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 seven 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 health care system. I’ll leave here a few images of my then flat situation to set the stage for you.

I’ve been a strong advocate of full transparency throughout the now eight years that I’ve been writing here and on social media. So many bloggers and content creators are depicting 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-edge 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 ayahuasca experience which you can read about. In the lead-up to it, I had been 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 wellbeing, 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


surf camps costa rica

Yoga Retreat Costa Rica: Where to go

The mystical Central American nation of Costa Rica is a perfect place of stunning and lush jungle scenery, jaw-dropping beaches and an altogether welcoming country where you can lose yourself in the mists of ancient time and find yourself all over again. Your true deep self. And if you decide to embark on a yoga retreat Costa Rica has it all — a yoga vacation where you can practice yoga and attend spa services in a perfect location.

Yoga retreat costa rica

If you know anything about yoga and travel, you'll be aware that it's all about getting in tune with yourself and your surroundings. Well, the all-encompassing nature of Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop for achieving inner calm and ultimate bliss through the practice of yoga. Doing one of these Costa Rica yoga retreats is one of the best things you can do for yourself while in this magical place.

If you're planning a getaway and looking for an awesome yoga retreat Costa Rica 2022, you've come to the right place!

More Yoga Inspiration from the Blog:
* Yoga quotes to feed your soul
* Thoughts on learning the Ashtanga Primary Series
* Top yoga retreats for 2022
* The best yoga teachers training destinations
* Things to know before experiencing an Ayahuasca retreat
* The best retreats for couples


Yoga Retreat Costa Rica 2022: Where to go

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links which give me a small commission at no extra cost to you.


6 Days’ Yoga Retreat in Puerto Viejo

yoga costa rica

In your quest to finding the best things to do in Costa Rica, you can't go wrong with OM at Cashew Hill in Puerto Viejo. It's six days and nights of unbridled yoga bliss, and is specifically designed for people who work in the wellness business and need some care, love, and attention for themselves – though you don't have to be any such professional and can just come to unwind and get away from it all, no matter what you do, and particularly during oftentimes stressful holidays.

Here, at this great Costa Rica yoga retreat, you'll enjoy daily yoga classes as well as breathwork and an astounding cacao ceremony that will have you mesmerized. Vegetarian meals – breakfast and dinner – are included and you'll have lots of time to do what you like, including exploring the lush vegetation and spectacular views.

Duration: 4 to 15 days
Price: Starting at $1,200
Closest Airport: Limón International Airport (47 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out some of the best yoga retreats Costa Rica 2021 in Puerto Viejo!


4-Day Meditation and Yoga for Travelers in Limon

costa rica yoga

Designed for the solo traveler, this mediation and Costa Rica retreat yoga holiday at the Vista Verde Guest House in the popular Limon area of Costa Rica is a real treat. You'll be transformed as you enjoy a deeply immersive experience into the rejuvenating world of health and wellness retreat. Surrounded by lush jungle (perfect for a meditative short walk), spectacular sun, and purifying sea, all your stresses will simply melt away as you give your inner self over to the reconnection with nature that you deserve.

This top-level yoga Costa Rica retreat features daily yoga classes and meditation sessions, sound healing and homemade organic meals you'll love. Plus, you'll be able to use the communal kitchen to conjure up any fare you want — and you'll have three night's accommodation.

Duration: 4 to 8 days
Price: Starting at $702 (affordable yoga retreat alert!)
Closest Airport: Limón International Airport (47 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out the best Costa Rica retreats in Limon now!


7 Days' surf and beginner yoga retreat Costa Rica in Santa Teresa

yoga retreat in costa rica

A great way to connect with yourself is by combining surfing and yoga in a combo surf yoga Costa Rica retreat, and it's all happening at Selina Santa Teresa in Santa Teresa, Puntarenas. It's awesome and fun Costa Rica yoga with a real edge, and daily calming yoga classes and daily and exhilarating surf camp. It's a true yin yang experience.

Several yoga styles are taught at the open-air studio at Pura Vida, including Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga, and you can be a novice, intermediate yogi or advanced. You'll be transported to the beach and back for your surf lessons and have six nights' accommodation – either in shared dorms or private rooms – along with meals, wifi and lots more (I think horseback riding is a great option if you're into that). It all adds up to a great surf retreat and yoga Costa Rica adventure, and a total bliss-out.

Duration: 7 days
Price: Starting at $1,099
Closest Airport: Tambor Airport (19 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

Check out retreats at yoga resort Costa Rica Selina Santa Teresa now!


4-Day Yoga Detox in Alajuela

costa rica retreats

If you love yoga and are also fond of the finer things in life, you'll be in seventh heaven at this four-day "reset detox meditation retreat Costa Rica" retreat in the tiny town of Atenas in the Costa Rican province of Alajuela (nearby the wonderful Arenal Volcano National Parks). Inside, you'll be in the lap of luxury as you do your restorative yoga classes in the beautiful yoga shala; and outside, the surroundings are a spectacular mix of mountains and coffee plantations that are a visual feast in one of the best climates in the world for your free time. Everything you need is included, including sumptuous accommodation and all your meals – with vegetarian, vegan and raw food options – and you'll have access to a stress-melting full-service spa (extra cost), cooling infinity pool, high-temperature steam room and lots more to make this one amazing yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

Check out retreats in Alajuela Wellness Center now!

Duration: 4 days
Price: Starting at $479
Closest Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (76 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!


4 Days Wellness and Yoga in San Pablo

best yoga retreat costa rica

This is the perfect beginner yoga retreat Costa Rica can offer for those who want to do some yoga but don't have a whole lot of time. It's in San Pablo in the mountainous Central Valley and spectacular nature is the theme and the stunning backdrop (ocean views, drool). It's essentially a mini yoga retreat in Costa Rica in which you'll have just two yoga classes and also do some meditation while enjoying three meals a day made from organic foods. Accommodation is for three nights in a mini-suite, and you'll also be treated to a full body massage that will last an hour. This quick yoga retreat in Costa Rica also includes a day tour to the stunning Carara National Park and Pacific Ocean Beach.

Duration: 6 to 8 days
Price: Starting at $1,075
Closest Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (25 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!

Check out retreats in San Pablo now!


3-Day Surf and Yoga Retreat in Dominical

costa rica retreat

Surfing the Pacific coast and yoga – what could be better? At Dominical Beach, you can have one of the best yoga and surf retreats Costa Rica has to offer. If you're adventurous and energetic and want to experience some amazing yoga in Costa Rica, this is the place for you. In this happening beach town with super year-round waves, you can combine the joys of surfing and yoga, which are different disciplines yet surprisingly similar (balancing on a board, anyone?)

This two-in-one Costa Rica retreat includes three yoga classes and one surfing lesson, as well as two nights' accommodation and all the equipment you'll need for both activities.

Duration: 4 to 8 days
Price: Starting at $391
Closest Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (110 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

Check out retreats at Dominical Beach now!


PS. On my quest to finding where to fine tune your yoga practice at the best yoga retreats in Costa Rica, let me know if I'm missing any Costa Rica yoga resort! I think Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and Blue Osa are other great ones to check out!


pilates retreat

The Best Pilates Retreats

I'm not saying taking up Pilates or going on pilates retreats will change your life, but hear me out… I am constantly striving for better balance and sustainability — 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

Mindful yoga 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.

These are the best pilates retreats in the world 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. Fun fact — did you know pilates got its name from its inventor, Joseph Pilates? I didn't ;)

Best Pilates Retreats in Europe


8 Day Yoga and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Fuerteventura, Spain

8 Day Yoga and Reformer Pilates Retreat in Fuerteventura
image credit

If you are like me, deciding exactly what you want out of a holiday is a challenge: rustic European villa or tropical island escape? 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.

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 an adventure, then 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.

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. 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, 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 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.

Duration: 4 days (perfect for shorter trips)
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 centres offering exceptional facilities, carefully curated retreats, and delicious food.

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 suite, and swimming pool.

You will stay in a Balinese-inspired beautiful room 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 be arranged 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 Claifornia 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.

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, 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, 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
image credit

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
image credit

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


ayahuasca retreat

Ayahuasca Retreat 2022: My recommendations

So you’ve decided you want to embrace ancient Shamanic plant medicines by heading to an Ayahuasca retreat in 2022 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’m sure. I certainly did when I had my first Ayahuasca experience.

What can I expect from an Ayahuasca retreat on my first 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 me?

Below I’ve put together as much information as possible about Ayahuasca retreats and its spiritual practice as well as a number of Ayahuasca retreat 2022 recommendations (please always check COVID travel restrictions first), including many Ayahuasca retreat Europe destinations, as well as Ayahuasca retreat USA 2022 or nearby spots.

ayahuasca retreat 2022 recommendations

If you're in search of some Ayahuasca retreat Berlin 2022 options, it's a tricky one for sure, but they do exist if you know where to look. Alternatively, the Netherlands is a good option 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 be dated 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 "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-Dimethyltryptamine), 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. So please do your research and treat the plant with great respect before embarking on your Ayahuasca journey of the spirit world.


Why do people go on an Ayahuasca Retreat?

While Ayahuasca has its origins in ancient Amazonian ceremonies, 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 addictions, and more. What better way to venture into the fascinating world of psychedelics than with these powerful medicine 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 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 detoxing diet 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 other Ayahuasca article for a break down 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.


Recommended Ayahuasca Retreat 2022 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.

When it comes to choosing an Ayahuasca retreat, there are a few main things to consider and these are the best way to feel at ease with this new experience. These include the reputation of the retreat centre, 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.


Ayahuasca Retreat 2022 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 destination. 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 medicines to offer guests a life-changing spiritual experience. On 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 for taking care of your body as well as your mind on this highly recommended ayahuasca retreat.


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. 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 2022

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 breathe 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, 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 question 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 the 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 2022 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.


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 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 2022 ceremonies, this is the closes "legal" option.


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 2022

ayahuasca ibiza 2022

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 2022? 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


detox retreat

Planning a Detox Retreat? Here are my Recommendations

Cooped up at home the past few months and feeling just a tad cabin-fever-y – has resulted in me becoming an expert at virtual travel and travel journalling. With Google as my partner in crime, I have been planning city breaks, figuring out the best spots for a detox retreat or a wellness journey, and to go off the grid, and even trawling through my own archives to re-live some of my favourite hotels and beaches.

In all seriousness, the last few years of pandemic have been taking a real toll on my physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing, so when I do actually get to go on my next trip it will be a detox retreat, for complete rest and reset of my body’s systems, mental and physical health. Detox retreats are the perfect wellness experience for a fresh start at any time. It can also be a way to heal your gut from many health concerns when paired with a complete disconnect from today's world, some fitness programs, wellness facility, therapeutic treatments, etc.

detox retreat

Today I wanted to share my top recommendations for detox retreats from different spots around the globe. Or, if you are lucky enough to live in one of the places I mention then perhaps it’s time to start planning a summer detox retreat staycation, either for yourself or as a couple retreat…?


Where to go on the best detox retreats


Detox Retreat Europe Options


4 Day Yoga and Detox Retreat in the Barcelona Mountains, Spain

detox retreat in spain

This detox program and yoga retreat is small but mighty, with over five hours of restorative yoga classes, meditation and pranayama practices and workshops every day. The retreat centre is a rustic villa that has been renovated with great care to not only protect its original character and enhance sustainability, but make sure it is in harmony with the natural surroundings of the UNESCO protected national park in which the villa located. Free time can be spent trekking, biking, or just taking a gentle hike in the nature that surrounds you, visiting the local town, or lounging by the outdoor pool at the villa. If beach time is important to you then you are only half an hour’s drive from the sea, and it’s possible to book massages and holistic wellness treatments in advance. Three vegetarian and vegan meals per day are provided. The perfect mini reset especially when paired with a daily massage, and if like me you believe in balance, you could always add a weekend in Barcelona onto that, the perfect place for a little getaway.

Style: General Detox Programs
Duration: 4 days / 3 nights (perfect for long weekends away)
Price: From €325
Closest Airport: Barcelona (53 km)
Airport pick up included? No
Languages: English & Spanish
Vegan Friendly?: Yes (and it's all organic foods too!)

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT Omshanti NOW!

8 Day Longevity Juice Detox Retreat in the Algarve, Portugal

portugal

Juice cleanses both terrify me and intrigue me, I have dipped my toe in them before, doing a 2-day juice cleanse in Kuala Lumpur which was okay… they do however become much more appealing when they become part of a detox retreat – combined with a stay at a spa hotel, complete with an infrared sauna, all the massages and spa services you can dream of (including floatation sessions!), not to mention a gym, tennis court, and daily instructor-led classes from yoga to dance. The retreat includes a wellness evaluation and nutrition consultation so your liquid detox diet, including supplements, will be tailored to your unique requirements. I could definitely spend a week sipping on juice here.

Style: Juice Fastin Liquid Diet, Alkaline, Vegetarian, Massage, Mindfulness & Detox Oasis
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: From €2,244
Closest Airport: Faro (19 km)
Airport pick up included? Available for additional € 36 per person
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Upon request

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT Longevity Cegonha Wellness Center NOW!

5 Day Yoga and Juice Detox Retreat, UK

detox retreat UK

This award-winning UK detox retreat haven is a luxed-up farmhouse, located in the rolling green pastures of the Sussex countryside. It has something for everyone with multiple different accommodation options to suit all prices, from twin share rooms to luxury eco-cottages and treehouses. It also has different nutritional options with raw vegan food as well as juices to boost your immune system, and a range of classes and sessions to take care of the body and mind, including yoga, meditation, as well as life coaching and NLP workshops. If you are looking for a detox retreat with a complete holistic health emphasis then this one if for you. Its design means it can support you with just general wellbeing, or can be focused on physical conditions such as IBS and fibromyalgia –– on top of promising a psychological and emotional cleanse and reset.

Style: Juice Fasting, Colon Hydrotherapy Detox, Raw Food Detox, Alkaline Colon Cleanse, Liver Cleanse, Skin Cleanse, Vegetarian, Mindfulness & Detox Spa
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Price: From €808
Closest Airport: London Gatwick (38 km)
Airport pick up included? No
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT PLATINUM HEALING NOW!

Detox Retreats USA and Central America


14 Day Rainforest Cleansing Retreat, Costa Rica

costa rica

Daily yoga, check. Hot springs, forest bathing and waterfalls, check. Swimming pool and hot tub, check. Naturopath consultation, check. Vegetarian food and juices, check. Spa treatments, including hydrotherapy and a sweatlodge, check… and the list just keeps going. Even without all of that, who would say no to two weeks in the Costa Rican rainforest? Everything about this retreat sounds like perfection, and given its length, it is definitely one of the more budget-friendly options. While in Costa Rica, consider also experiencing the magic of an ayahuasca retreat.

Style: Juice Fasting
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Price: From € 1,309
Closest Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (76 km)
Airport pick up included? No
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT Essence Arenal Wellness Resort NOW!

6 Days of Kundalini, Meditation and Spiritual Bliss in Hawaii

Hawaii has been on my bucket list for a while and since discovering this retreat it’s jumped closer to the top. I mean, what better location to experience the benefits of the best wellness retreats in the world? Located by the beach these detox holidays promise a complete spiritual immersion with Kundalini yoga, crystal bowl sound healing, meditation, and yoga philosophy lessons led by a healer and shaman. Oh, and to take care of the body, as well as the mind and spirit, there is a private chef who can accommodate all dietary requirements and the option to include a three-day juice cleanse to help you reach your wellness goals. Not only is there beach and yoga, but a gym and swimming pool on-site for when you want to mix it up.

Interested in some serious soul healing on mainland USA? Check out this four-day retreat in the Arizona desert and also those self-love affirmations to get you ready.

Style: Juice Fasting
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Price: From €1,794
Closest Airport: Kahului Airport (14 km)
Airport pick up included? Yes
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS in HAWAII NOW!

Detox Retreats Asia


15 Day Energy Levels Booster Detox Retreat, Thailand

thailand detox retreat

The islands in the Gulf of Thailand are some of my favourite places in the world, with their white-sand beaches, crystal clear sea, and incredible food and fruit. This retreat is my current pick of the bunch in this region. Don’t be put off by the fact it sells itself as a weight loss retreat, it just offers some more dynamic fitness options, such as hiking, cycling and Muay Thai, as well as daily yoga and meditation classes. It has a health food cafe on-site, which is mainly plant-based with raw vegan and vegan options, as well as some flexitarian dishes if that’s your thing. There is both beach and jungle nearby, as well as a pool, sauna and ice bath (if a Wim Hof element appeals) at the retreat centre. This detox retreat offers rejuvenation for the body, which will no doubt leave you happier and healthier in mind, heart and spirit.

Check out my recommendations for Thailand retreats here.

Style: General Detox (fitness getaways)
Duration: 15 days / 14 nights
Price: From €755
Closest Airport: Samui (10 km)
Airport pick up included? No
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT Visit Natural Detox Resort NOW!

11 Day Sustainable Yoga, Ayurveda and Detox Retreat, Sri Lanka

sri lanka

If you are looking for a detox retreat that aligns with mindful and sustainable travel then this eco-retreat centre, located on a plantation in a village in Sri Lanka that supports both the natural environs and the village community is ideal. The retreat is built around principles of Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India and the natural complement to yoga. You will have a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor, daily Ayurvedic treatments which often include massages, daily yoga and meditation, and lots of rest or activity time. The meals are made with food that is grown on-site in the fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens, as well as a paddy field. Guests are able to join in picking and harvesting the produce, and there are also cookery demonstrations. Heaven.

Style: Spices Detox, Ayurveda
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Price: From €1,334
Closest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (73 km)
Airport pick up included? Available for additional € 58 per person
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

CHECK OUT DETOX RETREATS AT PLANTATION VILLA NOW!

urdhva dhanurasana

Yoga Asana Series: Urdhva Dhanurasana aka Wheel Pose

Sanskrit Words: URDHVA DHANURASANA = UPWARD-FACING BOW POSE, aka WHEEL POSE
Urdhva = Upward
Dhanu = bow
Asana = pose
(pronunciation: OORD-vah dah-nour-AHS-anna)

urdhva dhanurasana

Urdvha Dhanurasana is most often translated as Wheel pose, although the direct Sanskrit translation is upward bow pose. (Confusingly, this pose is sometimes called Chakrasana, which does literally mean wheel (chakra) pose (asana), but Chakrasana tends to mean different yoga poses in different styles of yoga, so let’s stick to Urdhva Dhanurasana = Wheel pose!). More on the heart chakra here.


Why You Should Practice Urdhva Dhanurasana

If you have been spending some time limbering up your back and opening your hip flexors with Bhujangasana (cobra pose) and Ustrasana, then it might be time to start playing around with Urdhva Dhanurasana, aka. Wheel pose.

Note that word, *playing*. Wheel pose is the sort of asana that can take a little time to get familiar and comfortable with — but should not be taken too seriously! Why? Well beyond the fact that yoga asanas are just, well, asanas (not yoga, as a whole — here are some book recommendations if you want to actually get to know more about yoga), trying too much and pushing too hard in this pose hurts.

The trick to keeping this pose pain-free and beneficial for the body is exploring spinal extension.
Spinal extension is the direction the spine moves in when we do an intense backbend (the opposite of spinal flexion in our forward bend). Some areas of the spine are bendier than others. When you rely on a naturally flexible lower back, not only could you potentially injure your low back in the long run, but you are missing out on a load of juicy Urdhva Dhanurasana benefits!


Urdhva Dhanurasana Steps

In these instructions, I have marked out stopping points. Wheel pose usually develops in steps with preparatory poses; each stopping point marks a step you might reach or aim for. Resist the temptation to skip over key alignment principles in order to progress to the next stopping point. The idea is to build a strong physical foundation for the pose.

Once you have reached your stopping point, jump to step 11, which will guide you out of the pose.

  1. Lie on your back, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider (wider is helpful if you have bigger thighs). Check your ankles are roughly under your knees.
    1. Optional: Take a few rounds of Bridge pose (covered below) to warm up the spine and hip flexors.
  2. Place your hands by your ears with your fingers pointing back towards your shoulders. This will create a strong stretch in the wrists.
  3. Come into Bridge pose: push firmly into your feet (especially the big toe) and lift your hips up. Engage the inner and outer muscles of your thighs by imagining you are squeezing a block between your thighs (or you can literally place yoga blocks there). You are looking for the sweet spot of engagement, so your knees and thighs remain in one line, neither tracking in nor out. Gently engage your glutes. Stopping point 1.
  4. Push firmly into your hands. On an exhale, push into your hands just enough to lift your upper body, so the top of your head can very, very lightly rest on your yoga mat (do not put weight into your head and neck). 
  5. Your elbows will want to splay outwards, so engage the muscles of your inner arms to draw them into the midline of your body. Feel the muscles around your shoulder girdle firm up as you do this. Stopping point 2.
  6. Keep all this engagement, and feel your connection to the earth through your hands and feet. Push firmly into them to lift up. Let the head hang, and the neck relax. Stopping point 3.
  7. If you can, straighten your arms (all the way, or just a little). Check that the shoulder blades are still spreading across the back. The muscles around the shoulder girdle and the upper arms are firmly engaged to keep the upper body strong.
  8. It’s not uncommon for the toes to point outwards — a little bit of a turn out is fine (especially if that is how your pelvis and femurs are structured), but try not to let them splay out all the way. Contracting your inner thighs together helps with this. Stopping point 4.
  9. Refine your pelvis and protect your lower back: tuck your tailbone under slightly. Become aware of the area where your gluteus maximus meet your hamstrings (just under your butt) and see if you can engage the muscles in this area. Stopping point 5.
  10. Play around: 
    1. Explore walking the feet in. 
    2. Open your heart: push through your feet and hands firmly and extend through the upper back to send your chest and heart to the back of the room.
    3. Lift one toe off the ground and then the other. 
  11. To come out of the pose, take your time and gently touch your head down to the mat. Then tuck your chin so you can place the back of your head down on to the mat. Slowly lower all the way down.
  12. Take a few breaths lying flat on the mat, notice the effects of the pose.
  13. Take the feet as wide as your mat and let the knees knock together, widening and releasing through the lower back and pelvis.
  14. From here, a twist is a great way to neutralize and stretch out the spine.

Urdhva Dhanurasana Benefits

  • Full body strengthening and opening.
  • Spinal mobility, especially upper back (thoracic spine) extension. 
  • Chest and shoulder opening.
  • Builds strength in the shoulders and arms.
  • Improves posture: opens through the whole front of the body, especially the hip flexors, front of thighs, and chest. This makes it the perfect pose to counterbalance desk life.

Urdhva Dhanurasana Variations, Tips, and Tricks

bridge pose

Anatomy 101: Get To Know Your Spine

Understanding how your spine is structured and where you want to be focusing, opening, and stabilizing during Urdhva Dhanurasana can help improve your Wheel pose and backbending in general.

The human spine is divided into four parts:

  • The cervical spine, aka the neck
  • The thoracic spine, aka your upper back
  • The lumbar spine, aka your lower back
  • The sacral spine, aka your sacrum (the fused vertebrae at the back of your pelvis).

Why is it helpful to know about the spine to benefit your Wheel pose and improve your backbends in general? The different parts of the spine have different levels of flexibility and also like to move in different ways. Understanding the mechanics of your spine can help you pinpoint where you need to focus on to improve your backbends or make them safer.

Spinal Mobility and Urdhva Dhanurasana

The bendiest part of your spine = your neck — but all you need to do in your wheel pose is let the head hang heavy. The least mobile part of your spine = the sacral spine; these vertebrae are fused and are a part of the pelvis, so whatever the pelvis does, the sacrum does. In Wheel pose, we lengthen the sacrum, i.e. tuck the pelvis under slightly instead of letting it tip back.

Why do we lengthen the sacrum? To support our super mobile, flexible, and bendy lower back. The lumbar spine has a lordotic curve, meaning it curves the same way the letter C does. Apart from the neck, it is the most mobile part of the spine because unlike the thoracic spine, which is attached to the ribs, so it can’t go that many places, these vertebrae hang loose.

So super flexi-lower back means super-flexi backbends, right? Sort of, but this is not what we are aiming for. It’s really easy to use just a few vertebrae in the lower back to create the illusion of a deep backend, but there is very little whole spinal extension going on in reality. In time, this can lead to lower back ache and even disc problems. This is why we engage the glutes and lengthen the sacrum, as this prevents the lower back from overextending and helps distribute the spinal extension through the spine. The other thing we do is focus on chest opening. Why? To bring some much needed spinal extension into our upper backs.

The thoracic spine has a kyphotic curve (a backwards C shape), and it likes to round forward (spinal flexion) and hunch. It also has a lot less free movement, as mentioned above, because our ribs attach to it. To counterbalance that rounding — which can lead to poor posture, upper backache, and impact the neck — it’s helpful to improve the general mobility in this area of the body. This includes bringing into spinal extension — the opposite of its preferred natural movement.

In your Urdhva Dhanurasana, focus on your upper back. Think about bringing the extension up into these vertebrae; not only is it beneficial for the upper back and posture, but it helps support your whole spine by distributing the bend throughout the spine!

Warm-up

Wheel pose is excellent because it works on the whole body; this also means the entire body needs to be warmed up and prepared for the pose! Focus on opening through the front of the body, especially the fronts of your thighs and hip flexors, and mobiling around the shoulders and chest. Opening through the heart is helpful, but making sure your shoulder girdle is strong and stable is also integral for this pose.

Balance Strength and Flexibility

When people struggle to lift up into a full Wheel Pose, it is usually due to one of three things: they are not strong enough in the arms and/or shoulders, glutes, and legs; they are not open enough in the shoulder joints, and/or chest, or hip joint; or they are afraid.

If you are afraid, it is a mental block. These are normal, and how you choose to navigate the mental block is personal. Please don’t push yourself beyond the threshold of comfortability; you may feel able to try and work on your Urdhva Dhanurasana regularly, and slowly chip away at the fear or resistance. However, if it is evoking a strong reaction, probably best to leave it for a while. There are plenty more asana out there, and perhaps in the future, if it feels right, you might return to Urdhva Dhanurasana.

If it is a strength issue: One of the best yoga tricks to build overall strength are sun salutations. Be patient with yourself, and focus on developing strong, stable shoulders during your chaturanga.

If it is a flexibility issue: Developing a regular yoga practice, like doing a sequence like this one or several Surya Namaskar daily, is a great way to develop more mobility and general flexibility. Yin yoga is also a great option to create more flexibility.

Another thing you can do is practice yoga later in the day when the body is more open and warmed up from having been up and about for several hours.


Best Urdhva Dhanurasana Variations

Bridge pose

Bridge pose is like a baby Wheel pose. It’s a great alternative that works many of the same areas of the body and is probably the best warm-up pose. Finding as much spinal extension as possible in Bridge pose is integral before moving on to Wheel pose.

To do Bridge pose, start lying on your back, just like Urdhva Dhanurasana. Push into your feet to lift your hips, and either stay like this and push the palms of your hands firmly into the mat. Or, interlace your hands underneath you; this allows you to open the chest more.

You can also do a restorative bridge pose by placing bricks underneath your sacrum. This is also great for those with pituitary gland issues or low blood pressure who can get dizzy from the intensity of the pose.

Dhanurasana

Bow pose! Because Urdhva Dhanurasana is an ‘Upward-Facing Bow Pose’. The benefits of Dhanurasana as a preparatory or alternative yoga pose to Wheel pose is that it is particularly good at opening up the chest and shoulders. It can help you find the flexibility you need in the upper body to lift up into Dhanurasana comfortably.

Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana

If you are comfortable in your Wheel Pose and looking for advanced asanas, try exploring One-Legged (‘Eka Pada’) Wheel Pose, a challenging pose that looks and feels amazing.

The aim is to work on lifting one leg up towards the sky. However, start by getting comfortable with just lifting your toes off the ground. You will feel how your weight shifts and how you have to redistribute your weight evenly across the points of your body that have contact with the ground to maintain integrity in the pose.

Remember to practice on both legs; it’s common to find it easier on one side than the other. Even if it feels less fluid or not as natural on the other side, it’s an opportunity to work on any weaknesses in strength or flexibility on that side!


Urdhva Dhanurasana Sequencing

It’s essential that your body is warm and you have spent lots of time preparing your spine, hip flexors, and shoulders before you practice this pose. In the Ashtanga Yoga Primary series, Urdhva Dhanurasana is the first pose of the finishing sequence — it comes so close to the end because it means the body is properly warmed up by the time you reach it.

Even if Wheel pose is a regular fixture of your yoga practice, don’t be tempted to put it too early in a sequence — it doesn’t take much to upset your back.

If you are working towards Urdhva Dhanurasana, it is great as a peak pose. A peak pose is when you build an entire sequence around preparing for a particular (usually complex) pose. If you're a yoga teacher, an Urdhva Dhanurasana sequence might involve: Cat-Cows at the beginning to mobilize the spine, extra holds in plank pose to strengthen your shoulders, low and high lunges to prepare your hip flexors, Trikonasana to open the sides of the body, Gomukhasana to open up the chest, and Camel pose.

So that is everything you need to practice Urdhva Dhanurasana safely! Happy yoga-ing.


kitkatclub berlin

Berlin Sex Club: My Kitkat Experience

I remember being at my Couchsurfing host Laura in Milan in preparation for my arrival to Berlin, about six years ago. She lived between the two cities, spent a lot of her weekends in Berlin, and kept yapping on about how free-spirited Berlin was. Specifically, she mentioned several times how wonderful it was that people were just strutting totally nude in Berlin sex clubs such as Berghain (an abandoned power plant turned into the most famous techno club, AKA the church of techno) and Kitkat Berlin, getting it on in public in central Berlin as casually as you’d sip a beer on a rocking chair on the porch of the Marina back where I'm from.

sex club berlin

I remember thinking she was either completely off her rocker, or something decidedly weird or wrong was going down in Berlin.

I remember thinking that. That was cute.

Fast-forward five years, and find me half-naked in a Berlin sex club.

Oh, Berlin.

Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. A great place to come indeed...

So where to start. Maybe with the fact that I am excessively prude, despite what the people in my social circle would say of me right now. I really am! But there is this very healthy approach to nudity in Germany that’s been captivating me since day one. And Berlin has loosened me up, in all the best possible ways.

If you're just passing through Germany's capital and are curious about the club scene, you've come to the right place. Berlin is regarded as the party capital of Europe and there is even a club commission and people like Lutz Leichsenring to literally fight for our right to paaaaarty and make sure the city's nightlife is alive and well and the best place for all old and young people to enjoy together. So come to club nights with an open mind, there is so much to explore in Berlin outside of the mainstream clubs.

