles in a cute, colorful, giftable 4.75 x 3 inch box. Rearrange the words to write poems, messages to your roommates, or generative esoteric word art masterpieces whose meaning is lost even to you. Magnetic Poetry is both a creative writing aid, and just a really fun and limitless toy. They're not just fridge words, you can write an ode on your commode, an elegy on your doorknob, a haiku on your car hood, or a novelette on your omelette maker.
    • MIX AND MATCH WITH OTHER KITS - Tile height is 0.375 Inches, compatible with nearly all other Magnetic Poetry sets. With dozens of other themed kits, the possibilities are endless. You can mix and match to create custom combinations, and custom gift ideas. Magnet words make a great dorm room accessory, or locker decoration. They're also a perfect gift for poetry lovers, or a gift for writers of any kind, and as a graduation present, you can't go wrong.
    • MADE IN THE USA - Magnetic Poetry sets are made in America, are nontoxic, and comply with all American and international safety guidelines and regulations. Magnetic Poetry is the inventor of the magnetic word tile, and we're still a small US company that takes great pride in every set we make. Read more about our company in the product description below.
    • OVER 100 DIFFERENT SETS - Please click on the Magnetic Poetry brand name below the title of this page to browse other sets made by us.

    A box of over 200 words to help you move, breathe, and grow. This box of yoga-inspired magnetic poetry is sure to keep you entertained during some boring lockdown moments.


    Reflection Journal

    Reflection Journal
    • 190 questions ✔ One a day for the length of 6 months helping you establish a simple reflection routine that can be easily maintained into the future
    • Practical methods for transforming insight into change ✔ Introduction, tips, profound quotes, weekly revisits and conclusion
    • Aesthetics and quality ✔ Soft felt leather and stylish hard case for enhanced protection and transportation
    • Practicality and Usefulness ✔ Pen holder fixed alongside journal spine complimented with a bookmark ribbon
    • A6 pocket design ✔ Convenience and comfortability for anytime and anywhere

    The Mini Introspection and Reflection Journal contains six months of writing prompts designed to guide growth and self-reflection — a powerful tool.


    Yoga Mat Spray

    Yoga Mat Cleaner
    • NOT JUST FOR YOGA MATS: Whether you're a hardcore yogi or exercise enthusiast, this mat cleaner is an exceptional choice. It is water-based and can be used on all types of mats and props. Simply spray and wipe clean.
    • ESSENTIAL OIL AROMATHERAPY: All our cleaners are infused with essential oils which provide aromatherapy benefits while keeping your mat, fitness props, and exercise equipment smelling fresh.
    • A SCENT AND SIZE FOR EVERYONE: Our yoga mat cleaner is available in 7 scents – including an unscented version. We also offer a 16 oz refill size in Lavender, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus.
    • HOW TO USE: Shake well before using. Spray 3 times onto a damp cloth and wipe clean. For deeper cleaning, liberally spray surface and let stand for 2 minutes. Gently scrub with damp cloth and let air dry.
    • NO PARABENS, PHOSPHATES, OR BLEACH: Our Yoga Mat Cleaner is hand-made with love. It is free from parabens, phosphates, and bleach and contains no harsh ingredients.

    This yoga rug cleaner comes with a microfiber towel for cleaning purposes for those who already have their own mat.


    Apres Savasana Soak

    Apres Savasana Soak
    • Perfect after yoga or workout. Relieves muscle tension and soreness. 100 percent natural aromatherapy.
    • Tension melting sea salt, skin softening seaweed, and soul soothing aromatherapy.
    • 1 bag equals 1 bath treatment. Hydrate throughout your experience. Soak in tub for 20 to 30 minutes. Sweat and rest.
    • Non-GMO. SLS, Paraben & Dye Free. BPA Free, Pthalate Free, Gluten Free. Vegan & Cruelty-Free.

    Who couldn’t use a good post-workout soak for sore muscle relief? Such a great way to relax... Or, just, ya know, for relaxation purposes? This Apres Savasana Soak makes a great gift idea for yogis.


    Yoga Dice

    Sale
    Yoga Dice
    • YOGA POSE DICE: Mix up your regular yoga stretching routine with the roll of a dice.
    • GREAT GIFT FOR YOGIS: Whether you're a professional or just getting started, these dice are perfect for inspiration and variating your poses.
    • THOUSANDS OF COMBINATIONS: Seven dice with different poses on each side mean thousands of possible pose combinations.
    • CHALLENGE YOURSELF: With seated, standing, balancing, twists, and more, you're sure to find a new pose or stretch to challenge your endurance.
    • MEDITATION & RELAXATION: A quick roll of the dice on a lunch break provides the perfect escape while you meditate on hectic days.

    Yoga Dice make great gift ideas for anyone who loves yoga and has a meditation practice. There are literally thousands of combinations to keep things interesting.


    Yoga of the Subtle Body - Tias Little

    Sale
    Yoga of the Subtle Body - Tias Little
    • Little, Tias (Author)
    • English (Publication Language)
    • 304 Pages - 05/17/2016 (Publication Date) - Shambhala (Publisher)

    Yoga of the Subtle Body by Tias Little is one of my top five all-time yoga books. Hint – some others are on this list as well! Great for practitioners of all levels.


    Neti Pot

    Neti Pot
    • ✅ Advanced Sinus Rinse | ComfyPot’s unique silicone nozzles, easy grip and anti-spill opening creates a simple, comfortable nasal irrigation system. The perfect neti pot for kids and adults to achieve a refreshing nasal rinse & sinus pressure relief.
    • ✅ Excellent Even Flow | No chance for excessive pressure that a nasal rinse bottle can produce. The design of the spout ensures a gentle saline rinse nasal wash. Enjoy a natural sinus infection treatment that has been used for thousands of years.
    • ✅ Lasts A Lifetime | Unlike plastic, our ceramic neti pot is the perfect sinus rinse kit to provide you with nasal flush after nasal flush giving you nasal congestion relief for years to come. Easy to clean & dishwasher friendly neti-pot and nozzles.
    • ✅ Effective For Multiple Conditions | Provides natural, non-drowsy relief for sinusitis, rhinitis, cold and flu symptoms, allergies or if you are looking for a saline nasal rinse sinus cleaner for stuffy nose relief, Comfypot is your nasal irrigator.
    • ✅ Risk Free Satisfaction Guarantee | Purchase with peace of mind. If for any reason you and your Comfypot are not getting along, simply return it for a no questions asked refund. We want you to LOVE Comfypot. Anything less isn't good enough.

    While the Neti Pot may not be a favorite activity of mine, it is super helpful and a key ritual in Ayurvedic self-care. And I must say, I do always feel better afterwards.


    Best Gifts for Yogis – Under $25-ish


    Chakra Stones

    This is a great set of chakra stones for someone who is just beginning to learn about the chakras or someone just starting their gem and mineral collection.


    Knee Pad

    Knee Pad
    • Reduce Pain: To alleviate pain and stress on knees, elbows, wrists, forearm, and more. Yoga knee pads are designed to provide comfort and cushioning for your knee joints. You won't stop doing yoga because of pain. This yoga knee pad cushion is perfectly suitable for Yoga, Pilates or other ground-based exercise routines. Can be used as a yoga mat extender to add length to your mat or used as a head rest during Savasana.
    • Eco-Friendly Material& Easy to Clean: Made from eco-friendly TPE material, PVC and latex-free, Certified Phthalates free. Unlike other brands' NBR open-cell structure, the advanced closed-cell foam of Heathyoga knee pads will not absorb sweat or liquids. The knee pads for yoga can be easily clean with a damp cloth after your practice.
    • Easy to Carry: The yoga knee pad is lightweight and small - only 26" x 10" x 12mm. Comes with a free carrying strap making this knee mat the perfect travel companion!
    • Excellent Grip for All Floors and Mats: This yoga knee pad can be used on any surface. Great for outdoor yoga on rough surfaces and hotel floors while traveling. Works great with any yoga mat. Includes carrying strap can be rolled up with your full-size mat.
    • Multiple Uses: Our yoga knee pads are also great for gardening, baby bath time, household chores, exercise and yoga, camping, sports events, home installation and repair and auto repair.

    There are certain yoga poses that my knees absolutely dread, but this knee pad is everything. It relieves any pain and brings me back into the pose. It’s a perfect gift for yoga lovers who may have knee issues!


    Yoga Tote Bag

    Yoga Tote Bag
    • Dimensions: 26"L x 6.5" diameter, Fits Standard Mat up to 26" wide and 6" in diameter when rolled up (1/2" inch thick mats WILL NOT FIT).
    • Material: High Quality Canvas and Fabric, If there is any smell, please cool it on the balcony (Yoga Mat Not Included).
    • Easy: Full Zipper Design, It's easy to put your mat in the bag and keep it clean and organized. It can hold most Yoga Mat.
    • A large and expandable front pocket is ideal for your personal belongings such as yoga strap, yoga socks, yoga accessories, books, cell phones, wallet, etc.
    • Best Gifts for Yoga Lovers, Perfect for Girlfriend Gift, Boyfriend Gift, Men and Women Gift, Wife and Husband Gift, Father’s day and Mother’s day Gift, Bachelor Party, Yoga Gifts, Birthday Gifts, Christmas Gifts.

    This colorful, fun yoga bag has an adjustable strap and multiple pockets to carry other things you may need when heading to the studio. Eco-Friendly, of course! One of the best Christmas gifts for the yogi on the go.


    Related: Best Vegan Gift Guides


    Foam Roller

    Foam Roller
    • High-density foam roller in Black
    • Ideal for balance, strengthening, flexibility, and rehab exercises
    • Firm, durable polypropylene maintains shape; molded edges for added comfort
    • Lightweight and easy to carry to class and to reposition during workouts
    • Wipes clean easily

    This foam roller is perfect to relieve any kinks or aches you might have in your body post-practice. I love using mine on my outer hips, back, and hamstrings. It's a thoughtful gift that counts as yoga essentials in my opinion.


    Eastern Body, Western Mind - Anodea Judith

    Eastern Body, Western Mind - Anodea Judith
    • Anodea Judith (Author)
    • 01/01/2004 (Publication Date)

    If I could only have one book on my shelf that was related to my practice, it would be this one. While not geared toward asana, this book seamlessly melds inner development psychology with eastern thought. It’s incredible, to say the least.


    Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

    Essential oils are great for everything from relaxation, to sinus congestion, or even making home-made solutions to clean your house. I love sprinkling them on my eye pillow. This is a great intro kit!


    Sloth Yoga Wall Art

    Well, this is clearly going on my wall in the near future. How cute is this sloth wall art!? And you thought sloths were lazy…


    Over-the-Knee Socks

    Over-the-Knee Socks
    • Girl's Long Yoga Socks made of acrylic fibers,super soft to touch and comfortable to wear.Length:29.5"(about 75cm),over the knee design,stretchy material ensures it fit for most women girls,easy to wear and take off.
    • 2 optional color set for you choose,classic colors with simple design can match your most styles and make you look more elegant in a cozy situation.Recommend hand wash in cold water if you want keep for long time.
    • Designed with dancer in mind,these yoga stirrup leg warmers have good elasticity,which will not fall down and can fit a variety of body types.Keep dancers'leg muscles warm and limber during technique class and rehearsals.
    • These over the knee socks perfect for ballet,yoga,dance,gym,cosplay,halloween costume.Also suitable for casual wear with tights,leggings,jeans,shorts,skirt,ballet shoes,boots,heels.Keep you warm in cold weather with a fashionable style.
    • A sweet gift idea for your friend,family,lovers or anyone in your life who loves wearing leg warmers!Perfect for birthday,christmas,thanksgiving day,valentine's Day...

    If you like to practice yoga in a bodysuit, or, if you like to take trendy Instagram-worthy yoga photos, these stirrup over-the-knee socks with an open heel are great for winter weather. Two pairs come in the set.


    Copper Mug

    Copper Mug
    • 100% PURE SOLID COPPER - Crafted for true enthusiast, each copper cup is handmade of EXTRA THICK heavy gauge copper so it can HOLD the cold LONGER, take drops and tumbles in stride, and be durable and strong enough to last and last. The copper mugs exterior is coated with food safe lacquer to keep it looking and shining like new with little maintenance.
    • RAW Copper Interior - We are one of the very FEW offering copper mugs with a TRUE raw copper INTERIOR. It has NO liners or coatings inside. This enhances the flavor of your favorite drinks while promoting ayurvedic health benefits. PLEASE NOTE, the raw copper INTERIOR can tarnish! To keep looking like new Wright's Copper Cream works like magic. After each handwashing of your mug, DRY completely and you can keep tarnish at bay!
    • STRONG RIVETED COPPER HANDLES - Each copper mug has riveted handles a process that is time consuming, complicated, and expensive, so why do we do it? Its authentic like the originals and we make copper mugs that you will enjoy for MANY MANY years. We wouldn't have it any other way.
    • HANDCRAFTED BY SKILLED ARTISANS - Each of our copper cups are handmade with care and attention by talented artisans making each copper mug unique. The traditional forming and hammering technique are on display as are the carefully shaped lip, the straight or curved body, the size and curvature of the handle, and stamping the bottom with the Copper Mules name so you know its authentic, and you know it will last!
    • LIFETIME GUARANTEE - We work tirelessly to design and deliver the finest copper mugs possible at the best price possible. We STAND behind and believe in everything we sell for as long as you have it. If you ever aren't 100% satisfied with your mugs just let us know and we will provide a replacement or refund.

    Ayurvedic principle states that you should drink a cup of barely-warm water out of a pure copper mug first thing in the morning to aid in digestion. This is always next to my bed on a cup-warmer.


    Mexican Woven Blanket

    Mexican Woven Blanket
    • HANDMADE PREMIUM MEXICAN BLANKET: Our serape and baja blankets are cozy, practical, and full of vibrant colors to add joy wherever you take them. Offered in pack of 1, each Aztec blanket is unique, woven by local artisans in Tlaxcala, Mexico on a traditional wooden loom.
    • THE PERFECT YOGA BLANKET: Take this high-quality Mexican blanket to your yoga practice. Super soft, breathable, and easy to carry - choose your colors and mix for your workouts!
    • VERSATILE & STYLISH: Perfect for every adventure, these Mexican blankets are your go-to blanket for yoga, picnics, long summer nights, park blanket, summer blanket or to cuddle in while relaxing at home!
    • SOFT & DURABLE: Twin bed size (45x70 inches), lightweight (3 pounds), and soft - these serape blankets are made to last! They get softer and more comfortable with every wash, while you enjoy their proven quality!
    • GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK: An original and authentic handmade artisan gift for every occasion! A gift that makes a difference. For each blanket you buy, we donate to our charity partner “Water mission”. Join us in the fight against poverty and for equal access to water!

    These Mexican woven blankets are perfect for everything from yin, to restorative, to yoga nidra, or even a quickie ab workout with socks (message me if you’re curious!).


    Yoga Cookie Cutters

    Yoga Cookie Cutters
    • BITE SIZE FUN - Each cookie cutter is 4” tall to make the perfect size cookie to decorate however your heart desires
    • HIGH QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL - Made with high quality SS430 Stainless Steel, these cookie cutters will be in your collection for years to come
    • EASY TO CARE FOR - Handwash in warm soapy water and wipe dry after each use to insure your cutters last
    • NOT JUST FOR COOKIES - Use these cookie cutters for granola, fruit shapes, pancake molds, or for cutting fondant, sandwiches, cheeses and more
    • PERFECT GIFT IDEA - Whether you want to buy this gift set for a fellow yogi or as something special for yourself, you will be glad you did

    You could get reaaaally creative with the frosting on these yoga cookie cutters! Just saying. For the yogi who already has it all, these are the perfect gift.


    Cork Yoga Block

    Cork Yoga Block
    • MANDUKA CORK BLOCK: Made of sustainable cork, this high-quality cork yoga block has a firmness not found in foam blocks and allows you to feel secure in the support it provides. Easy to grip textured surface-- Great for beginner to advanced yogis
    • SAFE AND EFFECTIVE: Improve your practice by using blocks to maintain proper alignment, deepen your stretches, and to help stay safe by reducing injury and muscle strain. Perfect for restorative yoga classes, Pilates, meditation, fitness and exercise
    • LIGHTWEIGHT AND STURDY: Cork blocks have a firmness and support not found in foam blocks. Featuring a rounded edge for maximum comfort, support, and grip. Manduka’s Cork Yoga Block weighs less than coarse-grain cork commonly used for blocks
    • SUSTAINABLE CORK: Cork is a renewable, sustainable material. Responsibly made with no toxic chemicals produced during harvesting or manufacturing. Manduka is committed to creating responsibly sourced products while minimizing environmental waste
    • PRODUCT DETAILS: 9" x 6" x 4" Cork yoga block; Keep your blocks looking great by wiping down after each use with Manduka's Botanical Cleaner

    Yoga blocks come in foam or cork – I personally prefer cork blocks, and these from Manduka are the best. As yoga props, it’s ideal to have two, but this price is set for one block.


    China Gel

    China Gel is a great gift for practicing yogi, especially those who practice power yoga or Ashtanga. I have this stuff in travel-size, big pump bottles, and everything in between. Be sure to wash your hands after you apply it!


    Massage Ball Kit

    This massage ball kit comes with everything you might need for myofascial release after a vigorous practice.


    Meditation Figurines

    Sale
    Meditation Figurines
    • These yoga statues are well made of high quality ceramic, black plating on the surface, which are beautiful and make a great home decor.
    • Size of each small black yoga sculpture: 3.3"- 4.3" (8.4cm~11 cm) in height.
    • Package included: A set of 4 pieces different yoga pose statues. Warm tips: If you have received duplicate or less than 4 statues, please feel free to contact us in your order page, and our after-sales service will solve your problem within 24 hours.
    • These Meditation yoga figurines are very suitable for room decoration, kitchen decoration, bedroom decoration, office decoration, living room decoration, hotel decoration, apartment decoration.
    • These yoga sculptures shows the classic postures of yoga, Perfect to display in Zen accessories, Living room, Yoga room, Meditation room, Bedroom, work office, shelf, windowsill, desk or TV stand, with spreading a tranquil and peace atmosphere in your spiritual room home décor.

    These meditation figurines are made of black ceramic and make a beautiful addition to any yoga altar or daily practice
    area.

    Yoga Waterproof Mascara

    For the yoga lover who is coming straight from work or brunch, this waterproof mascara was made to withstand even the sweatiest of classes. A great gift for the yogi who is also into beauty!


    Insulated Water Bottle

    Insulated Water Bottle
    • INSULATED WATER BOTTLE: Made from food-grade stainless steel, our BPA-free water bottle has a double wall design to keep drinks cold plus vacuum insulation & powder coating to keep it sweat-free & easy to grip.
    • STRAW INCLUDED: This reusable water bottle features a straw lid that is leak-proof when folded, allows for one-handed drinking & won't pop off if dropped. Fits in most cup holders!
    • CUP-HOLDER FRIENDLY: Takeya Actives insulated water bottle keeps beverages hot for up to 12 hours & cold for up to 24 hours. 18, 22, & 24 ounce sizes fit in most car & bicycle cup & bottle holders.
    • KEEP YOUR COOL: No more one-use cups, no more toxic plastics. Takeya uses only food grade, BPA-free, recyclable materials for our insulated water bottles, water bottle accessories, & pitchers.
    • INNOVATIVE HYDRATION SOLUTIONS: Takeya brings over 55 years of Japanese design heritage to our line of insulated, BPA-free water bottles & our sustainable iced tea, fruit infusion, & cold brew pitchers.

    Perfect for the eco-conscious yogi, this insulated water bottle reduces plastic use and has a convenient carrying handle – plus it comes in a TON of colors to match their new mat. Out with the plastic water bottles!


    Hemp Seed Balm

    Do you know any yoga lovers who complain of sore muscles after a vigorous practice? This hemp seed balm is great for pain relief, and it doesn’t leave you all sticky after application!


    Macrame Moon Wall Hanging

    Macrame Moon Wall Hanging
    • dream catcher means to pray for peace and bring good luck. It can be hung in the bedroom or room of children or family members to drive away nightmares and make people dream of falling asleep. You can also hang it on the car for good luck!
    • the dream catcher of are earth-friendly materials,carefully select each feather, and carefully craft the dream catch to ensure strength and durability. It will strongly retain your sweet dreams and let bad dreams slip away! The colors never fade, they can last the entire season.
    • Do you want better vibes in your room? Just imagine your room’s wall elegantly draped with this unique dream catcher. Or, maybe its your child’s room, and he is sleeping peacefully under the dream catcher. Or maybe it can be hung on the garden. Either way, you came to the right place. This beautiful, handmade dream catcher will bring you the vibes that you’re searching for.
    • The gentle dream catchers is not only the best gift for girlfriend, wife's wedding anniversary, child's birthday,mother's birthday, or Mother's Day, Father's Day,Thanksgiving Day,Valentine's Day and Christmas,But also the high-quality interesting led wind chimes gardening/home gift for anniversaries.
    • The Native American Indians believed that Dream catchers caught negative dreams in their web like structure and held them until daylight when the sunlight hit them at dawn, the negative energy caught in the web was destroyed. There is a round hole in the middle of the net.