I haven't visited that many sex clubs in Berlin or plain Berlin clubs for that matter, but outside of Kitkat, there is, of course, one of the most famous clubs — Berghain, with its legendary doorman Sven Marquardt and its wonderful Panorama bar, some more obscure sex parties like House of Red Doors (follow Bad Bruises on Instagram) and Kater Blau which is a lot tamer. The city's nightlife and the best clubs come alive very late in Berlin but it is so much fun I promise — so have an afternoon nap, drink a Redbull, or, ya know, do what it is you gotta do in order to stay up late for the Berlin nightclub.

My friends, please come to the dark side. And Elon Musk, please go to bed. I hope it's Friday night? Saturday night will also do. You've come to the right place. Grab your fetish wear (some recommendations below) and why not maybe some body paint, and get ready for a good time. Many clubs in Berlin are regarded as cultural institutions, so you're not just (potentially) having casual sex, you are doing something a little bit cultural! I'm really not a techno fan, but for me anything that has to do with cultural resurgence after the fall of the Berlin wall is absolutely fascinating and worth seeing.

No matter your sexual orientation, the club culture in Berlin is a safe space and open environment for all to be free and enjoy hedonism. Kitkat is not a gay sex club per se, but really anything goes here. Every second Friday is Revolver, where Kit Kat becomes a gay club for a night, an especially good time for my gay men friends ou there. Do check out their special events Electric Monday or Carneball Bizarre parties too! And let me know if you have more gay bar recommendations.


So what's the deal with KitKat Berlin and the sex club Berlin scene?

It all started as a bit of a joke when I was trying to convince myself that going to a spa completely nude with a group of friends was no biggie. In the German capital, it’s considered unhygienic to use the spa facilities with a swimsuit on, so everyone’s in the buff. So I guess it’s the spa culture that pulled me into this investigation of public nudity, and along came the important role of the FKK movement (Freikörperkultur, or "free body culture", in English). I can’t quite pinpoint when I got completed sucked into the Berlin sex culture and decided I wanted to know more and free my own body. But I did and, as it’d been the case with several aspects of my life since becoming single, I also wanted to test my own boundaries, do the sex club Berlin thing, and so this Kitkat Berlin review was born.

Was I naive before or has Berlin turned me into a pervert? There's a bit of truth in both, I suppose.


First time? Here for the KitKat Club dress code? Read on!

In the grander scheme of Kit Kat Berlin or any sex clubs Berlin stories though, my experience was pretty tame. I went with a girlfriend, danced the night away, watched all the beautiful people strut their stuff and more, and got home by 7am, which is pretty early for a night out in Berlin if you ask me. What’s been more interesting was to observe the changes that have operated in me between being shell-shocked that such a thing would happen when I was back in Milan, and seeing it as an innocent night out with a pal a few years later. Sure, there were people having public sex around me, but to me, at that moment in time, it was just beautiful. My KitKat Berlin experience was beautiful. And I was beautiful. And everyone was beautiful.


Bored of the sex club Berlin options already? Check out my Berlin tour recommendations!


Planning to visit Kitkat Berlin or any Berlin Sex Clubs?


The kit Kat berlin dress code

berlin sex party

Wondering about the sex clubs in Berlin dress code and just how much of a strict dress code it is? While there aren't any strict dress codes, be aware that the less you wear the better when doing the sex club Berlin thing (and also the better the chances of getting into any great club that has fetish parties)! It is a Berlin sex party after all! I visited Kitkat Club wearing these latex hotpants and a see-through bralette and felt overdress. So I got one of these little numbers for my next Kit Kat club outfit! If you have time and you're in Berlin, you can also visit Maskworld, Superschlüpfer, and Swartzer Reiter for a Kitkat Berlin outfit and all sorts of kinky things. And that goes both for men and women. Kit Kat Club dress code is chill, but just don't wear too much - especially if you're a single man ;)

What about kitkatclub berlin outfits for men?

Ah yes, the male kit kat club what to wear conundrum. I receive a lot of messages from men who tell me they have no idea what to pick for a Kit Kat Club Sex outfit or ask me how to dress for KitKat berlin if you're a dude. In doubt, keep it simple, and keep it black. You've probably noticed by now that Berlin's official dress code is ALL BLACK EVERYTHING, so obviously the same goes for the Kitkat dress code. A simple pair of black shorts and a bare chest will do. I'm hoping you're accompanied by a female, otherwise, chances of getting in are greatly reduced. It's just... like that, I'm sorry boys. People in a large group will also struggle getting in, so do spread out. Beware that there can be long queues at peak times. Sometimes visiting on Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon can be the best thing. Get a good night rest, go get brunch, and then go to the fetish club :) A very Berlin way to spend the weekend!

Just don't stress out, wear as little as you're comfortable with (but wear shoes, for goodness sake, ew!) and you'll be fine. People are undressing at the cloakroom, so you can get a sense of what goes once you're there too, and you can remove more or less once you're there. Always a good idea to carry condoms and set up a meeting point with your friends — there are a lot of people!

What's your Kit Kat Berlin dress code? I'm curious!


What’s going to happen once you’re in there?

Nothing you don’t want to happen! Kitkat Club Berlin has got to be the most consensual place I have ever visited. But before all that, if you’re anything like me, I was curious about the logistics of getting “undressed” once you arrive there and have passed the KitKat club berlin door policy test.

After being asked by the doorman if we were wearing anything a bit sexier under our woolly jumpers and both of us simultaneously flashing him, we followed everyone and disrobed, leaving everything in the free cloakroom.

KitKat dresscode unlocked, we are in!

Kitkatclub is super chill! The people are beautiful, there are loads of chilling, dancing, and cuddling areas, and some darker areas where naughtier stuff is happening, but really, it’s for you to decide what you do with your evening. With such a place comes a set of rules and I felt respected and comfortable to a point I never did in any other random bar.

There are several sizes of dance floor to pick from at KitKat with different styles of music (some great and not-so-great music in my opinion!), generally a main room, and some rooms dedicated to the sexy stuff (the dark room).

There’s nothing more you should specifically know about Kit Kat Club Berlin. I think it’s something that should be experienced if that’s what you’re into, not because that’s “the thing to do.” But if you love to feel free and liberated if you’re comfortable with nudity and with people screwing around you, if you’re kinky as I am and want to know more about Kitkat Berlin sex, if the idea of feeling like you’re in that scene from Super Troopers or in a Stanley Kubrick movie rocks your world as it did for me, then by all means go and visit a Berlin sex club and tick the damn Kit Kat Club Berlin Germany checkmark of your damn German list, kiddo. It may well be one of your best clubbing experiences. Go get it.


Have you been to Berlin sex clubs? How was your sex clubs Berlin experience? What is the best club, the best dark rooms?


More Berlin tours and activities


manchester thrift store

Best Thrift Stores Manchester Guide

Anyone who has walked the streets of Manchester can tell you that it’s a fashionable city. From students to office workers, its residents are known for their effortless style and love of retro fashion trends. One of the reasons for this is the many fantastic vintage shops and thrift stores Manchester has to offer. In fact, the city’s alternative Northern Quarter is home to some of the best vintage clothing stores and boutique charity shops in the entire country.

manchester thrift store

Whether you’re looking for elegant 50s dresses, 70s mod jackets, 90s band tees, or just great deals on clothes, you’re guaranteed to find it in Manchester. There’s so much more on offer than the unwanted hand-me-downs often associated with second-hand stores. Manchester’s vintage shops are packed with high-quality and great-value treasures.

Ready to shop? Below are 8 of the best thrift stores in Manchester.

My Thrift Stores Manchester Guide


Afflecks

Afflecks is a large indoor market in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The famous shopping emporium is spread over multiple floors and is known for its quirky independent traders, including plenty of thrift shops and vintage fashion.

Traders regularly change and there’s always something new to discover. Milner & Son is a cool spot for vintage clothing, second-hand homeware, and retro toys and gadgets. Red and Blue Umbrella focus on cartoon vintage and sportswear. Or for something a little fun and different, American Graffiti is one of the most colourful vintage and retro shops Manchester has to offer. If you’re looking for a costume for your next fancy dress party, this is the place to go.

With a variety of traders all under one roof, Afflecks is a great one-stop destination for vintage shopping in Manchester. Especially during rainy winter months when you don’t want to be outside too much.

Address: 52 Church Street, Manchester


Blue Rinse

It’s almost impossible to miss Blue Rinse when walking along Oldham Street in Manchester, with its colourful graffiti exterior, ever-changing window display, and name in bold bubble letters.

Inside, the vintage store is just as colourful. Brightly decorated murals frame rows of vintage, reworked and thrifted clothing, specialising in 80s and 90s fashion. If oversized denim, patterned knits, and flannel shirts are your style, Blue Rinse is the vintage store in Manchester for you. The shop also has some great vintage football jerseys and sports gear.

Plus don’t miss the daily kilo sale, with 1kg of vintage clothing for just £15. The entrance is right next door to the main Blue Rinse shop.

Address: 29-31 Oldham Street, Manchester


Pop Boutique

While Pop Boutique now has multiple locations in cities across England and Sweden, their story began in Manchester in 1985 with their first permanent vintage shop in Afflecks. The small clothing store can still be found in its original location in the market today. Almost 10 years later, the brand expanded by opening its now-iconic Oldham Street store.

Pop Boutique on Oldham Street is one of the best vintage stores in Manchester, with two floors packed with fantastic thrifted items. On the ground floor, you’ll find plenty of recycled and vintage clothing from the 50s-90s, as well as their own brand collection. Downstairs is an all-in-one vintage shopping haven, with everything from retro jewellery, bags and shoes to an eclectic selection of furniture and homeware.

The popular Manchester thrift store even has its own hairdressers and a cute cafe serving food and coffees. Everything you need for a great day out.

Address: 34-36 Oldham Street, Manchester


Oxfam Originals

Just across the street from Pop Boutique is another of the best thrift stores Manchester has to offer, Oxfam Originals.

Oxfam Originals isn’t your average Oxfam charity shop. Their Manchester thrift shop stocks a curated collection of only the very best donated vintage and designer clothes. You’ll find high-end brands including Fred Perry, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and plenty more.

While the prices may be slightly higher than other Oxfam shops, the store offers fantastic value for money, with lots of unique, signature pieces that you definitely won’t find anywhere else.

Address: Unit 8, Smithfield Buildings, 51 Oldham Street, Manchester


Thrift Shop Manchester

Thrift Shop Manchester is a hidden treasure trove of great vintage items right on the corner of bustling Piccadilly Gardens. Despite being in a different neighbourhood to many of Manchester’s other best thrift stores, it’s certainly worth the detour for a visit.

The store’s vintage clothing offering includes plenty of denim and leather jackets, colourful tees and playful shirts. Items are labelled by colour to indicate the price and any deals, which includes 3 for £10 on many pieces. You’re guaranteed to find a bargain here if you’re thrift shopping in Manchester on a budget.

Thrift Shop is part of the Cow Family, which owns several vintage clothes shops in Manchester including COW (below).

Address: 39 Parker Street, Manchester


COW Vintage

Sister store to Thrift Shop, COW Vintage is a high-end boutique in Manchester with two floors of ethical vintage, upcycled, and handmade clothing. The store has a huge focus on sustainability, so you know that your purchase won’t be harming the environment.

COW specialises in 90s and Y2K clothing, with band tees, halter tops, floral dresses and bomber jackets galore. Make sure you check out their reworked items too, with trendy modern alterations to older vintage pieces that needed some extra love.

Address: 61 Church Street, Manchester


Bags of Flavor

Bags of Flavour is another of the best vintage shops in Manchester. But this time for the guys.

The shop’s unique name comes from owner Richard Gill’s 20+ years of creating one-of-a-kind bags from damaged vintage clothing and fabrics. He started making these bags whilst living in the states, hence the Americanised spelling.

The small retro boutique now also sells a carefully curated and handpicked selection of 70s and 80s men’s clothing, with a focus on sportswear, puffer jackets, and sneakers. The store is known for its unbeatable range of old-school men’s Adidas gear.

Address: 13 Tib Street, Manchester


RSPCA Charity Shop

Last but certainly not least, RSPCA NQ is a boutique charity shop in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. All profits go to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, so it’s a must-visit if you’re an animal lover. The charity thrift shop has some great vintage and retro clothing, as well as bags, books, games, homeware, and more.

Address: 15 Oak Street, Manchester


collagen for vegans

My Vegan Collagen Guide

Is collagen vegan? No, it's not. Can you boost your collagen as a vegan? Yes, you can. Here's my vegan collagen guide

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I love myself some vegan skincare products and it’s no secret that I’m a vegan supplement junkie… so a vegan collagen guide felt long overdue!

collagen for vegans

Over the recent years, collagen has become a real buzzword in the realms of beauty, health, and wellness, promising us bouncy, wrinkle-free skin and better joint and bone health. This apparent elixir of youth is infused in everything from skin creams to smoothies, and don’t even bother running a google search on ‘best collagen supplement’ because the number of results will make your head spin.

So what is this miracle thing… and is it really all it’s cracked up to be? In this blog post, I break down the facts and myths about collagen, particularly around vegan collagen supplements. Is collagen vegan? No, it's not. Can you boost your collagen as a vegan? Yes, you can.

Collagen for vegans is a hotly debated topic, as it is yet another one of those things that people tend to claim you can’t get with a plant-based diet. Lies… and there is even a pretty solid argument for why vegan collagen is preferable over animal produced alternatives.

Collagen for vegans


So, What Even is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in humans, making up around 30% of our total protein mass. The reason why there is so much of it? It does a lot of important jobs; in fact, it basically holds the human body together. It’s in our skin (like a lot, like 75% of it), our joints, bones, tendons, even our eyes and blood vessels!

So what does it do? In short, it keeps us bouncy. The most prevalent type of collagen in our bodies (fibrillar collagen) is key in maintaining the structures of our body, which means it is both sturdy but also tensile, or stretchy. This balance of strength and flexibility is basically the sweet spot for all things in life… but to bring it back to the realm of collagen, and specifically its anti-ageing and skincare qualities, it helps keep our joints juicy and skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

As I said bouncy, and not just looking youthful, but feeling youthful… it’s basically the spring in your step (and skin and knee joints)!


How Do I Get Collagen, plz?

The body is pretty good at making its own; however, as we age, it gets less good. Unfortunately, we start breaking down collagen quicker than we make it. It’s estimated that the breakdown begins around age 20 when we start producing around 1% less every year. However, there are a lot of variables to do with lifestyle and human genes too that affect collagen production. But it is no secret that as we age our skin wrinkles and becomes less elastic, and our joints and connective tissues start seizing up too.

So, what can be done about this? There are certainly lifestyle changes we can make to minimise increased collagen breakdown, such as wearing sunscreen, smoking less… and of course eating right.


How to Eat for Optimal Collagen

eating for collagen

Collagen is a protein made of 19 different amino acids (if you are unsure about what essential amino acids are and how they make up proteins, then check out my blog on BCAA for vegans where I break it all down).

It is a misnomer that we need to eat collagen to create more collagen in the body. Instead, we need to make sure that we are supporting both our body’s collagen production as well as trying to preserve existing collagen.

It’s not always as simple as taking a supplement — the body's ability is complicated, just because we give it what we think it needs doesn’t necessarily mean we get the results we hoped for. However, when it comes to collagen there is good news! Studies, such as this one, have shown great results in improving skin elasticity, healthy hair, and health in older women after taking a collagen supplement regularly over a sustained period.


Essential Nutrients for Collagen Production

So what goes into producing and preserving collagen? You need not just the primary amino acids of collagen but the specific nutrients needed to support the collagen synthesis in the body. Key in the production of collagen are:

  • Protein — a wide spectrum of amino acids make up collagen, but most prevalent are glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline
  • Vitamin C

Other recommended minerals are:

  • Zinc
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Silica
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E

My advice? Eat a well-balanced, plant-based diet full of citrus fruit to make sure you get a full spectrum on the nutrients you need, but you might also want to take a collagen supplement.

This is where the myth about vegans and collagen comes in. A majority of collagen supplements are made from collagen — makes sense, because collagen contains a bulk of what the body needs to create more collagen… One major caveat, ALL direct sources of collagen come from animal products. Why? Because plants don’t need collagen, so they don’t produce it!

Wait, does that mean there are no actual collagen products for vegans?!

Of course, there are!! To create more collagen the body just needs all the ingredients, i.e. those amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which the body then uses to generate collagen and thus building blocks of proteins.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that you need a supplement made of collagen to produce more collagen. Want to know why? When you consume anything — food source, supplement, whatever — the body digests it. As in, it breaks it down into its building blocks (abundant amino acids, sugars, fatty acids) and then transforms it into what it actually needs! So when you take a collagen supplement, be it plant-based or otherwise, that same process of breaking it down into its basic units occurs.


What’s the Best Source of Collagen for Vegans?

I make sure I eat a healthy, balanced, vegan diet (it’s not difficult to do at all, check out my vegan grocery list if you want some guidance), but I do also use one of the best vegan collagen supplements.

Vegan Collagen Sources

It’s highly likely that you already get adequate protein in your plant-based diet, but if you are on a collagen drive, you might want to emphasise it.

Soy products are great as they are complete proteins, but also pulses and legumes, nuts etc. Legumes and nuts are also a good source of biotin so you are packing in some extra collagen-boosting power with them!

Of course, lots of fruit and vegetables to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need. Orange and yellow plants tend to be high in vitamin A, and broccoli, citrus fruits and kiwis are a good source of vitamin C. But I wouldn’t split hairs over it, eating a wide variety of fruit and veg will give you everything you need to keep your whole body working as it should.

Antioxidants help to promote the production and slow down the breakdown of collagen, so up your blueberry and green tea intake.

If you like superfoods, then spirulina and sea buckthorn are good collagen supporting choices.


Vegan Collagen Supplements

Vegan collagen supplements are usually called collagen builders — because they contain everything your body needs to build more and preserve existing collagen.

A quality supplement contains everything needed specifically for collagen production and preservation in the ideal quantities. You may be able to take care of it solely through diet, but if you are noticing a marked lack of bounce in your skin or achy joints, it’s worth seeing if a supplement makes a difference.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any studies testing the efficacy of vegan collagen builders — although anecdotally (and I include myself in this) they do seem to work.


Why Choose Vegan Collagen Supplements Over Traditional Non-Vegan Ones

There are also additional benefits of using a vegan alternative collagen builder. A majority of non-vegan collagen supplements are ethically culpable as they source the animal parts they use from factory-farmed animal sources. Not only does this perpetuate animal cruelty, but they also have a larger carbon footprint as a result.

Also, many of the popular supplements have been found to contain a toxic heavy metal. One study on popular brands of bone broth, which is rich in collagen, by independent body Consumer Wellness, found trace amounts of antibiotics, insecticides, and pharmacological drugs in the majority of products available.

So when you weigh everything up it’s clear to see that vegan collagen builders and supplements are a much better choice.


Recommended Vegan Collagen Boosters

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

If you are desperate to make one of those collagen smoothies you see all over Instagram, then SunWarrior Collagen Building Protein Peptides has my vote.

If you prefer a capsule form, then Garden of Life’s collagen builder is one of the few non-powders that gets good results.


Skincare and Collagen for Vegans

When it comes to collagen, you are more than what you eat. Free radicals in sun damage and smoking are major collagen destroyers, so if you don’t already incorporate a high factor SPF into your daily skin regime, now is an excellent time to start (as is cutting down smoking…).

You might also notice skin creams and serum which are said to contain or stimulate collagen… the thing is the body needs to produce collagen inside out (through your diet) so it’s basically impossible for these to actually give your skin more collagen. HOWEVER, they do often have a plumping effect on the skin making it look juicier and dewier and reducing fine lines. I love the ones that include aloe vera as it's both soothing and plumping.

My recommendation, though, is to make sure you have a good skincare regime (which includes eating well, staying hydrated, and sleeping enough) and investing in some quality vegan skincare products that both nourish and protect the skin!

So that is everything you need to know about collagen for vegans and vegan collagen sources!

Does vegan collagen work? You gotta try and let me know! ;)


cow hollow manchester

Where to Stay in Manchester? My Accommodation Guide

Wondering where to stay in Manchester and what the best hotels are? Manchester is one of the UK’s most iconic and best places, with a music scene that has given birth to bands like Oasis and Joy Division as well as a few football teams that are kind of a big deal. But as a city break destination, it’s often overlooked when compared to London or several of the other bigger cities in England — which is crazy considering it has so many things to see and do and the level of quality Manchester accommodation you can find.

manchester accommodation

My recent impromptu visit to the city — these things happen when you love to travel, and you find an amazing Manchester-based tattoo artist on Instagram — began by roaming the depths of Booking.com to find Manchester accommodation that suited my requirements. And also something that offered an ideal home-away-from-home to recover from several days of tattooing and exploring the Manchester vegan scene and the best Manchester thirft stores (one of my fave travel activities!). Fortunately, my search proved to be fruitful, and I stumbled upon plenty of incredible places to stay in Manchester.

Wondering what the best Manchester hotels are? Whether you’re looking for Manchester Piccadilly hotels that are a quick stroll from Piccadilly rail station and easy access to Manchester Airport, or a boutique accommodation for a bespoke trip in one of Manchester’s best neighborhoods, or quirky spots immersed in Manchester’s most lively areas which you search for the best Manchester art gallery — this post will prove more than enough choices to suit your needs!


Where to Stay in Manchester


Cow Hollow Hotel

cow hollow manchester

Located in the Northern Quarter not too far from Market Street and many tourist attractions, this restored turn-of-the-century textile mill is undoubtedly one of the most interesting boutique hotels in Manchester, which is home to 16 luxury hotel rooms. While the Cow Hollow is a high-tech and beautiful hotel, it doesn’t shy away from the history of the building and fully embraces the industrial aesthetic. Everyone loses their shit a bit over exposed brick, don’t they? Every room, as well as the lobby and bar, is beautifully designed, offers a luxury experience, and is affordable. They do have a beautiful on-site bar called the Plantation Bar, which has several beautiful seating areas engulfed with lush palm trees.

One of the more interesting things I found about the Cow Hollow is that rather than having their own restaurant, they prefer to focus on what they do best — being a bespoke hotel. Instead, they are good friends with several eateries in the area and can provide genuinely informative and helpful suggestions — which is especially beneficial if you're like me, and always looking for a decent vegan spot to eat nearby.

Check out prices at Cow Hollow now!


Native Manchester

native manchester

Native (formerly The Place Aparthotel) is situated in The Ducie Street Warehouse, a grade-two Victorian Warehouse that boasts six floors of 166 apartments and eight penthouses with private outdoor terraces. So yeah, as far as Manchester Piccadilly hotels (near the station) go, Native is definitely one to scribble down on your to-do list.

If you’re looking for Manchester accommodation that’s not only in the heart of the city but also has lots to offer — you can’t go wrong here. This apartment hotel has a restaurant and bar, a coffee shop, and even fitness studios for travelers who don’t let wanderlust get in the way of their workout regime — or if you’re like me and love a peaceful yoga space. When it comes to the rooms themselves, the generous kitchen and living space are perfect for returning after a long day of exploring the city and feel right at home!

Although Native has done a fantastic job of creating an environment that almost makes it seem like a shame to leave, the surrounding neighborhood is definitely worth exploring. So if you’re looking for a few things to check out nearby, you can do so here.

Check out prices at Native Manchester now!


Selina

selina manchester

Selina’s NQ1 Manchester accommodation is one of their many locations throughout the world, and much like Native, it’s situated in a refurbished Victorian building. You’ll find that this tends to be the case in cities such as Manchester as they have a rich industrial history, for which the buildings make ideal locations for delightful hotels and apartments.

But this isn’t a history lesson, let’s get back on track. One of a few fab budget hotels of Greater Manchester, Selina is located in an area that’s jam-packed with vintage stores, artisan coffee shops, and all the pubs you could possibly need for a good night out — and a subsequent wicked hangover. In regards to the accommodation itself, the rooms range from twins to six-bed community hostel-style rooms, making it an ideal location if you’re traveling solo or with a group. They also have an on-site coffee shop, restaurant, and bar — but one of the most interesting aspects of Selina is their co-working space. This, coupled with their high-speed Wifi, makes it a brilliant place to stay if you’re a blogger or freelancer in need of a space to get some work done.

Check out prices at Selina now!


Malmaison

malmaison

Malmaison is a hotel that fully embraces the finer things in life and reflects this throughout the entirety of its 117 luxury rooms and 13 suites. Whether you’re on a business trip or simply there to see the sights, this is a boutique hotel in Manchester that will live long in memory. Located right across the road from Picadilly Station, Malmaison puts you amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only giving you an authentic feel for the city, but it also means you won’t have far to walk if you want to explore.

Their on-site Chez Mal restaurant serves locally-sourced and inspired dishes with a great vegan menu, while the Chez Mal bar will provide all you need in more in the form of cocktails and other drinks. Also, they have a fully-equipped gym and luxury spa — so if the weather is particularly awful (it often is in the UK), you have everything you need to relax under one roof.

Check out prices at Malmaison now!


Velvet Hotel

velvet hotel manchester

Although there are many, many places to stay in Manchester — few will have the charming, luxurious appeal of the Velvet Hotel. Located on Canal Street in the Village, one of the city’s most lively districts, the Velvet is another of Manchester’s Piccadilly hotels to keep in mind. Every room and penthouse suite has been designed individually, so you know that a lot of thought has gone into making it as comfortable and accessible as possible. Their not-so-standard ‘King Rooms’ is the most affordable available, whereas the Penthouse Suite is more idyllic for those with lots of cash to spend.

Downstairs you’ll find the Velvet Bar and Restaurant, both of which maintain the same charming passion for luxury both in the style and design as well as the food and drink they serve. It’s clear that their goal is to WOW you at every corner, which they do a good job of, but also they succeed in giving you a beautiful and comfortable place to lay your head down for the night. What more could you want?

Check out prices at Velvet Hotel Manchester now!


Whitworth Locke

manchester accommodation where to stay

Whitworth Locke is the perfect Manchester accommodation for creatives who appreciate history, design, and a place where — as they put it themselves — the “lines between work & play blur”. Located in an old cotton mill a short walking distance to and from Palace Theatre, this is another place to stay in Manchester that benefits from a raw industrial vibe, with a few sprinkles of creative thought, authentic culture, and a passion for bespoke hospitality that is difficult to rival.

I’m someone who always appreciates the quirkier things in life, so Whitworth Locke’s bright color schemes and creative living spaces are a good place for a home-away-from-home. With 160 apartments and suites to choose from, each varying in shape, size, and design, it’s safe to say each stay at Whitworth Locke will be a unique experience. Their on-site ‘Cotton Mill Bar and Restaurant’ continues the creative spirit and features a vast range of locally-inspired cuisine as well as Peruvian dishes from Peru Perdu.

Being situated in Manchester’s Civic Quarter, this hotel is only minutes away from many independent shops and bars, ideal if you’re someone who prefers to avoid chain stores and check out what the real people of a city have to offer.

Check out prices at Whitworth Locke now!


Victoria Warehouse Hotel

victoria warehouse manchester

As you can probably guess from its name, the Victoria Warehouse Hotel is a beautifully restored Victorian warehouse that’s about a ten-minute drive from Manchester city centre and nearby Salford Quays - not to be confused with Victoria Station and the Manchester arena area. Many other hotels in Manchester opt for an industrial appeal, but this has got to be one of the most authentic and effective of them all. At a glance, the rooms may appear to be a bit bare and basic, but you’ll soon begin to notice intricate details and a warmth that makes it a really pleasant place to stay.

Each room has all of the usual amenities such as tea and coffee, etc. But one of the best things for people who like to get up and go is the ‘grab and go’ breakfast they offer every guest, ideal fuel for stomping around the city for a whole day. Also, they have an in-house yoga studio which guests can use to take part in evening classes. So whether you’re a yoga fiend such as myself or want to stretch out after a long day of travel, you won’t have to leave the hotel to do so.

Check out prices at Victoria Warehouse now!


Hotel Gotham

hotel gotham manchester

Last but most definitely not least, Hotel Gotham is the perfect place for luxury and extravagance when it comes to Manchester accommodation. With 60 rooms (55 rooms and five “inner sanctum suites” that feature original features such as bespoke furniture, enormous luxurious beds, marble bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows, and Egyptian cotton bed sheets (I mean, why wouldn’t they?) — it’s safe to say they strive to ensure that every guest is as relaxed and blown away as possible.

Every room spares no expense when it comes to design with dazzling geometric carpets and dramatic windows, while the dark polished woods, tactile burnished metals, and luxurious leather make for a unique sensory experience. This is combined with features that make sure guests have everything they need. Examples of which include an espresso machine, soft robes, mini bar, seated area, and also a TV and Wifi.

Check out prices at Hotel Gotham now!


Are there any places to stay in Manchester that you think should be on the list? Let me know!



yoga retreat europe

My Best Yoga Retreats Europe Guide

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, I’ve found that there are fantastic options 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 2022. I've tried to cover all bases from luxury yoga retreat center to more affordable yoga retreat options. For more spiritual 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.


First Class Yoga Retreats in Europe: 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 a wonderful hatha yoga holidays Europe 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 meals on request

Check out retreats in Lagos 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 personal 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 seasons, and a delicious menu made with locally sourced and foraged ingredients. Spaces are limited to 4 to 12 participants per retreat so go ahead and reserve your spot on one of the remaining retreats: Summer Flourishing (23-27 June 2022), Autumn Harvest (12-16 October 2022) or Winter Wonderland (26-30 January 2023).


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!


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 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. A 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 travel 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, 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!


Greek Island Mid Summer Retreat with High on Yoga

This is where I'll be heading this Summer with my favorite Berlin yoga teachers. Mateusz and Anita are two absolute rays of sunshine offering some stellar yoga classes and I have never looked back since I started practicing with them in 2017. I also did my recent yoga teacher training in Berlin with Mateusz and so I feel like we've developed a relationship where he truly understands my practice and guides me accordingly. The retreat will be located in the beautiful island of Aegina, in a villa hidden from the main bustle and surrounded by a huge garden, right next to the beach. I think you should join us!


Duration: one week
Price: From €850
Closest Airport: Athens (40 minutes)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at High on Yoga now!


Europe Retreat on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

retreats amalfi

Experience the rugged terrains 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, healthy 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 great yoga and amazing nutritious food, alongside breathtaking views of nature, drenched in extra virgin olive oil!


Duration: it's a 5-day retreat
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. And Wiltshire is a great reminder of a 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 east 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 experience.


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!


Disclaimer: Some of the links to these yoga retreat holidays 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 helps me run this blog for your viewing pleasure!


Camera gear for travelling

30 Best Eco-Friendly Travel Products

The best eco-friendly travel products are the ones that help you save money, reduce waste and your carbon footprint, and stay connected to your values. I’m all about making travel easier and more sustainable. This roundup of the best eco-friendly travel products will show you a few of my favorite sustainable travel hacks to make your next adventure a breeze!