    This gorgeous macramé moon wall hanging makes a gorgeous addition to any room in the house, or even a yoga studio.


    The Yoga Kitchen

    Sale
    The Yoga Kitchen
    • Hardcover Book
    • Parsons, Kimberly (Author)
    • English (Publication Language)
    • 192 Pages - 01/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Quadrille Publishing (Publisher)

    The Yoga Kitchen is the ultimate vegetarian cookbook for yogis who want to integrate mind and body for ultimate wellness. It contains over 100 recipes made from healthy and natural ingredients!


    Gifts for the Yogi – Under $50-ish


    Yoga Joes

    Channel your inner warrior with these adorable Yoga Joes. A great addition to window sill décor for yogis.


    Om Lotus Flower Necklace

    Om Lotus Flower Necklace
    • A good necklace not only represent your spirit but also show your unique personality. Wearing this necklace as a reminder that the incredible beauty that can come from change, grow and believe, just like the beautiful blooming lotus which grow up through the dark and out into the light of the sun, it is a new beginning. Great gift idea to yourself, best friends, graduation, office promotion, inspiring
    • ❤ Material ❤ This lotus flower necklace is made of 925 sterling silver, include the necklace chain and pendant metal.
    • ❤ Size and Package❤ Beautiful lotus necklace with 18'' adjustable necklace chain. The necklace is packaged with a fine jewelry box and 1pcs beautiful gift card, ready for giving or receiving.
    • ❤ Great Necklace Gift ❤ This lotus necklace is great for everyday wear, fashionable and decent jewelry accessories in office, home, travel, holidays etc... .Perfect gift choice for birthday, anniversary, graduation, back-to-school, retirement, Christmas gifts or other special occasions. Suitable for women, girls, mom, daughter, sisters, best friend, yoga lover, teacher, health and fitness enthusiast.
    • ❤ Long-time After-sale Services ❤ We provide customer service for any quality problems.

    Another great gift for the yogis is this om lotus flower necklace. It is made of 925 sterling silver and won’t turn the body green! It’s hypoallergenic and comes in different finishes.


    Gold Lotus Bracelet

    Sale
    Gold Lotus Bracelet
    • JEWELRY FOR GROWTH AND NEW BEGINNINGS: Channel your power with this Alex and Ani Lotus Charm Bangle, a constant reminder that you can create your own magic
    • MEANINGFUL CHARMS: This beautiful adjustable bangle has a lotus flower charm for enlightenment, growth, purity and peace
    • SIZING AND CLOSURE: Our innovative, patented, and completely original technology replaces traditional clasps with a sliding mechanism to customize this classic bracelet’s size from 2" to 3.5" wide
    • COMPOSITION: Crafted with love and care in the U.S.A., this timeless piece of easy-care jewelry is based in a nickel-free brass/copper metal mix that amplifies its symbolism for the giver and wearer
    • YOUR UNIQUE REMINDER: Feel the love with this Alex and Ani Lotus Peace Petals Charm Expandable Bangle, a reminder that you are loved and can bring light to the world around you

    Yoga accessories are a lovely addition to any yogi's wardrobe, and this gold lotus bracelet makes an excellent addition to any existing collection.


    Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Asana

    Sale
    Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Asana
    • Used Book in Good Condition
    • Lasater, Judith Hanson (Author)
    • English (Publication Language)
    • 224 Pages - 05/01/2009 (Publication Date) - Rodmell Press (Publisher)

    I learned more from this book about the relationship between asana and anatomy than from anything else during my yoga teacher training. It’s the perfect gift for the YTT trainee in your life!


    Candle Gift Set

    Candle Gift Set
    • ❤️6 Jars Aromatherapy Candle: MIMURHYL, FRESH ROSE, CEDAR TEAKWOOD, SWEET GRAPEFRUIT, ROSE&GARNETBERRY, and FIG. These small candles deliver a consistent fragrance experience from beginning to end. The aroma lingers even after the candles burn out
    • ❤️BEST FRIEND GIFT FOR WOMEN - If you're still looking for the perfect home gift for your friends, this 6-piece candle set will be your answer.These fun farewell friendship gifts are sure to make your friends smile.
    • ❤️Natural Soybean Wax: Combines 8% fragrance plant oils with soy wax. Braided cotton with paper core wick, zinc and lead free. Kraft paper label, strong metal lid, mason jar. Each jar candle can burn for 25 hours, so 6 pack candles for home scented can bring you up to 150 hours of fragrance.
    • ❤️Calming & Relaxing Candle: Soy candles are known to relax our body. Our scented candles with uniquely blended fragrance soothe you after a long and tiring day. You will definitely love its exquisite and tranquil aroma.
    • ❤️Candle Gift Set: Bulk candles come with a vintage giftable box. The candle set is an ideal gift for Valentine’s Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving. This gift will delight people of all ages.

    This candle gift set is the ideal gift for adding a classy decor touch to any room or studio – not to mention they smell great, but not too obtrusive!


    Tibetan Singing Bowl

    Sale
    Tibetan Singing Bowl
    • FEEL RELAXED - Nick Warren says "It is a very powerful thing. Within the first minute of using it, I felt like this is a life-changing thing to have. You can't understand how amazing this is until you hold it and use it yourself!" Deborah Capres says it is "Very calming and pretty. This is a great piece of stress relief!"
    • COMPLETE AUTHENTIC TIBETAN BOWL SET - Includes a unique high-quality Gratitude Pattern~ Antique Light Brown 4" Singing Bowl, NEW Easy-Play Leather Pencil-Grip Striker, NEW Hand Sewn Non-Dampening Pillow. 100% handcrafted by local Nepalese artisans. This Tibetan singing bowl meditation set is designed for easy playing to enjoy its calming and soothing sounds right away!
    • IDEAL SIZE FOR ON THE GO MINDFULNESS - Ideal 4" size ensures that your Tibetan singing bowl will be a constant spiritual and anxiety relief companion. Bring to yoga classes, meditation groups, or the office. Fits in your (or your child's) hand, yet sings with pure, layered tones that rival much larger bowls. The best stress relief gifts you’ll find!
    • HAND INSPECTED AND TESTED FOR SOUND QUALITY & APPEARANCE - Your singing bowl designs are EXCLUSIVE- and are etched on the bowls, not painted. Each bowl is hand inspected for sound quality before shipping by our singing bowl experts. Carefully packaged in a clean, safe environment.
    • FREE BONUSES - Get a User's Guide, Premium eBook series, and 3D sound bath audio track FREE with your purchase. If you're unsatisfied with your singing bowl meditation set for any reason, you get an easy, no-questions-asked, 100% refund. We'll come right to your door to pick up your return, and you can keep your free bonuses.

    Even if you’ve never played a singing bowl before, this kit is great for beginners – it comes with a number of free e-books to get you started! The antique finish is beautiful, and it comes with a cushion as well.


    Essential Oil Diffuser

    Essential Oil Diffuser
    • Ultrasonic electronic aromatherapy diffuser with 120ml water capacity; ceramic body with hollow circle pattern design detailing
    • Distributes evaporated essential oils into the air for creating a lightly scented, relaxing mood
    • 7 colored night light options for ambiance
    • Continuous (5.5-10 hour) and intermittent (11-20 hour) operating modes
    • Automatically shuts off once water tank is empty

    An essential oil diffuser is perfect to have in any room in the house for any occasion. Have sinus problems? Diffuse eucalyptus oil. Need to relax? Try lavender. Want a pick-me-up? Peppermint or tea tree are the best. It’s great to have next to the bed to fall asleep to. A great idea.


    Travel Yoga Mat

    Travel Yoga Mat
    • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: The JadeYoga Travel Yoga Mat is a lightweight and portable option for yoga enthusiasts. Weighing a mere 3 pounds and measuring only 1/8" thick, 24" wide, and available in 68" and 74" lengths, it is easy to carry and convenient to store in a backpack or tote bag. Designed for individuals who are frequently on the move, whether traveling, commuting, or changing locations, this mat is specifically engineered to accompany you wherever you venture.
    • EXCEPTIONAL GRIP AND STABILITY: Crafted from natural rubber, this mat provides an exceptional non-slip grip for both men and women during yoga practice. The stability of the mat ensures confidence in holding poses and performing exercises effortlessly. Enjoy the cushioning it offers, allowing you to concentrate on your yoga routine without any distractions. Stay grounded and focused with our Travel Yoga Mat, perfect for maintaining balance during yoga and other fitness activities.
    • NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE: At JadeYoga, we prioritize environmental consciousness. Our Travel Yoga Mat is crafted from responsibly sourced natural rubber, extracted from rubber trees. This mat does not contain PVC, phthalates, heavy metals, or other harmful chemicals. Keep your mat fresh with our plant-based mat wash, ensuring a hygienic experience. By choosing our mat, you contribute to a greener future.
    • "MADE IN THE USA: Our yoga mats are manufactured in the USA, with imported rubber sourced responsibly. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in its manufacturing process, prioritizing quality and environmental responsibility. Expect durable and dependable mats designed for daily practice, Pilates, workouts, and other fitness activities. "
    • BE THE CHANGE: Join us in our mission to make a positive impact on the environment. For every mat sold, we plant a tree through our partnership with Trees for the Future. To date, we have planted over 2.5 million trees. By choosing the JadeYoga Travel Yoga Mat, you not only enhance your own practice but also contribute to a greener and healthier planet.

    This travel mat by Jade is super-affordable and comes in 5 different colors. I love Jade mats for their versatility in use in different styles of yoga. One of the best yoga mats in my opinion. A new yoga mat is one of the best gifts for the traveling yogi!


    Yoga Wheel

    Yoga Wheel
    • Find quick and effective relief from lower and upper back pain with our premium back roller. Apply focused pressure to immediately release knots and tension in tight and hard-to-reach muscles. Just 5 minutes a day makes a difference!
    • Our yoga wheel gently and naturally stretches your back to increase mobility and flexibility and range of motion.
    • Our strategically designed 12" x 5" back wheel has a tough and durable ABS frame that withstands over 550 lbs so you can feel confident it will provide stability and resist snapping or breaking. The grooved textured surface provides grip so you can safely achieve deeper controlled stretches.
    • Recommended by chiropractors and yoga teachers, use our back stretcher for spinal decompression, traction, and realignment. Our back cracker provides a natural, non-medicated approach to pain relief and increased flexibility.
    • Customize your experience – use our massage roller wheel vigorously to release muscle tension or gently to target upper back trigger points. Whether it's back cracking or stretching, our back stretching device caters to your needs for fast relief.

    These yoga wheels come in different colors and different sizes to accommodate all yogis. It’s great to practice arm balances, deepen backbends like Urdhva Dhanurasana, or get truly creative with. Perfect for a home yoga practice.


    Yoga Bolster

    Yoga Bolster
    • 24'' long x 6'' high x 12'' wide
    • Removable cover for easy washing
    • 100% cotton cloth
    • Rectangular, oblong shape with handles on both ends

    This bolster is perfect for restorative or yin yoga. The cover is eco-friendly and removes to be machine-washable. It comes in a few different colors to accent your existing décor.


    Himalayan Salt Lamp

    Himalayan Salt Lamp
    • Authentic Salt Lamp: Made from 250 million year old salt from the Himalayan Mountains (the only source of true Himalayan Salt), this is genuine pure crystal rock salt. Each piece is unique with slight shape, size, and color, variations. Approx.Size: 7.5 in. x 3.5 in. x 5.75 in. Weight: approx. 11.5 lbs.
    • Crafted Wood Base And Dimmer Switch: Includes two 15 watt bulbs and UL-Listed electrical set (dimmer switch is a UL-Recognized Component ("UR") of the UL-Listed cord and dimmer switch set). Do not use a bulb that exceeds 15 watts. The dimmer switch allows for gradual dimming and brightening. Ideal for bedroom, office, dorm room, yoga studio or living area.
    • 90-Day Hassle-Free Warranty: Enjoy peace of mind with our 90-day warranty, ensuring your satisfaction in case of any issues after receiving the product.
    • Enhances Ambiance: Each salt lamp is meticulously hand-carved resulting in exceptional quality and a unique design. Our lamps create a refreshing atmosphere in any setting.
    • The Perfect Mother's Day Gift: Impress your loved ones with the unique and thoughtful d'aplomb salt lamp. It makes for an ideal gift and comes beautifully packaged in a gift box, ready for gifting.

    Himalayan salt lamps are quite popular, even with people not in the yoga community. I love the sleek look of this one with its rectangular shape and solid black base.


    Gifts for the Yogi – Under $100-ish


    Meditation Cushion

    Meditation Cushion
    • BOHO CHIC –Add a bohemian vibe or an eclectic edge to your living areas! These floor pillows are perfect in bedrooms, living rooms, or children’s play areas, providing a creative, useful, and luxurious accent to any space,
    • ENLIVEN YOUR DÉCOR – Elevate your space with an unexpected element of surprise!With so many designs, colors, and sizes to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect floor cushion to match your unique style.
    • CUSTOM-FILL YOUR BOHEMIAN STYLE COVER - visit Mandala Life Art Store ↑↑↑ for Upholstery Foam, Pillow Inserts and fillers purchase recommendation. Best and cheapest options is to reuse your old clothing, linen bed sheets, blanket, towels and other pre-loved fabrics.
    • ADD A POP OF COLOR – Discover a rainbow of beautiful possibilities! With 20 gorgeous colors and designs, you’re sure to find a pillow (or three!) that matches perfectly in your space. Add a pop of color to brighten up a room or choose several to create a cozy, vibrant atmosphere!

    This colorful square cushion is great for beginner or advanced practitioners of meditation and accommodates a variety of seated postures to ensure comfort and extra support.


    Yogitoes Yoga Towel

    Yogitoes Yoga Towel
    • YOGITOES: Yogitoes help prevent slipping no matter how much you move or sweat. Ultra absorbent, lightweight and quick drying—Durable and lightweight enough to take anywhere: the beach, gym, studio, pilates, or traveling
    • ANTI-SLIP BOTTOM: Yogitoes features our patented Skidless Technology, which utilizes 100% silicone nubs to grip your mat and keep you in place. Ideal for hot yoga or any super sweaty practice
    • YOGA SUPPORT: Ultra absorbent, quick drying, sweat-wicking to prevent slipping and injury during your practice. Our Yogitoes are sustainable, soft and hygienic. Comes in a variety of beautiful and unique designs
    • ECO-FRIENDLY: Each is made from no fewer than four discarded plastic bottles, keeping them from landfills or polluting the ocean. Bottles are woven into 50% poly yarn that requires 66% less energy to produce. Dyes have no AZO, lead, or heavy metals
    • PRODUCT DETAILS: 71" To use: Place towel on top of your yoga mat or directly on the floor, dot side down. Machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry low or hang to dry. 50% Recycled Polyester 40% Polyester 10% Nylon 100% Silicone nubs

    Many yoga studios offer these Manduka Yogitoes to rent – why not purchase one for your yoga-loving friend (or yourself)? It will keep you from slipping and sliding on your mat in even a hot yoga class.


    Yoga Swing

    Yoga Swing
    • Innovative Design - 25% larger & more comfortable thick padded foam handles along with a spacious triple stitched swing seat pushes the boundaries of comfort during any yoga swing exercise.
    • Easy To Assemble - Includes 2 Multi-loop climber strength daisy chains featuring an load capacity of 550 lbs to ensure your safety on any of our aerial yoga hammocks.
    • Relieve Your Back Pain - Whether using it for inversion therapy for spinal decompression or building upper body strength, it’s sure to invigorate your back & health. It’s Perfect for kids too!
    • Ceiling Mount Accessories Included - Includes ceiling mounts + screws to safely install and hang your inversion hammock into wood or concrete.
    • #1 Consumer Favorite Yoga Swing On Amazon - Heal your back or have fun doing yoga! Get the best yoga swing that is TRUSTED & APPROVED NATIONWIDE by your very own fellow yogis.

    I didn’t think that having one of these yoga swings at home was an option, but it’s so much fun and easy to set up! I installed a pull-up bar in my doorway and hung it from there to hang in different poses and relax. It also comes with a carrying case so you can take it to the park or somewhere else in nature. Definitely one of the most unique yoga gifts.


    Sun Salutation Clock

    The perfect present for the yoga lover who has it all, this charming sun salutations clock is a beautiful accent to any home or yoga studio.


    Gifts for the Yogi – Over $100


    Crystal Infrared Mat

    A next level gift for yoga lovers, this crystal infrared mat contains amethyst, jade, and tourmaline. Infrared gem mats have a myriad of benefits and make a great addition to a naturopathic treatment regimen.


    Vabali Spa

    My German Nude Spa Experience at Vabali

    I fell in love with being in a German nude spa at Vabali spa berlin.

    I know some of my German friends would roll their eyes at me for saying that Germans love themselves a bit of mixed gender nudity. Ahh yes, the German nude spa topic, here we go. But upon visiting vabali, I think they totally do. If you’re not familiar with the Freikörperkultur, of FKK (free body culture), chances are you will after spending some time in Germany. At the very least, you will have heard of a nude spa Germany one way or another. And while some would simplify that the FKK movement was born as a form of resistance against the East German regime, nudism in Germany has its roots way further in history.

    nude spas

    After doing a little research, what stuck with me most is the use of nudity historically as a way for people to free themselves from the religious restriction that has taught people to be ashamed of their body, and from the industrial society. Without clothes, no-one is a factory slave, everyone is equal.

    Now, there’s a good idea that jives with me.

    In my quest to experience a culture to its fullest, I obviously decided I wanted to get naked in Berlin too and visit a German spa nude for the first time. My very first naked spa Germany experience! Might seem trivial, but for the prude North American that I am, it’s a bit of a leap. So after baring it all in Turkey in a gender-segregated hammam, I thought that visiting a nude spa Berlin - such a place where all bares it all for all naked strangers to see - was the next step in my quest to undress in as many countries as possible.

    I totally just made that up.

    But I did want to experience a German nude spa anyway. So out with the bathing suit and in with the birthday suit, first thing first.

    There are many options when it comes to a nude German spa experience in Berlin, and they all sound fantastic. Many luxury spas come with a full menu of beauty treatments and massage services. Yet one kept cropping up in conversations whenever I was trying to figure out which naked spa Berlin was most famous for. Make sure it's on your to-do list if you come to spend a weekend in Berlin.


    Berlin nude sauna, you say?

    Friends go to vabali spa nude. Dates go to vabali spa naked. Colleagues go to the German sauna nude. Who doesn't go to vabali naked? I was naturally pumped when I got invited to write a vabali spa Berlin review and visit one of the top nude spa in Germany. And while I love company, the thought of being completely nude with acquaintances in a hot tub in public made me somewhat nervous. So I elected to go on my own for my first experience. And although vabali spa is not an FKK venue or a nudist resort, people there are nude in some outlets (in the sauna room, steam baths and large pool area) while some chose to cover themselves with bathrobes, kimonos or towels in the lounge area and restaurant, so it seemed perfect for my self-experiment. Ready for a nude German spa experience?


    A little too shy for a nude sauna Berlin outing or for the nude German sauna? Find other clothed things to do right here! But save nude Berlin for another day!


    VISITING VABALI SPA BERLIN

    Vabali Spa Berlin, Germany

    vabali spa is a great place with wonderful spa facilities — an oasis of peace and quiet smack in the center of the city. You’d never guess the hustle that’s going on just a mere meters away from just how peaceful it is.

    Upon checking in at the front desk, I was given a set of instructions with a wristband, a towel, a cute little kimono and was directed to the changing room. It quickly hit me right in the face how confident I actually am with nudity when I’m a complete stranger to everyone. Being naked with my mom is a thought that makes me extremely uncomfortable (perhaps she’d be judgemental of my pube trimming habits?!) - but here, I was just like, hey ho, I’m nakey, no biggie. Perhaps the last few years of cycling and yoga have given me that extra boost of body confidence? Also, the average customer age on the day I visited was much higher than my own and seemed to be indirectly proportional to everyone’s level of comfort with their own nudity. I'm not 100% if there are women's locker rooms there as I ended up in mixed changing rooms. Oh well.

    Let's get naked, Berlin! On the day of my visit, it was a lush 30+ degrees celsius, the sun was shining a little bit and there was a light breeze that was caressing my body in places where it never gets the opportunity to do so. Once I managed to stop myself from staring at all the weiners dangling about nonchalantly, it felt amazing. I very likely had the Berlin sauna mixed-gendered fist-timer stamp on my forehead, but hey...


    THE GROUNDS

    Vabali Spa

    vabali nude spa berlin has a huge outdoor area comprising of a swimming pool with sundeck and lounge chairs, a restaurant terrace, large garden with relaxation area, private massage cabanas (where I got an excellent 50-minute massage by one of the massage therapists), more loungers and several saunas (wet and dry saunas) and steam rooms sprinkled across for quiet time. If the weather isn’t on your side, the indoor common area is equally impressive with its open-space swimming pool, cozy relaxation areas with heated waterbeds and fireside, and even more saunas and steam rooms, as well as tea room. I’m honestly looking forward to the weather going bad for my second visit and spending the day indoors curled up in a waterbed with a good book.

    A STEAM ROOM FOR EVERY TASTE

    Vabali Spa

    It took me a little while to understand the daily infusion sauna schedule as it was only in German, and there are so many steam rooms with different minerals to pick from. Trust me, it’s well worth asking around for help in understanding the chalkboards. Turns out, German nude sauna is serious business!

    There’s a full schedule of different aromatherapy ceremonies and treatments going on at every hour in many of the steam rooms, ranging from being ‘whipped’ by the Saunameister with tea-infused tree branches in a Finnish sauna, to coffee body scrub to remove dead skin, revitalizing meditation, birch sticks and chamomile blossom treatments, thermal baths, mineral pools, salt room, ice room, cold plunge pool — you name it. So day passes are probably best if you want to get the full experience. This is all free and makes the experience feel like you’re getting so much more bang for your buck! They are all very popular and, at some point, there must have been at least 30 of us squeezed tight next to one another, completely naked, huffing and puffing from the unbearable heat in a tiny wood cabin whilst being ‘whipped’ with tree branches in between cold baths. Kind of a unique experience. Make sure you drink plenty of cold water during the day and drench yourself with more buckets throughout the day of as you'll sweat a lot!

    Berlin naked spa in a nutshell (LOL)

    Massage at Vabali Spa

    Whereas I came here to experience what a nude spa Germany was all about, at the end of the day, these were all very trivial points in the grander scheme of things. I had the most relaxing day ever with good food and sunshine and, if anything, being naked simply contributed to making me feel really awesome about myself and super relaxed. Not what I expected!


    IN A NUTSHELL

    * Mark a full day off your calendar to experience the whole daily herbal full spa treatment schedule. I got there at 11am and reluctantly left at 6pm because I had another engagement elsewhere. vabali is open from 9am to midnight daily. Make the best of it!

    * The current day rate is 39,50€ on weekdays and 42,50€ on the weekend for a day pass.

    * The restaurant specializes in Mediterranean and Asian delicacies and will gladly accommodate special diets upon request to their best ability. They have the best fruit smoothies and great food!

    * There is a large massage menu to pick from, ranging from Ayurveda treatments, Reiki, Shiatsu, Thai massages and algae body packs. I opted for the classic full body massage and I honestly think vabali is one of the best massage places in Berlin.

    * The vabali Germany nude spa is located a ten-minute walk from Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) - directions here

    vabali Spa Berlin
    Seydlitzstr. 6
    10557 Berlin

    More great Berlin activies!


    All photos courtesy of vabali Spa Berlin. Many thanks for hosting me!


    Christmas 2018 Vegan Gift Guide

    Vegan Gift Ideas

    Looking for vegan gifts for those on a plant-based diet or living a vegan lifestyle and don't know where to start? Fret not! I’ve made this handy vegan gift guide for you!

    Vegan Gift Guide

    The holiday season is right upon us yet again and it's time to take it easy, take care of ourselves, and eat way too much vegan food, as per usual. While I'm not exactly fond of Christmas and the mass-consumerism it entails, I know some people love to treat their loved ones with gifts (and hopefully vegan gifts or spirituality gifts). Sometimes, it's also a great opportunity to treat a good friend or family member (or yourself) with something you/they were missing in their brand new home, for example, wink wink, not talking about myself at all here. Today I wanted to compile some great vegan gift ideas for you that contain absolutely no animal products.

    So without further ado, here are the best vegan gift ideas I could think of on a whim!


    The best gifts for vegans

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links that give me a small cut if you make a purchase. This comes at no cost to you.


    A COLD PRESS JUICER

    cold press juicer

    The perfect gift for a health nut such as myself, a slow juicer is 100% sure to please any plant-based eater. Slow juicing means the fruits and vegetables are cold-pressed and retain all of their vitamins and nutrients and can be preserved for longer. Some can also make smoothies, nut milk, and ice cream and come with a bunch of recipes. You really cannot go wrong with this stainless steel baby! Along the same line, a pressure cooker or an air fryer both make for great gifts.


    A sleep tracker

    best sleep tracker

    Another top pick! I personally fell in love with the Oura Ring and think any wearable sleep tracker would make such a great gift for anyone that's health-minded and loves beautiful accessories. This gorgeous smart ring is made of titanium and carbon coating and is hypoallergenic and waterproof and connects via an app to help track and understand better the wearer's sleep pattern. But it is pricey, so I'm linking a cheaper option above for the ones who can't be dishing out this kind of thoughtful gifts money. A great gadget for sure!


    Vegan Protein Powder

    I love me some vegan protein powder in my diet, and this one is especially good for the vegan coffee lovers who also work out. This Coffee-flavoured Protein Powder also has super pretty packaging and comes with all the benefits of protein and the taste of our favorite beverage - Covfefe, amirite? I blend a spoonful of nut butters together with it and it is by far my favorite vegan protein powder.


    The best fair fashion backpack

    The Best Outdoor Backpack

    I've tooted the Wayk's horn recently and with reason. It's a beautiful modular backpack made of recycled material and designed right here in Berlin. The bottom part is a protective camera bag that can be detailed and made into a day bag. It has a yoga mat strap, it's waterproof and it looks great. A good gift for the traveling vegans or a gift for the yogi, but since I think it's only available in Europe, I'm linking a similar option for my North American readers.


    CBD products

    high cbd strains

    For those wanting to be zen and having trouble sleeping, CBD products make great vegan christmas gifts as they can be a little difficult to justify as an expense for those in need of it. I've written a full post about how CBD has helped me cope with stress, anxiety, and insomnia and I think it's an extremely thoughtful present for a vegan pal that's a little anxious.


    Vegan Snacks!

    vegan treats

    You can't go wrong with some sweet edible vegan food gifts for your plant-based pals! I love all-natural, yummy and healthy treats like energy bars, chock full of fruits and nuts and sweet treats. These are all free of synthetic coloring, artificial preservatives, artificial seasoning and GMO. The perfect treat for anyone vegan or non-vegan alike!


    A vegan cookbook

    My friend Kirsten is a vegan chef who cooks delicious vegan meals and shares many of her vegan recipes for free on her social media. She also has several vegan diet cookbooks and her latest ones will help your vegan friend travel from the comfort of their home. A great vegan gift idea for those who enjoy vegan cooking!


    Yoga apparel and accessories

    For the active vegans out there, you really cannot go wrong with a pair of yoga pants, and to me, Lululemon is at the top of the top when it comes to quality and fit. Yes, they are a bit pricier, but that's why they make such an amazing gift. I rarely can bring myself to dish out the cost of a pair of leggings, but DO gift me one :D Many of them are also made of recycled plastic bottles.


    Pretty much anything from iHerb

    iHerb is a gold mine for the best vegan gifts and vegan products that are difficult to find elsewhere. I especially like their bath products, essential oils, cruelty-free beauty products, and the vegan snack selection that include vegan cheese and vegan chocolate (I love me some dark chocolate!), but they also have ready-made vegan gift baskets and a great selection of make-up brushes. Alternatively you can also shop my favourites and get $11 off your first order of $40 or more. When all else fails, you can also get a gift card.


    A lovely Vegan Bag

    lee coren vegan bag

    For the vegan fashionistas out there, Etsy has so many beautiful plant-based leather bags, wallets, passport holders and scarves that are of excellent quality. All faux leather materials are ethically sourced, cruelty-free and PETA-approved and make for a great present. I've had mine for over a year and the vegan leather is extremely durable too.


    Ethical Fashion Basics

    Ethical Clothing Brands

    I've been a big fan of Organic Basics since they first reached out to me and I think they make amazing presents as they are beautifully (and sustainably!) packaged and their basic cuts pretty much will please anyone, both men and women, and make ideal gifts. They have plain t-shirts, some underwear, some yoga pants and also really great bamboo toothbrushes. The whole modal collection is heavenly. The perfect vegan gift and a great addition for those who like to be cozy.


    vegan candles!

    forrest hill

    Beautifully-packaged vegan candles are always such a nice present, especially for the cold winter months ahead. With evocative and heart-warming perfumes like white flint + roasted vanilla or butter sprinkle + dough , the AMcandlesDE really caught my attention this Holiday season and are the perfect decor and ambience enhancers for anyone. Alternatively, if you're on a budget stretch, you might be surprised to learn that most Yankee Candles are actually vegan! Bring out the cozy blankets and tea! The glass jars make for cute storage afterward. Perfect for the festive season.


    Organic Cotton Undies

    DILLING

    When all else fails and you have no idea what to get for a vegan gift, comfy and cozy organic underwear is the way to go for anyone! I recently discovered YOUunderwear on Etsy and I love all of their organic cotton undies. The prices and materials are fair, organic and sustainable, and made in Europe, and the undies are super comfortable and sure to make anyone happy. I more or less live in their hipster briefs.


    What's on your vegan gift list this year?


    what is yoga nidra

    What is Yoga Nidra and Yoga Nidra Benefits

    Ah, my old friend, insomnia. Over the years, I have tried everything to get a good, uninterrupted, solid night's sleep, from daily meditation to CBD oil, in-depth sleep tracking with my Oura ring, and even a wearable vibration device for soothing my autonomic nervous system. However, I have a new favorite, low-tech, relaxation-inducing hack: yoga nidra.

    what is yoga nidra

    Yoga nidra is not an asana-based yoga practice, and although it has some shared techniques and benefits of meditation practices, it is not classified as a traditional meditation practice… so, what exactly is yoga nidra?! A powerful, transformative, holistic relaxation practice! And all I can say is when you can't sleep, the yoga nidra benefits for quality rest, better sleep quality, deep relaxation, managing post-traumatic stress disorder, and general wellbeing and physical health can't be overstated!


    What is Yoga Nidra?

    Yoga nidra is often described as 'yogic sleep' (the Sanskrit word 'nidra' translates to English as sleep). The intention of the practice is to enter a relaxed state of consciousness and deep rest, hovering between being sleep and wakefulness. This is what makes yoga nidra more than a simple relaxation exercise: it's a powerful way to access the parasympathetic nervous and do deep healing work on your body and mind. Plus, it is one of the easiest yoga practices.

    Probably, the biggest challenge with a yoga nidra meditation is actually staying awake! Yes, believe it or not, yogic sleep involves staying awake while the body relaxes completely and, through the power of intention, implant positive messaging in the subconscious mind.

    Who Invented Yoga Nidra?

    It’s a relatively ancient practice. References to yoga nidra are found as far back as the Ancient Hindu and Yoga philosophy texts like the Upanishads. However, although there may be ancient practices associated with the techniques or name yoga nidra, modern-day yoga nidra was popularized in the 1960s and 1970s and has its origins in Tantric relaxation practices.


    How To Practice Yoga Nidra

    There are many styles and methods of practicing yoga nidra, but these steps outline the basics and include some of the most common elements. Some different styles of yoga nidra incorporate elaborate visualizations or even work with evoking sensory extremes in the body, such as warmth and cool, or pain and pleasure, but this yoga nidra guide is more straightforward and focused on wellbeing and self-care. Important is to find a yoga teacher who’s voice really calms you down.

    You can familiarize yourselves with these yoga nidra steps for a self-guided meditation practice, or there are loads of great guided yoga nidras on YouTube. Throughout the practice, if your mind wanders, don't judge yourself but guide yourself back to the practice when you notice. If you fall asleep, then congratulations! Even though the goal is not to fall asleep and stay in the present moment (unless you are using it in bed for that purpose), you were probably really really tired and needed that extra rest!

    1. Lie down in a comfortable position. This could be on a yoga mat in corpse pose, supported with a bolster, a pillow under the head, and covered under a blanket or even on the sofa or in bed. Make yourself as comfortable as possible and ensure you are warm enough, as it's hard to relax fully when cold.
    2. Take a few deep breaths to help relax and acknowledge that you have arrived for your yoga nidra practice. You may want to take note of any sounds or sensations you are aware of. You may also want to take a moment to commit to your yoga nidra practice—i.e, you have made the choice to take this time to support your greater wellbeing or have more restful sleep.
    3. Set your Sankalpa. A Sankalpa is a statement that represents your deepest, truest self or desire. It is not an objective but is aligned with broader, universal values. Even if you don't feel it to be true at the time, internally state it as if it is, such as: 'I am abundance', 'compassion is my truest self,' 'I live in truth.' Repeat your Sankalpa internally to yourself and try and truly believe it, noting the physical sensations it evokes.
    4. Set an Intention. Now, set an intention for your practice, as you may do in a yoga practice. This tends to be grounded in the here and now, such as 'I will use this practice to rest and take care of myself' or 'I will be present and nonjudgemental.' 
    5. Body Scan. Take your time to scan through the body (either from the top of the head down or starting with the little toe of one foot). The body scan takes up a large part of the practice, so don't rush it. Areas of the body tend to relax automatically when we bring attention to them, but you can always take deep breaths into a specific body part to encourage further relaxation. 
    6. Become aware of your whole soft, resting, and relaxed body. Savor it!
    7. Witness your breath. See if you can follow the journey of your breath in your deeply relaxed body. 
    8. Witness sensations. Notice any physical sensations, pleasant or unpleasant. Try not to get caught up in any stories of pain, injury, etc, but let yourself be the witness.
    9. Witness the mind. Notice how the mind swings from idea to idea, latching onto thoughts or sensations. Don't try and push them away, but try and remain a witness.
    10. Reconnect to your Sankalpa. In this relaxed state of awareness, recite your Sankalpa. You may want to focus on a spacious, loving, and infinite heart center as you repeat it.
    11. Guide yourself out of your practice. Slowly and mindfully, invite gentle movement back into the body.
    12. Thank yourself for taking time to rest! You can also journal and reflect further on any realizations or challenges that occurred for you!

    How Long Does a Yoga Nidra Take?

    Don’t worry the practice of yoga nidra doesn’t need to be long, if you can only swing ten minutes that's fine! Some practices may take around an hour but personally I find half an hour to be the sweet spot, if time permits!

    When to do a Yoga Nidra?

    You can do a session of yoga nidra any time! They are great for after work or in the evening when you need to unwind and even to help you sleep. I have definitely done some in the middle of the night, too! However, you can practice them whenever you need some time out. Practising earlier in the day has the benefit that you are less likely to fall asleep mid-nidra!


    Yoga Nidra Benefits

    yoga nidra benefits

    So, what is yoga nidra good for?! A regular practice of yoga nidra can have many benefits.

    Nervous System Balancing, Rest, and Stress Reduction

    It's no secret that in our hyper-stimulated, screen-addicted, stress-filled world, we probably all need to be resting more… but rest isn't necessarily a quantity thing, but a quality thing! One of the major effects of yoga nidra is that it offers high-quality, restorative, healing rest in a relatively short period of time. So a million hours of sleep might not be what you need after all...

    The main way a yoga nidra session helps with stress reduction is by changing your brain waves and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the 'rest and digest'/relaxation response, the mode that allows different parts of the body to heal and recover. Many of us are only really in the parasympathetic state when we sleep — and spend our waking life in the active sympathetic nervous system. However, being able to balance the nervous system and move between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system throughout the day is important for well-being and mental health.

    Yoga Nidra not only triggers the parasympathetic nervous system but reminds the body and mind that it is available throughout the day, which could in turn lower blood pressure.

    Improved Wellbeing, Health Benefits, and Chronic Pain Reduction

    In a review paper analyzing multiple studies on Yoga Nidra, numerous benefits were reported across a wide range of conditions. Although scientific studies on yoga practices are notoriously difficult to carry out (and the results can sometimes be dubious), there is a clear trend across all the yoga nidra studies surveyed in this paper of participants reporting improvements in their overall well-being as a result of regular nidra practice. And thankfully no negative yoga nidra side effects were reported!

    One study showed yoga nidra was a powerful tool for managing and reducing chronic pain. There is also evidence that it can reduce the heart rate and lower blood flow, which is important for stress and heart health overall.

    Even if you don't experience chronic pain, many of us carry excessive tension in the physical body, and the body scan element is a great way to encourage physical relaxation.

    Mindset and Improved Focus

    Yoga Nidra is more than just a relaxation exercise or meditation. Sankalpa and intention setting are crucial elements because when you enter the conscious dream state that characterizes the yogic sleep, the subconscious mind is considered to be highly suggestible, and therefore, it is possible to make positive psychological changes.

    Moving the mind through the body and focusing on different sensations, such as the breath or evoking the feelings of hot and cold, is a good mental exercise with neuroplasticity benefits
    and can help improve your ability to focus on other activities and improve cognitive function.

    yoga nidra

    Sleep and Managing Insomnia

    For many people, practicing yoga nidra at any time of day can help improve their nighttime deep sleep and manage sleep disorders. It can also be an effective tool to send you to sleep at night or even in the middle of the night if you can't sleep. Don't stress if the middle of the night nidra doesn't send you to sleep! As yoga nidra encourages a deep state of relaxation that has so many physical and mental benefits,you will still profit from the deep, restorative holistic rest it provides.

    A great thing about the benefits of yoga nidra meditation is that whether you do the occasional session or practice regularly you will experience positive effects. Personally, I'm trying to make a regular practice of it because of all the positive effects it has in body and mind! It's not necessary to do a long yoga nidra session every time, and you can add it to your existing yoga or workout routine by using it as a yoga mat relaxation technique at the end of a dynamic practice, to fully charge your Savasana/post-workout experience!


    Adventures in Depression and Microdosing

    I feel there’s no avoiding exposing myself through and through on this one, so let’s cut to the chase. My mental health took a nosedive about eight years ago when I got dumped out of a relationship I had taken for granted as a forever thing. I picked myself right back up after the breakup, bought a bicycle, cycled halfway around the world, felt invincible and all grown-up for the hardship, and made a big deal of it all.

    Berlin arrival, de rigueur dating-party-drug thing. I did have fun for a few months and have absolutely no regret.

    But it all came crashing down on me like a high-pressure dam that’d been suppressing floods for too long. I don’t mean this lightly — it crushed me at max velocity. Pinned me down to the floor in a lost corner of West Berlin where I thought I had landed in a parallel universe I never wanted to know existed. An interstellar crap land of sort.

    So there I was, trapped, lost, rolled up in a ball on the 70s carpet in a onesie too big for me because I was too broke to use the heating. Chain-smoking cigarettes as my newfound coping mechanism while advocating a healthy lifestyle. Chain-dating people to try and forget all that I had lost. Taking myself on Eurotrips to feel alive, yet wishing to be hit by a car at the next intersection.

    I don’t know how long this undiagnosed situation of mine lasted but it became my default. Months, years maybe? It’s all just a blur. It took me over and became me. A broken person, and one too broke to afford the German healthcare system. I’ll leave here a few images of my then flat situation to set the stage for you.

    At some point — years later and once I plucked myself from this depressing living arrangement — there started to be cracks of clear skies between the storms, and the depressive episodes became farther and wider apart.

    They never fully disappeared, to this day. In the last decade-minus-three-years of heartbreak and trash mental health that have become my default, I have learned to accept that this is how many of us live — in this weird precarious balance between sanity and insanity that I guess is just called “life”. I simply hadn’t had a taste of it before, apparently. When you’re sheltered from mental health problems for the first 35 years of your existence, shit hits diff when it finally does hit, maybe.


    I’ve been a strong advocate of full transparency throughout the now almost 10 that I’ve been writing here and on social media. So many bloggers and content creators depict unrealistic images that lead to so much distortion and malaise. I didn’t want to be one of them.

    But also I didn’t want to let depression become a defining trait by letting it take so much space in my life that it becomes a topic, you know? I wanted to suppress it and walk the line I had tended for myself for so long. A line I most obviously could not walk in the fog of my depression. This became the deciding factor into how far down the rabbit hole I would go each time a depressive episode hit. The greater the distance between the standard I was setting for myself and the dumpster fire that was my mental state, the bigger the dissonance. I think this will continue to reverberate and bite me in the ass, like forever.

    So I guess I clung to some sort of public image of myself, not as a way to deceive anyone, but rather as a means to survival. Except I created a spicy double-edged sword to bleed myself against every time hell broke loose.


    Those last three years, I’ve had my life back on track, mostly. I have a full-time job, my own apartment, wonderfully supportive friends, health insurance, the means to pay for therapy, and the will to live a long healthy life.

    And, perspective. And a great therapist, alleluia.

    The reverberation still circles back around every so often, like a drill, to make sure I still know how to fall on my feet after a good spin. I don’t always.

    A few things have helped, and one of them has been microdosing psychedelics. I think there is a time and place for this, and I wanted to give you the full 360 first because I don’t know if it would have served me as well had I not done the work first. Maybe? I’m glad I did the work first in any case.

    For me “the work” has been first and foremost learning to sit in the center of the fire and let it burn and lick at my legs until it almost fully consumes me. I needed to feel my pain, and not mask it by cycling thousands of kilometers or doing so much yoga that I completely disembody from my own human experience. I needed to hit — and get comfortable sitting at — rock bottom. This was mostly unconscious work, but I always just wound up there no matter what.