You’ll find out why I love bamboo toothbrushes, how to quit using plastic while traveling, and other ways to travel sustainably without sacrificing comfort or convenience. I’ve covered it all, from reusable water bottles to solar-powered battery packs. This list of eco-friendly products will help you live greener and travel better.

Camera gear for travelling


The Importance of Sustainable Travel

Sustainable travel is important for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that it’s essential to keep our planet and everything living on it healthy and safe. Tourism is responsible for approximately 8% of the world’s carbon emissions.

It’s estimated that a single tourist vacation generates an average of 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. While this may not seem like a big deal by itself, add up all those individuals each year and it’s staggering enough to make an impact. So if you're a frequent traveler, please be aware of your environmental impact.

Waste from tourists alone has become such an issue in some popular destinations that locals petition to reduce or completely eliminate tourism. If each individual does his or her part to keep these areas clean and reduce their own waste, we can keep traveling (sustainably) for years to come.


Eco-Friendly Toiletries


Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo Toothbrush
  • WHY CHOOSE GREENZLA? We've put together the perfect pack of 4 charcoal bamboo toothbrushes, charcoal and mint-essence dental floss in its own glass jar plus a bamboo toothbrush case for easy, clean and neat storage and travel. This natural dental kit is gentle enough to be used by all members of the family to improve and maintain oral hygiene.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY & ZERO WASTE. Our eco-friendly toothbrushes are made from sustainably sourced materials that are soft & springy to use, so you wonÕt damage your gums with harsh brushing. Our charcoal mint dental floss cleans hard-to-reach areas of the mouth to maintain healthy gums. And our BPA-free, charcoal-infused bristles help to remove stains from teeth and keep them sparkling and white.
  • A COMPLETE DENTAL HYGIENE KIT. Not just for home use, your new bamboo toothbrush can be safely and hygienically sealed inside the bamboo tube holder, while your charcoal dental floss comes sealed hygienically inside a glass jar, so theyre perfect for travel. Whether youre heading off on a long trip or just an overnighter, pop your dental brush and dental floss into your toiletries bag, suitcase or backpack and youre ready to go.
  • NATURAL MATERIAL - We use only responsibly sourced natural materials for our dental care pack. Our bamboo toothbrushes, dental floss and bamboo travel holder are all additive, coloring, and BPA-free, so theyÕre better for you and better for the planet too.
  • QUALITY YOU CAN TRUST - With Greenzla, you know youre buying a brand of natural quality that you can trust. We specialize in products that are not only eco-friendly, but work exactly as stated _ thats the Greenzla guarantee to you. Even our packaging is recycled and biodegradable! Absolutely love our products - or well give you your money back.

Bamboo toothbrushes are awesome eco friendly alternatives to plastic brushes. It’s not only an eco-friendly travel product, but also something worth investing in for home daily use. The kit comes with four toothbrushes, a wooden carrying case for travel, and a glass jar of charcoal floss. The handle is super-durable and the soft charcoal bristles provide effective cleaning power. The entire thing is zero waste!


Toothpaste Tablets

Toothpaste Tablets
  • 3 Month Supply - The future of oral care - No Plastic, No Waste, No SLS, No GMO, No Nonsense - Just 100% Eco Friendly, Natural, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Recyclable, Super Effective, Mega Minty Mouth Toothpaste (exactly the same as traditional toothpaste just tablet form, not plastic tube)
  • Super easy to use! - Pop a tablet in your mouth, chew for 15 seconds and feel the fresh foam fulminate your entire mouth. Brush as normal (dentists recommend 2 minutes), spit and rinse. Repeat twice daily for the best possible results.
  • All the ingredients for the healthiest teeth! - We follow the advice from the overwhelming majority of dentists and have included a healthy 1450ppm Fluoride per tablet. Full ingredients list in the description.
  • Cleanest and freshest mouth feel ever! - Our tablets are infused with natural mint flavour which give you the dentist clean feel after every use. Great for the home and perfect for travelling, you can take your GloBoid toothpaste tablets wherever you go.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee! At GloBoid our #1 priority is your happiness. If you're not happy, neither are we. We stand by our product 100%, so if you're not satisfied we will do whatever it takes to change this. Whether it be refund, new product or both, we will make it our mission to give you only the best experience - no questions asked.

These toothpaste tablets contain activated charcoal, fluoride, and 180 pieces all conveniently packaged in a zero-waste container. Not to mention, they taste good, are vegan/cruelty-free, and environmentally safe. You don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality, as these tablets do just as good a job as your tube toothpaste at home. Enjoy fresh breath, a clean mouth, whitening, and strong teeth while doing your part to eliminate plastic waste.


Bar Shampoo & Conditioner

Bar Shampoo & Conditioners
  • ✔️HIGHEST QUALITY AND NATURAL CARE! Being 100% organic and eco-friendly these shampoo bars are made of high quality all natural ingredients! Cold pressed to achieve the best quality these cute solid bars will naturally treat and restore your hair to its original shiny state without stripping it while the added conditioner effect will make your hair soft and light as a petal! You will notice a difference in the way your wet hair feels after washing!
  • ✔️100% ECO-FRIEDNLY AND TRAVEL-FRIENDLY! These shampoo bars do not contain any chemicals or preservatives that can damage your hair while our packaging is 100% biodegradable and recycling! Their compact size and lightweight making these shampoo bars perfect choice for travel camping airplane or on the road helping you take a good care of your hair while being 100% waste free!
  • ✔️PACK OF 4 FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY! This pack of shampoo bars comes with 4 unique essences – Lavender, Honey, Seaweed and Chamomile! Designed for all ages, our organic approach of plant-based butters and essential oils such as shea butter cocoa butter cocoa oil olive oil etc…makes these compact hair soaps a smart and safe choice for your kids as well! Each pack will last a person between 4 to 6 months! That’s approximately 2-3 bottles worth of shampoo!
  • ✔️ZERO WASTE IS OUR MISSION! Green Earth is our goal! Everything from our products to our packaging is sourced with big care and consideration! We understand that millions shampoo and conditioner bottles are being thrown away each year in the U.S. Our focus and determination are fighting the plastic waste and being part of the solution to stop it for rocketing That is why our products are always 100% plastic and metal free, made of organic ingredients and zero-waste packaging!
  • ✔️100% SATISFACTION OR MONEY BACK! Our Shampoo bars are 100 Organic and our packaging is 100% recyclable! We love using them and we know you will love them too! If for any reason or no reason at all you decide to return them we will refund you 100%!

The latest craze in travel toiletries has to be the shampoo bars and conditioner bars that are now available. Many brands are producing these, as not only are they more environmentally friendly and zero waste, but they also help with that pesky problem of liquid toiletries in carry-on luggage.


Biodegradable Soap

Biodegradable Soap
  • REFRESH YOUR SKIN: Drench your skin in the hydrating blend of coconut and essential oils for a radiant complexion. Our moisturizing bar soap is balanced for all skin types, and its non-irritating formula can be used on your face, body, and hands.. The Vitamin E helps lock in moisture for that fresh, silky feel all day long
  • A GENTLE CLEAN: Our bath soap  is consciously crafted with nourishing biodegradable  ingredients. This gentle, cruelty-free bar soap is safe for all skin types. Find serenity in the shower with your eco-conscious bath soap bars
  • REVITALIZING SCENTS: Five scented soap bars for you to choose from: Lemongrass, Grapefruit Basil, Juniper Sandalwood, Sea Spray & Aloe, Sweet Honeysuckle. Discover the fragrance that is right for you with these soaps for women and men
  • LATHER UP: Forget the days of dry, cracked skin. Our soaps lather quickly for a lasting clean and fresh feeling. The replenishing  blend of essential oils helps scrub away dirt without stripping moisture from your skin
  • SUPPORT SUSTAINABILITY: Our bar of soap is wrapped in low-waste, paper-based, 100% recyclable packaging, for a plastic-free and responsible clean. Indulge yourself in sustainability without sacrifice

While some people think that biodegradable soap is only necessary when camping, it’s definitely environmentally beneficial to use it during your regular showers and baths as well. The chemicals in normal soap are almost impossible to break down naturally, leading to pollution of water sources. Whether you’re camping or hiking, live in a house with a septic or sewer system, biodegradable soap is ideal for keeping yourself and our water clean.


Zero Waste Deodorant

Sale
Zero Waste Deodorant
  • 4+ MONTHS SUPPLY LASTS MUCH LONGER THAN OTHER BRANDS of natural deodorant; this 2 pack includes a total 3.7 ounces, one full size stick for your bathroom and one travel size for on the go
  • MINI DEODORANT IS PERFECT FOR TRAVEL and fits in your handbag, gym bag or backpack; enjoy the convenience and peace of mind of applying fresh scent to your armpits at any time
  • PLASTIC FREE VEGAN DEODORANT WITH 100% COMPOSTABLE PACKAGING in eco-friendly, zero waste biodegradable cardboard push up tubes
  • GENTLE MAGNESIUM & BAKING SODA FORMULA; natural moisture absorbing and odor neutralizing ingredients that work even on sensitive skin for effective protection from smelly underarms
  • NO STINK & NO NASTIES – FEEL CONFIDENT with aluminum free deodorant with no parabens, phthalates, triclosan, synthetic fragrance, alcohol, soy or talc

Whether you’re used to using bar deodorant or the spray kind, both produce a lot of waste. This Natural Deodorant stick set comes with a full and a travel size, and comes in 100% compostable packaging. Plus, it’s aluminum-free!


Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef-Safe Sunscreen
  • REVOLUTIONARY SUN CREAM :: Moisturizing reef safe sunscreen SPF 50, waterproof for up to 80 minutes whether in the sand, sun, sea or surf. Strong broad spectrum mineral based sun protection from UVA / UVB rays to help protect you from sun burn and DNA damage. PA+++
  • CORAL REEF SAFETY :: Reef Repair sun cream is a (non nano) Zinc Oxide based reef safe sunscreen that is 100% Oxybenzone free, Octinoxate free & completely chemical free. Safe for marine and aquatic life including our delicate coral reefs, guaranteed to protect!
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY :: Reef Repair sunscreens are 100% Paraben free, Silicone free & Titanium Dioxide free, providing proven sun & skin safety for you and your family. Our A+ grade Zinc Oxide mineral sunblock gives you the strongest UV protection available. Daily application is now fun and easy.
  • ULTRA CLEAR :: Non Sticky, non oily water based & biodegradable mineral sunscreen. Applies transparently with almost no rubbing and spreads evenly on your skin. No white cast or ghosting effect like other natural physical sunblocks. Does not leave sticky or greasy feeling on your skin and will not cause excessive sweating.
  • OTHER BENEFITS :: Our 100% natural reef safe sunscreen is a revolutionary layer of sun protection and moisturisation for new, sensitive or damaged skin. All natural, organic and reef safe formula with bonus ingredients like red raspberry seed and coconut oil for extra sun care protection.

If you’re planning on doing some snorkeling or diving on your trip, be sure your sunscreen is safe for our reefs and marine life. Regular sunscreen contains chemicals and small particles that are known to damage or bleach coral reefs. Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which do not cause coral bleaching. This sunscreen is reef-safe, all-natural, water-resistant, SPF 50, and biodegradable.


Menstrual Cup

Sale
Menstrual Cup
  • 100% Happiness Promise. We are so confident that you’ll love our products that we back them all with our Happiness Promise. This means if you aren’t totally satisfied, we will make it right. Either a full refund or a replacement product. We’ve got you.
  • Period Freedom. Pixie is a reusable silicone cup that collects your monthly discharge or menstrual flow. Inserted similar to a tampon, Pixie Cup sits in the vaginal canal comfortably with no odor, leaks or risk of TSS. Easy removal and leak-free periods means no period blood stains! Also works as a conception cup!
  • The design of our Pixie stem allows for easy removal and is perfect for any type of cervix.
  • Works for Every Woman. You can wear Pixie Feminine Cups for 12 consecutive hours before you clean or reinsert. Whether you're an active teenager who enjoys sports or a busy mom, you can enjoy every part of life while you run, swim, or dance. We have a menstrual cup for you while in motion or in your sleep.
  • Buy One, Give One. Every time you purchase a Pixie Cup, a cup is donated to a woman in need. Here at Pixie, our goal is for every woman to have access to period products and you can help us! With help from people like you, we’ve donated 135,000+ Pixie Cups so far!

Something I have been using since my teens that gets rid of so much waste and necessary single-use plastic applicators. Definitely a must have!


Refillable Toiletry Bottles

Sale
Refillable Toiletry Bottles
  • 【 Travel Bottles Set】Amphism colorful travel bottle set come with 4pcs 3oz silicone cosmetic container. These travel containers suit for pura d'or toiletries ,shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions,hand sanitizer gel, hand soap and other thicker liquids.
  • 【100% Leak Proof Travel Bottles】Take it with you and go travel! These squeezable travel containers are soft and flexible, each travel bottle comes with 3-layer sealing cap and non-drip valve, offers protection to your luggage and cloths.
  • 【Refillable & Safety silicone】Our refillable travel tubes are made of food grade silicone ,designed for safety and convenience. Food-safe travel toiletry containers, pliable but durable silicone, usable for salad dressing, ketchup ,mustard etc.
  • 【Easy to fill and clean】Easy to refill due to the large opening mouth of the travel containers set when unscrewing the cap and easy to squeeze out. You can easily clean these toiletry containers by soaking in warm soapy water .
  • 【Used Widely】Perfect for business or personal travel, activity, outdoors, and more. Also could be a perfect gift for your girlfriend, wife, and family.

Not ready to make the transition to bar toiletries? The next best thing you can do is invest in some refillable bottles, in lieu of purchasing a bunch of travel-sized items to bring on your trip. These silicone bottles, while not perfect, are much better than their plastic counterparts. Silicone is more durable and less harmful to the environment than plastic. It is better at resisting heat and cold than plastic, and it lasts longer. If burned, silicone turns to harmless silica, carbon dioxide, and water (unlike plastic which releases toxins).


Reusable Razor

Reusable Razor
  • PERFECT SHAVE*: Achieve a closer, smoother, more professional shave without the hassle of irritation or ingrown hairs with the Bambaw double edge safety razor.
  • DURABLE*: Bambaw double edged safety razors are pretty much guaranteed to last a lifetime. Made from high quality materials, a 100% bamboo handle and stainless-steel parts, your Bambaw razor is incredibly strong and durable.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY*: Conventional plastic razors are practically impossible to recycle and end up in our landfills and oceans. With Bambaw safety razors all you need to do is replace and recycle the blade, which helps create a cleaner planet.
  • COST EFFECTIVE*: Once you have the razor, all you need to buy are the blades. You simply can’t get any better value for money in the long run.
  • USER MANUAL*: In-depth digital user manual included. Tips on how to assemble, how to get the perfect shave on all areas of your body for men and women, after shave treatment, increasing the life of the blades, responsible recycling and 2 x bonus homemade shaving recipes.

One impactful habit to adopt is doing away with disposable razors! First of all, they really don’t do a good job, particularly with dense or coarse hair. As a woman with thick coarse blood, they never did it for me anyway. These safety razors are for men or women, made of metal and bamboo, are super-durable, and all you have to do is purchase razor refills.


At-Home IPL

Sale
At-Home IPL
  • 【Sapphire Advanced Cooling 】The built-in dvanced sapphire technology can fits the skin perfectly. That can effectively reduce the temperature to relieve pain and protect the epidermis.
  • 【Permanent Hair Removal】The laser hair removal device emits a light that is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the hair follicles that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
  • 【9 Levels & 2 Modes】1-9 Adjustable energy level suitable for most skin and hair.The higher the energy level the better the hair removal effect, please start from low to high. This Hair removal device has 2 modes, just long press the flash button to adjust the mode that suits your hair removal area.Auto mode is suitable for large area hair removal, it saves more time.
  • 【3 Functions & LCD Tunch Screen】The laser hair removal Upgraded 3 functions: (HR), (SR) and (AC) . With this professional device, you can achieve the effect of beauty salon at home. Smart LCD screen just need touch the screen to adjust the mode and level you need;that clearly display the remaining times, modes and levels.
  • 【Economical Whole Body Treatment At Home】 Compared to the large costs of salon on hair removal, this laser hair removal can get the same result with less costs.And is more safety and gentle for skin.Upgraded 999900 flashes enough for 9-11 individuals' whole body hair removal. It’s life time purchase.

When I tell you this is the best purchase I’ve made in the past five years (at least), I’m not exaggerating. After I started using this at-home IPL, I went from having to shave daily to once every two weeks. And almost as cool as that fact alone, it’s zero-waste. I go through far less razor cartridges using this bad boy.

It’s expensive, but so unbelievably worth it. In addition to its environmental benefits, just imagine having a beach vacation and not having to shave your bikini line every day!


Biodegradable Dental Floss

Biodegradable Dental Floss
  • ✔️ AFTER THE SUCCESS OF OUR TOOTHBRUSH KIT NOW YOU CAN BUY JUST THE FLOSS. WE SELL IN CRAFT FAIRS AND ARTISAN MARKETS NOW ON AMAZON - Feel guilt free buying this 100% Biodegradable VEGAN Bamboo Charcoal Dental Floss with Refillable Glass Container + Free Refill - Natural Candelilla Wax and Peppermint Essential Oil. Floss length is 33yds x2 from a Family Owned Company who really helps the environment.
  • ✔️ VEGAN AND CRUELTY-FREE unlike silk floss - Our ECO FLOSS is 100% Biodegradable, made from Bamboo Charcoal Fiber so it breaks down in approximately 60-90 days. Packaging is all recyclable or biodegradable.
  • ✔️ AMAZING DEAL 2-PACK OF THE BEST FLOSS (EVER) - Help the environment while using a high quality product. Our ECO FLOSS is extremely easy to use, comfortable and soothing to your gums.
  • ✔️ OUR COMMITMENT TO MOTHER EARTH - We donate 10% of our profits to ocean and environmental conservation, so your purchase TAKES ACTION. Our packaging is also 100% recyclable and plastic-free. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we will make it right or process a refund.
  • ✔️ CHECK OUT OUR OTHER PLASTIC-FREE PRODUCTS - Click "add to cart" for our ECO FLOSS and try our PREMIUM Collapsible Straw & Foldable Spork Kit before checkout. We are constantly developing convenient products to avoid plastic in our daily lives. Mother Earth Thanks you.

For biodegradable, natural, organic, eco-friendly, zero waste dental floss, look no further! This charcoal floss comes in a glass jar which you can reuse for pretty much anything, and paper packaging. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free!


Biodegradable Cotton Swabs

Biodegradable Cotton Swabs
  • ALL-NATURAL TRUSTED BRAND : Every Q Tip is 100% Organic and every cotton bud is uniquely made with ultra-soft, hand-spun All-Natural cotton. We take the environmental friendliness of our Bamboogaloo toothbrushes very seriously so each of them are made from vegan materials sourced from nature!
  • ORGANIC BAMBOO : Every Cotton swab is made from natural fast growing and sustainable Bamboo. We guarantee premium, quality, smooth and splitter-free because each of our bamboo sticks is heat treated, which assists with water resistance.
  • 100% BIODEGRADABLE: Our Bamboogaloo cotton swabs are 100% Biodegradable & Eco-Friendly. Every product is guaranteed to be Hygienic, Safe and made of Natural materials. It comes in 100% Plant Cellulose wrapping. There is zero plastic in any of this wrapping.
  • TRIED & TESTED, THEN APPROVED : Our cotton buds are 100% Natural - all of the packaging and Cotton swabs are BPA-Free & Plastic-Free. Every part of this product and its packaging is also absolutely Compostable & Sustainably Sourced.
  • KEEP DANCING GUARANTEE : We stand behind every All-Natural & Organic Bamboogaloo product! Our service has been tried & tested for years, and we always make sure each customer is happy with your Bamboogaloo product. We are sure our Guarantee will Keep You Dancing!

These zero waste, biodegradable, organic, vegan cotton swabs are perfect for travel or home. The pack comes with 1,000 and uses sustainably sourced materials.


Reusable Makeup Wipes

Reusable Makeup Wipes
  • 2 in 1: Erase & Exfoliate - Use the short fiber side to erase makeup in gentle circular motions then flip to the long fiber side (side with tag) to exfoliate the skin. Continue in gentle circular motions for flawless skin
  • Bye Bye Makeup Wipes Forever! The Original MakeUp Eraser is a premium, patented, polyester cloth made up of millions of tiny hair-like fibers that work together to create a "suction" for all dirt, makeup, & oil in your pores
  • Our Mission: MakeUp Eraser is dedicated to creating the most sustainable makeup removal product in the world by using only the most accessible resource available: WATER. We truly believe we can eliminate the 3rd most wasteful product in the world: WIPES
  • Game-changing Benefits: 1 MakeUp Eraser is equal to 3600 makeup wipes! No added chemicals. Free of alcohol, oils, astringents, parabens, fragrances, & sulfates. Reusable, machine washable, & lasts 3-5 years. Great for sensitive skin & dermatologist approved
  • Wipes Create Waste, We Don’t: Together, let's stop creating unnecessary waste & save Mother Earth one less makeup wipe at a time

My mom got this for me for Christmas a few years ago, and initially, I wasn’t too impressed. After using it, however, it’s a must-have when traveling (or staying home, for that matter). All you do is wet the cloth (no soap needed!) and it removes any waterproof eye makeup, foundation, red lipstick, or other makeup that can be difficult to remove. And of course, zero waste! It’s also hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free. Win!


Deet-Free Bugspray

Deet-Free Bugspray
  • EFFECTIVELY REPELS - NO NATZ is proven to work very well against gnats, no-see-ums, sand gnats, mosquitos, and biting flies. Developed in 2002 on the Wilmington River and marshes of Savannah, Georgia; also tested on Turkey Creek in Dublin, Georgia where the mosquitos are as big as small birds; NONATZ knows gnats!
  • Hand-Crafted Safe Formula - NO NATZ is a hand-crafted formula made with the finest essential oils including: rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, geranium oil, citronella oil, olive oil and coconut oil. Not only is NO NATZ DEET-Free, it is hypoallergenic and safe on synthetics. With our non-greasy formula and pleasant fragrance, you won’t even know you’re wearing it.
  • Best Seller - NO NATZ has become the best-selling personal bug spray available across the United States. Why? Because it really works, and it smells good. Just shake, spray and start enjoying the outdoors again.
  • Perfectly Portable - Don’t you hate not having bug spray when you need it? With NO NATZ that problem is solved. We offer this very effective formula in a variety of sizes with the smallest being a 2oz pump spray bottle that will fit nicely into your pocket, purse or backpack. Annoying gnats are now a thing of the past.
  • About The NONATZ Company – The NONATZ Company is not a big corporation with hundreds of employees, it’s a small family operation with unique ideas. We are a Veteran owned business and can proudly say our products are made in America. We stand behind all our products. If for any reason you are not satisfied, please immediately contact us and we will things right.

This natural insect repellant works for up to six hours against mosquitos and up to four hours against ticks (including deer ticks). It’s made of natural ingredients such as lemon and eucalyptus oil, is free from parabens and phthalates, and smells surprisingly good.


Clothes, Laundry, & Stuff To Wear


Eco-Friendly Detergent

Sale
Eco-Friendly Detergent
  • ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING POWER: Concentrated powdered laundry soap works on all your laundry, from high-tech fabrics to delicates, washing away smells, stains, and left-behind residue from previous detergents.
  • HYPOALLERGENIC: Washing soda and powerful, natural ingredients work together to deep clean, rinse from fabrics completely, and leave nothing on your clothes. The fragrance-free formula is ideal for those with sensitive skin and will not cover stains or odors with artificial brighteners or perfumes. Our powder laundry detergent is safe for hand washing.
  • CLOTH DIAPER FRIENDLY: This detergent is safe to use on baby fabrics, effectively deep cleaning cloth diapers and other baby clothes between wears perfect along with your other baby essentials .
  • LESS IS MORE: Each bag contains just four ingredients and one tablespoon per dose. No suds, just a deep clean that leaves fabric fresh and soft and your washing machine cleaner by removing old laundry detergents left deep in your machine.
  • EPA SAFER CHOICE CERTIFIED: Charlie’s Soap laundry soap and our other sustainable products are certified safer for the environment and is septic safe. The eco-friendly formula helps remove fats, oils, greases, and odors from sewer lines, saving your town money and water making it the perfect laundry solution.

If you’re planning on doing laundry during your travels, this is one of the best eco-friendly travel products to bring. These zero-plastic detergent sheets are perfect for taking with you on the road since there’s no liquid involved! No plastic to worry about, either! Instead, these sheets are a natural, septic-safe, biodegradable, vegan way to clean clothes while traveling. One sheet is good for two loads of laundry, and the pack comes with 16 sheets. It’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin, as well!


Eco-Friendly Sandals

Eco-Friendly Sandals
  • Thong flip-flop featuring jersey-lined upper with logo patch and contoured yoga-mat footbed

Ever since I found these sandals sometime back in 2016, they’re all I wear during the summer. I do wear different styles of Sanuks, such as the Yoga Sling, but the brand, in general, is by far the most comfortable I’ve ever tried. I have wide feet, so finding comfortable shoes is always an issue. The sole is made of rubber, they are vegan and cruelty-free.


Washing Bag

Sale
Washing Bag
  • FAST & CONVENIENT: The patented washboard-in-a-bag design gives a machine quality wash in just minutes and you can wash anywhere – perfect for hotels, hostels, camping, backpacking, dorm rooms, RVs and scout trips.
  • SO SMALL AND LIGHT: Weighing just 5.3 oz. and folding to pocket-size, this world’s smallest washing machine takes up no space and lets you travel clean, light and free.
  • EASY TO USE: Space, water and time-saving, and electricity free. With the simple six-step instructions displayed on the outside of the bag, anyone can wash clothes quickly, hygienically, and effectively and reduce their impact on the environment
  • VERSATILE & MULTIFUNCTIONAL: Ideal for small to medium loads including T-shirts, underwear, socks, bras, delicates, dishcloths and more. Between washes use it as a dry bag to keep gear dry or as a dirty laundry bag.
  • JOIN 300,000+ SCRUBBA WASH BAG USERS WORLDWIDE: Grab yours and travel cleaner, lighter and with more freedom. Plus have the peace of mind that it’s backed by our 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. If something goes wrong, we will make it right.

Taking this ultra-portable machine on the road is a breeze. Scrubba Washing Bag allows you to travel lighter, saves time, money, and water. It’s a convenient pocket-sized travel companion. In many ways, it is more hygienic than hand washing and twice as effective.

Travelers, backpackers, hikers, backpackers and holiday-makers all over the world have experienced first-hand the quality wash provided by the Scrubba internal washboard.


Eco-Friendly Travel Towel

Eco-Friendly Travel Towel
  • ECO FRIENDLY: 100% Organic cotton and Oeko-Tex certified so you can be sure this peshtemal towel is good for both yourself and the environment. Made by local artisans in Turkey. LARGE size at 37 x 69 Inches.
  • ALL IN ONE TOWEL: For use as your beach, bathroom, hammam, pool, gym, spa, travelling or camping towel. You can even wear it as a blanket, shawl, sarong, scarf or pareo. Lightweight, folds small + SAND DOESN'T STICK!
  • QUICK DRY & ABSORBENT: High quality luxury hammam towel made with a quick drying and highly absorbent weave. Soft & comforting fabric made into eye catching designs.
  • SUPPORT MARINE CONSERVATION - 10% of profits will be donated to marine conservation via Sea Shepherd.
  • RISK FREE PURCHASE: If for some reason you don’t love our towels then let us know within 30 days of receiving your item and we will give you your money back - no questions asked.

This Turkish multi-use towel is a great thing for travel. Despite its large size, it folds up to be quite compact. It is eco-friendly and made from natural materials, vegan and cruelty-free. It’s made of 100% organic cotton and is Oeko-Tex certified. Its quick-dry and absorbent qualities make it perfect for use while traveling. And, to top it all off, a percentage of sales is donated to Surfers Against Sewage and Sea Shepherd nonprofits.


Luggage, Backpacks, & Packing Accessories


Cruelty-Free Hiking Backpack

Cruelty-Free Hiking Backpack
  • Large, lockable U-zip duffel-style access to main compartment - 40L total volume
  • Meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines (Size Small/Medium: 21.3H X 13.8W X 9D inches)
  • Lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet sleeve (fits up to most 15" laptops)
  • Stowaway backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
  • Two front mesh waterbottle pocket

The 40L Osprey Fairview is the perfect eco-friendly option for a hiking trip. Osprey is widely renowned for their quality backpacks, and the Fairview is no different. Padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a hip belt make this one of the most comfortable options out there, as well – plus its ventilated padded back panel to keep you cool. For smaller trips, there is a detachable day pack, too! Made of entirely cruelty-free materials. Check out my post on the best travel backpacks for more ideas!


Eco-Friendly Luggage

Eco-Friendly Luggage
  • Has a Weight of 3.92 kg and a Capacity of 72.9 liters
  • Zipper Closure, 1 main compartment, 2 front zipper pockets and interior pockets
  • Multi-directional 4-wheel Saguaro system, Ergonomic handle with release button
  • Medium Black Recycled plastic bottles Luggage Bag
  • Product Dimensions: 29in (H) x 19in (L) x 11in (W)

One of the best eco-friendly travel products you could invest in is eco-friendly luggage, of course! With its reputation for sustainable products and durability coupled with the fact that this line is made entirely out of recycled water bottles, you can’t go wrong with the Samsonite Eco Lite Spinner. Part of eco-friendly luggage is luggage that withstands extensive travel without needing to continually replace your suitcase! Samsonite is one of the top luggage brands for a reason, with global lifetime warranty and authorized Samsonite repair centers.


Eco-Friendly Packing Cubes

Eco-Friendly Packing Cubes
  • Our 100% ORGANIC COTTON Travel Packing Cubes will help you stay organised on any weekend getaway, business trip or overseas travel. Separate your clothes and travel items in perfectly packed cubes, keeping your belongings organised, easily accessible and freshly folded or rolled. Make your packing experience something that you enjoy and something that you are proud of.
  • A more ECO FRIENDLY and SUSTAINABLE alternative to common nylon/polyester materials. Organic Cotton is a naturally biodegradable, recyclable and renewable fiber
  • Minimalist design with a focus on durability. Made to stand the test of time. Sturdy zipper and carry handle on each cube.
  • When not travelling, these cubes can be used on a daily basis separating items in our Weekend Carry All Bag or used to organise and store your belongings in your wardrobe.
  • Weight: 740grams Dimensions: Large - 45cm x 29.5cm x 10cm. Medium - 35cm x 26cm x 9.5cm. Small - 26cm x 20.7cm x 10.3cm Intimates - 27cm x 14.5cm x 10cm

Have you started using packing cubes yet? No? What are you waiting for!? I love using packing cubes because I can organize my clothes by outfit, by article of clothing (undies, shirts, etc.), or by portion of the trip (if part of the trip is hiking and part is sight-seeing, for example). They keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. These packing cubes by Northern Olive are made from organic cotton, an eco-friendly and more sustainable alternative to nylon or polyester cubes.