    I’ve previously written about my first ayahuasca experience which you can read about. This is something I try to do every year, and every time, I'm surprised how many layers I still have to peel. In the lead-up to the first one, I had started microdosing psilocybin (mushroom) with interesting, if faint results. I followed this protocol almost to the T and of course, experienced good results because I was taking care of myself, exercising more, decluttering my life, doing therapy, etc. I can’t decide how much of it to credit to the microdosing, but overall it has been a very positive experience and a very gentle introduction to psychedelics. I still found myself in a few depressive episodes through it, so this isn’t a cure-all or magic thing, ironically in this specific case.

    Placebo or not, psilocybin positively affected my life, but at some point, I felt I had stalled in how it was serving me and wanted to try other things, not out of wanting to heal myself from anything, but as a way to explore untapped parts of my psyche. Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but LSD can be obtained legally in many parts of Europe. I buy mine here. And this for me has been far more transformative than psilocybin. Potentially because of all the preparation and work that have culminated in me being here now telling you about this, but also potentially because of the huge power of this drug. I mean, there is a reason why LSD has been researched in psychiatry for years to treat anxiety, depression, psychosomatic diseases, and addiction. I’m not here to tell you of the science, but rather of my own experience — and do please take it as anecdotal and do your own research. But what I’ve experienced is immense mental clarity, prolonged equanimity, intense well-being, drive, creativity, and pure joy in the present time and everything that led me to be here and now.

    Microdosing has been the companion to the very tail end of a 3 to 4-year-long depression, at a time where I think I can speak for many when I say collective mental health hasn’t been at its peak. When all else fails around us and there’s little hope for humanity, at least I have found some solace in knowing that I can stand on my own two feet with poise and lightness when doomsday finally arrives for us all.


    For the longest time, I was alienating myself by thinking that my pain was more intense, vivid, or different from that of others. It wasn’t. We’re all here living an equally vivid and painful existence, and I hope this can help you find a way to be more empathetic towards yourself.

    Sending you love,
    Amélie


    pilates retreat

    Find the best Pilates Retreat

    I'm not saying taking up Pilates alone or going on a pilates retreat will change your life, but hear me out… I am constantly striving for better balance and sustainability in my daily life — in what I eat, how I move, how I dress, how I work, and how I socialize. Because the reality is I tend to overdo things a little bit.

    pilates retreat

    Retreats are great for a reset when things have gone out of whack, but Pilates is all about building strength, stability, and better and healthier movement patterns in the body. So Retreat + Pilates = perfect mind and body reset.


    Why Go on a Pilates Retreat?

    The short version, look and feel better.

    The long version: Pilates focuses on toning and elongating muscle groups, think off-duty ballerina. But it's not just about how your muscles look; it's about how they move.

    Pilates is a functional practice that can help with retraining imbalanced movement patterns and improving posture. It's also a good one for injury rehab and chronic pain conditions (hello, my poor aching body from working at a desk all day). In a recent review paper looking at different types of exercises for managing chronic lower back pain, Pilates was found to be 'more effective than all other exercise types' for improving the condition. As I said, look and feel better. Pilates instructors can really guide you towards being the best version of yourself.

    These are the best pilates retreats 2023 right now. Whether you are looking for a week-long or weekend pilates retreat, a hybrid of movement practices or a reformer pilates retreat, I got you covered with the perfect places, daily pilates classes, night stay, adventurous activities, and plenty of free time. Fun fact — did you know pilates got its name from its inventor, Joseph Pilates? I didn't ;)

    Ps. Don't forget your travel insurance wherever you go :)

    Pilates Retreat Europe Options


    8 Day Yoga and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Fuerteventura, Spain

    8 Day Yoga and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Fuerteventura
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    If you are like me, deciding exactly what you want out of a holiday is a challenge: rustic European villa or tropical island escape? Outdoor activities or spa break? And most recently, yoga or Pilates? Well, thankfully, this wellness retreat is this perfect blend of everything. And no need to have years of experience either — the daily classes also cater to first time goers.

    You will stay in a rustic Spanish villa on Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands, located off the coast of Northern Africa. There is a flexible daily program of movement, meditation, and pilates classes led by experienced pilates teachers. The classes are designed to be accessible and challenging for everybody, from complete beginners to advanced practitioners. Also included in the retreat are two reformer classes, one private and one in a small group, which is the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your technique.

    If you are just looking to chill, then spend your days lounging by the pool, in the hot tub, or in a hammock in a shady garden nook. One massage is included in the retreat package, but you can have a wellness consultation and pay for extra. If you fancy a bit more of outdoor adventures, there should be plenty of time for that — I recommend renting a car and heading off to explore the island's national parks and world-renowned beaches. Gorgeous white sand at any time of year, but perfect if you are looking for a winter wellness European escape.

    Check out my yoga retreats in Spain guide!

    Duration: 8 days
    Price: From €1,010
    Closest Airport: Fuerteventura Airport (20 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra €40
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    4 Day Yoga and Pilates Retreat in the Swiss Alps

    swiss alps
    image credit

    There is nothing quite like a deep breath of clean mountain air to give you a mind, body, soul reset. It's the perfect getaway. On this retreat, you will stay in a gorgeous boutique alpine lodge and start your day with a pilates or yoga session followed by a nourishing brunch. The early afternoons are yours to explore the local village of Lenk, take an alpine guided hike in the beautiful outdoor areas, or sweat things out in the sauna made from a converted ski lift gondola! You will regroup in the late afternoon for a grounding yoga practice, meditation and pranayama with a wonderful retreat leader. In the evenings, you will enjoy a delicious Ayurvedic-inspired supper before slowly unwinding for the evening. Snacks, herbal teas, and a cable car ticket to explore the surrounding mountains (so much fun!) are all included.

    There is a train station in the village, so either making your way overland if you are in mainland Europe or catching the train from Geneva Airport is the most environmentally friendly way to reach the retreat. A wonderful retreat getaway.

    Duration: 4 days (perfect for shorter trips like a long weekend)
    Price: From €933
    Closest Airport: Geneva Airport (104 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Contact the organizers

    book here


    6 Day Pilates Retreat in Málaga, Spain

    6 Day Pilates Retreat in Málaga, Spain
    image credit

    Shanti Som, located in a national park and just a stone's throw from Marbella, is one of Europe's premier retreat centers offering exceptional facilities, carefully curated retreats, and delicious local food made on site by a local chef.

    Shanti Som's Pilates retreat includes three mat Pilates classes, one Reformer Pilates session, meditation and yoga sessions, a group hike, and two spa treatments led by an experienced Pilates instructor and practitioners. You can also take full advantage of the center's facilities, which include a spa with sauna and steam room, fitness center, and swimming pool.

    You will stay in Balinese-inspired beautiful single rooms with queen bed and enjoy three delicious, well-balanced meals a day. This luxury retreat is the perfect choice if you are looking for a complete physical reset.

    Duration: 6 days
    Price: From € 2,193
    Closest Airport: Málaga Airport (32 km)
    Airport pick-up included? You can arrange a personal driver for an extra €70
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    Top Pilates Retreat in the Americas


    3 Day Farm-to-Table Pilates Core Fusion Retreat in Vacaville, California

    3 Day Farm-to-Table Pilates Core Fusion Retreat in Vacaville
    image credit

    If you can only spare a weekend for a pilates retreat, it has to be this one. Set on an organic farm in Northern California 400 miles from Los Angeles that has a stellar reputation for its farm-to-table cooking, not only will you move well, you will eat very, very well. And indulge in cheeky alcoholic beverages if that's your gig.

    Every day kicks off with a core strength pilates practice and is rounded out with a softer movement practice to make sure you really reap the full benefits of pilates. In between pilates workshop, you can soak up farm life by exploring the grounds on foot or on a bike and even partake in a sourdough baking workshop. If you need some more traditional R+R, then relax by the pool and schedule a massage. To complete the rural retreat experience, you will stay in gorgeous luxe farmhouse accommodation, ranging from bell tents to tiny houses to the main farmhouse. All based on your individual needs.

    Duration: 3 days
    Price: From € 1,121
    Closest Airport: Sacramento International Airport (50 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Mainly vegetarian, check with the organizer for vegan options.

    book here


    7 Day Soul Journey Movement Retreat with Energy Healing Hypnotherapy in Mexico

    7 Day Soul Journey Movement Retreat with Energy Healing Hypnotherapy in Mexico
    image credit

    Pilates is excellent for keeping you physically balanced and aligned through your daily routine, but what if you are looking for something a little more holistic? This gorgeous retreat promises to give you that full mind, body, and soul treatment with daily pilates or pilates-yoga fusion sessions, meditation and breathwork, energy healing practices, and a deep dive into hypnotherapy to help give your unconscious mind a reset.

    The retreat center is nestled in tropical surrounds right on the coast, so even when you are enjoying downtime, you are in a deeply nourishing environment. Not only do you get to enjoy a week soaking up the Mexican sun and culture, but the retreat also includes pre and post-coaching sessions.

    Duration: 7 days
    Price: From € 2,702
    Closest Airport: Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (74 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    Best Pilates Retreats in Asia


    7 Day Luxury Pilates Retreat in Canggu, Bali

    7 Day Luxury Pilates Retreat in Canggu, Bali
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    Although this mat, barre, and reformer pilates retreat sounds pretty full-on physically, it also includes unlimited spa treatments. Yes, you read that right, UNLIMITED. SPA. TREATMENTS. So when you're not working on your core stability, why not get a full body massage, or a facial, or work your way through their specialized ayurvedic menu?

    This retreat really doesn't scrimp on the luxury; expect gorgeous airy rooms, three healthy food gourmet meals a day, plus unlimited snacks and detox juices; there is even a chauffeur service if you want to go out and about. If you are looking to intensify things a little, then make full use of the fitness suite and if you are after some mental wellbeing, make sure to check out the twice-daily meditation sessions.

    Wondering where to go on your next retreats? Nowhere does it quite like Bali.

    Duration: 7 days
    Price: From € 3,182
    Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (12 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    7 Day Fitness, Meditation, and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand

    7 Day Fitness, Meditation, and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand
    image credit

    If you are looking for a pilates retreat that will give you a complete fitness overhaul, this is the one. The Absolute Sanctuary retreat center not only has an extensive fitness suite, they also have a reformer pilates studio (the first in Thailand, in fact!).

    As part of this retreat package, you have unlimited access to all the group fitness classes, as well as four personalized personal training sessions. To keep things balanced, you also have access to the steam room of the spa center, and one massage is included in the price (although, feel free to indulge yourself in their spa menu, which includes everything from infrared saunas to Thai full body massages). There's also a pool where you can spend your afternoons unwinding with a good holiday read, or you can relax in the privacy of your suite. Or hop on a scooter and explore the island!

    All meals are included and are designed to support your wellness journey, and the retreat center also has a juice bar where you can keep yourself topped up throughout the day.

    Duration: 7 days
    Price: From € 2,027
    Closest Airport: Samui Airport (1 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    Pilates Retreats in Africa & Middle-East


    5 Days Energizing Pilates Holiday in Dalyan, Turkey

    5 Days Energizing Pilates Holiday in Dalyan, Turkey
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    If you are looking for an affordable pilates retreat, this is the pick of the bunch. This retreat includes three-morning pilates fusion sessions, all meals, a traditional Turkish Hammam, and a boat trip along the Dalyan River to visit the famed Turtle Beach, mud baths, and Kaunos Tombs.

    This retreat is a real find. You will stay in a lovely, comfortable family-owned retreat center, with a large swimming pool and beautiful gardens with a citrus grove. This is a great place to go and relax whilst getting to experience some of the local highlights and still get your pilates hit.

    Duration: 5 days
    Price: From € 595
    Closest Airport: Dalaman Airport (17 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English, Turkish
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    book here


    8 Days New Energy Ashtanga and Pilates Retreat at an Eco-lodge in Essaouira, Morocco

    8 Days New Energy Ashtanga and Pilates Retreat at an Eco-lodge in Essaouira, Morocco
    image credit

    It's no secret that I'm a little in love with Morocco. And Ashtanga. And Pilates. So what better option than this sustainability-conscious retreat which includes three hours of movement and fitness activities a day, daily Pilates and/or Ashtanga classes, general mobility practices and walks. This is all kept in balance by the modern and tasteful eco-lodge accommodation, set in a grove of olive, almond, and citrus trees, complete with a swimming pool, hammam, and sauna, and three delicious and nourishing meals a day.

    Your schedule will be pretty full on, but there will also be opportunities to explore the town and medina of Essaouira, located 14 km away. If surfing is your thing, make sure you carve out some time to catch a wave on one of the nearby coast's renowned surf beaches.

    Check out more retreats in Morocco and the best riads in Marrakech.

    Duration: 8 days
    Price: From €1,440
    Closest Airport: Essaouira-Mogador Airport (2 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: All levels
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes, but let them know in advance

    book here


    The Best Yoga Retreats in Spain

    After eating my way through Barcelona's best vegan restaurants, next on my Spanish bucket list is a yoga retreat in Spain!

    Not so long ago, I was dreaming of a yoga retreat in Morocco, so heading to Spain, just a stone's throw from this amazing North African county, feels like the natural next stop. And more than just top quality yoga, Spain retreats offer some of the world’s best yoga breaks, from the budget to the high end, to incredible locations from azure sea islands to beautiful countryside.

    yoga retreats Spain

    It's not surprising that I love me a yoga retreat (and a yoga teacher training, tbh)—they combine all my great loves: yoga + travel + wellness + vegan treats—sign me up! And with Autumn around the corner, there's still enough time to make the most of that southern European sunshine and head to Spain for a yoga retreat and holiday. Whether you are after a rural escape or need an urban yoga retreat cultural fix, I got you covered.


    Top 6 Yoga Retreats in Spain

    Canary Islands Yoga and Pilates Retreat

    yoga spain retreat

    If you need some wellness and yoga, this Spain retreat is ideal! Get toned, balanced, and find your zen with this week-long yoga and pilates retreat on stunning Gran Canaria. With a detailed program of daily yoga or pilates classes, as well as extra yin yoga and meditation classes, expect to leave this yoga holiday feeling sublime. Separate beginner and advanced yoga and pilates classes are offered, so you are guaranteed to find a level that suits your individual needs.

    Accommodation is in a beautiful traditional Canarian-style villa with a swimming pool and jacuzzi and is located just ten minutes from some of Spain's most beautiful beaches. Get your complete wellness holiday fix with a massage included in the price, as well as delicious and healthy food.

    In need of a straight-up pilates retreat? Check out my recommendations.

    Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
    Price: from €840
    Closest Airport: Fuerteventura Airport (20 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be added for extra cost of €40 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Short but Sweet Yoga Retreat in Rural Catalonia

    retreat Spain

    Wake up in a medieval country house, surrounded by the serenity of the beautiful landscapes of the Spanish countryside and spend a few days gently rebalancing with Hatha yoga classes before returning to your daily life. The aim of this retreat which only accommodates a small group is to provide a concentrated period of deep unwinding and relaxing, nourishing food, and plenty of rest. It's also a great affordable retreat option, and with its short and convenient program it's easy to see why it's one of the most popular yoga retreats in Spain.

    As this retreat takes place during the week, combining this yoga retreat with a Barcelona city break is my idea of a perfect getaway!

    Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
    Price: from €180
    Closest Airport: Barcelona Airport (20 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: Spanish and English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes, let the organizer know in advance


    Amazing Yoga Holiday in Andalusia

    yoga retreat Spain

    There's no shortage of Malaga yoga holidays, but IMO—this is the very best! Spend a week relaxing, practicing yoga, and soaking up the gorgeous weather and atmosphere of Spain's iconic Costa del Sol.

    Yoga Soul Spirit is located in Castell de Ferro, one of Andalusia's most striking villages, with a backdrop of mountains and some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Spain's Costa del Sol on the doorstep. The retreat includes three incredible meals a day, celebrating the best of the region's seasonal and Mediterranean produce. So when you're not nourishing yourself, waking up to invigorating Vinyasa and Ashtanga or ending the day with yin yoga or optional activities to local sights, you can spend your day soaking up traditional Andalusian culture, sampling tapas, or catching some rays on the beach.

    If you are looking for a Spain yoga retreat near Malaga, this is a great option. You can also combine it with a city break to Granada or Malaga, so if you want it all: culture, yoga, beach, and serious relaxation, then this is the yoga retreat you have been looking for!

    Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
    Price: from €499
    Closest Airport: Granada Airport (20 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: Spanish and English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Detox, Wellness, and Yoga Retreat in Alicante

    spain yoga retreat

    Need a little bit of a reset and a reboot? Then this is the perfect yoga vacation for you. La Crisalida retreat center offers a robust program guaranteed to blow out those physical cobwebs—the day starts with a 90-minute guided walk through the beautiful surrounding beaches and woodland. After a delicious breakfast, enjoy a yoga class, a short exercise class, and a meditation session before lunch. Then embrace that well-earned siesta or just lounge by the pool before the afternoon activities, which range from cooking classes and juicing workshops to more physical activities, such as dynamic yoga or Yogalates. After a nourishing evening meal, wind down with mindfulness, yoga nidra, or a guided visualization. With such an absorbing schedule, you are guaranteed to meet like-minded people and form great bonds.

    This is definitely one of most comprehensive detox and yoga retreats in Spain. As well as three healthy balanced meals, an afternoon cold pressed juice is included, and if you feel in need of a more full-on detox retreat or a little weight loss, you can trade your breakfast or supper for juice as well. And if all this sounds a bit too much… don't worry—everything is optional, so feel free to carve out your own free time and enjoy the beach or curl up with a book if that sounds more like your vibe!

    Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
    Price: from €501
    Closest Airport: Alicante Airport (20 km)
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: Spanish and English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    Week Long Ibiza Yoga Retreat

    yoga in ibiza

    Yoga in Ibiza? Basically the dream. And in case you didn't know, Ibiza is not all parties but also a spiritual mecca destination. So a week spent in a breathtaking location, just a stone's throw from Ibiza's best beach, and practicing yoga with world-renowned teachers at Ibiza Yoga Ltd sounds pretty heavenly to me. The two-hour daily classes range from Vinyasa flow to Kundalini, Hatha to Ashtanga. Breakfast and one other nourishing vegetarian or vegan meal are provided per day, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore the local tavernas or cook for yourself in the villa's kitchen. Accommodation ranges from rooms in the architecturally designed Villa Roca (!) or Balinese style pagodas in the lush 20-acre grounds.

    Full disclosure, I first saw this yoga retreat in Ibiza in 2022 and have been dreaming of going to this Baleriac Island paradise ever since...

    Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
    Price: from €701
    Closest Airport: Ibiza Airport (24 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, chakrait can be added for extra cost of €47 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    4 Day Chakra Yoga Retreat Near Barcelona

    yoga retreat Barcelona

    Get fully rebalanced and aligned with this yoga retreat, set in a gorgeous retreat center on a working vineyard! Each yoga class is centered on connecting to, understanding, and balancing a different chakra — and when you are not practicing yoga, you can explore the vineyards, hike to a nearby waterfall, or just chill by the pool. As well as a dedicated yoga shala, the yoga retreat facilities includes not just a swimming pool but a hot tub AND sauna. And, rest assured, this retreat takes its food as seriously as it does its wine, so expect to fuel yourself with delicious meals from fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

    There is accommodation to suit every budget, so whether you are on a shoestring or seeking a luxury yoga retreat, this is the one for you.

    Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
    Price: from €701
    Closest Airport: Ibiza Airport (24 km)
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be added for extra cost of €47 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes


    After putting together this ‘yoga retreats in Spain’ bucket list, I'm beginning to wonder if Spain might actually be paradise…?! Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, iconic cities, breathtaking villages, and incredible natural beauty. Although Portugal and Greece offer some pretty spectacular yoga retreats too...

    But if you are looking for something a little further afield or planning a winter yoga retreat, why not scope out a yoga retreat in India, a yoga holiday in Mexico, or try something a little different with an Ayurveda retreat.


    what is karma yoga

    What is Karma yoga?

    As someone who grew up on a diet of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, the idea of karma is not new to me — but the first time I came across karma yoga at a yoga studio was when I saw a poster for Karma yogis—people to come and help out around the studio in exchange for free yoga classes. Only years later, on a yoga philosophy module during my Yoga Teacher Training, when we read the Bhagavad Gita, did I learn what karma yoga really is.

    what is karma yoga

    As I continue on my spiritual path and consider how to deepen my yoga practice beyond asana and even breathwork and meditation, I have been reflecting more and more on what it means to actually live yoga and honor its traditions. By incorporating a practice of karma yoga into my daily life, not only do I feel more spiritually fulfilled, but better overall!


    Karma Yoga 101

    Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. So, Karma yoga is the yoga of action.

    Specifically, it is the yoga of selfless action, which means making choices with the right motives and for the interest of others and overall good, as opposed to yourself.

    Nowadays, we associate karma with the idea of "what goes around comes around": basically, according to the law of karma, if you do the right thing, the chain reaction of cause and effect works its magic and you can expect good things in return. But if you are an asshole, well, expect shit to happen.