Recreation & Electronics


Kindle

Sale
Kindle
  • Now available in Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, or Sage
  • The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet—with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight.
  • Now waterproof, so you’re free to read and relax at the beach, by the pool, or in the bath.
  • Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB. Or choose 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics, and audiobooks.
  • Now with Audible. Pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.

Anyone who knows me knows I am (was) so proud of my epic book collection. I could go to a bookstore and literally spend hours sitting in the aisles and browsing, afterward spending hundreds of dollars. I love knowledge and love to read non-fiction. It makes me feel more confident in voicing my (strong) opinions, knowing what the fuck I’m talking about, haha.

However, in January 2014 I sold them all, except for a few favorites I left at my mom's to keep for me when I took off for Asia. Now I stick with a Kindle, which isn’t as satisfying as turning a page, but far more travel- and eco-friendly. The Kindle Paperwhite is the best option for me. It’s thin, light, waterproof, and has different storage options. Plus, I don’t need to mention how much paper it saves.


Eco-Friendly Travel Yoga Mat

Eco-Friendly Travel Yoga Mat
  • PORTABLE: The Voyager() yoga mat by JadeYoga is thin, lightweight, durable, and ready to travel. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and, at only 1/16" thick, folds up to about the size of a yoga block, making the Jade Voyager() yoga mat perfect for gym bags, carry-on luggage, and backpacks.
  • NON-SLIP: Natural, open-cell rubber provides far better grip than synthetic yoga mats. The superior traction of a JadeYoga mat helps you hold your poses. The extra slim Voyager() mat provides more stability for better balance. The Voyager() makes the perfect exercise mat for men, women, and anyone looking for a nature-friendly and slip-resistant workout mat.
  • NATURAL MATERIALS: Jade yoga mats are made from entirely toxin-free materials with no PVC, phthalates, heavy metals, or other harsh chemicals. Easy to clean, we recommend JadeYoga's plant-based Mat Wash, so you can spend more time focusing on your yoga practice.
  • SUSTAINABLE RUBBER: JadeYoga mats are made in the USA with imported rubber that is carefully sourced with the future in mind. Our yoga mats are made from natural rubber, tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • BE THE CHANGE: Jade is committed to giving back to the earth with every mat sold. We want to leave the earth a better place than when we found it. As Jade mats come from trees, we decided to give back by planting a tree for every mat sold. And since 2006, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, we have done just that, planting over two million trees so far.

There are a ton of eco-friendly yoga mats out there that I absolutely love, but for travel, I prefer the Jade Voyager. Actually, Jade has two different travel yoga mats – the Voyager and the original Travel Mat. The Voyager is slightly thinner and weighs a little less, which I prioritize when traveling. For any other traveling yogis out there, this is one of the best sustainable travel products to have.

Both are made of natural rubber, which comes from trees. To offset this, for every mat sold, Jade Yoga plants a tree! That’s right, since 2006, they’ve planted over 1,000,000 trees!


Solar Lantern

Solar Lantern
  • Bright solar powered lantern with 75 lumens of LED light. Multiple brightness settings make it a perfect indoor or outdoor light.
  • Lightweight, inflatable, collapsible, waterproof (IP67), shatterproof, and dustproof. Completely safe for children.
  • Great for camping, hiking, fishing, emergency preparedness, patio parties/picnics, fun in the pool, and more. Makes a perfect gift.
  • Long Battery Life - Up to 24 hours of light when battery is fully charged. No additional batteries needed!
  • Two Ways To Recharge (Solar & USB) - Recharges in approximately 10 hours of direct outdoor sunlight or by micro USB input (cord included) in 1-2 hours.

This solar-powered lantern is a great product to have on-hand for hiking, camping, or at home for emergency preparedness. In the event that sunlight is low, it’s also chargeable by USB (cord is included). It’s also inflatable and waterproof, so don’t worry about it getting wet!


Solar Charger

Sale
Solar Charger
  • 25000mAh High Capacity: The solar power bank charges up 8-10 times for your phone and 3-4 times for your tablet, and it can be used for 9 days on average per charge.
  • 4 Large Solar Panels: This solar charger comes with 4 high-performance solar panels that can reach 6W in direct sunlight to keep your phone up and running even in places without electricity.
  • Dual Fast Charging USB Outputs: The solar phone charger can charge 2 devices simultaneously at 2.1A high speed. Auto-detect your devices' current to pair the optimal output, protecting your devices from over-current, overcharge, overheat and short circuit.
  • Built for Outdoors: Rugged construction is dust, shock and splash resistant, you can hang it on a backpack or put it in a bag when camping, hiking. Built in LED flashlight with three modes, perfect for power outages and other emergencies.
  • Two Recharging Ways: The solar power charger can be charged not only by sunlight, but also by the USB cable we provided, which is very convenient for daily use.

This is a great solar charger to have handy. There are four solar panels, making it much more efficient than most others on the market, who seem to use solar charging as a backup and not a primary energy source. There is also a micro-USB to use for charging in the event that sunshine is lacking. The design is rugged, durable, and waterproof, making it perfect for camping or other adventure activities.


Eco-Friendly Food & Beverage Accessories


Collapsible Cups

The Crenics set comes with two collapsible food-grade Silicone cups, each holding up to 19oz (550ml). They are lidded and even have a mini-carabiner to attach to your bag. Perfect if you’re traveling as a couple or want an extra to keep at home. As a bonus, it can be used as an eco-friendly, portable water dish for your pet! If you’re someone who really likes to drink from a straw, don’t forget to also purchase some reusable, eco-friendly reusable straw instead of plastic straws. I find it so much nicer to sip on a metal straw anyway.


Organic Shopping Bags

Organic Shopping Bags
  • LARGE CAPACITY: These large bags measure 18”W x 14.25”H.
  • 100% ORGANIC COTTON: Made from eco friendly, biodegradable organic cotton
  • MULTI USE: These bags are perfect for groceries, the beach, shopping, the pool, travel and much more.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Hand sewn with the highest quality organic cotton, these bags are made to last.
  • MACHINE WASHABLE: Wash on cold gentle cycle, hang to dry.

These organic cotton reusable shopping bags are perfect for travel or home use. I’m from the Canada, where you generally only have a ‘paper or plastic’ option – of course the paper bags break easily, are not reusable, and I don’t even need to go into the harmful effects of the plastics.

Now, living in Europe, you are not given grocery bags automatically, you have to pay for them. This is great for dissuading people from using plastic bags, but also a pain in the ass if they don’t offer cloth bags as well. These organic reusable shopping bags are great not only for groceries, but shopping of any kind. They’re durable, washable, and fold up nicely in your luggage.


Bamboo Cutlery

Bamboo Cutlery
  • BAMBOO VS. Bioplastic: If you're looking for eco friendly cutlery, make sure it's made with bamboo! Genuine bamboo cutlery is truly sustainable because it is a GRASS which can be harvested in 3 years.
  • SUSTAINABLE, RENEWABLE, ORGANIC: Our bamboo disposable utensils are the better ECO FRIENDLY alternative to plastic. Bamboo is the fastest growing and most renewable sustainable plant in the world.
  • STRONG STURDY PREMIUM CRAFTSMANSHIP: Bamboo’s incredible high tensile fiber makes it the SUPERIOR material for polished tableware. Strong, smooth, reusable & recyclable.
  • MODERN, STYLISH FOR ANY OCCASION: Your guests will love this bamboo cutlery set. Perfect for parties, picnics, BBQ, camping, rustic weddings, travel or daily use. An inspiring conversation starter!
  • 300 PC Spoons

Ideal for camping, hiking, or to keep a set of cutlery on-hand while traveling, bamboo is the way to go. Bamboo is technically a grass which is super-fast growing. It’s biodegradable, compostable, organic, and durable. If you’re looking for sustainable materials, bamboo is the perfect plant and a great component of the best eco-friendly travel products.


Reusable Coffee Cup

Reusable Coffee Mug
  • Collapsible cup: It’s literally never been easier (or more fun) to bring your own reusable cup! This compact cup collapses down to just 2 inches. Whether you’re enjoying coffee or smoothies, the 12 oz Stojo is perfectly portable for your commute, camping trips, and travels. When you’re done, simply remove the heat sleeve, open the tab, and collapse it down. Leak-proof, fits standard cupholders, and get a load of that Ink Black color!
  • Handles both hot & cold: Whether it’s hot tea or iced lattes, Stojo’s food-grade premium silicone and temperature-resistant sleeve can handle it all.
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe: Yup, you’re welcome. To clean your Stojo, place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Or, wash by hand. The Stojo Cup (and all Stojo products) are designed to come apart and back together again for a super deep clean. The separable parts are: heat sleeve, lid, collar, tab, and cup. (Note: our 12 oz cup does not come with a reusable straw.)
  • Safe & sound: Made from platinum food grade silicone and #5 recyclable plastic which means no BPAs, BPSs, phthalates, leads, or glues.
  • Sustainability shouldn’t mean sacrifice: In 2012, three Brooklyn dads had a caffeine-fueled idea: a collapsible, leak-proof coffee cup that makes it easy for people to say no to disposable culture (and look really, really good). Today, Stojo makes a host of ultra-portable accessories—from bottles, to bowls, to straws. They’re the ultimate planet-friendly products that make sustainable living easy.

This is another eco-friendly travel product that is great for both travel and local coffee shops use and that you'll use for a long time. In the USA especially, many to-go, disposable coffee cups are made of Styrofoam – no bueno! Use this instead for your daily coffee fix. It’s collapsible so you can easily pack it in a carry-on.


Reusable Water Bottle

Sale
Reusable Water Bottle
  • REUSABLE AND REFILLABLE borosilicate glass drinking bottle; saves plastic waste and is free of BPA, PVC, Lead, and Cadmium for safe and pure water
  • STRONG AND LIGHTWEIGHT, durable glass won’t crack under extreme temperatures; glass and silicone are diswasher safe, natural eco-friendly product
  • COLOUR SILICONE SLEEVE adds style and provides protection from slips and falls; choose from a variety of colors
  • LEAK-PROOF BAMBOO LID with stainless steel insert, food-grade silicone o-ring; perfect mouth size for spill-free drinking
  • 90-DAY LID GUARANTEE so if your lid breaks, we will replace it immediately; always wash bamboo lid by hand

If you already know you are drinking from a safe water source, you don’t need water purification, just a reusable bottle. This one ticks all the boxes – it’s made of glass, silicone, and has a bamboo lid – all eco-friendly materials! It’s simple, straightforward, and affordable. BPA, PVC, Lead, and Cadmium-free, making it one of the safest options out there. Not to mention, it comes in a number of cute colors.


Water Purification System

Water Purification System
  • COMPACT: 16 oz. purifier bottle makes safe, clean drinking water from virtually any freshwater source
  • FAST AND EASY-TO-USEIdeal for international travelers, hikers, and emergency prep kits
  • REMOVES WATERBORNE PATHOGENS (e.g. Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus); Bacteria (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella, Cholera); and Protozoan Cysts (e.g. Giardia, Cryptosporidium)
  • AWARD WINNING [OnePress] design Just Fill from any sketchy freshwater source, then Press on a low surface (e.g. ground), then Drink safe water, anywhere
  • FILTERS particulates (e.g. sediment, silt), many chemicals (e.g. chlorine, benzene) and heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic); zero aftertaste, eliminates bad odors, improves clarity and flavor

Here is a reusable water bottle that also acts as a water purifying system. It’s very straightforward and easy to use – plus, it kept me safe drinking river water in Ecuador! One filtration cartridge from Grayl saves the equivalent of 300 plastic bottles! Alternatively, the Steripen is a very popular option. Really, it depends on your needs and preferences. If you know you’ll be drinking from questionable sources, this is one of the most important eco-friendly travel products you could invest in.


Final Thoughts

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of sustainable travel and how it can help with environmental conservation. There are many ways to be environmentally conscious while on vacation, from packing your clothes in eco-friendly reusable bags to carrying less plastic water bottles by using refillable metal or plastic containers. I hope these tips help make your next trip a little more eco-friendly and sustainable! What is one of your favorite eco-friendly travel products that you use during your travels? Share them with us in the comments below so we can include them in our post as well!


koh phangan yoga

Your yoga Retreats Koh Phangan Guide

It’s a shame that Koh Phangan has a rap to certain only for the Full Moon Party. People from all over the world flock to the Gulf of Thailand to this pristine island to pretty much ruin it, ruin the peace, ruin the environment, and disrespect the locals. If you think I’m exaggerating, watch Trouble in paradise on Youtube. I first came to Koh Phangan a few years ago not knowing what to expect, having only heard of the Full Moon Party via Alex Garland. I ended up falling hard for what would become “my special place”. I’ve since returned numerous times, mostly for two things: the vegan food and the yoga retreats Koh Phangan.

koh phangan yoga

What does Koh Phangan evoke to you? Party or nature? Do you know that over 50% of the island is a national park? If you’ve landed on this page, I assume you’re part of the “other siders”, the peace seekers who come to Koh Phangan for the alternative community, the wellness, and the yoga. And yes – the Koh Phangan yoga retreat scene is amazing and provides a sanctuary for yogis seeking a break from the “real” world. Or perhaps this is, in fact, the real world — I certainly believe so.

When it comes to doing yoga Koh Phangan has a few too many options and it can be overwhelming. So I wanted to give you the best places Koh Phangan yoga today to help you pick your perfect Koh Phangan retreat. All yoga levels welcome, everywhere, always.

You might also like
* My first impression of Koh Phangan
* My full vegan guide of Koh Phangan
* Learning the Ashtanga method in Koh Phangan
* Yoga quotes to feed your soul
* The best yoga retreats for 2022
* My guide to finding the best meditation retreats
* Where to go for yoga teacher training courses


Yoga Retreats Koh Phangan: Where to go


Pure Flow Koh Phangan Yoga

If you want to be reaaaaal secluded, in a place where you can only get to by boat and there are no cars, Pure Flow Yoga Retreats Koh Phangan is the best way to go. Traveling with purpose might be hard to achieve in today’s travel industry but The Pure Flow Yoga Koh Phangan retreat definitely offers this. The yoga studio is located in the most secluded place on earth. Pure Flow allows you to have seven or 14 days of an intimate and life-changing experience with yoga. The accommodation is surrounded by lush greeneries, decorated with simple Thai style, and jungle fauna. It also offers all the expected activities of a remote island — snorkeling, diving, hiking, kayaking, etc. While enjoying these outdoor activities and feeling completely disconnected from the rest of the world, you still get to connect with the locals and experience a real, raw and genuine Koh Phangan Retreat.

Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
Price: n/a
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport (21km)

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Thai
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Pure Flow now!

Wonderland Healing Center Detox Retreats

wonderland healing center yoga

If you're looking for a detox center and jungle’s more your gig, this is a fab option. Wonderland Healing Center offers 4 days-long Koh Phangan retreats that’ll provide you with a wonderful plant-based experience and encourage a deeper connection, both to yourself on the yoga mat and to nature. Along with yoga, meditation, fasting and detoxing, there’s also pilates, reiki, and sound healing. Wonderland Healing Center houses a private swimming pool, herbal steam room, ocean view, and massage and spa treatments areas based on your individual needs. The spacious accommodation comes with beautiful garden and mountain views. A fantastic Koh Phangan Yoga option.

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Price: €79
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport (22km)

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Thai
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Wonderland Healing Center now!

Orion Healing Center

orion healing center

It's easy feeling relaxed at Orion Healing Center. With their 29 days intensive healthy living yoga retreat centre right by beautiful Sri Thanu Beach, you can really let loose and be centered. This Koh Phangan retreat offers rustic comfortable accommodation with a 5-minute walk to the beach. It is also set with a tropical natural backdrop abundant with butterflies and exotic flowers. During the course of the retreat, each guest can enjoy organic farming, cooking classes, daily yoga classes, fasting, cleansing, etc. Classes at Orion Yoga Koh Phangan suit all levels and their detox yoga sessions is specially tailored to those who are fasting and cleansing. Add to that Thai herb steam room, two yoga shalas, and an abundance of high-quality healthy vegetarian food and fresh tropical fruit and fresh juices at the Orion Café and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a retreat of a lifetime. A balanced life can be achieved through a balanced meal of healthy raw fruits, fresh salads, and delicious vegetables, I’m a strong believer in this.

Duration: 29 days, 28 nights
Price: €2,308
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner
Languages: English, Thai
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Orion Healing Center now!

Shakti Yoga

Koh Phangan retreat

Shakti Yoga Koh Phangan dubs itself a sacred space for self-healing, emotional detox, and heart connection. We all need a little emotional detox, amirite? Their eight-day retreat is taught in a safe environment that is ripe for inner transformation and the cultivation of self-awareness. This Koh Phangan retreat center has a range of activities that will help you empower yourself, take control of your emotions, find your true potential, and really cultivate the art of letting go (read: not giving a shit). With their emotional detox programs, you have a chance to be one with yourself through morning walks, meditation, and daily yoga (all levels). Shakti Yoga gives allows guests to pick their own time for self-transformation by offering flexible schedules. It also has its own swimming pool for chill-out sessions and vegetarian/vegan food.

Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Price: €778
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport (25km)

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Greek, Russian
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Shakti Yoga Koh Phangan now!

One Yoga

One Yoga Koh Phangan

One Yoga Koh Phangan offers short retreats as well as longer teacher training courses. Their vision is to offer the perfect place for the gift of yoga in a retreat-style setting without the normal distractions of everyday life. With Koh Phangan as the backdrop, that’s mission accomplished for sure. Come practice daily yoga, pranayama, deep meditation, spinal breathing, and listen to the daily talk on the process of the purification of the subtle body and stages of meditation and the cultivation of samadhi. All yoga classes and meditation sessions are optional so each person can take the retreat at whatever pace suits them. Vegetarian and vegan food is offered.

Duration: 28 days, 27 nights
Price: €871
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport (24km)

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, Finnish, French, Spanish
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at One Yoga now!

Samma Karuna

Samma Karuna Koh Phangan Yoga

Samma Karuma welcomes you beach-side in their large and beautiful yoga halls. What can sound more heavenly than taking a dip in the sea right after your daily yoga class? Possibly doing this as part of one of their many self-discovery and self-realization Koh Phangan retreats, available in six to 29 days. Samma Karuma also offers teacher training (one with a volunteering (thus reduced-cost) opportunity), ayurvedic cleanses, expressive techniques based on conscious movement and live music, cathartic techniques, Pranayama, initiation to Tantra yoga, non-dogmatic lectures on self-actualization, Qi Gong, hatha yoga, compassionate sharing and mindfulness practice. Various types of bungalows with private bathrooms are available. All vegan restaurant.

Duration: various
Price: n/a
Closest Airport: Koh Samui International Airport

Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Samma Karuna now!

The Yoga Retreat

I’ve known The Yoga Retreat for their Ashtanga program, but they also offer Vinyasa, TTC, and detox programs. It’s a wonderfully secluded place, far away from everything (you might like to rent a scooter, which I always do when I’m in Koh Phangan anyway). Their retreats range from six to 30 days and include chanting, meditation, the yoga of your choice, a steam room, a wonderful, amazing, mouth-watering buffet, a/c private rooms with mosquito net, multilingual staff, and outdoor showers. Their accommodation offers encouragement towards the simplicity of living in the midst of natural surroundings: open your heart and your window to the tropical weather and enjoy the sound of nature. For those who wish to delve deep into the tradition of yoga, the lovely folks at the Yoga Retreat really know their shit about yoga practice, and their Ashtanga. This is of course for all levels, but more advanced yoga will 100% not be let down. Located nearby the lovely Haad Tien Bay.

The yoga retreat is temporarily closed

Check out similar retreats in Koh Phangan!

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!


digital nomad visa for remote workers

The Best Digital Nomad Visa For Remote Workers

One of the hardest things about life as a remote worker is navigating the various digital nomad visa options for different countries. Each destination has its own rules and regulations regarding the amount of time you can stay and the work you’re allowed to do while traveling. This has resulted in many nomads jumping regularly between countries for a visa run and in order to live and work around the world.

digital nomad visa for remote workers

But with the rise of remote work, especially since the recent global pandemic, some countries have started to introduce special digital nomad visas or remote worker visas to entice working nomads to stick around for longer stays. Below are some popular destinations for the best freelancer visas available now. For more on the digital lifestyle, do check out my insurance for digital nomads article.


Digital Nomad Visa Countries in Europe


Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

portugal mountain

Portugal is one of the most popular European countries for digital nomads. This is partly due to its exciting cities, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, and partly due to the ease of obtaining a remote worker visa from your home country.

Portugal’s independent workers and entrepreneurs visa gets you one year in the country, with the option to renew for up to five years. And after five years, you can apply for permanent residency.

To qualify for the visa application, you need to show proof of owning a business entity (or a contract for providing services), as well as proof of sufficient income or a term of responsibility signed by a Portuguese citizen or resident as part of your application form.

Visa Cost: €83 for the visa plus a €72 resident permit fee.
Visa Length: 1 year. Can be renewed for up to 5 years.
Income Requirements: ​​€600 per month.


Estonia Digital Nomad Visa

Estonia was the first of EU countries to create a dedicated digital nomad visa. Launched in 2020, the freelance visas allow digital nomads and remote workers to live in Estonia for up to a year.

You can apply for the digital nomad visa for Estonia if you run your own business, work as a freelancer, or have a contract with a company registered outside of the country. The main condition is that you can prove a monthly income of over €3,504 for the six months prior to your application.

Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced countries in Europe. They also offer a first-of-its-kind e-Residency that allows entrepreneurs from all over the world to start and run an EU-based company online.

Visa Cost: €80 for short stay or €100 for long stay.
Visa Length: 1 year.
Income Requirements: ​​€3,504 per month.


Croatia Digital Nomad Visa

Croatia doesn’t technically offer a nomad visa, but they do have a Temporary Residence Visa available to digital nomads and their family members.

The permit allows you to live in Croatia for up to a year. To be granted the permit, you need to show that you can afford your stay with proof of a €2,252+ monthly income. And if you plan to be in the country for the full 12 months, you need to show you have at least €27,000 available.

Croatia has long been a popular destination for digital nomads. The exciting coastal city of Zadar is even home to an organized digital nomad village called ‘The Valley’.

Visa Cost: €55-120.
Visa Length: 1 year. Can reapply after 6 months away.
Income Requirements: €2,252 per month.


Malta Digital Nomad Visa

Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit allows non-EU digital nomads to work remotely within the small island nation for up to one year.

With year-round sunshine, a large expat community, and close proximity to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, Malta makes the ideal base for digital nomads.

To apply for the remote work visa you must meet a gross monthly income threshold of €2,700, have health insurance, hold a valid property rental or purchase agreement, and pass a background check.

Visa Cost: €300 administrative fee.
Visa Length: 1 year.
Income Requirements: ​​€2,700 per month.


Czech Republic Nomad Visa

The Czech Republic is an amazing and affordable and central place in the European Union to settle as a freelance worker in Europe. The Czech digital nomad visa is a long-term business visa for freelance workers that allows you to live and work in the Czech Republic for six months up to a year.

The main requirement to be eligible for a Czech freelance visa is to be a freelancer. You'll need to obtain a trade license, a local address, and a background check. It's a little trickier than some other nomad visa options, so many people choose to hire legal help to fill the paperwork. Up to you. You'll also need to attend an immigration interview.

Visa Cost: $227 USD if applying from the United States
Visa Length: six month to 1 year.
Income Requirements: ​​Bank statement showing at least 124,500 CZK (or about $5,700 USD)


Digital Nomad Visa Countries in the Middle East


Dubai Digital Nomad Visa

Not only is Dubai one of the safest cities in the world, but it’s also one of the best places to live for expats and digital nomads. Its advanced infrastructure, countless co-working spaces, and beautiful beaches make the Middle-Eastern city a working nomad's dream.

The Dubai remote work visa requires you to be a business owner or employed and able to work remotely, and have proof of earning US$5,000 for three months prior to your application. The remote working program gets you one year in Dubai.

Visa Cost: US$287 for the visa, but jumps to US$600 with valid insurance and Emirates ID fees.
Visa Length: 1 year.
Income Requirements: US ​$5,000 per month.


Digital Nomad Visa Countries in the Americas


Mexico Digital Nomad Visa

Mexico already has a 6-month long tourist visa, which makes it a popular destination with long-term travelers. That along with its diverse landscapes, sunny climate, and low cost of living. But now the country also offers a new temporary resident visa, which gets you up to one year, with the option to renew for an additional three years.

The Mexican nomad visa is uniquely targeted toward Canadians, however, remote workers of any nationality are welcome to apply. You need to show proof of a monthly income over US$2,130 over the last six months or a bank account balance of over US$35,500.

Visa Cost: US$30.
Visa Length: 1 year, with the option to renew up to 4 years.
Income Requirements: US$2,130 per month, or US$35,500 bank balance.


Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

costa rica retreats

Beaches, waterfalls, jungles, and volcanoes are some of the amazing natural landscapes you get to enjoy as a digital nomad living in Costa Rica.

The tropical Central American country offers a new visa called Rentista, or Person Of Independent Means Visa, which allows self-employed people and entrepreneurs to stay for up to 2 years. Unfortunately, you cannot work remotely for another company on this visa.

To get the digital nomad visa you need to show a monthly income of US$2,500 or deposit US$60,000 into a bank in Costa Rica to be made available over the 2 years. The visa can be renewed once two years are up. And after three years, you may be eligible for permanent residence.

Visa Cost: US$250.
Visa Length: 2 years.
Income Requirements: US$2,500 per month, or deposit of $60,000 in a bank in Costa Rica.


Panama Digital Nomad Visa

One of the most developed nations in Central America, Panama’s high-speed internet and low cost of living make it another great choice for digital nomads.

Panama introduced its Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers in May 2021. The digital nomad visa lets you live in Panama for up to nine months while working for a foreign company or as an independent freelancer. You then have the option to renew for another nine months.

To be accepted, you must prove an annual income of $36,000, as well as sign an affidavit stating that you will not accept any job offers within Panama.

Visa Cost: US$250 application fee, plus a US$50 visa card issuance fee.
Visa Length: 9 months, with the option to renew up to 18 months.
Income Requirements: US$36,000 a year.


Cayman Islands Digital Nomad Visa

Known for its high-end beach resorts and world-class scuba diving, The Cayman Islands is a dream destination for remote workers looking for luxury in the Caribbean sun.

The Cayman Islands have their own visa for digital nomads called the Global Citizen Certificate (GCC) which allows you to stay in the islands for up to 2 years.

The visa is targeted toward high-level executives and consultants, with much steeper income requirements and visa fees than most other countries. You’ll need proof of an annual salary of at least US$100,000, as well as a fee of US$1,469.

Visa Cost: US$1,469.
Visa Length: 2 years.
Income Requirements: US$100,000 a year.


Antigua & Barbuda Digital Nomad Visa

Another option for living in the Caribbean as a digital nomad is the stunning island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

The Antigua Nomad Digital Residence allows remote workers to live on the Caribbean island of Antigua for up to 2 years. That’s more than enough time to enjoy many of the island’s 365 beautiful beaches.

The visa fee is steep at $1,500, but the annual income requirement is half that of the Cayman Islands, at just US$50,000 a year.

Visa Cost: US$1,500.
Visa Length: 2 years.
Income Requirements: US$50,000 a year.


Brazil Digital Nomad Visa

Brazil is the first country in South America to offer a dedicated digital nomad visa. Launched in January 2022, the visa allows foreign nationals who are employed outside Brazil or who run their own company to live in the country for a year.

With a minimum income requirement of just US$1,500 a month, or US$18,000 a year, Brazil’s brand new digital nomad visa has one of the lowest income requirements of all digital nomad visa countries.

Visa Cost: Unknown.
Visa Length: 1 year, with the option to renew.
Income Requirements: US$1,500 per month, or a bank balance of US$18,000.


Angamardana 101

What is Angamardana?

I've been on a mission recently to break out of my yoga practice plateau. You know — where suddenly you hit a wall in your practice, or worse yet, things you could do a month ago suddenly become impossible. This is not my first time at the yoga plateau-rodeo, and in my efforts to keep my sanity intact and find a way out of this rut, I came across angamardana — and my curiosity was peaked.

Angamardana is a yoga adjacent fitness system that not only claims to give your hatha yoga practice a boost but also promises a host of benefits affecting the muscles and skeletal structures, as well as the nervous system and improved mental health. My initial research promised me this 'powerful system' would help me reach my peak physical potential… sounds good, but maybe a bit too good? So what is this angamardana thing all about, and is it really all it's cracked up to be?

Oh, and while you're here — and if you are also in that yoga plateau rut here are my other tried and tested ways to break out of it:

Angamardana 101

Angamardana is a fitness system pioneered by Sadhguru (born Jagadish Vasudev), a self-proclaimed spiritual guru from India, a New York Times bestselling author, and speaker who has given talks everywhere from the World Economic Forum to Google.

Sadhguru is the founder of the Isha Foundation, a volunteer-led, non-profit, spiritual organisation, most known for its yoga program led from its ashram in Tamil Nadu. Angamardana is an element of the Isha yoga system.

Their yoga program has spawned several Isha certified yoga teachers who adhere to its Hatha yoga system, spiritual ethos, and teach Isha angamardana.


Angamardana 101

What does Angamardana Involve?

Angamardana is a set of 31 dynamic floor exercises that address different aspects and parts of the body to work on the whole human mechanism. These exercises are practiced in a specific sequence and involve different poses combined with movements and breathing patterns.

Angamardana has been developed to promote greater physical strength and flexibility of the muscle. As well as working on the muscular system, it, like many forms of exercise, can positively impact the nervous system and blood circulation system and influence the basic energy system (chakras).

Angamardana requires no yoga props or fitness equipment, although a mat might be useful, so long as you have a 6ft x 6ft space, you are good to go. It emphasizes using your own body weight, which is an excellent (and affordable) way to improve your fitness.

Angamardana is essentially a form of preparation for yoga, but it makes some pretty big claims well beyond warming up the body and skeletal structure. The intention of Angamardana is to reach the peak state of ultimate health. Through this focus on the physical other elements of the human being are influenced, including mental health and general wellbeing. Some pretty mighty claims, to say the least.

How Old is Angamardana?

There are claims that Anagamardana is an ancient practice founded by Agastya, a revered Ancient Hindu sage who appears in some of the most important yoga and Hindu texts, including the Rig Vega, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

So, is this true? No. Agastya is, however, the patron saint of Kalari, the oldest form of martial arts in India. There are definitely parallels between the warmup sequences for Kalari and the Angamardana exercises; however, these warmup sequences are likely a modern invention.

To be clear, Angamardana is NOT an ancient spiritual practice. It is an exercise sequence invented by Sadhguru (or adapted from the Kalari routines he would be familiar with), probably sometime within the last 30 years.

What does Angamardana mean?

When I looked up the meaning of Angarmadana, all I could find was the explanation by the Isha foundation claiming it means 'gaining complete mastery of the limbs, organs and other parts of the body'.

Hmmmm. My initial instinct was that it might be a Sanskrit word (like many yoga asana names, such as Gomukhasana and Bhujangasana) that has come to mean that in time — Sanskrit is a gloriously flexible language. But, nope, that instinct was wrong.

After trawling the internet, looking up India's many, many regional languages and using phonetic transliteration charts (your girl does her research), Angamardana is actually a Kannada word! Kannada is the dominant language of Karnataka state — and Sadhguru is from Mysore, a city in Karnataka).

So what DOES Angamardana mean? As far as I can tell, it simply means... massage (there is actually a book that details the specifics of Angamardana massage, written in Kannada in the 1970s). Make of that what you will.

Is Angamardana yoga?

The short answer — no. The long answer — yoga and angamardana are definitely interrelated (in the Isha system), but ultimately no.

Angamardana is considered a precursor to hatha yoga. Unlike yoga, which is a pathway to liberation and the complete integrated union of our entire beings, potentially with the universe or a higher power. Angamardana claims to be a powerful system solely concerned with the physical: the nervous system, muscles and connective tissues, skeletal structures, circulatory system, and basic energy system.

In fact, although Angamardana is affiliated with the Isha yoga system, the exercise doesn't require you to have an existing yoga practice. Presumably, if all you are interested in is the physical, you can practice only Angamardana.


Angamardana Benefits

These are the benefits angamardana claims:

  • Builds strength and flexibility across the muscular, soft tissue, and skeletal system
  • Improves spinal mobility
  • Improves overall physical fitness
  • Increases overall energy, leading to greater wellbeing
  • Prepares the body for hatha yoga

I think these are all plausible and potentially realistic. Most of those you will get from pretty much any exercise regime or fitness system. 

However, it also claims:

  • To 'prepare the human mechanism for a higher possibility' (let me know if you know what that means)
  • That it is one of the 'most powerful ways to gain fitness' (right, seems a bit niche for that, but okay)
  • That it has 'universal appeal' (I'm yet to come across anything ever that is actually applicable to every single person ever)
  • That it leads to 'ultimate health' (oh boy). 

So can the angamardana benefits extend to that level? Well, I'm not sure anyone can make those claims in good faith.

I definitely think that angamardana can improve fitness and be helpful for a yoga practice, but I don't believe it is the ultimate method that will work for everyone.


Angamardana Red Flags

On a general note, the Isha and angamardana system, like many yoga lineages, claims to do a lot. But claiming to be a power system providing complete mastery of the physical aspects of the body that has universal appeal… sent my red flag alarm bells into overdrive.

When you give angamardana a google, you will find that pretty much all the hits are associated with Isha Yoga. This means it's hard to get an impartial perspective on it. Also, you can't practice it except under the guidance of an Isha trained teacher.

Sadhguru's close affiliation with President Modi, the leader of the currently elected right-wing Hindu nationalist party (the BJP), is deeply troubling. Although Sadhguru is choosy about how he interprets the BJP political agenda, undoubtedly, he shares some of their appalling ideology.

Where do I practice Angamardana?

Unfortunately, angamardana keeps itself pretty under wraps — you won't find instructional videos or tutorials online (although you may find little snippets of the practice). However, there are quite a few Isha affiliated teachers around, so if you are keen to practice, you can look them up.

Of course, you can always make your way to the Isha Ashram in Tamil Nadu for the Isha yoga training. But, be warned, that training will cost you upwards of $9,000 USD (slightly less if you are an Indian citizen living in India)!!

For some infinitely more affordable teacher trainings in India, check out my recommendations.

I think angamardana can benefit the body, especially yoga practitioners. Given that angamardana is intended to improve strength and mobility, specifically in line with a yoga practice, I think it's a great choice if you are looking to break out of a plateau in your yoga practice. However, I find it unfortunate that it falls so firmly under the Isha/Sadhguru umbrella, as that is not really my vibe.


kriya yoga

Find the best eco friendly yoga mat

Let’s face it – with constant warnings of impending doom regarding the ongoing climate situation, we can all afford to be a little more eco-conscious. How does your yoga mat measure up? Are you in the market for an eco friendly yoga mat? And what exactly makes a yoga mat sustainable and what are some alternative sustainable materials? Regardless, these are the market’s top environmentally friendly yoga mats to accompany you in your yoga practice.

eco friendly yoga mat

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.


I initially thought about writing this post with the intent to focus on environmentally friendly travel yoga mats. However, when I was compiling my list, I realized that my all-time favorite eco-friendly yoga mat is not exactly travel-friendly, but I couldn’t omit it from the list. I’ll specify which of these are travel-friendly as well.

what makes a yoga mat environmentally friendly vs. toxic?

There are a number of qualities to consider when shopping for your next eco-friendly yoga mat. How it is sourced, what it’s made of, ethics and sustainability, whether or not it’s biodegradable – all of these are important factors to contemplate.

Look for mats that don’t contain synthetic materials such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) – this is a plastic that’s responsible for that ‘new yoga mat’ smell. PVC also emits toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that we inhale when our faces get up-close and personal with our mats. These not only have an impact on your health, but also have an environmental impact as they don't decompose.

Cork yoga mats and natural rubber yoga mats are both great options for natural materials to look for in environmentally friendly yoga mats and non-toxic yoga mats.

best best eco-friendly yoga mats


best for travel


liforme travel

I couldn’t choose between my two favorite travel mats, so I didn’t! I love the Liforme Travel Mat for extra stickiness if I know I’ll be practicing in a humid climate or taking heated classes. It’s on the pricier side, so it’s probably best for frequent travelers or people who just want to have a more lightweight mat regularly available to them.

But let me tell you, this eco-friendly yoga mat was an absolute lifesaver when I was practicing yoga in Koh Phangan!

Liforme Travel Yoga mat
  • TRANSFORM YOUR PRACTICE – Liforme’s portable mat unit. At 72" x 26" x 0.09", it‘s perfect to use on it’s own, as a topper and light enough to be carried to classes. This product comes with a free Yoga bag.
  • ULTIMATE GRIP – This premium mat benefits from the ground-breaking Liforme “GripForMe” material that gives you unparalleled warrior-like grip whilst practicing.
  • REVOLUTIONARY ALIGNMENT SYSTEM – Our intelligently designed unique “AlignForMe” system helps guide and prevent injuries to Yogis of all experience levels, maximising Yoga enjoyment.
  • TRULY PLANET FRIENDLY – Liforme incorporates the most ‘body kind’ specially engineered eco-polyurethane and rubber. These mats are PVC free, made using high quality non-toxic materials that keep the mat clean and hygienic.
  • MADE BY YOGIS, FOR YOGIS – Liforme Yoga Mats are loved and adored by 100s of 1000s of Women and Men Worldwide. Join the Liforme family with this exclusive, comfortable and lightweight Mat.

Jade Travel

The Jade Travel Mat is more portable given its greater flexibility and is made solely from natural tree rubber. While I prefer the Liforme Travel Mat for hot classes, I prefer the Jade Travel Mat for just about any other type of class.

Not to mention, Jade is a great brand for environmentally friendly yogis – they plant a tree for each mat sold to offset the amount of rubber they use in manufacturing their products. Rubber is an awesome eco-friendly option for mats!

Jade Yoga Mat
  • PORTABLE AND CUSHIONED: The Travel Yoga Mat by JadeYoga is lightweight, durable, and ready to go. It weighs about 3 pounds and, at only 1/8" thick, the Travel Yoga Mat will fold to fit in your backpack, but also has enough cushion to provide comfort in your workout.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: JadeYoga mats are specially designed to provide a superior level of traction. We only use natural rubber because it provides a better grip and has more cushion and is better for the earth than synthetic rubbers (PVC, PER, TPE, EVA). The result is a yoga mat that provides grip, comfort, and durability.
  • NATURAL MATERIALS: Jade yoga mats are made from entirely toxin-free materials with no PVC, phthalates, heavy metals, or other harsh chemicals. Easy to clean, we recommend JadeYoga's plant-based Mat Wash, so you can spend more time focusing on your yoga practice.
  • SUSTAINABLE RUBBER: JadeYoga mats are made in the USA with imported rubber that is carefully sourced with the future in mind. Our yoga mats are made from natural rubber, tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • BE THE CHANGE: Jade is committed to giving back to the earth with every mat sold. We want to leave the earth a better place than when we found it. As Jade mats come from trees, we decided to give back by planting a tree for every mat sold. And since 2006, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, we have done just that, planting over two million trees so far.

Best for daily use


tiggar yoga

The Tiggar Yoga Mat is a solid choice for someone who has a daily practice and for yoga teachers. I noticed very little wear-and-tear on the Tiggar mat while maintaining a regular practice. Like the Jade mats, Tiggar mats are made from 100% biodegradable rubber, which comes from trees. Jade has a leg up on Tiggar, however, since they actively work to plant trees in local communities.

Still, the Tiggar Yoga Mat is a solid choice if you’re in the market for an eco-friendly yoga mat that doesn’t break the bank.

Tiggar Yoga mat
  • Made from biodegradable, 100% natural tree rubber with non-toxic foaming agents and non-AZO dyes.
  • Premium 4 mm thick, 72” x 24”. Our yoga mat is suitable for all types of floor activities, including yoga, pilates.
  • Superior quality , Comfort and Support. Tigger Yoga uses the highest quality materials available to deliver outstanding performance.
  • Excellent grip & slip resistance. performs brilliantly in any style yoga, even in the most dynamic and sweaty of environments.
  • 100% Eco Friendly , Zero waste manufacturing process. Made in Taiwan. Independently tested by SGS.🌟Before using : All natural rubber has distinctive smell that is like a just unpacked new book. as long as the mat was spread on a cool and ventilated place for 3 - 4 days , the smell will disappear gradually.

jade harmony

The Jade Harmony is one of my favorite eco friendly yoga mats. It’s slightly thicker than the Jade Travel Mat, providing a little extra cushion for arm balances and inversions than its travel counterpart. I also find the rubber texture of the mat quite comfortable for Yin and Restorative yoga, anything that requires longer holds of the poses.

I love old, worn Jade mats, since they have a natural floppiness to them that comes over time. They’ve got plenty of traction for room-temperature classes, but I personally prefer something stickier for a heated practice.

Jade Harmony
  • THE PERFECT YOGA MAT: At 3/16” thick, the Jade Harmony() Yoga Mat is the perfect combination of grip, comfort, and weight - making it our most popular yoga mat, ranked #1 by many yoga teachers and practitioners. And like all Jade mats, the Harmony() mat is made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • NON-SLIP: Natural, open-cell rubber provides a better cushion than synthetic rubber, making it easier to achieve and hold poses. It makes the perfect exercise mat for men, women, and anyone looking for a nature-friendly and slip-resistant workout mat.
  • NATURAL MATERIALS: Jade yoga mats are made from entirely toxin-free materials with no PVC, phthalates, heavy metals, or other harsh chemicals. Easy to clean, we recommend JadeYoga's plant-based Mat Wash, so you can spend more time focusing on your yoga practice.
  • SUSTAINABLE RUBBER: JadeYoga mats are made in the USA with imported rubber that is carefully sourced with the future in mind. Our yoga mats are made from natural rubber, tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • BE THE CHANGE: Jade is committed to giving back to the earth with every mat sold. We want to leave the earth a better place than when we found it. As Jade mats come from trees, we decided to give back by planting a tree for every mat sold. And since 2006, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, we have done just that, planting over two million trees so far.

best for inversions & arm balances


manduka eko

I love the thickness (5mm) of the Manduka Eko Yoga Mat for inversions and arm balances. Something about knowing I’ve got a little padding underneath me helps with the anxieties and uncertainties that can accompany more advanced, complicated poses. Despite its thickness, it provides perfect stability when you’re upside-down or balancing on your hands.

This mat also has pretty good grip for room-temperature classes. For heated, super-sweaty classes, consider investing in a Manduka Yogi Toes towel to keep your footing.

The main downfall with Manduka mats is that they don’t recommend using homemade or natural cleaning solutions on the mat (which is what I prefer to use). They suggest using your Manduka mat only with their cleaning spray, which is kind of a pain to keep ordering. The spray is also eco-friendly.

Sale
Manduka Eko
  • eKO YOGA MAT: Eco-Friendly and biodegradable-- The eKO mat has a natural rubber grip that catches you if you start to slip. With its sustainable construction this non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber mat supports both your practice and our planet
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE: High-density, closed-cell surface prevents sweat from seeping into the comfortable mat cushion. The eKO mat offers superior joint protection and unmatched grip and support for your yoga, pilates, exercise or fitness routine
  • PREMIUM MATERIAL: Rippled surface texture for superior traction. Naturally made, and 99% latex free. Closed-cell surface prevents sweat from seeping into the mat, tightly woven scrim resists tearing or stretching. Mat grip improves with each use
  • SUSTAINABLE: Every eKO mat is made from biodegradable, 100% natural tree rubber with non-toxic foaming agents, non-azo dyes, no PVC or harmful plasticizers. All scrap is used in the production of other materials for a zero waste manufacturing process
  • PRODUCT DETAILS: 71" x 24", 5mm thick. Keep your mat in the best condition by wiping down after every practice with Manduka All-Purpose Mat Wash-- Specially formulated to clean your mat without damaging the surface or causing slippage. Midnight Color

best for yin & restorative


jade fusion

This is another environmentally friendly yoga mat that has a really nice, comfortable thickness. It’s thicker than the Manduka Eko (above) at 7.95mm. This gives it slightly less stability, yet makes it ideal for soul-warming, close-to-the-ground classes such as yin and restorative.

Add an organic cotton blanket for more comfort and support, and you’re good to go!


Jade Fusion
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: JadeYoga mats are specially designed to provide a superior level of traction. We only use natural rubber because it provides a better grip and has more cushion and is better for the earth than synthetic rubbers (PVC, PER, TPE, EVA). The result is a yoga mat that provides grip, comfort, and durability.
  • ULTRA COMFORTABLE MAT: The Fusion mat is a thick exercise mat designed for restorative yoga, Yin yoga, Pilates, core fitness, or anytime you need extra comfort! At 5/16” thick, the Fusion Mat provides extra cushion for whenever you want, or need maximum comfort.
  • NATURAL MATERIALS: Jade yoga mats are made from entirely toxin-free materials with no PVC, phthalates, heavy metals, or other harsh chemicals. Easy to clean, we recommend JadeYoga's plant-based Mat Wash, so you can spend more time focusing on your yoga practice.
  • SUSTAINABLE RUBBER: JadeYoga mats are made in the USA with imported rubber that is carefully sourced with the future in mind. Our yoga mats are made from natural rubber, tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • BE THE CHANGE: Jade is committed to giving back to the earth with every mat sold. We want to leave the earth a better place than when we found it. As Jade mats come from trees, we decided to give back by planting a tree for every mat sold. And since 2006, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, we have done just that, planting over two million trees so far.

best for heated yoga


liforme

I really don’t think other mats can come close to the grip that the Liforme Mat provides during a hot yoga class. I’m definitely a sweater when I practice, regardless of the room temperature, so you can imagine how soaked I get in a heated class! This is the stickiest mat I’ve found thus far (and trust me, I’ve tried plenty of them!).

The fact that it’s an environmentally friendly yoga mat just makes it that much more special.
If you’re taking exclusively heated classes, this bad boy is definitely worth an investment.

Liforme Yoga Mat
  • TRANSFORM YOUR PRACTICE – This Premium Yoga mat is designed to be the most innovative & comfortable mat on the market to optimise your home exercises. This product comes with a free Yoga bag.
  • ULTIMATE GRIP – This premium mat benefits from the ground-breaking Liforme “GripForMe” material that gives you unparalleled warrior-like grip whilst practicing.
  • REVOLUTIONARY ALIGNMENT SYSTEM – Our intelligently designed unique “AlignForMe” system helps guide and prevent injuries to Yogis of all experience levels, maximising Yoga enjoyment.
  • TRULY PLANET FRIENDLY – Liforme incorporates the most ‘body kind’ specially engineered eco-polyurethane and rubber. These mats are PVC free, biodegradable in 1-5 years in normal landfill conditions and made using high quality non-toxic materials that keep the mat clean and hygienic.
  • MADE BY YOGIS, FOR YOGIS – Liforme Yoga Mats are loved and adored by 100s of 1000s of Women and Men Worldwide. Join the Liforme family with this unique, comfortable and thick Mat.

sorry to disappoint…


It was disheartening to learn that my OG yoga mat, the Lululemon original mat doesn’t make the mark when it comes to environmentally friendly and sustainable yoga mats. Nor does the Kind Mat, which was my favorite for practicing inversions and arm balances.

But, in my case, adjusting to more eco-friendly options and cork mats was the right decision.


yoga teacher training in bali

Yoga Retreat Bali 2022: Finding the Best Retreats

The beautiful island of Bali has become known in the health-minded sphere to be an incredible location for all things spirituality, wellness, decadent spa treatments, veganism, palm tree house galore, and of course yoga. And when it comes to taking a yoga retreat Bali is truly like nowhere else — there is no better place. For years now, people have been flocking to the island at all stages of their yoga journey to take a break from their daily life and experience all the incredible energy and rejuvenation retreats the island has to offer to practice yoga or do a yoga teacher training.

If you think you're not advanced enough or not good enough (I hear that often), here's one of many yoga quotes I truly love: "A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." There are yoga retreats in Bali for everyone's individual needs, and I hope this post inspires you to take your first step towards fitness retreat packages that include daily yoga sessions, an outdoor swimming pool, beautiful beaches, palm trees and other lush vegetation, and healthy food (some raw foods too) in the most beautiful setting.

With countless Bali yoga retreats and fitness retreats ranging from month-long to a day retreat, the island of the Gods and its ancient wisdom is a true epicenter for yoga, health and wellness retreats. I feel like Soulshine Bali, Azadi Retreat, and the Yoga Barn are already world-famous, but with so many other top picks Bali retreats to choose from, I narrowed my best picks down the best yoga retreats Bali has to offer (read this for some Bali itinerary idea) to help guide you in your decision and find the best yoga retreat Bali to suit your own goals for your daily practice in paradise.


***The best time to visit Bali is from April to September which is the dry season.


Here is some more Bali content from me:
* Eight Reasons Why Ubud is Still Awesome
* 15 Vegan Restaurants to Try in Ubud for a unique experience
* My visit to Nusa Lembongan


Yoga Retreat Bali: my 2022 picks


Bagus Jati, Ubud, Indonesia

Located right in the middle of the island, Bagus Jati wellness resort is a great place hidden deep in the serene jungles and rice paddies of Ubud, the heart of the island's spiritual and wellbeing center. The luxury Balinese villas within the Bagus Jati Health and wellness yoga resort are the ideal place for you to make use of the traditional Balinese healing services such as reiki, holistic counseling, vegan and spiritual nutrition, as well as of course different options for daily yoga classes and meditation practices. The retreat also offers unique day trips and local experiences where you can immerse yourself in the culture with outings to the nearby waterfalls and treks, Balinese dance lessons, and herbal remedy making. It's no surprise the Bagus Jati Health and Wellbeing retreat in Ubud is recognized as the best retreat in Bali, and all over the world, perfect for anyone looking for yoga vacations in beautiful villas.

Duration: 3 days, 2 night
Price from: $494
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (45km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added for $27 per person
Skill Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English and Japanese
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out the retreats at Bagus Jati


7 Days Unlimited Yoga Holiday in Canggu, Bali

yoga retreat bali

For the perfect retreat and an energizing 7 days of yoga, Canggu's wellness programs and holistic approach offer everything an ocean and yogi lover needs. This 7-day yoga retreat Canggu is hosted at the peaceful Serenity Eco-Guesthouse in the heart of Canggu and only a few minutes away from the beach, the lovely town of Desa Seni, and the local community. This yoga retreat offers its guests up to 10 yoga classes a day with styles including Hatha, vinyasa, acro, ashtanga, and more. You’ll also have access to their meditation classes room for perfect meditation sessions and a complimentary daily breakfast during your stay. Accommodation options include a mixed dorm, private single or double rooms suitable for an array of budgets. Offering an incredible location, ample time to explore the surroundings, and unlimited yoga makes this Bali yoga and meditation retreat one of the best of the best!

Duration: 7 days, 6 night
Price from: $71
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (10km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added for $18 per person
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, French, Indonesian and Malay
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Serenity Eco-Guesthouse now!


7 Days Yoga Wellness Holiday at Shanti Toya Ashram, Bali

health retreat bali

When looking for one of the best yoga retreats in Bali, the island offers the perfect backdrop with its serene rice fields and jungle views sprinkled with traditional Javanese huts. That’s the exact landscape you’ll witness upon entering Shanti Toya Ashram. This 7-day yoga wellness retreat offers guests an incredible retreat package of yoga and authentic Balinese cultural experiences (The Balinese people are a delight). The three yoga styles offered at this retreat are Hatha, vinyasa, and yin yoga. Each day during this yoga treat is a little different, but every day incorporates a morning yoga practice and a Balinese cultural activity such as Balinese cooking classes or dancing classes. A perfect way to begin or end your South East Asia trip and find your inner peace!

Duration: 7 days, 6 night
Price from: $178
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (22km)
Airport pick up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English and Indonesian
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, and all organic food too

Check out retreats at Shanti Toya Ashram now!


8 Days Wellness Yoga Retreat in Ubud, Bali

bali yoga

Spend a rejuvenating eight days in a supportive environment in Ubud at one of the Firefly Bali yoga resorts. A perfect yoga experience for all levels and those looking to grow in their spirituality. Everything you’re looking for in a health retreat, Bali provides. That’s no exception at the Firefly Resort with every day of this wellness retreat involving daily yin, Hatha, or Vinyasa yoga classes. Guests are served daily organic and vegetarian meals by the friendly resort staff with unlimited herbal water. When guests aren’t doing their daily yoga practice, they’re encouraged to enjoy the surrounding rice fields by bicycle or partake in a Balinese experience such as cooking or offering-making classes. This yoga retreat in Ubud also includes cacao and fire ceremonies and one Balinese massage is included in the cost of the retreat. If daily massages are your thing, you can always book more in your free time. You're in good hands!

Duration: 8 days, 7 night
Price from: n/a
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (30km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added for an additional fee
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English and Indonesian
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Firefly Resort now!


4 Days Luxury Detox Yoga Holiday

Yoga seminyak

For detoxifying wellness and weight loss yoga programs with a touch of luxury, Seminyak, located in the heart of Bali, offers one of the best yoga retreats in Bali: a 4-day yoga retreat that focuses on lowering stress, clearing your skin, and boosting your energy levels. For four days, you will partake in a daily schedule that includes a cleanse of fresh-pressed juices and organic, raw meals. Each day you will participate in a power yoga class and cal also book extra private sessions if needed. The yoga retreat center also includes a one-time colonic treatment by a certified colonic therapist and a one-time 60-minute spa experience (or any other of their unlimited spa treatments). All guests will have a consultation with a certified nutritionist before partaking in the juice cleanse and colonic treatment. Accommodation during the four nights includes private rooms with a superior garden view. This is the ultimate wellness retreat experience and the perfect place for those looking for a life-changing detox.

Duration: 4 days, 3 night
Price from: $491
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (31km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be added for $31 per person
Skill Level: Beginner
Languages: English and Indonesian
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, daily vegetarian meals are included

Check out retreats at Blue Karma Resort now!


Pelan Pelan Yoga Vacation

pelan pelan bali

Pelan Pelan offers many yoga holidays (many of them for couples!) in their idyllic setting with a beautiful outdoor pool and beautiful gardens in Canggu. Pelan Pelan Bali will give you the opportunity to experience the Balinese culture (don't miss attending a live music gig!) and its delicious food. You can also book some surf lessons. Pelan Pelan offers hatha yoga classes that will fit all levels. One of the most comprehensive retreat centers with delicious daily meals — the best place for your yoga vacation! An unforgettable experience.

Duration: 8 to 22 days
Price from: $1573
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) - 1 hour
Airport pick up included? Yes
Skill Level: All
Languages: English and Indonesian
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Pelan Pelan now!


For more yoga retreat inspiration, here are more popular destinations:

* Best India yoga retreats
* Yoga retreat in Europe
* Yoga retreat Thailand
* Yoga retreat Costa Rica
* Womens-only retreats
* Silent and meditation spiritual retreats


Disclaimer: Some of these Bali retreat links may be affiliate links, 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 helps me run this blog for your viewing pleasure!


Riad Kheirredine

Find Your Perfect Riad in Marrakech

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in a blissful riad in Marrakech. My entire stay in the Red City was incredible, but it is the magnificent riad I am still dreaming about.

Riad Kheirredine

With a touch of the winter blues kicking in, I have been spending rather a lot of time googling riads in Marrakech planning my next fantasy trip. I have stayed in some pretty boogie places in my time, from zero waste hotels in Cambodia to Thai island wellness retreats, from traditional Venetian Palazzos to urban chic boutiques in Istanbul, but Moroccan riads are waaaaaaaay up there. The interiors and interior garden are always exquisite, the hospitality is next level, plunge pools and hammams are standard, and — as a serious bonus — for the level of accommodation you get, they are often surprisingly affordable. Wondering what are the most instagrammable riads in Marrakech? Well, all of them.


So, What is a Riad?

If you are planning a trip to my favorite North African country (fine, the only North African country I've visited), then a stay in one of the riads of Morocco is a must.

A riad (derived from the Arabic word ryad meaning garden) is a traditional Moroccan house with a central courtyard or garden (and/or a rooftop terrace), traditionally with a fountain and full of plants. In Marrakech, traditional riads were often originally the family home of wealthy citizens, but nowadays, many have been converted into gorgeous boutique hotels and guesthouses. Given the red city's illustrious history as a trading hotspot, Marrakesch riads are also known for being some of the most palatial, architecturally stunning, and gorgeously decorated in the whole of Morocco.

Where to Stay in Marrakech

Riad Kheirredine

Marrakech undoubtedly has some of the best riads of Morocco, and nearly all of these are located in the heart of the medina. The medina is the city's historical center, and within its walls, you will find all the city's main sights and have the best souks on your doorstep. With its rambling maze-like streets and incredible energy, staying in the medina is not only convenient but gives you a real taste of this bustling, hectic, culturally extraordinary city.


The Best Marrakech Riads

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

After some serious research, I have picked a selection of the best Marrakech riads on offer. They all include at least one meal (breakfast or brunch) per day, and many of them can happily accommodate vegan diets. They also all have air conditioning, which is a must during the year's hottest months, from June through October.

Riad Kheirredine

inside the riad

I can personally vouch for this award-winning boutique hotel as one of Marrakech's best riads. Fine, maybe I'm biased because I had the most glorious birthday stay here, but you try and beat this gorgeous plant-filled oasis with mind-blowing suites and rooftop views of the Atlas Mountains. And that's not to mention the absolutely incredible staff who will take care of your every need (including handing you a mobile phone with their number pre-programmed so they can rescue you if you get lost in the medina), or the amazing in-house restaurant. Many of the riads I have listed are vegan friendly, but Kheirredine was not only amazingly accommodating for me, but the food was unbelievably delicious. Riad Kheirredine is located, like many of the red city's top riads, in the Marrakech medina.


Riad Chorfa

riad chorfa

This gorgeous riad in the Marrakech medina gives you the perfect mix of culture, vibrancy, and relaxation. Each room is uniquely decorated with bold colors, traditional tiles, and gorgeous textiles. Riad Chorfa is a great option if you are traveling solo or with a family, as they have everything from single rooms to doubles and family rooms — you can even take all your friends and rent out the entire riad! It is the perfect place to seek respite in the interior courtyard after a busy day exploring Marrakech (and to recoup from the hustle and bustle of the medina). Recharge by lounging on one of the day beds surrounding the pool in the central courtyard or find a shady nook and admire the views from the rooftop.


Riad Al Loune

Riad Al Loune

This is one of the best value riads in the Marrakech medina, as pretty much everything your heart could desire is included in the price. This riad not only has gorgeous, traditional rooms but there is a wellness space where you can book in for massages, a hammam, a central courtyard with a plunge pool, and bonuses such as wifi and airport shuttle included in the price. It also has a highly recommended in-house restaurant, so if you don't feel like venturing out in the evenings you will be well taken care of.


Dar Zemora

Dar Zemora

Dar Zemora is the exception to the rule: an amazing riad not in Marrakech medina. If you are looking for an alternative location for a riad in Marrakech, then you can't go wrong with one of the most exclusive regions of the city, the Palmeraie — named for its extensive palm groves. Dar Zemora is perfect if you want something a little more laid back, a tad more spacious, and a whole lot of luxe. Dar Zemora has just seven rooms (some with a private pool and terrace), set in gorgeously manicured grounds with a kitchen garden whose produce is used by the in-house restaurant. There is even a croquet lawn if that's your thing! You will enjoy a top-notch spa and hammam and a large pool heated with solar panels (making it perfect for a stay in the cooler months).


Palais Des Princesses & Spa

Palais Des Princesses & Spa

One of the best affordable riads in Marrakech. The spa and wellness center with an indoor swimming pool, hammam, a hot tub, and a massage area alone makes this one of the best riads in Marrakech. But with a gorgeous flower-filled courtyard and plenty of space on the roof terrace to relax, as well as very comfy beds, you will leave this riad feeling thoroughly rested and renewed.


Demeures d'Orient Riad & Spa

Demeures d'Orient Riad & Spa

If money is no issue, then Demeures d'Orient Riad and Spa is an excellent choice. Known as one of the top-end luxury riads in Marrakech, expect spacious rooms (including suites with some seriously boogie bathrooms), impeccable service, and high-quality amenities. And of course — as the name implies — excellent spa facilities, including a hammam, and plenty of massage options available. There is also a large central swimming pool, which is free for guests, but if you are staying elsewhere in the medina and desperate for a dip (and curious about how the other half lives), you can pay for access.


Riad Aguaviva

Riad Aguaviva

Located in the quieter northern part of the medina, this small-scale boutique riad is a great choice if sustainable travel is important to you. Their food is locally sourced, they focus on more sustainable energy choices, and they have eliminated a majority of single-use plastic. With lots of comfy nooks and crannies to relax in, a plunge pool and a lovely light-filled courtyard, you won't be disappointed with this riad.