    And tbh, this isn’t a million miles from the traditional meaning in yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Albeit, karma yoga is more about eternal spiritual liberation than always being kind to your neighbors so they agree to look after your plants when you’re away…

    What is Karma Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita?

    In the yoga tradition, the most important text for karma yoga is the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita, literally the Song of God, is a 700-verse scripture, written between the 2nd century BCE and 4th century CE, and is a core Hindu text.

    The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of Prince Arjuna, who is faced with a moral conundrum regarding the war he is waging. He seeks counsel from his charioteer, Krishna, who is Lord Vishnu in disguise. The two discuss many gritty, philosophical topics, but ultimately, Arjuna has a spiritual awakening. He determines that fulfilling his highest duty (his karma) as a warrior is the spiritual path to liberation (moksha). Arjuna is the OG karma yogi and everything he will do in life is in service of a greater spiritual order.

    The Bhagavad Gita is about how to achieve the ultimate goal of spiritual liberation. Although Karma yoga is the most significant method cited in the text, it is definitely not the only path to liberation. These other forms of yoga are:

    • Bhakti yoga, which are devotional practices — chanting, Kirtan, spiritual offerings or rituals, and all forms of prayer count as Bhakti yoga.
    • Jnana yoga, which is knowledge or self-study, specifically attaining wisdom. It is considered to be the most challenging path.
    • And Raja yoga, which is the spiritual path to enlightenment through meditation. Not everyone includes Raja yoga as one of the specific paths to liberation, however, Raja yoga is incredibly influential on contemporary yoga philosophy and has roots in the Gita.

    Whereas bhakti is the Sanskrit word for devotion and jnana means knowledge, Raja is the Sanskrit word for king. It means the ‘royal path’ and aligns with the Eight limbs of Yoga system outlined in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

    (Trivia moment: the famous line "now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds," quoted in Oppenheimer, is from the Bhagavad Gita. When you understand more about the scripture’s themes, you can see why it is such a fitting quote).


    The Bhagavad Gita Today

    Given the importance of the Bhagavad Gita, why are karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga not considered core concepts of yoga today?

    In part, this has to do with the secularization of yoga. The Bhagavad Gita is a religious text, and many contemporary yogis are atheists or agnostics — definitely not Hindu. But also, these yoga practices pre-date the traditions of Hatha yoga, which is the most direct influence on yoga asana and yoga-based movement classes today.

    karma yoga

    Karma Yoga Today: The Path of Action

    It’s important to remember that Arjuna’s goal was complete spiritual liberation and release from the cycle of reincarnation… now, for many reasons, this may not vibe with you — but you shouldn’t write off karma yoga!

    Karma yoga is a profound spiritual practice that is easy to do anytime, anywhere. Basically, being a decent human being counts as a spiritual practice. It’s even more accessible than the Yamas and Niyamas, the first two limbs of the eight limbs system, because it is less specific.

    Although mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, usually we have a formal meditation practice because it’s hard to remember to be observant and non-attached queuing in the supermarket. Similarly, we have to make an effort to take time for devotional practices, like gratitude journaling and mantras. Karma yoga, however, is practiced as we go about our daily lives.

    In short, being a good, ethical person and making decisions that align with a higher purpose or for the best possible outcome for as many beings as possible is karma yoga. So, buying the palm oil-free peanut butter? Karma yoga!

    However, this doesn’t make it easy.


    Karma Yoga Challenges

    Karma yoga is defined by selfless actions, i.e. the motivations for your actions shouldn’t be for your own personal gain. You need to be content with your good deeds going unnoticed — cleaning your neighbour’s paintbrushes at the art studio without being asked is an act of selfless service.

    It also requires a non-attachment to the outcome. Remember that Friends episode about the selfless good deed? That’s karma yoga. Doing something with no self-interest or self-congratulations is hard.

    Some people believe that their actions guarantee them good future karma, but that's not how it works — a life of service doesn’t prevent you from getting fired or cardiovascular diseases. And, if something out of your control happens to you, it’s not because you somehow brought it on yourself!

    A core part of being a karma yogi is having the right motives, regardless of the results of our actions, even if you get no acknowledgement or people disagree with you. It’s a misnomer that karma yoga is all about positive feelings and good vibes.

    There’s also space for nuance, IMO. Life isn’t as black and white, so what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ isn’t always clear. There isn’t a definitive right way — you can only do your best! I look at karma yoga as one part of my spiritual practices, which means considering my well-being too. Spiritual growth is holistic after all, in the heart, body, and mind.

    What Do Yoga Studios Mean by Karma Yogis?

    Many yoga studios have Karma yogi programs whereby for offering a service to the studio — usually helping the yoga teacher set up the yoga studio or light cleaning duties — you receive free yoga classes or a gift certificate towards a workshop or equipment from the studio shop in return.

    So, is this actual Karma yoga? Tbh, probably not. But it can be a mutually beneficial arrangement that makes practicing yoga more affordable and accessible! But I believe the karma yogis should feel like they are getting a good, fair deal.

    So, a karma yoga practice is a great way to not only be a better human, but continue to grow spiritually!


    Need more of a yoga philosophy fix? Watch these yoga movies or take a dive into the weird but wonderful world of chakras and nadis!


    unfurnished apartments berlin

    Finding unfurnished apartments for rent in Berlin

    I know finding unfurnished apartments for rent in Berlin isn't the easiest of endeavors in recent years with the high demand, but as far as European capitals or large European cities go, it can still be somewhat affordable if you know where to look, and the rental prices can still be fair once in a while — so that part is good news. Plus, it's relatively straightforward to obtain a residence permit. Are you on the hunt for unfurnished apartments in Berlin? I've gathered a few tools to help you navigate the property market. So please don't despair, it might take a while, but it's possible

    Berlin Apartments for Rent

    Due to the popularity of the city and the abundance of people who decide to call it their new home every year, finding unfurnished apartments for rent in Berlin can be more complicated than you may think — especially if you’re new to the area and have a too specific idea of what your dream long-term apartment should look like (it may not be the case that you'll find a sunny balcony with ceiling windows, for example). The Berlin housing market is a bit... complicated. With that said, it’s by no means impossible but will require a long time and patience (generally between two weeks and six months), and as someone who has been living in Berlin for quite some time now and has found her dream flat (it took me six months, don't despair!), I’m here to help — but do lower your expectations a bit :) For example, my flat does have plenty of charm and plenty of natural light, and is within walking distance to many amenities, but it doesn't have a balcony, spacious rooms, or hardwood floors, it's on the first floor (I was dreaming of at least a 4th floor and some views over the river Spree...), and the main bedroom is in fact... the only single room. Let's call it a spacious one-bedroom apartment? You take some, you leave some, it is still a perfect apartment and a unique place.

    unfurnished apartments berlin


    Finding Berlin Apartments for Rent


    Which Neighbourhood and What Type of Apartment?

    Sounds like the most obvious advice in the world, doesn’t it? But in reality, neighborhood research is essential before setting out on your "unfurnished apartments Berlin" hunt to find your new place, as each area has unique offerings in regards to culture, esthetics, and things to do. Your choice of neighborhood will, of course, depend on your budget as well as your interests. It might be a good idea to come and spend a weekend in Berlin first to soak it all in and decide what area you like best. Popular neighborhoods aren't always the best neighborhoods to live in.

    For example, Prenzlauer Berg and Berlin Mitte are seemingly a popular option as they what could be considered the city center and contain many of the city’s best tourist attractions and a throng of fabulous flea market, but this also makes it more expensive, and I personally dislike it, I find it Boojee AF. I also don't think that proximity to Museum Island or Hackescher Markt is a perk. Another popular neighborhood is Friedrichshain, a hot spot for partygoers and anyone who appreciates a good night out, which I don't, but I love Friedrichshain, and it's where I live. So it's kinda tricky. You should really come spend some time here and get a vibe of each neighborhood. Here is a quick guide to Berlin’s different neighborhoods.

    Once you first thing have an idea of the neighborhood you want to live in, or at least narrowed down a few, you can begin to look for unfurnished apartments in Berlin that suit your needs. For example, you may be working with a tighter budget and require a shared apartment in Berlin, called ‘WG’ (pronounced vay-gay), or looking for a place of your own. Once you establish this, you'll have a more specific idea about what to look for and where to look. Fortunately, the internet is somewhat of a deep rabbit hole when it comes to sites dedicated to renting and purchasing apartments in Berlin.


    Where to Look for Berlin Apartments for Rent - the Best Websites

    Before you begin to roam the abundance of websites that may just reveal the beautiful new pad with high ceilings in an old building you’ve been looking for (and be aware, an unfurnished 3-bedroom apartment is more or less what everyone is looking for) — if you already have an apartment in Berlin and are looking to move, your Hausverwaltung (rental company) is a good starting point. They will likely have other properties to rent, and if you have been a wonderful tenant, they will trust you and may even give you a good deal when it comes to renting. Failing that, here is a list of websites, estate agent sites, and groups that are worth a look at to help you find the rental agreement of your dream.

    Classified Ads

    • Kleinanzeigen - The most popular German classified ads site for unfurnished flats. But when I say unfurnished... In some cases there may not even be a kitchen sink (just to manage expectations...)
    • ImmobilienScout24 - Germany's biggest apartment listing site. That's where I found my perfect place of an amazing apartment (sorry!)
    • Wohnungbörse

    Housing Companies / Real Estate Agent


    Short-Term Apartment Rental and Furnished Apartments

    These are definitely on the pricier side but they are convenient and could be perfect for your first month if you are arriving in Berlin in a rush and need to show rental contracts for whatever reason. On a similar note, do look into having health insurance for the first few months when you arrive in Berlin — they are pretty serious about this stuff. Most prices here are warm rent (meaning everything is included). Definitely not a long-term stay solution.

    • exBerliner - English-speaking accommodation service offering both furnished and unfurnished apartments for rent in Berlin already equipped with high-speed internet
    • Berlinovo - Furnished apartments, many with spacious living and beautiful wooden floors
    • Nestpick - Furnished apartments
    • Wunderflats - A good bet for a quick quiet apartment with a dining area and double bed
    • coming home - Furnished apartments with curated furniture, central heating, and sometimes a lovely balcony as a perk
    • TheHomeLike - Furnished apartments
    • Crocodilian - Furnished apartments, some with a fashionable open-plan kitchen and large windows, many in the heart of Berlin
    • FarAwayHome - Furnished and serviced apartments with new kitchen. Who doesn't want weekly apartment cleaning? ;)
    • Spotahome - Medium and long term furnished apartments
    • Habyt - Furnished apartments. Everything is included but very expensive. Ideal for young professionals in a bit of a rush. Many of those will have great modern appliances

    WGs, Flat-Sharing and Roommates

    These are great for finding temporary apartments and also cheaper apartments than if you were the sole tenant — perfect for student accommodation. It's also a great place to find a new tenant for your own flatshare! Always pay close attention to the square meter (there are MANY shoeboxes out there), who the current tenant is (they tend to be more young people), and if there is a shared living room (many WGs don't have one).


    Niche


    Don’t Forget Social Media

    I know I have already mentioned a few Facebook groups above, but you should always keep your other social media channels in mind if you’re looking for Berlin apartments for rent. If you are struggling to find an apartment that suits your needs (ie. many don't have a washing machine outlet, what the ahhhhh) or budget, or are in a bit of a pinch and need a short-term place to stay — your social media pals can often come in handy. Of course, this will only be successful if you already have friends in Berlin or have friends who have friends in the German capital.

    By posting a status saying that you’re looking for an apartment, studio apartment, or shared accommodation in the city, you’ll be surprised how often people can come to the rescue by either responding directly or tagging other friends in the comments section. Either way, you have nothing to lose!


    How Much Rent Should You Pay for Berlin Apartments?

    Now let's get down to it, the big bank account question, how much will it cost you to rent Berlin unfurnished apartments for rent long term? What's the monthly rent damage? This map made by ImmobilienScout shows the average price of renting apartments depending on the location along the U Bahn and S Bahn lines. It provides you with an average price of a thirty-year-old 70m2 apartment, without utilities (called kalt-miete, "cold rent"). But seeing as the rental market has gone a bit bonkers recently, I don't know how accurate this still is. Whether the flat is in an old or a new building, located close to the city center and easy access to public transportation will greatly impact the price too.


    Miet-Map Berlin

    Also, the “Mietspiegel” (Rent mirror), a database run by the city, is a brilliant tool for keeping track of prices across Berlin's districts. All you have to do is enter your street to check the rent prices.


    Live Within Your Means

    Okay, this isn’t exactly a Berlin-specific tip, but when you move here, you’ll soon find that it’s essential to live within your means until you get the lay of the land. It’s not uncommon for people to move to a new city and seek out the coolest and most unique apartment possible, but in doing so, you will also sacrifice a lot of your budget. Berlin isn’t the most expensive city in the world, but it’s most definitely not the cheapest. My advice would be to find a place that suits your needs and budget, and from there you can make it a home. Berlin has so much to offer outside of your four walls, so it would be a shame if you have no time to see it because you work long hours to cover the cost of your expensive rent.

    As long as you have everything you need, and the place you come home to every day isn’t a dump, then in my book that’s a win. It may take you a little while to find an apartment in Berlin you’re happy with, but I can say from experience — it’s worth the wait!


    Are you moving to Berlin soon or have a city break planned in the near future? I have plenty of posts and guides to help you find your way around when you arrive!


    My spiritual journey. Yoga teacher training at Smriti Yoga in Goa, India

    Best Yoga Teacher Training Retreats 2023

    Have you become so passionate and dedicated about yoga that you now wish to turn your passion into a career by considering yoga teacher training retreats 2023 courses? I can’t blame you — been there, done that, in fact I did two separate yoga certification retreats. I did my first time yoga certification retreat in India, back in 2015, and although I took a different path after and did not end up teaching, it was truly a transformative experience. And last year I did my second YTT (this time in Ashtanga Vinyasa style) during weekend courses with High on Yoga in Berlin. I highly recommend anyone to take a yoga teacher training abroad 2023 as well as doing a silent retreat and an Ayahuasca retreat at least once in their life to heighten their physical practice!

    My spiritual journey. Yoga teacher training at Smriti Yoga in Goa, India

    For enthusiastic yoga practitioners (even if your end goal isn’t to actually teach but just build a spiritual practice or step out of your comfort zone), it is possible to take a yoga teacher training 2023 course abroad and become a yoga instructor and be approved for teaching by Yoga Alliance in just a few weeks, anywhere in the world — a truly life-changing experience. Heck, you can even do online yoga teacher training programs if that best suits you these days! But I think any person training from home for a YTT has to have a lot of discipline.

    Anyway, I’m sure you have questions. Practices of yoga are a-plenty and asana practice is hard enough, leave alone teaching it.

    Should I consider the best yoga teacher training retreats near me or fly to the tropics? Over the course of several months or all in one go? Is my personal practice of yoga strong enough to become an instructor? What else is in the course materials? How do I choose from a catalog of yoga instructor courses as large as the yoga methods that exist on the planet? Should I take a 200 hr teacher training or longer (up to 500 hour yoga teacher training course are available)? What are the best books about yoga to accompany my learnings? On this, I'd say, make sure the school you pick has an emphasis on the yoga sutras as part of their course material. It's the most important document about yoga, in my opinion. Here’s some YTT course wisdom I’ve gathered over my years of training and research.


    Best Yoga Teacher Training Retreats 2023


    When it comes to picking the right location for your yoga teacher training retreat, or any yoga course, there are some things to consider. My first time around, I personally didn’t want to do a yoga teacher training near me or near potentially disturbing life factors, such as work and friends. I wanted to be fully focused and fully immersed. I also thought that if I was going to become a yoga instructor, I wanted to become a registered yoga teacher in the birthplace of yoga: the perfect place that is India.

    The most popular yoga teacher training retreats 2023 destinations are India, Bali, Costa Rica, Thailand and the United States. BookYogaTeacherTraining and BookYogaRetreats are two great resources to start shopping around, read reviews and do some research. Below are my recommendations. You can read more about India YTT in my Yoga Teacher Training India article.

    There are also several registered yoga school options in Europe, and I've recently completed one of the part-time 300-hour trainings offered by High on Yoga here in Berlin with a bunch of talented teachers with years of teaching experience.


    India Yoga Teacher Retreats 2023


    Kranti Yoga

    In Goa, India

    kranti yoga

    Yoga Teacher Training in Kranti Yoga is available from November until May. Set on one of the best beaches of Goa in the beautiful little town of Patnem, Kranti would be my selection of choice if I had to do it all again. And I might! Imagine practicing giving correct alignment and rehearsing classes while staring at the sea, and having to walk a mere few meters to immerse into the warm waves. Add to this a wonderfully cozy little town where the pace of living is slow and there is some great veggie food, and you have yourself the perfect location to relax while learning the art of teaching yoga and the philosophy of yoga. Some of the options here include a 27 Days 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Vinyasa Flow, a 15 Days 100 Hours Yin Yoga Teacher Training, a 22 Days 200-Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training, Vinyasa yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and more. Patnem has the best dogs, too!

    Duration: various
    Price: varies
    Closest Airport: Goa International Airport (Dabolim Airport) (47km)

    Airport pick up included? No, it can be added for an additional cost of $35 per person
    Skill Level: Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out all YTT options in Goa

    Best Yoga Certification Retreats 2023 in Bali


    Loka Yoga School

    Loka Yoga School Bali

    Loka Yoga teacher retreat is one of the best yoga schools in Bali and is located right by the beach in Canggu! The school offers world-class internationally certified 200-hour yoga teacher training courses with expert teachers who have over 30 years of experience. An absolutely mind-blowing yoga teacher training located at the most stunning yoga space by the famous surf beach in Canggu, you can escape to paradise to complete your 200-hour training and experience advanced yoga, breathwork, meditation, anatomy & physiology, yoga philosophy, yoga biomechanics, mantra chanting, puja ceremonies, teaching kids yoga, the art of sequencing, adjustments & corrections and the business of yoga.

    All participants of the in-person training receive free access to their online course portal, including many of the lectures and classes taught throughout the 200-hour certified Yoga Teacher Training; so you may re-experience the yoga classes and refer back to the content anytime in the future!

    Duration: 1 month intensive
    Price: from $2,100
    Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out all YTT options at Loka Yoga School

    Parahita Alam Bali

    yoga teacher training in bali

    Parahita Alam Bali offers a 25-day teacher training between February and December. The teaching style you’ll learn at this yoga studio is Hatha and Vinyasa and is geared towards yoga for beginners to intermediate practitioners. This 200-hour program on the magical island of Bali includes your usual curriculum of yoga postures study in small groups in an intimate setting of a maximum of 20 students, as well as beautiful beaches, healthy food, cozy accommodation in shared or private room, and a great way to have yourself a vacation of a lifetime. Airport transfers are included for ease of travel, as well as Wi-Fi, hot water, in-house bathrooms, cleaning service and refilled water. Parahita Alam Bali caters to vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and raw food diets. There's no better place than Bali for both the study of yoga and to practice yoga and yoga nidra.

    Duration: 25 days, 24 nights
    Price: from $2,093
    Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport
    Airport pick-up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out all YTT options in Bali

    Inner Yoga Training Retreat 2023 Bali

    Available from March until November, Inner Yoga Training Retreat is a 24 Day 200-Hour Vinyasa and Yin Yoga teacher training abroad in magical Ubud, Bali’s yoga capital. Inner Yoga features an open-air yoga Shala set amidst lush green rice paddies overlooking the jungle, spa and infinity swimming pool, 3 daily delicious and fresh vegetarian meals per day (vegan and gluten-free on request too). Herbal teas, daily fresh ginger, lime and mint tea, Balinese or french-press coffee and filtered water are available all day long too. An afternoon snack is provided each day with a tropical fruit platter, fresh raw veggies, and homemade vegan dips. Complimentary airport pickup is also available here. This place is great as you will learn two styles of yoga for a strong foundation as a teacher of yoga. For shorter yoga education options, do check out my recommendations for Bali yoga retreats.