La Maison Arabe Hotel, Spa & Cooking Workshops

La Maison Arabe Hotel

This heritage riad first opened up its doors in 1946 and has remained a stalwart on Marrakech's luxury hotel scene ever since. It has a range of lovely rooms and suites (some with the sort of private bathroom that are designed to make you feel like you have died and gone to heaven) and lots of great modern comforts like LCD televisions in the rooms and a fitness suite. Oh, and don't get me started on the grounds with two swimming pools, the hammam and spa, and complimentary afternoon mint tea in the inner courtyard with every booking. Good food is taken seriously here, and if you want a piece of the action, you can even sign up for a cooking class in the ground floor bar!


Riad L'Hotel Marrakech

Riad L'Hôtel Marrakech

Recently, when I feel stressed, I look up images of Riad L'Hotel Marrakech, and all my troubles melt away. This multi-award-winning riad owned by Jasper Conran is, in a word, breathtaking. Thoughtfully designed (I expect no less with Conran at the helm) to channel a modern interpretation of 1930s elegance, the five suites, shared spaces, and expansive plant-filled courtyard with a swimming pool promise you the most relaxing stay in understated luxury surrounds.


Riad Dar-K

dar k

If you are after the uber instagrammable stay, then Riad Dar-K is for you. Minimalist neutrals, natural textures, and earthy tones meet traditional Berber touches with a whole lot of plants. This super chic yet easygoing aesthetic has been designed, I suspect, for the social media-loving among us. But it's definitely not style-over-substance! The rooms are spacious and full of thoughtful touches, the lovely shaded patio with a plunge pool is the perfect place to hide from the midday heat, and the dreamy roof terrace with shaded squishy sectionals and floor cushions makes the perfect nap spot. If you have any dietary requirements, this is also the ideal place; their seasonally aligned menus can be made vegan, gluten-free, and allergen friendly.


Dar Assiya

Dar Assiya

Located in the heart of the red city, this traditionally decorated riad melds culture with luxury. Featuring a beautiful central courtyard with a swimming pool in the common areas, which the five double rooms and larger suites open onto, a stunning roof terrace with sunbeds and a canopied shaded seating area, and lots of corners throughout the riad with seating areas to relax in. This riad takes comfort seriously and is perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring.


So hopefully, you have found a Marrakech riad to tickle your fancy! There really is something for everyone, whether you are just looking for something affordable with the basics like air conditioning, something scenic with room or rooftop views of the Atlas mountains, or the full spa experience complete with pools, hammam, and hot tub — I got you covered. Oh, and if you are looking for something with a wellness edge, check out my guide to Morocco's best yoga retreats.


300 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at High on Yoga

My Yoga Teacher Training in Berlin at High on Yoga

I’d been wanting to do a second yoga teacher training since moving to Berlin to fully immerse myself into what had been my lifesaver since my arrival. I couldn’t quite figure out the best way to go about it or which school to pick. Then I started practicing with High on Yoga, and it felt like the perfect fit: the studio teaches intense sequences heavily inspired by Ashtanga and I felt like I had found the best of both worlds between my love for Ashtanga, missing the guidance of a teacher’s voice, and my need to have a sense of community and belonging in a studio. At High on Yoga, I found exactly that and was excited to join their 300-hour teacher training program last October.

yoga teacher training

As the course is now winding to an end, I wanted to share a bit more about it and let you know what you can expect if you too decide to enroll in it — which I can only highly recommend.

If you're looking for an English-speaking yoga teacher training in Berlin with the highest standard of teaching, are also an Ashtanga practitioner (even if you’re not, you might find something really amazing here!) and would like to remain within this classical form of learning and teaching, then this might be the perfect thing for you too. The program at High on Yoga was incredible and we learned in the Ashtanga style which is what I prefer. It was a tough but rewarding journey that I would recommend to anyone wanting to become a yoga instructor or just deepen their practice and knowledge of this wonderful discipline and tradition.


My Experience Doing a Yoga Teacher Training in Berlin at High on Yoga

HOY YTT


My yoga teacher training in Berlin at High on Yoga was an amazing experience overall and I’m so glad I did this for myself. I had previously done my first yoga teacher training in India in 2015 back when I lived in Asia and it was a completely different style of learning. Not that it was bad. But High on Yoga was next-level good.

The program at High on Yoga spanned from October to January across many intensive weekends, and, in between, plenty of time to let the knowledge be assimilated. Most importantly for me, I was able to continue with my busy schedule through it. For reference, I and several other students have a full-time job and managed to do both the training amidst busy work schedules.

For me, this time structure worked so much better than an intensive 30-day course format, because there was no cram-in-your-head and forget-it-all-afterward involved. We spent intense weekends learning, then spent the following week going through it all over again, discussing together in a Whatsapp group, and really taking the time to digest and process the new learnings. Nice side effect: I made new friends that share my love for yoga — a non-negligible aspect to consider. It can be hard to make friends in Berlin!

300 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at High on Yoga

Physically, also, this schedule made so much more sense than the 6-day schedule I experienced on my first Yoga Teacher Training. You’re not off the hook from practicing on weekdays, however! The teacher training comes with an unlimited pass to the High on Yoga studio and you are required to practice six days a week. Just not all day long like it was the case on my first YTT!


Daily schedule

We met on weekends at around 7am on Saturdays to start with meditation and Mysore practice, followed by taking the beginner-level class with Mateusz, which was super helpful. Observing him teach and give adjustments to other people was vital to the learning experience, once he shared his awesome tricks of the trade with us. When all you have to practice on in your teacher training is other bendy advanced-level students, there’s a big part of reality missing, so it’s helpful to see how he does it with less experienced students. It’s also been helpful for me to practice what I learned on some friends who have less experience with yoga in between classes. This, you definitely do not have access to in an intensive month-long retreat.

Following that was a long lunch break and then we’d meet again around 1pm for asana study with Miriam (breaking down a single pose over a very long period of time to fully understand its proper alignment and mechanics), theory and philosophy, and hands-on assists, my favorite part.

On Sundays, we met a bit later, around noon usually, and studied sequencing, mantra and chanting, sometimes more asana break down, and ended the day with the Intense Level class from Mateusz, which is my favorite class of all time and likely the most advanced yoga class you’ll find in the city.

YTT in berlin

Towards the end of the training, we also had anatomy classes with Songül which were mind-blowing. It really helps to understand and teach others once you have a grasp on the mechanics of the body. I loved that.


Learning hands-on adjustments

We spent hours learning how to adjust different poses, which is, in my book, an essential skill for any yoga teacher, and one that is often ignored by many yoga teacher training schools. Learning hands-on adjustments with Mateusz was my favorite part! I love receiving hands-on adjustments in my practice (one of the many highlights of practicing at High On Yoga!) and learning how to give them back feels like really learning how to be able to help people in their practice and like I'm doing something good for them.

Hands-on adjustments feel like receiving a wonderful deep stretch/massage and like you are really exploring each pose/your body to its full potential. They are amazing and Mateusz is the king of yoga assists. When I say you’ll be learning from the pro, I’m not exaggerating.

yoga teacher training berlin


Learning from the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras

A big part of the training revolved around yoga philosophy and its most important texts. We were given the opportunity to read and discuss texts from the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali including the eight limbs of yoga, which I was already familiar with and loved diving deeper within. We all had slightly different translations from the texts and it was actually fascinating to compare translations and discover a deeper meaning to some texts. You’ll definitely want to get yourself a copy of these two books.

We also chanted some of my favorite mantras mostly on Sunday evenings, which I absolutely loved. To a point that I decided to buy a floor harmonium for myself! Mateusz was nice enough to teach me a few chords so I had a nice starting point. Chanting has an integral role in the teacher training at High On Yoga, which is right up there in my favorite elements along with the adjustments.

yoga teacher training in english


Even if you are not an Ashtangi or do not plan to teach an Ashtanga-based style of yoga, for me, there is something so intrinsically important with the type of training offered at High on Yoga — for perpetuating the tradition of yoga in its purest form. With so many yoga schools having popped up over the years and yoga being somewhat bent out of shape (pun intended), learning the tradition first and foremost is a way to ensure that the quality of yoga that will be taught in years to come will retain its wholeness. And I definitely want to be a part of that.


All info regarding YTC at HOY can be found here.


Chimney Berlin Vegan

Best Vegan Restaurant Berlin: My Berlin Vegan Guide

It’s taken me the best of the last six 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" blog post. 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 my 2022 edition of this vegan restaurants Berlin guide. Living a vegan lifestyle in Berlin is a dream. We even have vegan supermarkets!

greenfinch vegan berlin

The problem with spending five 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. 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 restaurant 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

For the best donuts!
brammibals berlin

Talking 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 doughnuts hands down the best in Berlin (or, might I even say, in Europe) but they’re also wildly creative with their flavors. And 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

Excellent all vegan Spanish tapas bar good for any occasion!
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

For amazing buns!
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 Summer too!

Wühlischstraße 38, 10245 Berlin
Instagram // Directions


4. Gazzo

For the best pizza
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 hands down my favorite, both for the quality of the pizza (dat sourdough crust though) 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 non 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. WIN. If you prefer think crust or are into neapolitan-style pizzas, try Gemello.

Hobrechtstraße 57, 12047 Berlin
Instagram // Directions


5. Chimneys

Vegan softserve in a chimney cake — enough said!
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 a very meaty experience!

For those who miss a big juicy steak (or not), Vegano Flavors packs a punch in flavour 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 flavours, plus amazing hummus, great bread and lovely service.

Raumerstraße 6, 10437 Berlin
Instagram // Directions


7. FREA

For sustainable fine dining in a beautiful place

FREA is one of the few vegan fine-dining options in Berlin (there is also Lucky Leek) 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 are more than top-notch. A little bit on the pricey side to some, but of course you get what you pay for and everything from the vegan menu at FREA is an amazing vegan restaurant. 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

For the best vegan burger of all history of burgers

vegan restaurant berlin - vincent vegan

Out with the rubbery soy patty, this is junk 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 one, 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. But why no sweet potato fries tho?

Tamara-Danz-Straße 11, 10243 Berlin
Instagram // Directions


9. Veganz

For vegan groceries!
veganz

How many cities can pride themselves on having a fully vegan grocery store? 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 part of living in Berlin!

Warschauer Str. 33, 10243 Berlin
Instagram // Directions


10. Li.ke

For great Thai food!

li.ke vegan berlin

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

For vegan pancakes — a rare find in this city!
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. Chay Village

For the best vegan Vietnamese food
chay village berlin

Something that may surprise you about Berlin is that there’s a large Vietnamese community. The Vietnamese currently living in Berlin are the result of two influxes into the city - the first in the 70s, fleeing the Vietnamese War, and the second influx arrived during East Berlin’s communist days as contract workers, who were then contained in communities. After the wall fell, many integrated and learned German, and started their own businesses. Can you see where I’m going with this? AMAZING Vietnamese food, many of which are vegan. Likely the best vegan places in Berlin! Of all of those, Chay Village is my current favorite of the Vietnamese Berlin vegan restaurants' cornucopia. The place to get your coconut milk everything fix at reasonable prices.

Niederbarnimstraße 10, 10249 Berlin
Facebook // Directions


14. Vux

For the best cupcakes in town Oh Em Gee.
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. Mmmhhmmmmm. It’s like peanutty heaven in cupcake form. If that’s not up your street, there’s sure to be something else which will suit you - Vux has so much choice for cakes that to say you’re spoiled is a massive understatement. Also, one of the top vegane restaurants Berlin has for brunch.

Wipperstraße 14, 12055 Berlin
Facebook // Directions


14. Tsu Tsu

For Japanese vegan fast food: vegan karaage!
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!

Graefestraße 2, 10967 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 unrivalled 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

Nested 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!

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 requirement. 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 beddings 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.


surf camp in portugal

Portugal Yoga Retreat 2022: Where To Go

You want to relax, refresh, and get away from the hustle of your daily life? So why not escape for a few days or weeks to a yoga retreat in Portugal? Portugal is an amazing country with beautiful landscapes that offer incredible serenity and mild climate year-round. The Portuguese are also some of the most peaceful people on earth! Whether you're looking for a Portugal yoga retreat nestled in nature's beauty or something more urban-like Lisbon, Portugal has it all! In this article, I wanted to highlight 10 retreat centres where you can enjoy your next yoga vacation to Portugal.

The best time to visit Portugal is in Spring. Don’t forget your travel insurance, here’s my favorite.

yoga retreat portugal

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


The 10 Best Yoga Retreats in Portugal


4 Day Relaxing Meditation and Yoga Holiday with Surf and Massage in Cascais, Portugal

yoga portugal

Wake up to the sound of the ocean every morning, get up to meditate at sunrise right by the sea with great people, and practice yoga while hearing nothing but the sounds of the beautiful waves, that's what awaits you at this yoga retreat in Cascais. This is a great place to relax, detox, and de-stress. You will enjoy delicious vegetarian meals and have plenty of time for walks on the beach or national park and surfing if you wish. It’s a really beautiful location.

This Portugal yoga retreat and surf camp offers a morning meditation session by the ocean, yoga practice with a view of the sea, one massage treatment, and three nights of accommodation with a shared bathroom. A great budget option for young retreat goers.

Duration: 4 days
Price: $319
Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) - 20 minutes
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request


5 Day Wellbeing Getaway Yoga Camps at Sandhi House in Ericeira, Lisbon

yoga retreat in portugal

This yoga retreat Portugal in Sandhi House is set in one of the most beautiful locations on the Portuguese coast, Ericeira. The house has a stunning view over the ocean and you can practice your yoga overlooking the waves or in the beautiful gardens. This wellness retreat will offer you plenty of time to relax and enjoy nature, as well as some lovely yoga sessions with experienced teachers. They teach a mix of yin and dynamic yoga classes, so you'll both relax (try the yoga nidra to experience deep relaxation!) and get your sweat on. You will practice yoga at the beach most mornings (weather permitting) with a mix of yin poses/restorative yoga in beautiful surroundings overlooking the ocean. You can also choose between morning or evening sessions on some days. Other activities include meditation practice, walking, surfing, SUP, and more.

Duration: 5-day retreat
Price: $593
Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) - 32km
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request


4 Day Mini Yoga and Surf Retreat in Lisbon

yoga and surf portugal

Oasis Backpackers' Hostel Sintra Surf invites you to a surf and yoga retreat in Portugal that you will remember forever. This is the perfect place to learn how to surf, as the waves here are gentle and consistent. The hostel has a great location, with direct access to the beach. You will enjoy daily yoga classes every morning on the rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean before hitting the waves for some surfing lessons. You'll also get plenty of free time to explore the nearby castles, rocks to climb, and forests to explore. Bikes are also available for rental. Located in a former holiday colony of the Portuguese Railway, the retreat sits in the pinewoods right next to the Atlantic ocean, in between the two beaches of Praia das Maças and Praia Grande. A dream.

Duration: 4 days
Price: $343
Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) - 29km
Airport pick-up included? No, but you can easily reach them by public transport
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!


8 Days Deluxe Massage, Surf, Hike, and Yoga Holiday in Ericeira, Portugal

Deluxe Massage, Surf, Hike, and Yoga Holiday

This Deluxe Massage, Surf, Hike, and Yoga Holiday is a perfect way to experience all that Portugal has to offer. You will stay in an eco-friendly retreat center situated on the edge of a nature reserve with stunning ocean views. You can enjoy yoga classes every morning as well as hikes through the beautiful countryside or along the beach. Hatha Flow yoga is a great way to prepare your body for the day, by becoming stronger, more flexible, and breathing better. You will also have the chance to enjoy a traditional Portuguese massage or even learn how to give one yourself. After that, you can relax in the yoga room with some tea and snacks before heading out for your surf lesson. The center is just next door to Ericeira's famous surfing beach, where you'll be able to catch some sun and relax.

Duration: 8 days
Price: $639
Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) - 20 minutes
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request


4 Day Eco-Friendly Yoga Holiday in Aljezur, Portugal

portugal

A yoga retreat Portugal in Aljezur is a great way to get back to nature and enjoy some peace and quiet. The retreat center is situated on a hill overlooking the beautiful countryside of Western Algarve. You can choose between Hatha, Vinyasa Yoga, Yin, or restorative yoga classes every morning. There are also meditation practices every morning, and the great opportunity to take surf lessons, of course. With so much to choose from, you'll never get bored! You can also take advantage of the yoga shala where you can have some tea and relax after your class.

Duration: 4 days
Price: $239
Closest Airport: Faro Airport - 82 km
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!


7 Day Yoga, Meditation and Soul Food Portugal yoga retreat at Nature Lodge in Odeceixe, Portugal

nature lodge

Located on a private peninsula, Nature Lodge offers yoga and meditation retreats in Portugal that you will never forget. On this 7-day yoga retreat, you can enjoy two daily meditation practices as well as Hatha Yoga classes every morning. It's the perfect way to get away from it all for some much-needed rest and relaxation! There are also optional outdoor activities such as surfing lessons, SUP, canoeing, or just going to the beach.

Duration: 7 days
Price: $721
Closest Airport: Faro Airport (FAO) - 90 minutes
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, and it’s all delicious food!


5 Day of Running Yoga Holidays in Funchal, Madeira Island

yoga and running portugal

This yoga retreat in Funchal is a great one for very active people who wish to combine running and yoga. You'll explore a new part of the Island every day while running through the most beautiful sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Laurissilva Forest, as well as the ancient Levadas (irrigation canals). You'll also do yoga every day, of course. The program is designed to make you stronger and more flexible by using dynamic movements in conjunction with breathing techniques. The best place to meet with like-minded people and make new friends!

Duration: 5 days
Price: $1,008
Closest Airport: Madeira (FNC) - 25 km
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request


8 Day Self-Care Yoga and Meditation Holiday on the Atlantic Ocean of Sintra

yoga and camping portugal

This yoga retreat in Lisbon is not just your average meditation and Hatha Yoga holiday. You'll be staying at a luxurious eco-friendly backpacker hostel situated on the Atlantic coast, with stunning ocean views from every room. From the private rooms, you can get a double room with twin beds or one double as well as single rooms. The center has its own restaurant where you can enjoy healthy food as well as vegan options, so no need to worry. You'll also get to enjoy two yoga and meditation classes every day, as well as one healing workshop. There's plenty of time for relaxation too, so you can take a swim in the ocean or just enjoy the organic food, lay out on the beach, and listen to the waves.

Duration: 8 days
Price: $541
Closest Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport - 29 km
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!


4 Day Transformative Fasting Detox Cleanse and Yoga Retreat in Portimao

Detox Cleanse and Yoga Retreat in Portimao

This cleansing and detox yoga retreat in Portugal is a great way to get back in shape after the holidays. You'll enjoy two daily mindfulness practice sessions, as well as Hatha Yoga classes every morning, designed to rejuvenate your body and soul. There's also an optional activity each day such as surfing lessons, SUP, and spa treatments (acupuncture, massage, etc). This is the perfect opportunity to focus on yourself and get rid of any negative energy you may have been carrying around.

Duration: 4 days
Price: from $697
Closest Airport: Faro Airport (FAO) - 52 km
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request


6 Day Luxury Healing Retreat with Yoga and Harmonization of the Chakras in Algarve

healing retreat portugal

This next level Portugal yoga retreat is perfect for people who are looking to improve their overall health. You'll enjoy two daily yoga and meditation classes, as well as one healing workshop. The program is designed to help you harmonize your chakras and increase your energy levels. The itinerary is tailor-made according to your preferences and needs, so you can go at your own pace. During your stay, you'll enjoy two yoga classes per day by the amazing hosts, two meditation sessions, and two massages.

Duration: 6 days
Price: $2,432
Closest Airport: Faro Airport (FAO) - 19 km
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes!


Hope you find something you like! Check here for more yoga retreats in Europe.


15 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Munich

Top 11 Munich instagram spots

Visit Munich, and you may find yourself enjoying beer and sausages, dressing up as a Bavarian, and eating yogurt that comes with a wooden spoon. But what about visiting the best Munich Instagram spots to fuel your feed and make everyone envious? I gotchu. Heading to the Bavarian capital? Looking to up your IG game? Check out this list of 11 of the best Munich Instagram spots, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities to visit!

Many of these Munich Instagram spots are along the way of the best sights in Munich, so it’s easy to combine your sightseeing with snapping some cool pics for your Instagram page. While you're at it, check out my vegan guide of Munich!


11 Munich Instagram spots Not To Miss


Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

Munich Resident

Insta Spots in Munich

Serving as the former Royal Palace for the Bavarian Monarchs until 1918, today, München Residenz is one of the largest museum complexes in Germany. People from all over the world visit Munich’s Residenz for its ornate interior, epic architecture, and historical significance.

For ticket info and opening hours click here.


Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg is a Baroque palace in München, Bavaria. The palace was the main summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach. During the high season, full-price admission costs 11,50€ – you can also take a gondola around the palace grounds (at an additional cost), for that extra special Insta-worthy shot!

Nymphenburg-exterior

For opening hours and ticket information, click here.


Juristische Bibliotek

justice library

The Legal Library, founded in 1843, is by far one of the most beautiful (& insta-worthy) spots in München. Cost is free, but access to the reading room is not available during opening hours. The reading room can be viewed as part of a town hall tour.

justice library

Click here for more info on opening hours & tours.


Siegestor

siegestor

Siegestor in München is a triumphal arch situated at the terminus of the Ludwigstraße built to commemorate the bravery of the Bavarian army and its success in the Napoleonic War of liberation.

Since it’s free and always open, you can imagine the crowds are generally pretty heavy here. Go early in the morning for one of the best Instagram places in Munich.


Justizpalast

justizpalace

Completely free to visit, Justizpalast is a hidden gem in München. Have fun playing with the light and shadows in this architectural masterpiece.

Click here for opening hours and other practical info.


Marienplatz

Explore Marienplatz

Marienplatz is the central square in München and is a perfect spot to people-watch or get some great, insta-worthy photos. It’s super close to St. Peter’s Church (pictured below) as well as Jurisitche Bibliotek. Free, free, free!


Hofgarten

hofgarten

Munich’s Hofgarten is a Baroque garden that has long served as an oasis in the city. Situated adjacent to Residenz, it’s the perfect spot to go nice and early for some Instagram-worthy pics – think of all the yoga you could do in those archways!

hofgarten arches


Hotel Opera München

opera hotel munich

München’s Hotel Opera is an Instagrammer’s dream. The sharp lines and heavy contrast of the outer facade just BEGS for a pop of color in a candid shot.

For info on booking one of the rooms, check out the hotel’s booking site here.


St Quirin Platz Ubahn München

Munich subway

München’s underground metro network offers some really creative opportunities to capture a great shot. Bright colors, grittiness, symmetry, and motion all contribute to its unique appeal as a photographer’s dream. Have fun exploring Germany’s underground and seeing what unique shots you can capture! This is truly one of Munich’s hidden gems in terms of Instagram places.


View From St. Peter’s Church

Visit St. peter’s Church

The views from the observation deck at St. Peter’s Church are unparalleled – the red roofs of Old Town, Marienplatz, the city skyline in the distance. Not for the faint of heart, these views cost a whopping 3 euro and 299 steps – without a lift!

Click here for hours of operation.


MUCA – Museum of Urban & Contemporary Art

With rotating exhibits and a number of unique permanent displays, MUCA is a haven for those looking for something outside of the typical museum experience.

Full admission tickets cost 7,50€ – discounts are given for seniors, students, and children (most children are free).

Click here for opening hours and other info


There you have it! Some of the top Instagram places in Munich. Where are some of your favorite spots in the Bavarian capital? Any hidden gems I’m missing? I’d love to know, leave a comment! Check here for more inspiration on what to do during your trip to Munich.


women's retreat

Women's Spiritual Retreats 2022: No Boys Allowed

Screw men. Haha lol, not really, but just a tiny bit, still. This 2022, all I want is to get away from everyday life, gather in small groups with soul sisters, and practice mindfulness away from men in a women retreat where I can let my hair down and my inner Wild Woman run free, sprinkled with healthy eating and, free time, physical activity, and a meditation practice. This is my best women’s retreats 2022 guide!

women's retreat

There's something extremely empowering and magical with letting your barriers down with a group of women in beautiful places and exploring your true potential. Naturally, the perfect opportunity and most fitting place to do this is in the safe confine of women retreats where you can work on your own personal goals, whether it is mental health or weight loss, for example. So today I wanted to present to you the best self-care retreats for women in time for 2022. Pack your Kegglers!

Within every woman, there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

More healing retreats for women and outdoor activities you might like:
* Best yoga retreats guide
* Yoga quotes to feed your soul
* Mindfulness quotes for inner calm
* India retreat guide
* Learning the Ashtanga Primary Series
* Europe retreat guide
* Where to do silent meditation retreats
* The best Detox Retreats to reset and restore
* Where to do a yoga teacher training
*Things to know when planning a plant medicine retreat
*Everything you need to know about Massoga!


Retreats for Women 2022: where to go


Women’s Retreat 2022 in the Americas


3 Days Weekend Women’s Yoga Practices in Colorado, United States

women health retreat

Once in a while, we find ourselves worn out from the fast-paced environment we have in the city and needing to improve our overall health through intensive wellness classes in a supportive environment. And for that, even just a short three-day women's healing retreat can help you reconnect with your true self, enhance personal growth, and find balance within. Kicking off this women's spiritual retreats 2022 guide is Boulder Nutrition. The program of the weekend retreat at Joyful Journey Hotspring and Spa includes organic meals, outdoor excursion in the nature trails, the opportunity to practice yoga, spa treatments, holistic treatments, and meditation sessions (check out my vipassana meditation retreat experience here). All these while basking in the glorious mountain air with nutritious meals and like-minded soul sisters. Let's make than an annual retreat :)

Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Price: From $524
Closest Airport: Denver International Airport (DEN) (217 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Please inquire ahead of time

Check out female retreats 2022 at Boulder Nutrition now!


6 Days More Mojo! Art, Adventure, and Fitness Retreats for Women in Costa Rica

women's health retreats costa rica

Saying that art heals is an understatement. There’s nothing more therapeutic than the whole retreat experience of painting your heart away on a blank canvas in a safe space. These six days at the Costa Rica women's retreat center will let you feed your fire, free your muse, learn a new skill, and reclaim your feminine power. The program aims to strengthen your feminine power through expressive art exercises so you can conquer the world at your fingertips. Deep in Central America and together with other women, you will discover that supporting one another through life’s experiences is one of the keys to a successful and content life while making new friends. First time artists welcome.


Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Price: From $1,548
Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport(43 km)
Airport pick up included? no, it's €27 per person
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out female retreats at The More You now!


3 Days "Come As You Are" Just for Ladies Yoga Retreat in British Columbia, Canada

british columbia retreat

Another womens retreat 2022 option, this one is in the natural beauty of British Columbia and is all about connection, relaxation, and enjoying time with one another. Enjoy a lovely cabin in the woods, nutritious gourmet meals, fitness classes, daily yoga flow and meditation, and a lot of time in nature, by the lake or in the hot tub, and outdoor excursions. What better way to regain inner peace than with this authentic experience! All activities are optional, leaving you with lots of time for resting and relaxation if that is what you wish. Deciding on physical activities for your holidays is one of the most important decisions you could make on your path to spiritual growth.


Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Price: From $403
Closest Airport: Vancouver International Airport YVR (44 km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: All Levels Welcome
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out women's spiritual retreats 2022 in the Americas now!

Women's spiritual retreat 2022 in Europe


8 Unique Days of Sailing and Yoga in Cyclades Greece

women retreat in greece

This 8 days healing women retreat takes place on the beautiful Cycladic islands. One of the best women's wellness retreats out there! You will be surrounded by the sound of waves crashing to the shores and feel the warmth of the wind as it embraces you. The best part of this yoga retreat in Greece? You and your newfound soul sisters will have the chance to live on a boat with fully equipped cabins. This women’s yoga retreat will not only teach you to refocus your inner self, but it will also teach you to live life freely on the sea. For more self-made Greek island holiday, check out my Crete itinerary here.


Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: From $750
Closest Airport: Athens International Airport ATH (21 km)
Airport pick up included? No, but public transport is easy or taxi is around €50
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes (note that dinner is not included)

Check out retreat in Cyclades now!


6 Days Divine Feminine Yoga in Qala, Malta

malta healing retreat

Power comes when you embrace your femininity. And this six-day women wellness retreat in the serene location of Malta will help you discover that power within you. The program includes morning yoga, water tantra yoga, sunset ecstatic dance, and visiting sacred feminine sites. Aside from these activities, you will also be surrounded by a support system of women all over the world that are all here for the same reasons as you. Bond, connect, empower, exchange, and improve your physical health in this life-changing experience. These spiritual retreats for women create an environment where no judgment is cast on one another. The accommodation at Ta' Kemmuna is set in a 400-year-old healing farmhouse furnished with modern style.


Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Price: From $875
Closest Airport: Malta International Airport MLA (24 km)
Airport pick up included? No, taxi will cost around €25
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, everything is vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options

Check out women's wellness retreat 2022 at The Healing Tree now!


New Year Empowerment Women’s Yoga Journey in Italy

Mandala. Review on yoga teacher training at Smriti Yoga in Goa, India

What better way to rediscover yourself than by taking on a women’s retreat this New Year? This unique traveling health retreat aims to help get a fresh new start in life with a new set of intentions, goals, and dreams in a safe place. Leave everything that weighs you down behind and welcome the new year with nothing but the excitement of what is in store for the future. The transformative health retreat includes yoga to help you achieve a harmonious journey of mental, physical, and spiritual practices, health food, silence, and feminine bonding in a sacred space.


Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Price: From $685
Closest Airport: Brindisi – Salento Airport BDS (35 km)
Airport pick up included? No, Transfer available for additional €70 per person
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, the menu is vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options available

Check out womens retreats at The Art of Silence now!


Women’s Yoga Retreats 2022 in Asia and Beyond


Women Wellness and Yoga in Bali, Indonesia

woman retreat in bali

During these six days of women's healing retreats, you’ll rejuvenate yourself in the peaceful ambience of Kerobokan, Bali. Unplug and recharge from the benefits that this program offers so you can face the world with a new sense of purpose and will. As part of your wellness journey, enjoy daily yoga classes, village trekking, and massage treatment in the land of Gods. There’s a swimming pool, airport pickup, beginners’ level hatha yoga, and plenty more.


Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Price: From $161
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport DPS (10 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes, it's included in the registration fees
Skill Level: Beginner
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Please inquire before (only breakfast is included)

Check out retreat at Bee House Hostels now!


5 Days The Feminine Way Yoga and Tantra Retreat in Ubud, Bali

women only retreat in indonesia

We’re bombarded with so much information on how we should perceive ourselves as women. But at the end of the day, we don’t need much. We only need to believe that we are enough no matter what. This five-day, life-changing women's health retreat will help you accept everything that concerns you. It will help you get comfortable with your weaknesses so you can transform them into strengths. The feminine way private is a five-day retreat offering a unique synthesis of yoga therapy, Tantra, Ayurveda, and dance happening in lush and divine Ubud, Bali, which is also very close to the lovely undiscovered Penestanan.


Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Price: From $683
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport DPS (26 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, the healthy food menu is fully vegan

Check out retreat at Rasa Lila now!


Female Yin Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh, India

My spiritual journey at Smriti Yoga, Goa, India

One of the women’s strengths is the ability to adapt to different facets of life. These 11 days women's healing retreats comprise of energy check-ups, pranayama, meditation, and mantra chanting. Alongside these practices, you will have the opportunity to experience ayurvedic nutrition that will purify your body. Wake up each morning in the comfortable private rooms located in Tapovan which is far from the city’s hustle and bustle. Each room is fully equipped with free wifi and air conditioning. The retreat is open to all levels.


Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Price: From $455
Closest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport DED (15 km)
Airport pick-up included? Transfer available for an additional €23 per person
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Please inquire before (they have all vegetarian meals, however)

Check out women’s retreats 2022 at Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine now!


8 Days Luxury Salty Sisters Surf lessons, Yoga, and Sailing in the Maldives

maldives retreat for women

These nautical women-only adventure and goddess retreats are all about connection: to place, to self, and to the environment. Enjoy time with like-minded women who also crave adventure. You'll be guided through your adventure while learning about one of the most unique marine ecosystems, the Maldivian atolls. Activities included are SUP, surf camp, kite, dive, swim, and snorkel, as well as daily yoga. With these women's retreats, immerse yourself in the warm tropical waters and deliciously healthy meals and frolic in acres of gardens when you are not in the water, all for a vacation of a lifetime.


Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: From $2,715
Closest Airport: Ibrahim Nasir International Airport MLE (2 km)
Airport pick up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, but it's a good idea to communicate with them first

Check out upcoming retreats in the Maldives now!


Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.


Vegan Munich: Where to Eat

Wondering what vegan Munich has in store for ya?

There’s so much more to Munich than Oktoberfest. Sure, the Bavarian capital can be the scene of lederhosen-clad drunken Weisswürste fest. But open your eyes wide and you’ll discover an amazing health and vegan scene beyond all the animal products, fab vegan eateries, gorgeous boutique hotels, and — what the hell — river surfing right in the heart of Munich. There’s definitely more than meets the eye in Munich and I set up to explore what lies beneath the Schweinsbraten and just how many vegan restaurants Munich had for me. Wunderbar.


Vegan München: the best vegan restaurants in Munich

 

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!

 


There’s so much vegan food Munich has waiting for you, you’ll be shocked. Here are my top vegan restaurant Munich picks and all the best places to try!


Gratitude

cafe gratitude vegan munich

A high quality modern upscale eatery with decent prices and a beautiful interior, it’s best to make a reservation ahead at Gratitude. They are very popular, and with good reason. The short, changing menu includes things such as chickpeas and Hokkaido curry, paprika corn soup, ravioli with tempeh bolognese, grilled avocado, and deconstructed falafel with hummus. The vegan wine and beer selection are great. Artful and tasty. The perfect place for a date night.

Türkenstraße 55


Max Pett das vegane restaurant

Max Pett Munich Vegan

To get your fix on all the German specialties you thought you’d never taste as vegan options, Max Pett is a great spot. My top pick is definitely the schnitzel, which is gigantic and crispy and greasy and amazing. The Remouladensauce that comes with it is also yummy. Whatever you do, make sure you save some room for dessert. Whatever kind of seasonal sweet dumpling (Knödel) they have on is sure to be delicious too and served with vegan ice creams. Ah, man. Drool.

Pettenkoferstraße 8


 

Emmi’s kitchen

A wonderful outdoor garden welcomes you for a great breakfast at Emmi’s kitchen, and a cozy if a little crowded interior is there to accommodate the colder months. Emmi’s kitchen serves the fluffiest vegan pancakes I have had in some time, but please whatever you do, also save room for a cinnamon roll! Great coffee, great people, a smashing vegan burgers menu for the rest of the day. And of course all vegan. Best way to start the day!

Buttermelcherstraße 11-15, 80469


 

Doctor Drooly

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by D͟R͟.͟ ͟D͟R͟O͟O͟L͟Y͟ (@doctordrooly)

100% vegan, fresh, drooly, slippy pizza fresh from the oven that is best devoured red hot and on the curb next door. I'm not joking when I say this is some of the best vegan pizza I've ever had. Sourdough crust and great toppings — I opted for the Oh Maria, which combines vegan mozzarella, vegan prosciutto crudo, cream cheese (I'll stop saying the word vegan now, you got the gist), arugula, salted granola, and aceto balsamico. Possibly one of my favorite places. You cannot visit Munich and not stop by Doctor Drooly, be warned! It's right by the city center, so no excuse.

Häberlstraße 7, 80337


3. Siggi’s

Siggi's Munich Vegan

Wonderful vegan healthy food café in Munich. At Siggi's vegan café, you will find things such as sandwiches, bowls (my pick, loved the sweet potatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds on top!), delicious soups, fresh salad, American style pancakes, generous sandwiches, and a great raw vegan dessert selection. The lovely and gorgeous owner is engaged in the community and wonderful to have a chat with. She may even be there with her cute rescued dogs if you’re lucky. They recently got vegan pastries, which I'm devastated I didn't get to try.

Buttermelcherstraße 17, 80469


 

Hippie Chay

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Geheimtipp München (@geheimtippmuenchen)

Bao burgers, sushi, bowls, curries, and more delicious Asian streetfood awaits you at the beautiful Hippie Chay. There's a gigantic variety to pick from, but I found the bao to be excellent and would highly recommend them! It's a little pricey, but this is Munich, baby!

Martin-Luther-Straße 8, 81539


 

Prinz Myshkin

 

Prinz Myshkin

One of the most upscale vegetarian restaurants with many vegan dishes and a stunning minimalist interior. The open kitchen serves creative global dishes, including many Asian and European options. The staff is super friendly, and the service is fast. Prices are on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for on the vegetarian food front. In the evenings you should call ahead to make a reservation.

Hackenstraße 2, 80331


Emiko at Louis Hotel

emiko restaurant munich vegan

This vegan-friendly upscale modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of the city was my most pleasant surprise in München. With a seven-course sample menu showcasing perfect craftsmanship and an amazing cocktail menu, Emiko was definitely the culinary highlight of my trip to Munich. I suggest you not only treat yourself to dinner here, but that you also stay at the amazing modern hotel in which it is located. They also have an amazing vegan-friendly brunch at the weekend with a vegan version of many classics. Really good food for a special occasion.

Viktualienmarkt 6


Bodhi

bodhi vegan münchen

Ahh, how I wish this was in Berlin! Bodhi is a great place where you can get the real Bavarian tavern experience, except all vegan! Icy cold draft beer, greasy pub snacks, fab crowd, and good music. Make sure you try the chili cheeze nuggets, onion rings, currywurst, and buffalo wings. Great traditional dishes made vegan. I’m hungry.

Ligsalzstraße 23


Tushita Teehaus

tushita munich vegan

Tushita is a cozy tea house with a Japanese-German aesthetic. Here, you’ll find hundreds of different kinds of tea and a daily changing organic, vegan, and a gluten-free menu comprising of buddha bowls with all sorts of veggies, as well as cakes. They also have a selection of tea-related accessories for sale.

Klenzestraße 53


 

Soy Vegan München

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Soy München (@soy.muenchen)

Another fully Vietnamese vegan cuisine option in Munich. Large menu with a wide selection, friendly staff, nice ambiance, and good vibes all around. I recommend doing a selection of tapas to share between a few people to sample as much of the menu as possible. Good lunchtime deal as well. A great option with reasonable prices in the Maxvorstadt area!

Theresienstraße 93, 80333


Virasana

Yoga Asana Series: Virasana aka Hero Pose

Sanskrit Term: VIRASANA = HERO POSE
Vira = hero
Asana = pose
(pronunciation: VEER-AHS-anna)

Why You Should Practice Virasana

Virasana

Do you know what we do a lot of in yoga? External hip rotation. Trikonasana, Warrior II, Tree pose, Gomukhasana, Baddha Konasana are just a drop in the ocean of all the yoga poses that depend on external hip rotation. And, do you know what we do very little of? Internal hip rotation… and do you know what pose is alllll about that internal rotation action? You got it, it's Virasana!

Hero pose is a yoga hero (bad pun definitely intended!) in my opinion because it’s pretty much the only yoga pose that solely focuses on internal hip rotation. So why should you even care about hip rotation? People are drawn to certain poses because their body naturally suits them, and often our pelvises have a bias towards external or internal rotation. So if you find some hip openers a real challenge but others easier, it might be to do with how your body is built — I wrote about this in my Surya Namaskar guide.

We all need a bit more Virasana in our yoga life! Moving our body in lots of different ways and our joints through all their different ranges of motion is essential for long term healthy movement patterns and happy joints.


Virasana Steps

  1. Start in a comfortable kneeling position (aka, Thunderbolt pose), with the shoulders soft and the spine long.
  2. Bring your butt up off your calves and, keeping the knees together (or as close as is possible for your body), separate your feet wide enough so you will be able to sit between them. The tops of your feet are still pressing into the mat, but instead of being on parallel lines with your knees, the knees and feet are now in a V shape.
  3. Take your hands to your calves and roll the flesh/muscle of your calves outward.
  4. Keep rolling out your calves and slowly start to lower your buttocks towards the ground between your calves.
  5. If your knee joints feel painful in any way (sharp, achy, twingey, etc.), then grab some yoga blocks and place them between your calves and sit on them. Use as many blocks as you need to keep the knees and the tops of the feet comfortable.
  6. Stay for at least five breaths, or longer if you are using Virasana as a meditation pose.

Virasana Benefits

  • One of the health benefits of Virasana is that it promotes mobility and flexibility in the hip, knee, and ankle joints — so long as you practice in a way that is safe for your body, free from pain. 
  • Stretches the quads and muscles of the inner and outer thighs
  • Practicing the internal rotation action in a stable pose like Virasana benefits two balance poses. Guradasana (eagle pose) uses the internal rotation action in the top leg. In Warrior III, keeping the hips squared and the back toe pointing directly down to the ground is an internal rotation action.
  • Over time you can build up how long you can comfortably stay in the pose and use it as a meditation posture. Virasana can have a lovely grounding and quieting effect on the body.
  • In Supta Virasana, the reclined version, it provides a deep stretch to the hip flexors and thighs (I discuss more Supta Virasana benefits below)
  • Virasana’s circulatory benefits are much debated, as some teachers will argue that the pose increases the blood flow to the lower body, or when you get out of the pose there is a rush of blood to the lower body. However, there is not much actual physiological validity to back this claim up. I say, if it makes you feel good, and you feel like the pose improves your circulation, then good for you! If it doesn’t make a difference, but you enjoy the pose, well, also good for you!

Virasana Tips, Tricks and Variations

Prop Up Your Virasana

A lot of people struggle with Virasana when they first practice it and then give up on it, thinking it’s not for them — but using props makes a pose that can feel strange or uncomfortable so much more accessible. In time you might be able to get rid of props as it becomes more familiar.

Sit on Yoga Blocks

As mentioned in the Virasana instructions, a great way to keep your knees, hips, and ankles happy is to sit up on blocks (or cushions, blankets, or bolsters if you prefer). This creates more space in your hips, which can help prevent twisting in the knees triggered by the femur bones rolling inwards.

I recommend using the flatter blocks (not the larger brick shape ones) and sitting up on three or more to begin with. Then, as you grow more comfortable in the pose, you can gradually take blocks away until you can sit your buttocks between your feet.

Remember, healthy knees are the priority — so if you always need to sit on a support that’s also fine!

Support your ankles

For some people, the tops of the feet and deep ankle extension can get pretty uncomfortable after a while. Rolling up a blanket or towel and placing it underneath the ankles reduces the extension and provides some cushioning.

Cushion Your Shins

If you are planning to use hero yoga pose as a meditative pose, you might want to lay a blanket down and kneel on that to provide extra cushioning for bony shins!


Supta Virasana

supta Virasana

Supta Virasana, aka reclined hero pose, is one of my favorite ways to get a good old front-of-the-body stretch. Undoubtedly one of the major Supta Virasana benefits is the deep (and I mean deeeeeeeeeep) opening you get in the hip flexors and quads. B.K.S Iyengar was a real fan of this pose and advocated that it should be practiced at some point in pretty much every yoga sequence.

Depending on how tight your quads and/or hip flexors are will affect how deeply you recline, so make sure you have some bolsters and yoga bricks on hand to support you.

Supta Virasana Steps

  1. Set up your Virasana, using the instructions above. If you are sitting on props, you will need to make sure that you already have some supports behind you to prevent your back from dropping lower than your hips for your reclining hero pose.  
  2. Place your hands behind you and start to lean back into them; slowly lower your back down as far as you can go. If you can’t recline all the way down (or, if your lower back feels pinchy), add in some props behind you. A bolster is great as it naturally supports the length of the spine, but you can also use cushions, blocks, and blankets — you may need quite a few if you are very tight in the front of the body, but in time as the body opens up you can remove some.

Thunderbolt pose

Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana in Sanskrit) will be a real lifesaver (or at least knee saver) for some yogis. As I’ve said before, in yoga, hero pose works on the internal hip rotation, but because of the actual skeletal shape of the ball and socket joint in the hip and shape of the femur bone, internally rotating in the hips is not available to everyone. You may be able to force the action, but your knees will pay the price, and you could end up damaging your knee ligaments.


Sequencing Virasana

You can add Virasana to this yoga sequence towards the end to ensure you practice this important pose regularly, à la Iyengar.

Depending on how accessible you find hero pose will affect where you sequence it: if it’s super comfortable for you, you can practice it early in your sequence. If it’s more challenging, placing it towards the end of your sequence is a great option.

It’s also a great standalone meditation pose.


I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about this real yoga pose hero (yep, still going strong with the pun)! Remember, be kind to your knees — always, on and off the yoga mat — and enjoy practicing!


marrakech desert tours

Yoga Retreat Morocco: Where To Go

I recently got back from a magical birthday trip to Morocco. It was fabulous — the accommodation, traditional Moroccan cuisine, hospitality, traditional culture, my local guide to the Sahara desert, the desert camp, just everything. Plus, there are many direct flights from Europe, making it an easy destination to get to. So for my next yoga retreat Morocco is definitely on the agenda. For years now, I have been scouring the best yoga retreats and teacher trainings in the world, but this selection of yoga retreats in Morocco is definitely up there with the best retreats and yoga holidays currently on offer.

marrakech desert tours

If you are thinking of going on a yoga retreat in Europe, I recommend expanding your radius and including yoga retreats in Morocco too. As Morocco is at the northern point of Africa, it’s just a stone’s throw from Spain (literally, the distance from Tangier in Morocco to Ceuta in Spain is 15 km). This also makes it a much more convenient option if you were thinking of going on a more exotic yoga holiday to India or Bali, as not only will you get your cultural fix, but many Morocco retreats are also super affordable! So without further ado, here’s my yoga retreats Morocco guide!

Don’t forget your yoga mats and travel insurance, here’s my favorite.

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


Best Yoga Retreat Morocco: Where To Go


 

6 Day Surf and Yoga Holiday in Taghazout

 

yoga retreat morocco

If you want to learn or improve your yoga AND surfing, this is the dream Morocco retreat! You will bookend your day with energizing vinyasa yoga in the morning sessions and wind down with yin yoga, yoga nidra, and Hatha yoga in the evening, and your daylight hours will be spent on the beach with ample time for surf lessons and surf practice. Three meals a day are provided by the local host, including a picnic lunch on the beach, and most dietary requirements can be accommodated! If you are feeling sore at the end of the day, you can soothe your body with a private hammam, and if you feel like taking a day off surfing you can take a day trip to coastal city Essaouira or inland to the bustling city of Marrakech.

If you are planning a solo trip/yoga holiday in Morocco but want to make sure you will meet great people, then this is an excellent option. This Morrocco yoga retreat center is known for its warm and attentive staff and attracting a great crowd of retreat goers. Taghazout used to be a hippy stalwart but is now known for its surfing, and has a similarish vibe to Goa in India and Canggu in Bali.

Looking for more surf holiday ideas, check out my top surf camp recommendations!

Duration: 6 days (5 nights)
Price: from €375
Closest Airport: Agadir–Al Massira Airport (37 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks German
Vegan Friendly? Yes, they will happily accommodate vegans but the catering is omnivore.


 

4 Day Palmeraie Luxury Yoga Retreat in Marrakech

 

yoga retreats in Morocco

Looking for a little bit of luxe? The Palmerie Luxury Yoga Retreats, a beautifully designed compound with lush gardens in the countryside outside of Marrakech, will leave you renewed, pampered, and refreshed after participating in their twice-daily carefully constructed program of yoga classes in the Perumal Yoga method. A nourishing breakfast and dinner with ingredients sourced from the organic garden on the estate are supplied daily. When you aren’t practicing yoga, you can relax by the swimming pool, arrange to go to a hammam or have a massage, or even schedule some horse riding, a hot air balloon, or some bike rides. Otherwise, just enjoy the tranquil surroundings of your beautiful accommodation.

Included in the price of your retreat is a month’s access to the online Yoga with Perumal platform, which includes classes and lots of supportive texts, so you can recreate a little bit of your Morocco yoga bliss back home!

Duration: 4 days (3 nights)
Price: from €1,010
Closest Airport: Marrakesh Menara Airport (10 km)
Airport pick-up included? Can be arranged for €25
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks Italian
Vegan Friendly? Get in touch with the organizers to confirm


 

7 Day Uplifting Yoga Retreat in Marrakech Oasis

 

yoga marrakech

Another great luxury yoga retreat in Morocco. Enjoy a week of yoga, staying in gorgeous accommodation that fuses timeless Italian and Moroccan style set in stunning gardens in Marrakech. Two yoga classes a day in the Yoga with Perumal style are included to help you deep and develop your yoga practice over the week. You will also receive a month of free access to the Yoga with Perumal online video platform. Enjoy chilling in the lounge, relaxing by the pool, or a good idea is heading out to explore the souks in your free time, to a hammam, or even arrange Jiu-Jitsu classes. You can round out each day by watching the sunset over the Atlas mountains and enjoying Italian-Moroccan fusion food in a traditional Moroccan Kaidal tent followed by fresh fruit. As a vegan, I suggest doing your own research before deciding on camel rides though! You can just simply walk with them :)

Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Price: from €1,390
Closest Airport: Marrakesh Menara Airport (21 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks Italian
Vegan Friendly? Get in touch with the organizers to confirm


 

14 Day Yoga and Surfing Holidays in Morocco

 

yoga and surf

This two-week surf and yoga holiday is the perfect Morocco retreat to learn or advance your surf skills at your own pace with daily lessons tailored towards your surfing experience and abilities. You start the day with rooftop daily yoga, and after breakfast, head out for morning surf lessons at some of the best surf locations on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. After a picnic lunch at the beach, you can either practice your surf skills, or explore some of the nearby cities and villages from Marrakech to Taghazout, or even head out to the Atlas mountains. If you need something more chilled out, you can always go to the nearby Hammam or spa treatment for a massage. Wind down from your day with sunset yoga and delicious authentic tagines for supper… and then head to bed ready to repeat the whole thing again the next day! This two week holiday does it all: it gives you ample time to explore Morocco, learn how to surf in a perfect location, and is the perfect way to get a taste of yoga in Morocco. Combining surf with the practice of yoga if always a good idea!

Duration: 14 days (13 nights)
Price: from €1,020
Closest Airport: Agadir–Al Massira Airport (34 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks Arabic and French
Vegan Friendly? Yes, they will happily accommodate vegans, but the catering is omnivore.


 

3 Day Yoga Holiday in the Heart of Marrakech

 

yoga retreat in marrakech

I adored my stay at a riad in the old city, and if I had been able to combine it with a yoga retreat in Marrakech, that would have been the DREAM holiday. Expect gorgeous Moroccan interior design (the tiles! The textiles! The plants!), two yoga classes a day (from restorative yoga to more fiery vinyasa) either on the rooftop or in the amazingly decorated yoga shala, and delicious gourmet brunches. You can either spend the rest of the day exploring the very best of Marrakech from bartering and getting lost in the medina or Bazaars or heading to the magnificent Majorelle Gardens to explore the fantastic grounds, botanical garden, Yves Saint Laurent Museum, and Berber Museum. Looking for something a little more chilled? Then relax in the riad’s pool, private hammam, arrange a massage, or even take advantage of the in-house cooking lessons! Literally the perfect Morocco yoga holiday.

 

Duration: 3 days (2 nights)
Price: from €1,020
Closest Airport: Marrakech Menara Airport (4 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra €40
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks Arabic and French
Vegan Friendly? Yes, they will happily accommodate vegans, but the catering is omnivore.


 

8 Day Villa Surya - Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Imi Ouaddar

 

morroco retreat

The cities of Morocco are known to be just a tad hectic… You try navigating those passages and lanes with someone trying to lure you into their shop with mint tea at every turn. But if you are looking for some serious calm and bliss for in between your yoga sessions, this is the perfect Morocco yoga retreat. This beautiful airy villa nestled in the village of Imi Ouaddar between the Atlantic coast and on the edge of a nature reserve is literally a slice of paradise. With two 90-minute yoga and meditation sessions a day in a gorgeous yoga shall by a renown yoga teacher with years of experience, a pool, sauna, and jacuzzi to unwind in, a complimentary massage, and silent meditation walks on the beach, you are in for a week of pure heaven. Also included are delicious daily nourishing vegan and vegetarian breakfasts and dinners, with a raw vegan option too! When you’ve had enough of relaxing (ha!), you can wander along one of Morocco’s most pristine beaches, have a surf lesson, take a SUP yoga class, or a day trip to Paradise Valley in the Atlas mountains, Taghazout, Essaouira, or Marrakech.

There are a lot of spectacular meditation retreats in the world, but this yoga and meditation in Morocco is definitely up there with the best!

Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Price: from €699
Closest Airport: Agadir–Al Massira Airport (43 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, the organizer also speaks Arabic, French, and German
Vegan Friendly? Yes


So that is a breakdown of the best Morocco yoga retreats! If travel isn’t an option for you right now, check out the best online yoga courses and online yoga teacher trainings right now!


Yoga Teacher Training Europe

Yoga Teacher Training Europe 2022 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 teacher. So today I wanted to talk about Yoga Teacher Training Europe options!

Yoga Teacher Training Europe

With the new year (and new years resolutions!), I’ve been thinking a lot about the best yoga teacher training in Europe for 2022. After some pretty extensive research, I’ve put together a guide covering the top foundational and 200 hour yoga teacher training in Europe for the dedicated yoga student who wishes to take their practice to the next level.


Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

Your Guide to 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 five+ 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 in Germany. Also, whatever neighborhood you end up in, chances are there will be some incredible 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 standard. 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 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 hours at a later date.

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 a yoga instructor training 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 High On Yoga mentor. The yoga studio is sun-filled and beautiful and the course is taught in small groups by amazing experienced yoga teachers.

Oh, and if you still need me to sell you on this amazing yoga training — it’s the one I’m currently doing!

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 YTT in Spain packs a serious punch, with training in a variety of styles from Ashtanga, to dynamic Vinyasa Flows, Hatha yoga, Sivananda, and Yin — with an Ayurveda workshop and optional SUP yoga too! 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!

This is a great option 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.

Duration: 21-days (20 nights)
Price: from US$2,552
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 everything you need to teach modified ashtanga and vinyasa style classes. 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.

Duration: 29-days (28 nights)
Price: from US$2,900
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 this Portugal 200 hour yoga teacher training course 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 YTT 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 US$1,949
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 US$2,335
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


 

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 US$2,218
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 US$2,277
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-to-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-to-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: US$4,301
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: US$2,802 for a dorm, 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


That’s my round-up of the best yoga teacher training in Europe for 2022! Not quite ready to commit to a teach training? Check out my list of 2022’s best yoga retreats and the best yoga retreats in Europe right now!


Visit St. peter’s Church

15 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Munich

Munich is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany that's sure to impress you with its scenery and landscapes. Nestled between the Alps and crystal-clear lakes and rivers, Munich is a city that is full of history, culture, and tradition. There's plenty to do in the capital of Bavaria, whether you're looking for a pilgrimage or simply want to have some fun. Here are 15 things you won't want to miss while in the city.

15 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Munich

I recommend spending at least three to four days in Munich to explore it to its full potential. The abundance of wonderful accommodations and the great selection of restaurants (including amazing vegan restaurants) make it easy to settle in and feel right at home. For nature lovers and those wanting to go a little further afield and explore the surrounding nature and mountains on a day trip or two, then I would suggest staying even longer, maybe a full week.

Getting around within Bavaria’s capital by public transport is a breeze. The U-Bahn (underground metro) and S-Bahn (above-ground commuter trains) are both quick, efficient, and cover the entire city. You can purchase a day or week ticket that is valid for all forms of transport — definitely the best way to get around.

No matter how long you decide to stay in Munich, make sure to check out these great attractions and activities which I think are the best places to see and the best things to do if you're here for the first time.

If you're only here for a day, might be a good idea to look into walking tours to wizz your way through some of these top picks. Here are some great walking guided tour options, as well as some bike tour options. A bike ride around Munich is super fun!


15 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Munich

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


Visit the Englischer Garten

Visit the Englischer Garten

This beautiful park is perfect for a relaxing day out, and you can enjoy plenty of activities such as biking, walking, and fishing, and if you dare, river surfing! Or just watch from the shore if you're anything like me haha. Surfing in Munich is surprisingly a common activity and the locals are often seen enjoying this popular sport on a static wave — I had not seen that before and it was kinda mesmerizing to me. Munich’s English Garden ​is absolutely lush and lovely, kinda like a smaller New York’s Central Park right here in Germany. Best enjoyed in Summer, but great all year round.


Grab a drink at Alte Utting

Grab a drink at Alte Utting

Alte Utting is a funky multi-level bar in a decommissioned boat perched on a bridge. It's a great spot to relax and enjoy some of Munich's finest beers while admiring the view at dusk and... just being on a decommissioned boat perched on a bridge. I mean, who wouldn't want to grab a drink there? It's super fun. There are many beer halls and beer garden options in Munich, but in my book, this trumps them all.


Visit the Viktualienmarkt

Visit the Viktualienmarkt

This weekly open-air market is the right place to do some shopping and enjoy local Bavarian cuisine, and you can even bring your furry friend along since it's pet-friendly. Prices are a bit high, but I still think it's worth a visit, and if you have self-catering in your accommodation, a good place to grab great fresh produce for cooking. I incidentally had never seen such large walnuts in my own damn life (that's what she said).


Experience Oktoberfest

Experience Oktoberfest

Nothing really says "Munich" like celebrating at one of its famous events, so why not try it? Not really my gig personally, but I know it's a must for some, so grab yer' ole dirndl, and what the hell, go for it, kiddo! Oktoberfest needs no introduction.


Explore Marienplatz

Explore Marienplatz

This historic square is home to some of Munich's most famous landmarks, including the Glockenspiel and the Old and New Town Halls. It's pretty much the heart of Munich, so if you wanna get a good feel for the city then this is where to go!

This central square is always bustling with activity, and it's home to some of Munich's most famous landmarks such as the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Frauenkirche, and New Town Hall. You'll also find a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants surrounding the square to keep you busy. And during the winter months, it is home to a great Christmas Market.


Visit the BMW Museum

BMW Welt might be on the pricey side, but it might just make your day! Go check out how cars are manufactured and conditioned here at one of Germany’s largest car museums. Only about an hour away from Munich by train or bus, I'd recommend checking it out before leaving town if you're into cars!


Visit the Munich Residenz

Visit the Munich Residenz

This palace is the former home of the Bavarian monarchs, and you can't miss it with its famous golden dome! I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the lush rooms and imagining what life could have been like back then. You can also check out the Monument to King Ludwig I while you're around there.


Check Out The Olympic Stadium Park Area

Even though these games were hosted way back in 1972 (shout out to all y'all reading that weren't even alive yet, I think it's safe to assume that's all of you), there are still some sights left around here worth seeing Olympia Tower and other landmarks at Olympic Park.


Head Underground at The Deutsches Museum

If you're interested in learning about German history and culture (or just want an excuse to geek out), this museum is a must-visit. They have everything from ancient relics to interactive exhibits that will keep you entertained for hours.


See The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)

This church is one of the most iconic landmarks in Munich, and it's also home to two famous organs that are played often. Frauenkirche was rebuilt in the 1990s after it was destroyed during World War II.


Watch The Rathaus-Glockenspiel Perform

The famous clock tower has been entertaining visitors since 1908 with its daily show that features 32 life-sized figures. It's definitely worth sticking around for (especially if you get there early enough to snag a seat)!


Visit Nymphenburg Palace

A visit to Nymphenburg Palace is a "must-do" when in Munich. The palace was commissioned by Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria in 1664 and took over 100 years to build. It's now open to visitors so be sure to include it on your list!


Visit St. peter’s Church

Visit St. peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church is the oldest church in the Bavarian capital. It has a unique design that uses brick instead of stone or wood to construct itself, which makes for some beautiful pictures! Walk up to the top of the tower for a few euros to admire the view, it's totally worth the hike, if a lil' sketchy-feeling on the way up.


Check out the Hofbrauhaus

This is one of Munich's most famous and iconic landmarks, and in my opinion, it looks like something straight out of Disneyland a bit. It has all the charm without any of that pesky mouse ears getting in your way. The beer hall can seat over 1000 people at once so it's very large but also very fun if you don't mind crowds. Be sure to pick up some Bavarian souvenirs while you're here too because they'll make for great gifts back home.


Visit Alte Pinakothek

The Alte Pinakothek is one of Munich's most popular art museums and also one of the oldest. It was founded in 1801 and is home to a large collection of European art from the 14th to the 18th century. If you're into art, this is definitely one museum you'll want to check out. It features several paintings from some old-timey artists, including Raphael, Jan Brueghel, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Dürer.


... And Pinakothek der Moderne too!

While checking the old Pinakothek is a must, I think visiting the old ones too! Pinakothek der Moderne is a newer museum, founded in 2002. It showcases art from the 20th and 21st centuries. If you're more into modern art than classical, this is the place for you. They have a wide variety of pieces from different artists, so it's definitely worth a visit if that's your thing.


... Well, and Neue Pinakothek too

Neue Pinakothek is, you guessed it, the new Pinakothek. It was founded in 1853 and is home to a large collection of 19th-century art. If you're interested in learning about the development of art throughout that period, this museum is for you!