    Duration: 24 days, 23 nights
    Price: n/a
    Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport
    Airport pick up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out all YTT options in Bali

    Yoga Teacher Training Retreats USA


    ShambhavAnanda Yoga

    yoga teacher training in the USA

    If you’re in the “must do yoga teacher training near me” clan and are US-based (and here are more options for USA yoga retreats), you can go to Hawaii and feel miles away from home. Well, and you might actually be! Aside from being on Big Island, which is all sorts of magical, the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program at ShambhavAnanda Yoga is also great for those in a time crunch because it is done over the course of 16 days. All profit from your YTT course goes directly to the Ashram, a non-profit organization established in 1975 with the sole purpose of passing on the knowledge of the ShambhavAnanda Tradition and its style of yoga. As a working ashram, you will be fully integrated into the spiritual community. Hawaii being the magical place that it is, you can use your free time to climb the cliffs and valleys or drive to the center of the island to visit the sacred grounds of Mauna Kea, a 14,000 ft. Volcano, the heart of Hawaii and home to the clearest skies on earth. You will also have the opportunity to relax at the beautiful white sand beaches, do some snorkeling and stand under the Narnia waterfall in the middle of the jungle. Personal growth in paradise :)

    Duration: 16 days, 15 nights
    Price: n/a
    Closest Airport: Kona International Airport at Keāhole
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English and Japanese
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out all YTT options in Hawaii

    Yogi Hari’s Ashram

    YTT in Florida

    At the other end of the country in sunny Florida is this 15-day 200-hour yoga teacher training USA at Yogi Hara’s Ashram. After years of training registered yoga teachers around the world, Shri Yogi Hari is now offering his Sampoorna Yoga Teacher Training Courses at a reasonable price in Florida to make Yogic knowledge more available to everyone. Yogi Hari’s Ashram is an oasis for anyone who wishes to become a yoga instructor away from the stressful and hectic world. Here you will learn Ayurveda, Hatha yoga, Nada yoga, Raja yoga, Vedanta philosophy and Bhagavad Gita studies, plus receive 2 daily fresh vegetarian meals and 14 nights of accommodation. The no-frills dorm-style accommodation means it is a great budget option. The yoga level is for beginner to intermediate. Yogi Hari’s Ashram is surrounded by a 10-acre tropical organic farms and is conveniently located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale - easily accessible from either airport. Perfect setting to focus on the final exam too!

    Duration: 15 days, 14 nights
    Price: from $1,311
    Closest Airport: Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: All yoga instruction in English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out yoga teacher training retreats 2023 in Florida

    Yoga Certification retreats in Thailand


    One Yoga Thailand

    I’ve already mentioned that Koh Phangan Yoga is like no other to me, so what better places to do a teacher training than on this wonderful island. Available from March to December, the 28-day 200-hour course at One Yoga Studios allows you to touch upon a few different things and decide what resonates with you best. This 200 hours YTT is an intensive 4-week comprehensive program created to give you a solid foundation in various yoga styles. The school is led by a team of experienced teachers with years of experience in both yoga and meditation. You will learn to teach Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Flow and will be introduced to other styles like Ashtanga and Yin or Restorative yoga practice. Aimed at all levels from beginner to advanced, you will benefit from a selection of accommodations to pick from as well as vegan breakfast and lunch. Koh Phangan is a yoga hub and you will be able to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Shala is located on the beachfront resort close to Shrithanu. Heaven.

    Duration: 28 days, 27 nights
    Price: from $873
    Closest Airport: Samui Airport
    Airport pick-up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Thailand

    2023 Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica


    Soma Yoga Institute

    yoga teacher training in costa rica

    Last but definitely not least, Costa Rica is yet another dreamy place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with yourself. Soma Yoga Institute offers an 18 Days 200 Hour Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training at Zen Spirit, a magical place that blends the rustic charm of nature with newly constructed modern amenities. The resort is just remote enough to transport you to a place where you can disconnect completely and immerse yourself in an environment of total serenity. Your only distractions will be the sound of birds, frogs, and crickets, and the crashing waves that will rock you to sleep and wake you in synchronicity with the sunrise. Zen Spirit aims to provide their guests with a comfortable, peaceful environment, to experience an in-depth yoga certification. If you’re only there for a short time, do check out my yoga retreat Costa Rica post filled with shorter retreat center recommendations.

    Duration: 18 days, 17 nights
    Price: from $3,675
    Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (94km) or Juan Santamaría International Airport
    Airport pick-up included? No, can be added for $55 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Find more yoga teacher training retreats 2023 Costa Rica options

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. This comes at no cost to you and allows me to continue running this blog! Thanks for your support!


    yin yoga poses

    What Is Yin Yoga?

    When I work out, I like to work. If I'm practicing yoga instead of hitting the gym or running, I favor the fast pace of Rocket Yoga and the intensity of Ashtanga. But putting my body regularly through this type of yoga means that unless I also prioritize well-being, rest, and taking care of my body I risk everything from burnout to injury (yes, I have learned the hard way).

    Recently, I have been embracing Yin yoga sequences to help me restore not just my body but my mind. One thing I really love about Yin yoga is that it's easy to blend it with my meditation and pranayama practices. Another benefit of Yin yoga is that it's helped improve my more dynamic yoga practices by increasing my mobility by stretching ​​deep connective tissues and of course my mindfulness! So what is Yin Yoga?

    what is yin yoga?

    In the past, I have found getting the balance between rest and intensity — aka yin and yang — in yoga hard. Well, tbh I find striking a balance in life in general a real challenge. But recently, I have been finding a lot of zen by putting on my favorite online Yin Yoga classes and embracing the holistic benefits of yin poses.

    So what is Yin Yoga? Here's my guide to everything you need to get started with Yin Yoga!

    What Are Yin and Yang?

    You can't really talk about Yin yoga without understanding the principles and philosophy underpinning the practice. (And you know I love me some Ancient Eastern philosophy).

    yin yang

    No doubt you've seen the yin-yang symbol before, but what does it mean? Yin and yang are a tenet of Chinese Philosophy, representing all the opposing forces in the universe, embodied by the black-and-white segments.

    Yin is represented by the black half, and its qualities include darkness, cold, introversion, softness, what is concealed, and femininity. Yang is represented by the white half, and its qualities include lightness, heat, extroversion, hardness, openness, and masculinity. (You could go on forever categorizing things into in or yang, but you get the idea…)

    Although it can be argued that yin and yang are dualistic and opposites, the symbol shows that they are fluid. As contemporary Chinese scholars say:

    The yin–yang model captures the idea that there are no opposites—there is no absolute borderline between black (yin) and white (yang); a dot of yin exists in yang, and a dot of yang also exists in yin. Displaying the dynamic interaction between two opposite sides, the yin–yang model embraces the coexistence of opposite elements in the same environment.

    Essentially, yang cannot exist without yin, and vice versa. But also, yin and yang are always a spectrum, the qualities and energies of which can shift and adjust. When it comes to health and wellbeing, the aim is to keep them in balance—too yin and everything stagnates, too yang and we burn out.


    What Are Yin and Yang Yoga Styles?

    Most contemporary yoga styles lean into the body's Yang energy — dynamic movements with active muscles where poses are held for a relatively short time. Ashtanga and Vinyasa are very much a yang practice.

    Yin yoga, however, is all about slowing down, stillness, and relaxing the body. It consciously endeavors to counterbalance not just the yang energy of other yoga styles but the intensity of contemporary life.

    Although Yin yoga is a specific style, Restorative yoga is a very yin-esque practice. And of course, Savasana at the end of all practices is pure yin energy!


    What is Yin Yoga?

    Yin yoga is a style of yoga characterized by passive stretches held for long periods of time in order to target the deeper connective tissues in the body, promote holistic well-being, and achieve a better range of motion.

    It was founded in the 1980s by Paulie Zink, an American martial arts practitioner. Although some people like to claim that it's much older because of its connection to Ancient Chinese philosophy, Yin yoga has clear principles and ideas developed by Grilley and his contemporaries. I also believe it's important to acknowledge its contemporary Western origins—this keeps us more in the realm of cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation. Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley have also contributed great things to what is now Yin Yoga.

    9 Key Principles of Yin Yoga and a Yin Practice

    1. Long Holds

    Yin yoga poses are typically held for three to five minutes… although they can be held for up to 15 minutes!

    2. Passive Stretches and Relaxed Muscles

    Passive stretching is when you stay in a stretch for a long period, and instead of actively trying to deepen the stretch yourself, you let other forces — time, gravity, props, or a person — deepen the stretch for you. In Yin yoga, holding the poses for a long time allows the body to open up more. You also often use props in Yin Yoga to help facilitate or support the stretch.

    Although the words 'passive' and 'relaxed' imply it will be a pretty chill, easygoing practice… I'm afraid it's not! The stretches can get intense as the muscles and deep tissues start to open more and more. And then there's the mental challenge of staying still, present, and non-judgemental with discomfort for several minutes! But in the end, a Yin yoga practice will calm the sympathetic nervous system and engage the parasympathetic nervous system — an ideal outcome for our busy stressed-out lives.

    3. Targeting Deep Tissue

    Your deep tissues and connective tissues like ligaments, and tendons, but particularly for Yin yoga, fascia is what Yin yoga really focuses on. Fascia is the thin, collagen-rich, web-like tissue that encases and runs through all the muscles, as well as surrounding the organs, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones.

    When you have a tender point or can feel a knot in your muscle, this is actually inflamed fascia—and because fascia is essentially a continuous sheath, inflamed fascia in your hip can cause problems in your shoulders, neck, or even hamstrings.

    What holding ​passive stretching for an extended period of time enables — i,e. taking your muscles out of the equation—is a chance for the fascia and the physical body to open and unwind, improving not just your flexibility but overall mobility and body health.

    4. Mindfulness

    Yin yoga is as much about the mind as the body, and this is one of its biggest challenges. Staying still, especially in poses that are getting increasingly intense as the stretch deepens, is HARD. But it's also an amazing opportunity to develop your meditation practice — the intention is to stay present with the body, witnessing the physical sensations. You can also connect to the breath and even breathe into the strong sensation or specific areas of the body that need extra nourishment. One of the best benefits of yin yoga!

    5. Quality not Quantity

    In a studio or online Yin yoga class, don't be surprised if you only get through five or six poses in an hour! Also, there aren't many Yin yoga poses—only about 26, give or take a few.

    6. Lower Body Opening

    The lower part of the body is considered more yin, so it's not surprising that Yin yoga poses target the hips, hamstrings, inner thighs, and lower back. Although there are a few chest and shoulder opening poses, most emphasize the lower body.

    7. Floor-Based Poses

    Unlike yang styles of yoga, where you do lots of standing poses, almost all Yin yoga poses are floor based, where you will start from a lying, sitting, or kneeling position.

    8. Energetic Health: TCM, Meridian Lines, and Qi

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body's vital energy is called qi, similar to prana in yoga. For a healthy body and mind, the qi must be flowing freely through the body's meridians, energetic pathways similar to nadis. There are twelve main meridians associated with the 12 main organs, split into six pairs each with a yin and yang counterpart. Imbalances in organ health and qi flow cause mental and emotional disturbances, for example, the lungs are associated with grief and the stomach with excess anxiety.

    A Yin class focuses on enabling the smooth flow of qi throughout the body and certain Yin yoga sequences are centered on nourishing a specific organ by doing poses that follow that organ's meridian line.

    If you want to learn more about alternative ways of viewing the body and health, check out my posts on Ayurveda and Chakras.

    9. A Yin Spin on Familiar Poses

    All the poses in Yin have Yang yoga counterparts. For example, Gomukhasana becomes Shoelace pose in Yin yoga, and Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) is called Caterpillar pose.

    The different names help emphasize that they are practiced in a different way — relaxed muscles instead of engaged ones, passive instead of active stretches, slow heart rate instead of a cardio spike.

    So you can see where Yin yoga gets its name—the practice embodies many yin qualities like slowness, a cool body (as you won't be building heat in the body through dynamic movement), introversion, and targeting the deep yin tissues and parts of the body.


    Tips for Practicing Yin Yoga

    Whether you are doing an online-yin yoga class or just a self-guided yin yoga practice, here's how to get started!

    Setting Up

    In short, get comfy. Grab all the props you have, and if you don't have a bolster, I recommend collecting every blanket, pillow, and cushion you have available to you!

    Another great tip is to lay a blanket over your yoga mat for an even softer nesting pad.

    If you are practicing at home without the guidance of an online yin yoga class, it's helpful to have a timer on hand.

    Getting into the pose

    Once you have decided how long you want to be in a pose, set your timer.

    Then, get into a comfortable, supported variation of the pose. It can be tempting to go into your deepest variation straight away, but trust me when I say you will regret that after 30 seconds… especially when you still have a longer period of time to go.

    For example, take Swan pose (the Yin name for Pigeon pose). Start by propping up your hips on a cushion or folded blanket. Maybe you stay upright or go down onto your elbows. Take some time here and notice the subtle sensations. If you already feel a deep opening in your outer hip, add another cushion. As the minutes pass and you observe how the sensations shift in the body, you might become aware of the hips opening up more. If it feels okay, you can deepen the pose and remove your props or adjust the body.

    Work with the Breath and Mind

    Mindfulness is a core part of Yin yoga. I like to set an intention before I begin my Yin yoga sequence to stay present and non-judgmental throughout my practice, witnessing the sensations, my mental reaction to the sensations, and noticing when I get caught up in the story.

    Another thing I do is focus on sending my breath to a particular body part that feels like it needs some extra care.

    Coming out of the Pose or the Rebound

    'Rebound' is a Yin yoga term that refers to the rest or mini savasana after each pose.

    When your timer dings, slowly come out of the pose—see if you can stay present with your body as you go from stillness to moving. Then come into a comfortable rest position. This could be lying down, child's pose, or seated or kneeling.

    Give yourself a minute to observe the settling sensations of the pose. This is a great way to acknowledge how the Yin yoga practice is affecting you physically, mentally, and emotionally.


    Best Yin Yoga Sequence

    Here's a quick Yin yoga practice of my favorite Yin yoga asana!

    Butterfly Pose

    yin yoga

    Target areas: a gentle forward fold that focuses on opening through the back body and outer hips
    Optional props: bolster or cushions, blocks
    Yang yoga counterpart: badha konasana

    This is a fairly gentle pose, so you can comfortably stay between three and 10 minutes!

    1. Starting in a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together and then slide them forward so your legs are in a loose diamond shape. If your knees are hovering several inches above the ground, slide either a bolster lengthways under both knees or a folded blanket or block under each knee. 
    2. Walk your hands forward so you are in a gentle forward fold. The more you fold forward, the stronger the sensation in the hips. Stop in a position where you feel a sensation, but it's not overwhelming.
    3. You might want to use a bolster or cushions to support your torso. If you are sitting fairly upright, take your bolster so its short end rests against the ground in front of your feet and angle it towards you so you can lean your forehead against it.
    4. As time passes, let your torso drop forwards and observe any outer hip opening. If you are using props and need more space, adjust or remove them.
    5. When your timer dings or you have had enough, slowly come out of the pose and take a couple of minutes in your favorite rebound pose.

    Sphinx Pose

    benefits of yin yoga

    Target areas: a heart opener that can also help with lower back health
    Optional props: folded blanket
    Yang yoga counterpart: Cobra pose

    Start with three minutes working up to five minutes as you get more familiar with the pose.

    1. Start lying on your belly. If the pressure on your pubic bone is uncomfortable, place a folded blanket underneath your pelvis.
    2. Prop yourself up on your forearms, and make sure your shoulders and elbows are stacked to provide shoulder support. 
    3. Notice if you are tensing your buttocks, legs, or feet. Soften them. You should notice a compressive feeling across your lower back—so long as it doesn't feel sharp, hot, painful, or concentrated in one particular area, this feeling is okay. (In fact, it can really help with lower back health. Researchers have found that our connective tissues adapt and strengthen in response to compressive forces).   
    4. Breathe into your belly and lower back, notice the feedback of the belly making contact with the ground.
    5. When your timer dings or you have had enough, slowly lower yourself down and rest here for a couple of minutes. 

    Dragon Pose

    yin yoga poses

    Target areas: a fiery hip opener concentrating on the outer hips and hip flexors
    Optional props: folded blanket, bolster/cushions
    Yang yoga counterpart: low lunge/ lizard pose

    Start with three minutes working up to five minutes as you get more familiar with the pose.

    1. Start in a lunge position, place a blanket under your back knee for support if needed.
    2. Place your hands on the inside of your front leg and walk the front foot out a few inches so there is space for your torso to come forward.
    3. Adjust into a variation where you can feel a sensation in the outer hip of the front leg and hip flexor (front of the thigh) in the back leg. This might mean dropping your torso right down so you are on your forearms or staying completely upright. You can also slide a bolster or cushion just in front of the knee of your back leg so your hip flexor has some more support.
    4. Drop your breath into your hips. This pose can get pretty intense quickly—so observe the sensations and try not to over-identify with them. If your mind is screaming "@#$%&!" at you, just observe and acknowledge your thoughts without getting caught up in the story—I promise it will pass!
    5. If it feels okay, come deeper into the pose by lowering your torso further to the ground. If you need more space in your outer hip, you can let the knee drop outwards and roll onto the outer blade of the foot.
    6. When your timer dings or you have had enough, slowly walk your hands up and come out of the pose. Take a couple of minutes in rebound.
    7. … And then repeat on the other side!

    If you want a yin yang yoga practice, start with a few rounds of sun salutations before practicing this Yin yoga sequence!


    stress release yoga india

    The best yoga retreats in India

    Ask any hardcore traveler what destination left a deep imprint into their heart, and India has got to be one of the most mentioned countries. Rich in vibrant traditions, India can be experienced through its festivals, talking with the locals, and eating gastronomic feasts next to the cows along bustling streets. But as far as I’m concerned, one of the best ways to experience the country is through going to authentic yoga retreats in India.

    india yoga retreats

    India being the birthplace of yoga, many yogis take a leave from their life and stay in India for months so they can perfect their practice through yoga retreats India experiences, the most famous being probably a yoga school in Rishikesh. But with so many India yoga retreats to pick from, how can you choose which one is the best India retreat for you? For one thing, here's an India packing list to get you started. And below are the best places for the top yoga retreats India has to offer!

    You might also like:
    * Top places to visit in India, month-by-month
    * Where to do a yoga teacher training in India
    * Best beaches in Goa
    * My YTT experience in Goa
    * Guide to Goa
    * My guide to Patnem Beach (my fave!)
    * Notes on learning ashtanga yoga
    * The best meditation retreats


     


    The Best yoga retreats in India


    Meditation and Relaxation Yoga Goa Retreat

    kranti yoga

    Kranti Yoga welcomes you with four days of relaxation, meditation, and yoga, amongst a vast selection of some of the best yoga retreats in India. This one is right on top of my India yoga retreats list! Kranti Yoga Goa overlooks beautiful Patnem Beach in South India and the sound of the crashing waves every morning is exactly what I need on a yoga holiday. Kranti Yoga has equipped cottages that provide you with everything you might need. This includes your very own porch, hammock, and swinging chairs. A great option to relax after a long day of daily classes and yogic practices.

    Check out India retreats at Kranti Yoga now!

    Meditation and Yin Yoga India Retreat

    yoga india

    Moksha Ashram offers a 31-days female-only meditation and yin yoga retreat that I dream of attending this winter. Located in a quiet neighborhood in Tapovan, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the ultimate place to come and achieve inner peace amidst lush greenery. Aside from re-energizing yourself and purifying your body, every guest can enjoy their stay with a/c accommodation, eat all the delicious food at the vegetarian restaurant, and read peacefully at the library. If the weather permits, they also offer excursions to the Himalayas and Rishikesh. Sign me up to this Indian yoga retreat right now!

    Check out retreats at Moksha Ashram now!

    Ultimate Nature Getaway Yoga Retreat

    bangalore yoga

    We’re all bundles of stress at times. We wake up most mornings without setting an intention for the day. This seven-day getaway at Shathayu Ayurveda Retreat Yoga India will help you balance your life back. They offer Ayurveda relaxation therapy, accommodation, and daily Sukshma Vyayama session, as well as the practice of karma yoga and yoga philosophy studies. Shathayu Ayurveda Yoga Retreat India also has exceptional facilities like a sauna with spa treatments, café, laundry, wifi, and free bicycles. Some seriously relaxing yoga retreats in India right there.

    Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
    Price: from €700
    Closest Airport: Kempegowda International Airport (10km)
    Airport pick up included? No, can be added for €19 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu
    Vegan Friendly?: No, vegetarian only

    Check out yoga holidays in India at Shathayu Ayurveda Retreat now!

    Ayurvedic and Meditation Yoga Retreat

    Namaste Ayurvedic Wellness Centre

    India yoga retreats at Namaste Ayurvedic Wellness Centre is a great place that comes in the shape of five days of inspirational meditation and reviving yoga with plenty of free time to relax. The retreats include accommodation, rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages, yoga therapy, cooking class, and a wonderful picnic at Athirappilly falls. A relaxing Ayurvedic retreat in India and the perfect place to help you gain extensive new knowledge and deepen your practice surrounded by like-minded people.

    Check out yoga holidays in India at Namaste Ayurvedic Wellness Centre now!

    Stress Relief and Natural Detor Yoga Retreat India

    stress release yoga india

    Bodhi Center Yoga Retreats India offers a 14-day Natural Detox that sounds like the perfect way to reconnect with your inner self. Come and eradicate all the toxins, inside and out. The detox retreat also acts as preventative natural remedies and rejuvenating bodily systems. This India retreat is a homestay type of accommodation that mimics the care and warmth you have at your very own home. A super intimate experience close to the locals.

    Check out yoga holidays in India at Bodhi Center now!

    Yoga with Personalized Wellness Retreat

    india retreat

    The best yoga India offers a holistic approach, and Lotus Nature Core provides each guest with exactly that. This yoga retreat in India offers seven days of personalized and authentic Hatha yoga lessons. With this comes the detoxifying and de-stressing therapies that enable guests to incorporate the many facets of yoga into their daily lives, such as daily yoga classes, yoga nidra sessions, ayurvedic treatments, and many spiritual practices. Lotus Nature Core is also within walking distance from the beach! Here, you can take a moment to inhale the fresh air, walk on the soft white sands, and eat at one of the many beach-front cafés and restaurants. One of the most affordable yoga retreats on this list too!

    Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
    Price: from €234
    Closest Airport: Goa International Airport (30km)
    Airport pick up included? No, can be organized upon request
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English, Hindi
    Vegan Friendly?: No, vegetarian only

    Check out yoga holidays in India at Lotus Nature Core now!

    Yoga & Meditation Holiday Retreat

    Shiva Tattva Yoga

    To help you reconnect with your body and mind on your spiritual journey, Shiva Tattva Yoga School offers this five-day Yoga and Meditation Retreat. You can enjoy the natural and serene surroundings while deepening your yoga and meditation practice. The hotel is also equipped with elegant and stylish rooms (including private room options), modern amenities, a bathroom with hot and cold running water (don't laugh, you can't always have this in India!), and 24-hour room service. Fancy!

    Check out yoga holidays in India at Shiva Tattva now!

    Hitch A Hike Meditation Yoga Retreat

    yoga retreat india

    One of the top-notch yoga retreats India has to offer, Rishikesh Yogalaya provides an exceptional six days Hitch A Hike in the stunning mountains of Rishikesh. Alongside hiking, this yoga retreat also offers trekking, river rafting, and sightseeing. For someone wanting to learn or continue learning yoga, these activities blend together super well to help you centre yourself and practice yoga the best way possible. The six days Hitch A Hike retreat also comes in with a professional guide, meditation classes, accommodation, and vegetarian meals.

    Check out retreats at YOGALAYA now!

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links which give me a small cut if you make a purchase. This comes at no cost to you and allows me to continue running this blog! Thanks for your support!


    My Paris Vegan Guide

    Visiting Paris soon and searching for a restaurant vegan Paris guide? You’ll be pleased to know, Paris is super vegan-friendly these days! Whether you're a vegan or vegetarian traveler, Paris has a thriving plant-based scene that will let you sample the famous French cuisine without hurting animals. From charming bistros to gourmet fine dining, there are vegan and vegetarian Paris restaurant options for every taste and budget. I was lucky to visit Paris quite a few times in the past year and decide to compile the best of vegan Paris in this guide.

    These days it’s super easy to be vegan in Paris and that’s amazing news! Ready for the best vegan restaurants Paris guide? Mais oui!

    restaurant vegan paris

    The Ultimate Restaurant Vegan Paris Guide


    1. Le Potager de Charlotte

    Le Potager de Charlotte

    With two locations to choose from, Le Potager de Charlotte is a delightful vegan restaurant that deserves to be at the top of this list. With a focus on seasonal and creative plant-based dishes, this charming eatery offers a menu that celebrates the flavors of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. From yummy brunches to healthy and delicious dinners, Le Potager de Charlotte is a must-visit for vegans and food enthusiasts seeking a unique dining experience in Paris. On the brunch vegan Paris map, this is hands down my favorite (I only went to the one in the 9th arrondissement!)

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    2. Mesa

    mesa vegan paris

    Located in the wonderful HOY hotel, come and elevate your vegan dining experience at Mesa, a fully vegan Paris restaurant that combines artistry, innovation, locally-sourced ingredients, and plant-based cuisine. This culinary gem takes vegan gastronomy to new heights, presenting dishes inspired by the chefs’ Latin American roots, that showcase the finest local and organic ingredients. With a constantly evolving menu, Mesa offers an unforgettable experience for vegans looking to indulge in some really fancy plant-based fine dining.

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    3. Le Potager du Marais

    I didn’t have the best experience at Potager du Marais because the service was so terribly bad, but the food is really good and there aren’t that many options for vegan traditional French cuisine in Paris, hence I decided to include it anyway. Located in the vibrant Le Marais district, Le Potager du Marais is a bit of a dark and dingy restaurant, but don’t let that deter you (or better, try to score an outdoor table). You’ll find things like French onion soup, hachi parmentier, escalope de seitan, and tarte tatin. It’s honestly really good if you don’t expect much from the service! A restaurant vegan Paris staple despite it all!

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    4. L’âge d’Or

    l'age d'or paris vegan

    The 13th arrondissement is home to this cultural restaurant bar called L'Age d’Or, which features eco-friendly food and quirky décor. L’ ge d’Or aims to stimulate your senses, knowledge, and experiences. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, and the cuisine is built around regional farmers and sustainable agricultural products. The Gaby bowl is great! There’s also a weekend market on Saturday, art classes, music, and a full agenda of cultural activities. There aren’t many vegetarian Paris restaurants options but this is definitely one to check out!

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    5. Les Bols d'Antoine

    les bols d'antoine

    For those seeking fresh and nutritious vegan bowls and salads, Les Bols d'Antoine is a healthy cafe that serves up nutritious and seasonal Buddha bowls. Vegan food in Paris can often mean not super healthy, but this is absolutely not the case here! And it’s all organic and fully vegan! This beautiful eatery offers a customizable menu, allowing you to create the perfect bowl packed with a variety of fresh ingredients. From colorful veggies to plant-based proteins and tasty dressings, each bowl will leave you feeling nourished.

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    6. VG Patisserie

    VG Patisserie vegan Paris

    Perhaps the best vegan restaurant Paris option? For those with a sweet tooth, definitely. Let’s say vegan bakery Paris option for sure. Don’t miss visiting VG pâtisserie Vegan Paris, an all-vegan patisserie that offers all the traditional vegan pastries you could think of in all vegan formats. From flaky croissants and pain au chocolat, to beautiful intricate cakes and delicate macarons, VG Patisserie proves that vegan desserts can be just as delicious and beautiful as their traditional counterparts without animal products. Treat yourself to these amazing creations at least once!

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    7. Les Vignes du Liban

    vignes du liban

    From creamy hummus to crunchy falafel, mezze platters, and hearty stews, this excellent Lebanese food joint serves huge portions with courteous service. It’s an excellent tiny eatery with a friendly atmosphere and hearty, tradition-conscious food. The costs are extremely reasonable too, which can be rare in Paris!

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    8. La Bauhinia

    la bauhinia

    La Bauhinia is not the most vegan-friendly option on this list, but I wanted to mention it because it’s such a lovely dining experience with a beautiful view. La Bauhinia is located in the Shangri-La hotel and offers a refined menu that combines French and international flavors with a few vegan options to pick from. It’s first-class as you’d expect from a restaurant located in a Shangri-La hotel, and the perfect spot to take your non-vegan friends to a fancy dinner and for everyone to be happy. Stroll to the Eiffel Tower afterward for the perfect evening out.

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    9. Land and Monkeys

    Another patisserie vegan Paris option, Land & Monkeys is a vegan coffee shop that offers a selection of savory items such as sandwiches, salads, and — most importantly — patisseries, bread, and cakes. It's hard to put into words how great it is to go into a bakery as a vegan and know that you can order anything and anything on the menu. There are only a few little café-style tables inside, and there are a few more outside, so you might have to take it to-go. It’s really good and the perfect place to start your day in Paris! I find it amazing that there are now several vegan bakery in Paris options!

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    10. Kébi Restaurant

    Another Lebanese restaurant, but with a twist. Their specialties, kébis (kibbeh) are served in various options (including vegan and vegetarian options) in a repurposed rundown Italian restaurant. Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean with their flavorful Middle Eastern cuisine. Along with your kibbeh, I recommend some of their side dishes, such as sauteed spinach with sumac and peanuts, roasted eggplant, or a salad of pine nuts, greens, and molasses. Yummy.

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    11. Aujourd’hui Demain

    aujourd'hui demain vegan paris

    Aujourd'hui Demain is not just a vegan concept store, it's also a delightful café that caters to plant-based food enthusiasts with an amazing menu. Stop by for a quick bite or a refreshing smoothie and immerse yourself in the vibrant and eco-conscious atmosphere. From amazing burgers to vegan fish and chips and decadent desserts, Aujourd'hui Demain offers a range of vegan options that are as delicious as they are sustainable. Fuel up on nourishing plant-based goodness and explore their collection of vegan products while you're there. A highlight of the Paris vegan scene (and the best burger vegan Paris for sure!)

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    12. Ground Control Paris

    ground control paris

    Looking for a unique dining experience? Head to Ground Control Paris, a vibrant food and entertainment hub that hosts a variety of food trucks and pop-up eateries. Located near the Gare de Lyon in a former postal sorting hall, Ground Control is a 6500m² space where people meet and mingle for various activities, one of them being eating! You’ll find everything for all tastes including some vegan options (I was a big fan of Isana and Coin-Op Table) and a full calendar of activities ranging from music, art, and various workshops such as learning how to make your own eco-deodorant. A super vibrant place definitely worth checking out, especially when the weather is good.

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    13. Roulo

    An unfussy neighborhood joint with a friendly kitchen serving spring rolls and all and any taste. I love the concept of revisiting the spring roll in creative forms and the service was friendly and everything was fresh and amazing. Many vegan and vegetarian options and a great outdoor terrace. I had the falafel roulo with a side of grilled vegetables.

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    14. Jah Jah By Le Tricycle

    Jah Jah delivers delicious vegan bowls and vegan burgers that are influenced by Afro-Caribbean cuisine. I really loved tasting some new stuff, as it was a very nice change from the sometimes heavier European cuisine that can be found in the French capital. Really flavorful, delicious, and fresh! The service was prompt, the staff was nice, and the price was excellent!

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    15. L’été en Pente Douce

    vegetarian restaurant in paris

    In a serene area of Montmartre, sits th is lovely little restaurant called L'été en Pente Douce. The food is fantastic; the flavors in the vegan dishes were phenomenal despite the menu's simplicity. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to pick from. I recommend heading there after visiting the Sacré-Coeur, and I’m hoping to return to Paris soon so I can visit it once more! Simple and great, as French food should be.

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    16. Urban Greener

    Urban Greener is another 100% vegan restaurant in Paris! The short menu includes a dish of the day in addition to 3 seasonally-changing appetizers, main courses, as well as desserts and cold-pressed juices. They organize culinary classes and events and exclusively utilize organic and/or regional ingredients. A lovely and cozy place minutes from Sacré Coeur.

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    17. Sol Semilla

    sol semilla vegan paris

    Sol Semilla is a health-conscious restaurant on Rue des Vinaigriers in the 10th arrondissement with a menu of seasonal, plant-based dishes and a small shop attached that sells pantry items. The food and drinks there are excellent and really nutritious, all bio, gluten-free, and vegan. The veggie ceviche was especially great. The service was also excellent. It's a great place with a cool hippie granola vibe!

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    18. Abattoir Végétal

    abattoir vegetal

    With two outposts located on Rue Guisarde on the Left Bank and Rue Ramey on the Right Bank is this beautiful all-vegan restaurant with a somewhat disturbing name, haha. The name comes from the fact that the place used to be a charcuterie. At Abattoir Vegetal, no harm is done to any of the food, aside for the zucchini — apparently, they deserve it. Lol. As well as being a fully vegan cuisine, the restaurant also offers several gluten-free options, which is no small feat for France. There are a lot of French specialties made vegan here, and it’s worth visiting just for how beautiful everything is.

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    19. Cloud Cakes

    cloud cakes paris

    Cloud Cakes is a fully vegan bakery and cafe, where you will find vegan cupcakes, pancakes, pastries, and the likes, as well as some savoury options for lunch, such as soup and avocado toast. Their cupcakes and croissants are excellent. The drinks are great as well, particularly the chai latte and fresh juices. If you love sweets and are a vegan, this is a great cozy bakery to try out!

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    20. Hank Burger

    To get your fix on fast food and juicy vegan burgers, look no further than Hank vegan burger! What's better than eating a yummy fat juicy burger? Why, eat guilt-free burgers, of course. Hank’s idea was to create a more conscious and more sustainable fast food that can also satisfy big appetites, and I think they very much succeeded!

    Instagram


    So these were in my book the best places for plant-based restaurants in Paris! There are so many vegan food Paris outposts and vegan-friendly restaurants these days, so I’ll aim to update this vegan guide when I go back to Paris, but this is all I got time for so far!


    meditation classes

    The Best Silent Retreats in the World

    Sitting in stillness for just a few minutes each day can help cope with stress and anxiety, live a more balanced life, stay in the present moment, reset your brain function, and enhance relationships, both with a personal relationship with oneself and with others — to name just a few of the benefits of meditation. Meditation classes in a dedicated meditation center can be the perfect place to start if you’re finding the idea of meditating on your own and having a spiritual life for the first time a little daunting. I personally use Headspace and I love it. If you’ve already been initiated and are ready to try silent retreats in Europe or beyond, yaaaassssss! If you're college students or young people and think meditation is for old folks, you are so wrong! Many campus ministry offices actually offer silent retreats these days. Getting away from your cell phone and modern world commodities for a few days has amazing benefits for your personal growth.

    meditation classes

    I was sold after my first Vipassana course in Thailand and I get questions about Vipassana centers quite often. Silent retreats are available everywhere in the world and are a great way of relaxing away from stressful environments and too much noise while nurturing your mental health. I believe that experiencing a silent retreat meditation should be on everyone’s bucket list at least once in a lifetime and today I wanted to share with you the best meditation centers to experience something beautiful.

    You will never regret giving yourself the gift of noble silence. And whether you pick a Vipassana or an Ignatian silent retreat (and there are many other different mindfulness retreats, but do check out Ignatian spiritual exercises here if you're curious — the Ignatian spirituality is fascinating), know that you do not need to be a religious person for the practice of meditation and its positive effects.

    If you were thinking of going with a family member or partner, I suggest doing meditation retreats alone so that you can really focus on yourself during daily practice and not have your emotional state altered by worrying about someone else. But everyone's healing process is different. Do bear in mind that, aside from arrival day, you won't be able to talk to other course participants.

    If over 12 hours of meditation a day is a bit too daunting for you to start, do check out my yoga retreat experiences recommendations too. But know that even the best silent meditation retreats are also offered in weekend retreat formats if the thought of sitting in silence for week-long retreats scares you.


    The best silent retreats in the world

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.


    Silent Retreat Europe


    Intensive Mindful Meditation, Stress Reduction and Personal Restart Retreat in Portugal

    spiritual retreats in portugal

    Portugal is always a good choice for an insight meditation retreat to experience meditation sessions, listen to Dharma talk, or just for relaxing. This six-day burnout and stress reduction silent meditation retreat Europe location offered under the spiritual direction of Molinum ad Mare is a must for busy people. The retreat’s intention is to help you recognize how stress affects your life and how you can make changes to improve it. Tucked away in the peaceful Algarve, Molinum ad Mare’s surroundings will provide you with a chance to just be yourself, take long walks, and shush the amount of noise in your head. Each private room is uniquely decorated with antique furniture and panoramic views of the Algarve. You may well see me there, but don’t talk to me LOL. Not even eye contact. Even in the dining room. ;)

    Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
    Price: n/a
    Closest Airport: Faro Airport (23km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish
    Vegan Friendly?: Upon request

    Check out retreats in the Algarve!

    Meditation Retreat and Individual Silence in Germany

    buddhist retreat asia

    Little Paradise offers an eight-day individual silent retreat Europe option for guests seeking inner peace under the direction of a spiritual director to help guide their meditation practice if you're not quite ready to be left to your own devices. Come here to find greater focus and greater clarity in daily meetings in the meditation hall — a quiet atmosphere away from your daily lives, stressful situations, mental chatter, and unresolved issues to further discover who you are, and what you really need for your life. Complement your silent retreat and readings by Buddhist teachers with the invigorating energy from wildlife and nature.

    Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
    Price: from $659
    Closest Airport: Hamburg Airport (22km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English, German
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out group retreats at Little Paradise!

    3 Days Spiritual Meditation Retreat in Wales, UK

    meditation retreat uk

    For those of you in the UK, there are so many spiritual practices options for you in all the lush greenery — the optimal conditions for daily contemplative practice. Song of the River Retreat Sanctuary is a spiritual and meditation retreat center in Wales, and a retreat house of uniquely profound energy vortexes and the perfect escape haven. They offer three and two days of spiritual and healing meditation retreats that are not frighteningly long and the perfect initiation to a silent retreat and embracing your inner world if you haven't got that much time. Come and connect to higher energies to increase spiritual growth in a beautiful and peaceful setting.

    Duration: 2 days, 1 night
    Price: from $300
    Closest Airport: Liverpool John Lennon Airport (35km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out retreats in Wales!

    Meditation Centers in Asia


    Zen Meditation Retreat in Japan

    Zen Retreat Center

    If you want to experience days of silence and Zen at its very origin, consider this Five Days Zen Meditation and Japanese Culture experience offered by Zen priest Yodo Kono. This Buddhist retreat Asia opportunity takes place in a 670 years old Zen Temple in the scenic town of Hiji and is part of the insight meditation society recommendations. Guests can really unplug and de-stress in the peaceful surroundings around the temple. Zen Centers retreats offer accommodation and activities like hiking to natural hot springs, Japanese food-making, and a hot spring tour at the famous Beppu City.

    Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
    Price: from $401
    Closest Airport: Fukuoka Airport (100km) & Oita Airport (24km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    Languages: English, Japanese
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes, it's all vegetarian meals that can be made vegan

    Check out retreats at the Zen Meditation Retreat location!

    Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine

    silent retreat in india

    One for the yogi, come and find inner stillness away from negative thoughts at any of the excellent retreats organized by Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science. This spiritual center's aim is to help you reconnect with yourself by improving your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health through the practice of all limbs of yoga. Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine offers daily yoga classes, methods of asana, pranayama, meditation, personal prayer guidance, Ayurveda, and retreats in the Vedic tradition, ranging from a few days to a full month.

    Duration: starts at eight-day retreats
    Price: From $438
    Closest Airport: Delhi Airport (23km) or Dehradun Airport (15km)
    Airport pick up included? No, can be organized for $25 per person
    Skill Level: Beginner
    Languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Russian, Sanskrit
    Vegan Friendly?: Upon request

    Check out retreats at Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science!

    Mindfulness Meditation Retreat and Positive Self-Transformation Guide in Thailand

    meditation center thailand

    Nestled in picturesque Koh Lanta Thailand, Naturbliss offers an energizing mindfulness retreat for travelers seeking simplicity in their daily life, from silent prayer to mindful eating. The goal of this six-day retreat is to help you rejuvenate by reconnecting yourself to nature’s healing energy. It will also help you be present by appreciating your thoughts and emotions without judging them. The accommodation comes with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, if you still want to relax, Naturbliss also offers Thai massage, the perfect way to end a day of silence during your spiritual journey.

    Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
    Price: from $1,693
    Closest Airport: Krabi Airport (62km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English, Thai
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out retreats at Naturbliss!

    Meditation Centers in the Americas


    Vinyasa Yoga and Tantra Teacher Training in Peru

    mindfulness retreat in peru

    Located in the culturally diverse city of Cusco Peru, Samadhi Sacred Village offers 14 days of mindfulness yoga sessions for those wishing to become a meditation teacher, through a daily schedule of practices of Tantra yoga. In this extended retreat, you will also learn Tantric cleansing Kriyas to purify your monkey mind and be focused on the present life. The program includes accommodation, food, and transportation services. Ideal for those wishing to embark on longer retreats. Peru is also a great location to take an Ayahuasca retreat, another of those amazing life experiences to go deep within.

    Duration: 14 days, 13 night
    Price: from $2,520
    Closest Airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (24km)
    Airport pick up included? Yes
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English, Spanish
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out retreats at Tantra!

    Rejuvenating Summer Retreat in New Hampshire, USA

    silent meditation retreat Europe

    Meditation classes are offered across the United States and North America, but what sets this three-day spiritual retreat apart is the inclusion of music. Guests can use musical instruments like drums to let go of stress. The accommodation is set on 500 acres of the scenic countryside of Chesterfield, New Hampshire in a former monastery. Guests can enjoy swimming in the pool, hot tub, or lake. Definitely, a perfect setting to rejuvenate yourselves and get acquainted with your own minds while listening to the buddhist teachings.

    Duration: 3 days, 2 night
    Price: n/a
    Closest Airport: Bradley International Airport (104km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: On request

    Check out retreats at Marla Leigh!

    Shamanism Seasonal Retreat in Ontario, Canada

    meditation retreat canada

    Heart Foundations of Shamanism offers four-day spiritual retreats to take a break from everyday life, dive within your inner being and contemplate your own thoughts. Each season of gatherings has a different theme, and guests can build a resilient and sustainable foundation of heart-centered living. Along this journey and spiritual practice, you’ll learn to love yourself and others. For accommodation, guests can wake up to Algonquin Park’s fresh forest air.

    Duration: 4 days, 3 night
    Price: $862
    Closest Airport: North Bay/Jack Garland Airport (58km)
    Airport pick up included? No
    Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
    Languages: English
    Vegan Friendly?: Yes

    Check out retreats at Northern Edge Algonquin!