I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to the best popular tourist attractions to do in Munich.


meditation classes

Silent Retreat 2022: the Best Meditation 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 a good 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 your first ever silent retreat, 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 phones and modern world commodities for a few days has amazing benefits!

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 wonderful opportunity for a relaxing vacation 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 silence. And whether you pick a Vinassana or an Ignatian silent retreat (and there are many other different meditation technique 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 retreats formats if the thought of sitting in silence for a weeklong retreat scares you.


The best silent retreats in the world

Disclaimer: This post may include 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 classes, 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. The rooms are 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 at Song of the River Retreat Sanctuary!

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 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.

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 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 USA 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.

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, you’ll learn to love yourself and others. For the 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!

best vegan documentaries

The Best Vegan Documentaries You Should Watch Now

If you’re considering going on a vegan diet for a month: high five! Make sure you read my Veganuary tips guide for a successful transition into the plant whole foods world, and my favorite vegan quotes for a little inspiration. If you’re considering taking this further than the month and adopting a vegan lifestyle for good: you really should, and watching the best vegan documentaries there are out there is one of the best ways to get to your ends.

best vegan documentaries on netflix

Vegan and vegetarian documentaries were what made me decide to go vegan for sure. There are many vegan documentaries and movies on veganism on Netflix, which is convenient as most people are already on there, but you can find them elsewhere too, and a lot of them are for free.

Today I wanted to share with you some top vegan documentaries and movies on veganism to watch, no matter who you are and what your end goal is. It’s great to feel a little more educated after watching a movie, and documentaries are definitely my favorite movie genre. You can also read my post on the best yoga movies for more inspiration.

The Best Vegan Documentaries You Should Watch Now


Seaspiracy

Duration: 1h 29m
Cast: Ali Tabrizi, Richard O'Barry, Lucy Tabrizi
Year Released: 2021
Available on Netflix

The latest of movies on veganism making a stir and with reason, Seaspiracy is a must-watch for everyone, and especially for those of us who believe fishing is somewhat more ethical or a lesser evil than the meat industry. I won't be spoiling the movie by telling you you are wrong, and young director Ali Tabrizi really shines on this personal and sobering watch. Think the laws around fair fishing and the "dolphin-safe tuna" label are properly regulated? Think again. Seaspiracy is definitely a must-watch for everyone.


Game Changers

Duration: 1h 25m
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lewis Hamilton, James Wilks, James Cameron, Jackie Chan, Novak Djokovic

Year Released: 2018
Available on Netflix

Another top vegan documentary Netflix option. Game Changers is one of the most recent documentaries about veganism on Netflix and is very much one for the bro-dudes. Beefcakes and Olympic athletes are going vegan worldwide to boost their stamina, and director and award-winning documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos follows them on their journey to optimal sports (and erectile) performance. Learn how switching to a plant-based diet can make you fast like Dotsie Bausch and strong like Morgan Mitchelle or Arnie. Game Changers follows an injured UFC fighter on his journey to fast-tracking his recovery. While researching nutrition as a healing tool, he travels around the world and encounters different people, mainly elite athletes who have switched to a plant-based diet to elevate their sports performance and stay away from heart disease. If you still believe that your body needs animal protein and dairy products to function properly and build muscle, watch the Game Changers Netflix vegan documentary film!


Cowspiracy

Duration: 1h 30m
Cast: Kip Andersen
Year Released: 2014
Available on Netflix

Another one from the small collection of vegan documentaries Netflix has on its platform that can help you educate yourselves about veganism and the environmental impact of animal agriculture. In this very case, Cowspirary explores the impact of the meat industry on the environment. Director Kip Andersen, initially upset by Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth decides to investigate what could be the most ecological thing he could do for the planet. On his quest of finding what produces the most greenhouse gases, he stumbles on a fair few hurdles, including the funding of this very documentary, which ended up being crowdfunded. Cowspirary explores how the animal agriculture industry impacts the world around us from climate change, dead ocean zones, to water shortages. A humorous and infuriating watch.


Earthlings

Duration: 1h 35m
Narrated by: Joaquin Phoenix
Year Released: 2005
Available on Vimeo

A lot of people might not know this, but Joaquin Phoenix has been a vegan for almost his entire life. In this vegan documentary, he shares his passion for veganism by being a narrator. The veganism documentary shows the gruesome realities of violence against animals. Some of the camera footage is too extreme that some people finish the documentary vegan! Yes, this may be hard to watch but it is important that we should make it until the end of the movie to be informed of how human brutality impacts every animal that lives here on earth. Gordon Ramsay himself once said that you should only be worthy of eating meat if you kill the animal yourself or at least be the witness of their execution. Watch Earthlings and decide if you still want to eat meat.


What the Health

Duration: 1h 32m
Year Released: 2017
Available on Netflix

From the filmmakers of Cowspiracy, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, comes yet another excellent vegan documentary on Netflix. What The Health talks about the many benefits of having a plant-based diet and a cruelty-free lifestyle and eliminating animal products for optimal human health. The vegetarian documentary also tackles how big companies that claim to help us be healthy actually contribute to poisoning us. And the big question is: why? The answer is simply because of money, of course. What the Health resonated with me on my quest of spreading the word on the many health benefits of a plant-based diet. One of the most “must watch” Netflix vegan documentaries out there, in my opinion.


Forks over Knives

Duration: 1h 36m
Year Released:2011
Available on Netflix

There are a lot of vegan documentaries on Netflix, but Forks over Knives is one of those that gets mentioned often by vegans as one of those that have changed their lives. Forks over Knives explores how a plant-based diet can prevent and even eradicate chronic diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease chronic conditions, degenerative diseases, and certain types of cancer, as proven by scientific research. The documentary features researchers Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study). Interviews with other VIPs, as well as monitoring the health status of real people, are also included. This one is less shocking to the eyes but still packs a punch at exposing our modern food system.


Blackfish

Duration: 1h 23m
Year Released: 2013
Available on Netflix

Aside from the vegan documentaries on Netflix that have been mentioned on this list, Blackfish is not about meat consumption but animal entertainment, specifically Seaworld. During a show at the Seaworld water amusement park in Florida, United States, Tilikum, a six-ton ​​killer whale, fatally attacks Dawn Brancheau, an experienced trainer, right in front of spectators. If you thought veganism had to do mostly with our food choices, think again. There is unfortunately still so much animal exploitation on this planet, and Blackfish explores one very morbid example of it.


Speciesism: The Movie

Duration: 1h 34m
Year Released: 2013
Available on Vimeo

Once in a while, people with the determination to challenge the norms and ask questions most people are afraid to ask come about. Mark Devries is one of those people. Speciesism: The Movie documents how he investigates secluded factory farms with hidden cameras and uncovers the truths on how they mistreat animals. Devries asks some uncomfortable questions. For example: how strong are the reasons for believing that people have special moral values over animals? For those who are not familiar with what speciesism is, this film is the perfect introduction to the topic and some fantastic food for thought.


Food Inc.

Duration: 1h 34m
Year Released: 2008
Available on Daily Motion

In today’s modern world, we’re being non-stop bombarded by advertisements that promise total bullshit. To be specific, this is about, as you’d expect, the food industry. This is what Food Inc., one of the vegan documentaries available on Netflix tackles. Filmmaker Robert Kenner exposes the ill effects of a profit-driven food industry system on many things, including environmental organizations and health organizations. One takeaway we can all get from this is how we as consumers can be powerful if we get together and unite in fighting a corrupted system.


Okja

Duration: 2h
Year released: 2017
Available on Netflix

Not an actual documentary but more a movie about veganism in a kinda way. Okja movie tells the story of the daughter of a farmer and a pig named Okja. Above all, this is the story of the bond of friendship between them. Okja comes from a special breed of super-pigs created by the factory farming industry for slaughter and marketing. Speciesism or veganism are not directly addressed in the film, but it’s very easy to make a connection between the favorable place that certain animals occupy in the hearts of people (like dogs and cats) and the cruel treatment of several others (like pigs and cows). Cognitive dissonance is also one of the pillars of this nonetheless heart-warming film. Available on Netflix.


el badi palace marrakech

Your Ultimate Holiday to Marrakech Guide

A holiday to Marrakech is like no other — it’s easy to either love or hate. I personally absolutely loved my Marrakech holidays. The pink city’s beautiful and historic architecture, the friendly and funny yet sometimes challenging locals (especially the youths, who are keen to lead you on and make you believe you've lost your ways), and the exotic sensory overload make it an unforgettable holiday that's just a stones' throw away from Europe, with many direct flights to Morocco lasting less than four hours from many European capitals. It’s also one of the most affordable holiday destinations from Europe, making it perfect for those who want to experience something exotic but don’t have much money or time to spend on holiday getaways.

holiday to marrakech

The airport in Marrakech is just 7km from the city center so you can be sure that your holiday will begin as soon as you land! The city center is easy to walk around, and you can find everything you need here including amazing riads, atmospheric restaurants, and souvenir shops of all sorts. The Jemaa el-Fnaa square located in the old town is a once must-see I suppose — it’s home to snake charmers, storytellers, and other street performers as well as an array of food. But it is slightly overwhelming and tourist-trappy and full of weird stuff I can't unsee, like monkeys on leashes, so I would recommend checking it probably just the one time and then moving on to better and more exciting things! Below is a recap of my holiday to Marrakech highlights.


Your Ultimate Holiday to Marrakech Guide

holidays marrakech

Airport in Marrakech

Flights to Marrakech arrive at the very modern Menara airport. To get into the old town, you can take a petit taxi (about €12) or arrange a riad shuttle ahead of time. The latter will charge between €15-20 for up to four people depending on your bargaining skills but they are usually more comfortable and less hectic than taking taxis in Marrakech itself.

If possible, I would try to avoid traveling during Marrakech’s peak holiday season – namely the month of August when it’s incredibly hot and crowded. I visited in November and it was cool and not-to-busy.


Holiday to Marrakech: what to do

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

marrakech holidays

Medina and Souk

Getting lost in the Medina is the highlight of any trip to Marrakech. The maze-like streets are filled with handicrafts, spices, and tagines pottery that you can buy to take home. If attempting this on your own isn’t for you, why not consider taking a guided tour? The city can be overwhelming for first-time travelers, with salesmen trying to lure you into their shops and teenage boys ready to make you believe you are heading the wrong direction only to charge you a fee to steer you further into the wrong direction — or to their uncle’s carpet store. I personally enjoyed the challenge of finding my own ways and making my own discoveries, and enjoyed a bit of bargaining!


Marrakech Palaces and Sights

Aside from wandering the tiny pink streets of the Medina in search of the perfect carpet to bring home or of some spices, there are amazing palaces and gardens to visit in the city, all within walking distance. The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most famous landmarks in Marrakech, and it’s right next to the Medina. The Majorelle Garden is a short walk from here as well. Le Jardin Secret, located directly into the Medina is a surprising oasis of lush greenery that I loved wandering through.

The Palais Bahia was built in 1859 and is one of the most stunning palaces in Marrakech. The Saadian Tombs are a must-see when visiting Marrakech, and they’re also close to the Medina. If you have time, wander further out of the city to visit Menara Gardens and the Agdal Gardens.

El Badi Palace is also worth a visit. It was built in the 16th century and is now inhabited by colonies of storks. Grab some free oranges right from the trees while you're there ;)

el badi palace marrakech

Ben Youssef Madrasa, which was sadly closed when I visited is also a sight not to miss, even if just passing through the outside as I did — it is simply stunning.


Staying at a Riad

One highlight of staying in Marrakech is to stay at one of the wonderful riads. Riads are traditional Moroccan houses that have been turned into hotels, and they usually have a courtyard in the middle. I stayed at Riad Kheirredine and it was absolutely beautiful. If you’re looking for something luxurious, there are some really amazing riads out there, but there are also some great budget options too.

Riad Kheirredine

When it comes to food, there are endless options in Marrakech. Be sure to try a tagine, some couscous, and of course, some sweet Moroccan mint tea. And don’t forget to indulge in some sweet treats – I recommend getting some cooking from street vendors. Marrakech caters well to vegans and vegetarians, but it's not the most exciting culinary experience.


Visiting a Hammam in Marrakech

No visit to Marrakech would be complete without visiting a hammam! A hammam is like a traditional Moroccan bathhouse, and it’s a super relaxing experience. While you are there, you can get your body scrubbed with black soap and relax with a massage, which will cost you so much less than any place in Europe.

If you want to visit a hammam, I’d recommend the Click Spa Marrakech. It’s not as luxurious as some of the other hammams in Marrakech, but it’s really great value for money and the staff is so friendly. For more wellness in Morocco recommendations, check out my Morocco yoga retreat guide!


Marrakech Desert Tour

After a few days exploring Marrakech, why not take a desert tour? The Sahara Desert is just a few hours away, and there are plenty of tour operators who can take you there.

We took a 3 day / 2-night desert jeep tour with Sahara Footprints (self paid) and it was great. On the first day, we drove through the Atlas Mountain, with a stopover in Ouarzazate, and spent our first night in the small dunes of Erg Lihoudi.

marrakech desert tours

On the second day, we continued through the desert and made it to the large dunes of Erg Chegaga, where we tried sandboarding and took a walk with a camel. The tour operator was really understanding of me being a vegan and let us walk next to the camels instead of riding them which was amazing although somehow weird to them (they thought the reason not to want to ride the camel was that I was scared, but anyway).

On our last day, we drove back to Marrakech and stopped at a carpet co-op before returning the car. What I liked most about our specific tour was that you have lots of free time in between each activity so there is no rush or stress.


All in all my Marrakech holidays were the trip of a lifetime! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to get out of their bubble and experience a new culture to the fullest. And if you are vegan or vegetarian, this will be absolutely no problem at all.

To keep up-to-date with what I am doing and when these blog posts are coming out, follow me on Instagram.
I hope this blog post was helpful! Please let me know in the comments below if there is anything else you’d like me to write about!


surya namaskar benefits

Surya Namaskar for Beginners: Getting Started with Yoga

Learning the Surya Namaskar steps and beginning with yoga can feel overwhelming — there are so many amazing teachers, studios, online yoga courses, and, if your budget permits, IRL yoga retreats to learn the basics. But I honestly think the best, most accessible, welcoming — not to mention the cheapest — place to start with yoga for beginners, is at home by following the good ol’ Surya Namaskar steps… trust me, I’ve tried pretty much every style and platform of yoga going and home practice and self-guided learning is the most effective.

surya namaskar poses

It wasn’t until I got really familiar with the Surya Namaskar poses, also known as yoga sun salutations or Surya Namaskara, that yoga started to make sense and become enjoyable for me. The Surya Namaskar sequence teaches you so much, not just about yoga poses, but yoga as a whole.

There are loads of Surya Namaskar benefits: they are a mix of dynamic strengthening for the entire body, stretching, and gentle cardio, which is why they are the perfect yoga warm-up and constitute totally manageable yoga for beginners and those on a weight loss journey! They can also help to regulate the breath which is great for the nervous system and overall health, and because sun salutations are traditionally a set yoga sequence, the more you practice them, the more mindful and meditative they become. So, if you are wondering how to start yoga, or how to start yoga at home, then this guide has got you covered!


yoga sun salutation sequence for beginners

Let’s be honest — yoga is weird, especially in the optic of sun salutation for beginners. There are all the specific Sanskrit terms to get your head around and unnerving pictures of people pretzeling themself into strange shapes on the internet. But with the sun salutation sequence, things are stripped back to basics — and once you get familiar with the Surya Namaskar yoga steps, I promise you yoga will seem less weird and scary. Because the sun salutation flow is the foundation for pretty much all dynamic styles of yoga, from Vinyasa to Power, once you understand sun salutation A and B, yoga becomes a whole easier.

There are a few variations on sun salutations, but in this guide, I will be covering sun salutation A and B, traditionally from the Ashtanga primary series, because they are the most commonly taught in yoga classes.

I recommend watching the videos below first. Then, using this blog to do each individual pose so you become familiar with the sun salutation step by step. Once you understand the poses and steps, you can practice with the beginners' yoga videos as a visual guide. The aim is to memorize the sun salutation flow, so one day you will be able to do a full practice of surya namaskar by just being present with your whole body and breath — hence sun salutations as a moving meditation. I’ve also put my teacher training to good use and included lots of yoga teacher tips.


I have other yoga resources if you want to know more about yoga, particularly the philosophy of the practise, then these yoga movies and yoga quotes are a great intro. If you are looking for some more yoga asana then I recommend these poses everyone should do every day, or grab a pal and try out these yoga poses for two people.


Surya Namaskar Steps

This is both a Surya Namaskar for beginners guide and as well as a resource for people who have practiced some yoga before but find the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar a bit of a struggle — physically or mentally.

Before you start, the most important thing to know is that the sun salutation sequence should work for you. If something doesn’t feel right, modify it. I have made a real effort to make this guide inclusive and accessible with lots of different variations. Not only is it beginner-friendly but it also shows you how the sun salutations progress as you become more familiar with them. The best time to do sun salutations is in the morning on an empty stomach. I like to do 4 rounds of surya namaskar A and 4 rounds of B, at a slow pace that allows for deep breathing. And I always have my yoga mat rolled out in my living room, so there's no excuse not to practice!


The Breath

The breath is a metronome that helps guide your practice. The golden rule is the pose should fit the breath, not the other way round. That basically means breath comes first — in time, your sun salutation sequence will consist of one breath per movement, but until then make sure you are breathing evenly and not holding the breath.

Different styles of yoga use sounded or Ujjayi breath — but these are not important if you are a beginner. Just focus on inhaling and exhaling and moving with the breath. In time, you can explore working with pranayama (yoga breath practices) if they feel comfortable for you, but they aren’t for everyone.

Yoga teacher tip: Take extra breaths in the poses to begin with — this is a great way to get familiar with the sun salutation poses and progress as a beginner.


Sun Salutation A – Surya Namaskar A

Get familiar with the sun salutation A sequence before moving onto sun salutation B. I have included the Sanskrit name on the yoga poses (asana), and also breathing instructions — take extra breaths, but try and do the key movement on the breathing instructions provided.


Mountain pose

Tadasana or Samasthiti

yoga for beginners

Tadasana is your home base and foundation, where you start and finish your sun salutations. People rush this pose but there are so many health benefits of sun salutation as it sets you up physically and mentally for every other pose.

Take your feet to a comfortable, stable width — this can be anything from feet pressed together to hip-width or wider. Find your neutral feet by bringing the outside edges of the feet into parallel so all your toes point directly forward. If your feet are pressed together the big toes will be touching but there is a tiny gap between your heels.

Spread the toes and check that your weight is evenly distributed across the feet so that you are not hanging back in the heels or forward in the toes. This helps establish good posture in the rest of the body, with the knees stacked over the ankles, hips over knees, and shoulders over hips. Find a neutral pelvis with a slight arch in the lower back.

Let the shoulders be soft down the back. The arms, hands and fingers are ever so slightly active — don’t overdo it and go military straight but also don’t let them just be floppy — find the in-between spot.

Lengthen the back of the neck by ever so slightly tucking the chin, so the crown of your head extends to the ceiling.

Yoga teacher tips:

Feet width, stability and discrimination – traditionally many styles of yoga teach tadasana with the feet together (Ashtanga I’m looking at you)… but did you know this is sizeist, and in some cases sexist? The proportions of your body, including the size of your thighs and width of your hips (the female pelvis tends to be broader than the male pelvis), affects your balance. Trying to bring the feet together may not be possible at all, or if you can it might make you feel unstable because this base of support (feet on the ground) is too narrow to adequately support your physical proportions. Tadasana is all about stability and grounding so take your feet as wide as you need to do. Yoga should work for the body, not against it.

‘Neutral’ feet – traditionally this idea of ‘neutral feet’ is to bring the hips into a neutral position, as the rotation action in your hip socket determines the direction your feet point... however, hip anatomy is really complex. If this neutral position feels pinchy in the hips or uncomfortable in the knees adjust your feet until they feel okay.

If you want to know more about making your practice work for your body NOT the other way round then check out my reading list of books about yoga — it will probably blow everything you thought you knew about yoga and alignment completely out of the water.


Inhale: Upward Facing Dog, or Cobra pose

Urdhva Hastasana

On an inhale lift the arms up overhead, either bring the palms to touch or keep the hands wider — whatever is most comfortable for your shoulders. If your neck feels okay look up at the hands.


Exhale: Standing Forward Bend

Uttanasana

surya namaskar benefits

On an exhale, soften the knees and fold forward into a forward bend position. Keep the knees bent so the spine is long (not rounded) and the hands can come as close to the ground as possible.

Yoga teacher tip:
If you fold forward without bending the knees and you have tight hamstrings the back will round a lot.


Inhale: Half Standing Forward Bend

Arda Uttanasana

On an inhale, place your hands on to your shins and lengthen the spine to a flat back position. Engaging your core as you do this will help support a long, straight spine. In this variation, your legs and back will be at a 90-degree angle. This is what I recommend for yoga beginners.

Yoga Teacher tip:
– As you practice more and your hamstrings become more open you can do this pose keeping your fingertips on the ground – your legs and back will be at roughly a 75-degree angle.

A quick note on vinyasas… the next sun salutation steps (5 to 7) are commonly called a vinyasa. In classes when teachers say ‘take a vinyasa’ this is what they mean.


Exhale: Four-Limbed Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana

sun salutation

This actual position is a plank pose with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. But in the sun salutation is easiest to think of it as a movement, as opposed to a static pose. It’s quite complex and requires A LOT of strength, so here is a breakdown with a few beginner-friendly options.

On an exhale, from Ardha Uttanasana bend the knees deeply, place your hands firmly on the ground, and step the feet back to a high plank position — make sure you have strong core engagement.

Inhale. EITHER, stay in high plank OR release your knees to the mat, in a modified plank position.

On an exhale, bend the elbows back behind you so they skim the rib cage and lower your torso between your elbows. Hover here. Work towards bending the elbows to 90-degrees — this requires a really strong core.

Either, stay hovering the torso off the ground in preparation for an upward dog, or lower all the way down to the ground in preparation for cobra.

Eventually, you will be able to jump back into chaturanga on one exhale… yes jump from a forward fold into a bent arm plank. Just don’t rush it, many a shoulder injury has occurred in this way.

Yoga teacher tip:
– Extra breaths and taking your time is, in my opinion, the best way to build strength here. It’s tempting to rush it (because it’s easier), but this is a really important pose for building core strength and shoulder stability that will benefit you in other poses (interested in inversions? Then start by getting your chaturanga in good shape).

– What if it’s easier to do chaturanga from a high plank not a modified plank? Bad news. You are doing it wrong. Usually, this means your core is working less, your shoulders are dumping forward, and your butt is sticking in the air. Most people, particularly yoga for beginners, benefit from chaturanga with the knees down.


Inhale: Upward Facing Dog or Cobra

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Bhujangasana

upward facing dog

Both these poses are backbends and essentially do the same thing. Upward-facing dog demands a little more strength and familiarity with sun salutations, so feel free to get comfortable in cobra first before moving onto the upward dog.

For Cobra:
Check that your hands haven’t moved from your chaturanga position. The fingertips should be roughly in line with your nipples. On an inhale, push the tops of the feet into your mat, draw the shoulder blades down your back and lift the chest into a small backbend — this is baby cobra. Push into the hands and start to extend the arms, as much as feels comfortable, for full cobra.

Upward Facing Dog:
From either chaturanga variation, flip your feet so the tops of them press firmly into the mat. If you are in high plank your thighs and shins will already be off the mat, if you are in a modified plank push firmly into your feet so your shins lift.

Naturally, you will feel your chest wants to move through your arms. So, on an inhale, straighten the arms, and pull your chest through the arms so you are in a backbend.

In time, the flipping of your feet and pulling your chest into a backbend occurs all in one movement — it just takes muscle memory.


Exhale: Downward facing dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

From cobra: push yourself into a tabletop position. Tuck the toes, lift the knees and push your hips UP and BACK until you are in an inverted V shape. The knees can stay as bent as you need and the heels can be lifted off the ground. The aim is high hips.

From upward-facing dog: flip the feet over, and push your hips UP and BACK to the inverted V shape.

Check that your hands are shoulder-width or wider and the fingers are spread. Ground firmly through the thumb and index finger. Let the head and neck be heavy, and the shoulders draw gently down the back away from the ears to create space.

A strong core engagement helps to lift the hips high. Think more about a long spine, as opposed to straight legs. Keeping the knees bent and heels lifted off the ground helps to lengthen the hamstrings in the long run, whilst keeping the integrity of the pose.

Over time — that might be 3 sun salutations or in 3 years your heels will move closer to the ground, and perhaps the feet will be flat. Take your feet to any comfortable width. Downward dog is the work of a lifetime.

In the Ashtanga sequence, we rest (lol) in downward dog for five breaths.

Yoga teacher tip:
– It’s about how it feels, not what you look like. The intention of a downward dog is to create length in the back of the body, from the heels to the crown of the head, and strengthen the front of the body — particularly the quads and core. Bending the knees helps to keep you lengthening through your back and strong through your front.

From here you go back the way you came…


Inhale: Half Standing Forward Bend

From down dog, on an exhale bend your knees. Take one big step or lots of little steps towards your hands. On an inhale, come to Ardha Uttanasana — step 4.

In time, on an inhale you will jump forward into Ardha Uttanasana.


Exhale: Forward Bend

See step 3.


Inhale: Upward Salute

Ground firmly through the feet, keep the knees soft, and come all the way up to your Urdhva Hastasana — step 2.


Exhale: Tadasana

And here you are, back where you began.

Repeat as many times as you are able, up to five times (it gets a bit boring after that).


Sun Salutation B – Surya Namaskar B

The good news — You will be pleased to hear that sun salutation B sequence is very similar to sun salutation A, with just two new poses.

The bad news — it has a total of three vinyasas and requires you to have a verrrrrrry long breath. As always, take more breaths when needed!


Starting pose – Inhale: Chair pose

Utkatasana

From Tadasana, bend the knees into a slight squat, keep the core engaged, and lift the arms up overhead.

There are many different variations of chair pose. Always make sure the width of your feet and arms is comfortable for your body. In Ashtanga the squat in the legs isn’t usually very deep, with the knees staying roughly in line with the toes. However, if you prefer a deeper squat then that’s fine too.


Repeat steps 2 through to 7 of sun salutation A

Exhale: forward fold. Inhale: flat back position. Exhale: chaturanga. Inhale: up dog. Exhale: down dog.


Inhale: Warrior I – Right-hand side

Virabhadrasana I

No rest breaths yet — from down dog on an inhale, step your right leg forward between the hands. Drop the left foot heel down at a 45-degree angle. Ground firmly through both feet and stand up into warrior 1, keeping the right knee bent, with the arms reaching up overhead. The hands can be shoulder-width or in prayer and if your neck feels okay you can look up.

Yes. All that on one inhale. Don’t hold your breath, instead, take as many breaths as you need — but try and stand up into your warrior 1 on an inhale.

Yoga teacher tip:
Can’t get your foot to land between the hands? This part isn't exactly beginners yoga. It just takes practice! To start out, step the right foot forward as far as you can, then either shuffle it forward as close to the hands as possible, or use your right hand to pick up your right foot and help it forward to the front of the mat.
– enjoy your warrior! In Ashtanga you don’t spend a single still breath in this pose during the sun salutation, you inhale into it and exhale out of it. So feel free to spend a few breaths here, particularly if you are a beginner yogi.


Exhale: Prepare for Vinyasa + Chaturanga

From Warrior 1, place your hands back down on the mat to frame your right foot and step the right foot back into a high plank, from here take your chaturanga of choice — step 5.

Complete the vinyasa (chaturanga, backbend, down dog), and from downward dog we repeat the Warrior I sequence on the left.


Inhale: Warrior I – Left-Hand side.

As above, but left leg steps forward.

Then take your vinyasa.


Rest Breaths: Downward Dog

Finally.

And then, back the way you came.


Inhale: Half Standing Forward Bend
Exhale: Forward Bend
Inhale: Upward Salute
Exhale: Chair Pose

Repeat, up to five times.


Hopefully, if you were wondering how to start with yoga you now have a pretty good idea! This guide is everything I wish I had known when I was first looking for yoga for beginners near me back in Canada all those years ago — don’t underestimate how much getting familiar with sun salutations benefits your yoga practice in the long run. I’d love to hear how you got on with my beginner surya namaskar poses and yoga resources!


Traveling as a Vegan in Greece

Vegan Europe 2022: my top 10 Destinations

In this blog post, I wanted to talk about my top 10 vegan Europe travel destinations for 2022.

Europe is a magnet for travelers from all over the world, and for those on a vegan diet, 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 steaks all the time, and you too can embark on a travel odyssey as part of your exploration of the mighty continent of the most vegan-friendly cities in Europe. Being a vegan in Europe has definitely become easier in recent years!

vegan europe 2021

So, which are the best vegan cities in Europe, the most vegan friendly countries, and the best vegan tours? Just about any of the major cities, in fact. Even the French Capital, 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, offering amazing vegan cheese, vegan bakeries, and vegan products of all sorts. So 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

* Vegan Berlin Guide
* Vegan Munich Guide
* Vegan Frankfurt Guide
* Vegan Leipzig Guide
* Vegan Hamburg Guide

* Vegan Rome Guide
* Vegan Bologna Guide
* Vegan Parma Guide

* Vegan Manchester Guide
* Vegan Stockholm Guide
* Vegan Reykjavik Guide
* Vegan Bucharest Guide


My 2022 Europe Vegan Travel Guide

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.


1. Berlin

vegan berlin

Potentially a biased opinion, but could Berlin be the best vegan city in Europe? My home for six years now (!!), Germany's capital is home to one of the most dynamic and commercially thriving vegan scene in Europe. 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 and even a vegan supermarket with vegan options all around. This European political powerhouse is no slouch in the vegan kitchen, with German chefs' creativity giving 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 miss. 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, honestly. 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!


2. London

vegan food at camden market

Poor old London may be in the grip of Brexit and all sorts of companies fleeing to safer European shores — but it’s 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 favourite among foodies spending a few days in London. Heck, there's even a six-day vegan cooking class available!


3. Prague

vegan prague

Charming Vegan Prague, a popular weekend getaway destination for Europeans and a frequent Europe Contiki tour destination, 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.


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. 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. Renting a car in Warsaw is not only cheap but will allow you to visit more gorgeous cities with vegan surprises such as Lodz and Radom. My pick is Discover Car — you're sure to find a car that matches your budget!


5. Barcelona

barcelona vegan

I can’t mention some of the best cities for vegans 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, 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 CactusCat Bar, Tulsi, Eqvilibrivm Cafe, and La Trocadero. 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 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, Mennyorszag Szive, or Szabad Bisztro. Wherever you end up on your vegan travel 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 version 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. 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 Centre, 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