    The Sanctuary

    Best Vegan Restaurant Berlin: My Berlin Vegan Guide

    It’s taken me the best part of the last seven years to wrap my head around all the best vegan restaurants Berlin has in store and I’m excited to finally present you with this best vegan restaurant Berlin guide. Just for y'all, I’ve eaten my way around the best vegan Berlin trail, chomping on great food like the finest vegan burgers, vegan currywurst, vegan doner kebabs, vegan donuts, vegan cakes… in fact, just pick your favorite food. I’ve probably eaten it vegan in Berlin. I'm pretty blown away by the explosion of new vegan Berlin restaurants in the last year, so I'm excited to present you with my 2023 edition of this vegan restaurant Berlin guide. Living a vegan lifestyle in Berlin is a dream. We even have vegan supermarkets! Berlin is the main dish.

    greenfinch vegan berlin

    The problem with spending seven years trying to eat all the best vegan Berlin food and vegetarian food is that it’s such a vibrant vegan scene, it’s constantly expanding. I keep thinking I’ve eaten at all the best places, then overnight another five incredible vegan food Berlin places appear. So this list of the best vegan restaurants near me gets constantly updated with my latest discoveries from the lots of vegan restaurants that keep on appearing.

    This is, therefore, by no means a definitive list of everywhere you should eat… but it is, in my humble opinion, the best Berlin vegan food you should add to your Berlin itinerary. So read on, drool, book your weekend in Berlin, and feast to your heart’s content on the best vegan food in Berlin.

    Here for the first time? Prefer to order in? Most of the restaurants below are on Wolt, my favorite meal delivery app. You can use the code MOSTLYAMELIE to receive 3 x 5€ off of your first three orders! Get it here!

    Read on:
    * The healthy food guide to Berlin
    * The best yoga spots in Berlin
    * Visiting a German nude spa
    * Visiting a sex club in Berlin
    * The best hotels in Berlin
    * The best thrift stores in the German capital


    Best Berlin Vegan Restaurants: My Current Favorite Places


    1. Brammibal’s Donuts

    brammibals berlin

    Speaking of the best vegan places in Berlin... Scattered all across town, a small part of the American dream lives on in this vegan café with this classic treat, which has been oh-so-deliciously veganized. If the song "Oh I went downtown and walked around the block/I walked right into the donut shop…" was part of your childhood, then Brammibal’s will be a sugary sweet heaven for you and maybe the best vegan restaurant Berlin possibly has. Not only are their vegan donuts hands down the best in Berlin (or, might I even say, in Europe) but they’re also wildly creative with their flavors. The wide variety changes monthly (plus a changing weekend special) so they always keep us on our feet and wanting more. A vegan breakfast Berlin staple for those with a sweet tooth. Monday is vegan cinnamon roll day FYI. They also have free Wifi.

    Instagram // Various locations


    2. Alaska Vegan Bar

    vegan tapas at Alaska Bar Berlin

    Alaska has been in existence for quite a while now, but only recently did I fall completely in love with it. An unpretentious curb-side terrace in a residential area of Neukölln hides delicious vegan versions of Spanish tapas that are great at any time of day — seriously, give it a try for boozy weekend brunch. The patatas bravas are a reason alone to make your way there, but literally, everything on the long menu is stellar, down to the amazing quality of their sourdough bread. The service is friendly, the ambiance is great, the prices are more than fair, really, you cannot go wrong here! They also have vegan piña coladas!

    Reuterstraße 85, 12053 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    3. Calm Coffee

    calm coffee berlin

    Instagram has been a great place for cute cafés to flourish this past year, with easy-to-share pretty interiors and even prettier food and drinks. One place that's fast becoming a regular weekly pit-stop for me is Calm Coffee and their changing menu of delicious yeasty vegan buns and "cloudy" drinks. I think the photos speak for themselves, but all the buns and "cloudy's" (a creamy and dreamy layered drink of various flavors, pictured above is the mango-matcha version topped with matcha-flavored oat cream) are vegan (there are also a few non-vegan menu items, despite what Happy Cow says). Look out for the fruit buns (strawberries and raspberries) they are TO DIE FOR. Great iced coffee in the summer too!

    Wühlischstraße 38, 10245 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    4. Gazzo

    gazzo pizza berlin

    There are a few other places where you can get really great vegan pizza in Berlin (la Stella Nera, Sato, Zero Stress), but Gazzo is my favorite, both for the quality of the pizza (dat sourdough crust tho) and the ambiance/location. Beware that the place isn't 100% vegan, but there are always many vegan options on the menu and the vegan cheese they use is absolutely delicious. The sourdough is soft, thick, and chewy and there's a great wine menu alongside. Best enjoyed on a steamy summer day on the terrace. The place could definitely use more vegan desserts (there were none at the time of my visit), but I'm so excited about Gazzo, I just want to eat pizza there day in and day out. To top it off, they use only local, sustainable, and natural ingredients. The best vegan pizza according to me. If you prefer thick crust or are into Neapolitan-style pizzas, try Gemello.

    Hobrechtstraße 57, 12047 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    5. Chimneys

    Chimney Berlin Vegan

    Make sure you're not planning to eat a full meal shortly after eating something from Chimneys vegan cafe because this will for sure ruin your dinner – it's a meal in and out of itself. And a perfectly legitimate one, I reckon, if slightly pricey. But what more can you ask for on a hot day when you're craving something sweet. These are over the top, but they are delicious, freshly baked, and, well, they look amazing!

    Instagram // Two locations


    6.Vegano Flavors

    For those who miss a big juicy steak (or not), Vegano Flavors packs a punch in flavor and originality with their Middle Eastern all-vegan meaty plates. Not one for the gluten-intolerant however, but this is truly meat alternative done very, very right, full of flavors, plus amazing hummus, great bread and lovely service.

    Raumerstraße 6, 10437 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    7. FREA

    FREA is one of the few vegan fine-dining options in Berlin (there is also Lucky Leek, Cookies Cream and Oukan Dining mentioned below) and has something really special going on in that it is also zero waste. The plant-filled interior design screams class and the seasonal menu of creative dishes is more than top-notch. A little bit on the pricey side for some, but of course you get what you pay for and everything from the vegan menu at FREA is amazing and of top quality. The wine menu is also great. My favorite spot to have a fancy vegan meal on a special occasion — very romantic! The main course selection is stellar.

    Kleine Hamburger Str. 2, 10115 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    8. Vincent Vegan

    vegan restaurant berlin - vincent vegan

    Out with the rubbery soy patty, this is veggie burger fast food heaven. I wish Vincent Vegan had chosen a better location to finally set sail in Berlin, but I understand that they are trying to reach the mass, and I guess a brand new shiny mall is the place to do that (sometimes they operate out of their food truck at events). The fact remains that the brand new East Side Mall is an eyesore like I've rarely seen, and the only ever reason I will step food inside is to grab me one of the amazing Beyond Burger from Vicent Vegan. I'm sure everything else is also good, but that's all I'll ever eat from there, despite the hefty price, and despite the shitty location. That burger trumps everything else possible. Grab two or three, just in case, and cross over to the East Side Gallery to eat them. Another great option for vegan burgers is Lia's Kitchen in P.berg.

    Tamara-Danz-Straße 11, 10243 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    9. Veganz

    veganz

    How many cities can pride themselves on having a fully vegan grocery store chain? Well, Berlin obviously does and Veganz is your one-stop shop for a large selection of vegan cheeses, amazing snacks, cream cheese, yogurt, chocolate, granola bars, ice cream, and everything else you could think of. Veganz grocery stores have it! Having vegan shops that offer all those vegan products is one of the best parts of living in Berlin!

    Warschauer Str. 33, 10243 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    10. Li.Ke

    li.ke vegan berlin

    Holy peanut sauce. Li.Ke hasn't been opened for that long but already has a jam-packed terrace most evenings, and there's a good reason for that: it's delicious and some of the best vegan food Berlin currently has in store. The decor is extremely garish and fun and tacky and so very Thai, and that's what drew me in the first place. Beyond the great atmosphere, there's some really amazing vegan Thai food to be had (it's all vegan, yes!), sticky rice (yes!!!!), and what the hell, vegan fried eggs (try them, they're amazing!). Pair with a visit to the Boxi weekly market right across the street (food on Saturday and second-hand on Sunday).

    Grünberger Str. 69, 10245 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions ⠀⠀


    11. Greenfinch

    greenfinch vegan berlin

    Greenfinch is a lovely hip café in Prenzlauer Berg. The food is all vegan and you'll find things like sourdough, hummus bowl, and muesli, as well as the main reason for me to visit — a glorious stack of vegan pancakes followed by one of their daily amazing cakes. There are also a few lunch options to pick from. A beautiful little cozy space to start the day with a vegan brunch!

    Käthe-Niederkirchner-Straße 10, 10407 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    12. Holy Flat!

    holyflat-vegan-berlin

    Neukölln is fast becoming my fave hood to hang, and HOLY FLAT! is definitely one of the reasons why. Healthy, natural & environmentally friendly bowls, with hands down the best damn tofu I've ever had (in the kimchi bowl, depicted above). The food is inspired by European, Middle Eastern, Central, and South American flavors, and everything is available in vegan and vegetarian meal options. There's also a HOLY FLAT! in Prenzlauer Berg.

    Lenaustraße 10, 12047 Berlin
    Directions ⠀⠀

    Eberswalder Str. 22, 10437 Berlin
    Directions ⠀⠀


    13. Han West

    han west

    Fans of Asian food and all things dumplings and soy sauce, rejoy! Han West is a fantastic hole in the wall where you order outside and then eat at the lovely adjacent bar. They have a few options, but I always opt for the vegan combo box, which has a little bit of everything (some dumplings, a steamy bao bun, and some french fries served with all sorts of dips). It's a big meal that I always end up somehow finishing because it is so delicious. This is also my go-to lazy Sunday delivery option. Super delicious!

    Görlitzer Str. 69, 10997 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    14. Vux

    vux vegan cake berlin

    One of the best vegan restaurants in Berlin when it comes to cakes... Vux has some pretty incredible food, and Berlin has some pretty incredible vegan cakes. So when I say that Vux has the best cupcakes in town, that should not… repeat, should not be taken lightly. In particular, the peanut butter cupcake. It’s like peanutty heaven in cupcake form. If that’s not up your street, there’s sure to be something else that will suit you - Vux has so much choice for cakes that to say you’re spoiled is a massive understatement. It's also one of the top vegan restaurants Berlin has for brunch.

    Wipperstraße 14, 12055 Berlin
    Facebook // Directions


    15. Tsu Tsu

    tsu tsu

    A recent discovery of mine, Tsu Tsu offers vegan (and non-vegan, there are some animal products in the kitchen) Japanese fried chicken that is crunchy and greasy and amazingly delicious. Served with a wedge of lemon and some sides such as edamame, french fries, or onigiri, eat this curbside on the lovely Graefestraße with a cold beer on a sunny day and thank me later. Summer in Berlin, and the vegan living is easy ;) Tsu Tsu is the vegan food option you didn't know you needed! Just good food and reasonable prices.

    Graefestraße 2, 10967 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    16. Oukan Dining

    oukan dining

    A relatively newcomer on the now expanding Berlin vegan fine dining scene, Oukan has absolutely no comparison point or competitor when it comes to the quality of both the dining and the overall experience. Located in a dark alley of Mitte, entering Oukan already feels like some underground clubby business. You'll be greeted at the entrance with a drink of your choice while you wait for your table to be ready. If you can afford it, I suggest fully splurging and trying the 7-course menu with wine pairings. The staff is fun and there is nothing stiff about the experience. Au contraire, there's something quintessentially "Berlin" about the whole thing — it's dark, grungy, and underground. And most obviously the food is absolutely incredible. It's expensive but totally worth it. Wouldn't be surprised if they get themselves a Michelin Star in coming years.

    Ackerstraße 144, 10115 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    17. Factory Girl

    Factory Girl

    Sadly not many brunch places in Berlin take reservations, and I fell victim to arriving too late to a snake of people wrapped around the block waiting for a spot Factory Girl on several occasions. But low and behold, one morning, I managed to get in. All that for one thing and one thing only: this messy business called COCO ANJELA. An indulgent creamy pile of changing flavors that is 100% vegan and 100% delicious. Sure, there's a bunch of other great vegan dishes on the menu, but COCO ANJELA is THE reason to come alone.

    Auguststraße 29c, 10119 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    18. The Sanctuary

    The Sanctuary

    The Sanctuary is a fully vegan Italian bakery located in Mitte. Not a whole lot to say here, as I think the image speaks for itself. Excellent pastries (some savory things too), great coffee, tiny place (so best for takeaway). It's so so lovely, you should make it a pit stop for a treat if you can — you won't regret it, I promise! Just delicious food and a vegan paradise.

    Torstraße 175, 10115 Berlin
    Instagram // Directions


    VEGAN-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN BERLIN

    If you know anything about vegan travel destinations, then you’ll have seen Berlin consistently appearing - and now you understand why. It’s quite simply unrivaled it even has vegan and vegan-friendly hotels! And if you’re planning your trip to Berlin, you need at least a week or two to get around everywhere - and you’d better practice your competitive eating before your visit as there are no less than 600 vegan-friendly restaurants in the entire city! And a cozy place to roll to at the end of the day you must have. Here are my picks.

    Do check out my full list of Berlin accommodation recommendations here.


    1.Almodóvar Hotel

    Almodovar Hotel

    Nestled in the heart of vibrant Friedrichshain is the wonderful oasis that is Almodóvar Vegetarian Hotel. Such a special place! If you are bored of cookie-cutter hotels, then Almodóvar vegan hotel is definitely the place to be! The decor is cozy and warm with beautiful chunky wood furniture and nothing at all is sourced from animals. The rooms are huge and the bed is comfy with nice little touches such as a provided yoga mat, which made it extra special for me. The great breakfast buffet is absolutely delicious and in large part vegan, and the wonderfully peaceful spa on the top floor is the perfect place to end a busy day exploring the city. A truly special place a minute walk away to some vegan places! I do believe it's adjacent restaurant, Bistro Bardot, is now sadly closed.

    Boxhagener Str. 83, 10245 Berlin (directions)

    BOOK YOUR ROOM AT ALMODOVAR HOTEL NOW


    Hotel Otto

    Hotel Otto Berlin

    Hotel Otto Berlin

    Hotel Otto Berlin

    Hotel Otto is another vegan-friendly hotel and is located in the peaceful neighborhood of Charlottenburg, remote enough to catch your break and unwind, yet just a short train ride away from the center of things. Otto really shines in the quality of its service, priding itself to cater to special needs or any dietary requirements. And boy did they deliver! We were served amazingly fluffy vegan pancakes each morning alongside vegan yogurt and I’m pretty they would have obliged to any of our special requests. The rooms are modern, bright, and airy, with super fluffy bedding and nice lounging areas. There are quite a few Berlin vegan restaurants just around the corner too.

    Knesebeckstraße 10, 10623 Berlin (directions)

    BOOK YOUR ROOM AT HOTEL OTTO NOW


    Which ones of those vegan restaurants are on your list for the next time you visit Berlin? Or is there anything missing from my Berlin vegan guide? I'd love to add more raw options like raw cakes, and also still looking for the best tofu scramble, Italian dishes, hot dogs, Chinese food, and Vietnamese dishes.


    Apollo Neuro Review: My Verdict.

    I’m a sucker for wearables aimed at improving and optimizing overall health. I’m a faithful Oura Ring user for many years now and have been using my GPS watch and heart rate monitor for running religiously. Gimme all the self-optimization gadgets! These generally have something in common in that they collect data from the user and spit back some information about performance, sleep quality, heart rate variability, activity level, etc. But have you heard of Apollo Neuro? I was recently approached to provide an Apollo Neuro review and have now been putting it to the test for about two months.

    apollo neuro review

    Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

    Apollo Neuro is the new kid in the town of wearable devices that can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being using touch therapy and neuroscience principles. All that by sending data to your body rather than collecting it. As I’ve been dealing with anxiety since my teenage years and poor sleep quality in recent years, when the Apollo Neuro team approached me, I was extremely excited to try it!


    So What’s Apollo Neuro About?

    The Apollo wearable is a small device that you wear on your wrist or ankle (there’s also a clip if you prefer to wear it anywhere else, like on a shirt strap). It delivers gentle vibrations that stimulate the body's parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your nervous system that helps you relax and reduces stress. Apollo Neuro uses scientifically validated techniques like deep touch pressure therapy and specific frequencies of vibrations to snap your nervous system out of flight or flight mode.

    Apollo Neuro aims to help reduce stress, improve focus, enhance mood, and even promote better sleep through touch therapy. A tall order? Well. Surely you’re familiar with how hugs and cuddles release oxytocin, the feel-good hormone? So yeah, touch IS powerful: through touch, your nerve endings communicate with the vagus nerve. And as the vagus nerve gets stimulated, your nervous system slows down, causing a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. Increased vagal activity is like a brake on your body's stress response, resulting in a more relaxed physical and mental state.

    When you use the Apollo Neuro, the gentle vibrations send a message to your nervous system that everything is A-OK. As your nervous system rebalances, you'll start to feel more relaxed and at ease. And over time, with consistent use of the Apollo Neuro, your nervous system will become stronger and more resilient. This means you'll be able to access that calm and peaceful state more easily, and your biometrics, like heart rate variability (HRV), may even start to improve. So, it's kind of like having a little pocket-sized helper to make your day-to-day life a little less stressful!

    This reminded me very much of tapping therapy, which I have been too lazy to try, unfortunately.


    Tapping and the Science of Touch

    Tapping therapy, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is an alternative therapy that's gaining popularity for its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. The therapy involves tapping on specific points in your body while focusing on a particular issue or problem that's causing you stress or anxiety. Studies have shown that tapping therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By tapping on certain acupressure points on the body, it's believed that tapping can help release energy blockages and restore balance to the body's energy systems. This can lead to reduced anxiety and increased feelings of calm and relaxation.

    The principles behind tapping therapy are similar to those behind the Apollo Neuro technology. Both use touch therapy to stimulate the body's natural relaxation response and promote feelings of calm and well-being. While the Apollo Neuro device uses gentle vibrations to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, tapping therapy uses the body's own energy meridians to achieve a similar effect. I personally much prefer the convenience of a wearable device over the hands-on approach of tapping therapy.


    The Apollo Neuro Device and app

    The app that comes along with Apollo Neuro has had a facelift in recent months and currently looks like this:

    apollo neuro app

    The scheduling function makes it easy not to forget to use your Apollo Neuro. I personally start the day with the Energy mode at 7:30 am for 30 minutes. This doubles as a gentle alarm clock and avoids any jolt from a sound alarm, aka the perfect way to start a day already frazzled and stressed out. Following this, I’ll use Focus while working, Recover after a run or a workout, Calm when I meditate and Unwind as I slip into bed. Fall Asleep runs from 10:30 pm for 120 min. It’s recommended to use the Apollo Neuro three hours a day to see optimal benefits. I’m still working my way there, but so far the Fall Asleep mode has been my favorite. I also use it if I wake up in the middle of the night, which is made easy as you can press the two buttons to replay the last Vibe that was on.

    ​​When using the Apollo wearable, you'll feel a gentle vibration that should be noticeable but comfortable. It shouldn't be so intense that it's distracting or uncomfortable. I’m using it at around 30% right now. Start low and gradually increase until you find the intensity that works best for you. The idea is to find a comfortable and effective level of stimulation for your skin, so you can experience the full benefits of the device without any discomfort or distraction.


    My Apollo Neuro Review

    I’ve now been using my Apollo Neuro device for a few months and have collected some pros and cons:

    Pros:

    • Stress reduction. I find this especially true with the evening sessions Unwind and Fall Asleep. They feel soothing and I think by now my brain understood that it’s a signal that it’s time to wind down.
    • Convenient: The device is small and portable, making it easy to use on the go or during the day. Plus no physical tapping.
    • Science! It’s nice to use something that is backed by so much information and research

    Cons:

    • Cost: The device is relatively expensive compared to other stress-reduction techniques and therapies.
    • Lack of integration with other apps. Although I’m sure this will come eventually.
    • Short battery life. That’s to be expected for such a small device that emits hours of vibration. The battery life is about 2 days, but it does charge very quickly.
    • Look. There’s definitely room for some improvement on the look of the Apollo Neuro. I’m sure it’ll become sleeker with its upcoming iterations.

    Overall, I’m super happy with this device and will definitely continue using it. I think Apollo Neuro will appeal to those that are already somewhere down the rabbit hole of health improvement wearables and already aware of their sleep pattern or anxiety triggers, for example. If money is of no concern, I think it’s a great little device (a great present also!) to add to your arsenal of self-care and wellness.


    mexico yoga retreat

    Mexico Yoga Retreat — My Recommendations

    Mexico is a place I only got to briefly visit once and have been dreaming of exploring in greater depth ever since. Stunning and diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, delicious food, lush vegetation, and wonderfully warm people are just a few of the things calling me back to it. And with a long history of wellness practices, a Mexico yoga retreat is a great way to experience the country in a whole new light. Makes total sense — Mexico has some of the world's most beautiful locations for relaxation, meditation, personal growth, and self-discovery.