Yoga practitioner and self-love enthusiast, Valerie Sagun, inspires yoga for all bodies through her dedication to herself and her mat.Read more
Next month I will be attending one of the most influential yoga festivals in the US: Wanderlust in Lake Tahoe. I'm stoked, already wondering what I'll learn and how I'll challenge myself, and planning what lucy items to wear while I embark on my first official yoga festival after practicing for over ten years. And there are so many more yoga festivals and places to retreat to. Isabelle D., Product Director at lucy, sees attending festivals and retreats as, "A way to stay connected to the greater yoga world. I’ve met so many kind, amazing people, and taken classes that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. Being able to experience a sense of community adds another layer to my personal practice."
When you take your practice into a new space with different people, it mixes up your routine, always bringing you back to rebalancing, relaxing, rejuvenating yoga. Namaste. Here are five stateside destinations offering yoga retreats and festivals ranging from luxurious to casual, kick-back to action-packed.
Looking for more of a spa/yoga retreat where you can craft your escape? Miraval in northern Tucson is an idyllic resort in the Santa Catalina Mountains. If you don't mind the heat, rooms are reduced to their summer package. You have access to unlimited yoga, fitness, meditation and wellness lectures, as well as two beautiful pools and various healthy eating options. When I think of spiritual places in Arizona, Sedona's red rocks and energy vortexes spring to mind. Yogalife has a few yoga retreats that allow your sun salutations to thrive right there, whether it's a full moon retreat in October or Grand Canyon yoga and hiking in November. These retreats are with a like-minded group, or you can create your own experience with a custom retreat.
The Golden State is loaded with year-round yoga escapes. If you prefer your practice with balancing HIIT strengthening classes, Sonoma coast redwoods, and SUPing on the Russian River, Ketanga's Workouts & Wine Retreat is your jam in August. If you want to take classes from some of L.A.'s premiere teachers, as well as yogi Instagram stars, the I.G. Getaway in August offers 19 workshops within two days, plus parties and photo sessions where you can capture that crow or headstand you've been mastering. Joshua Tree is the hub for Bhakti Fest West, a heart-opening festival all about peace, love, and every kind of yoga with the added bonus of uplifting Kirtan artists. (Kirtan is chanting performed in India's Bhakti devotional traditions.)
There's no other regenerating place like Big Sur's Esalen, with limitless restorative workshops, educational programs, and those famous cliffside hot springs baths. Browse their workshops and you'll find a yoga and art retreat led by the famed vinyasa teacher Micheline Berry in July, a power vinyasa weekend in August, and a hatha yoga weekend in September. If you also run and enjoy camping, you'll love Yogascapes' California Yoga and Running Retreat weekend in Point Reyes in September. All you need is your running shoes, and open trails and a craggy coastline will take you where you want to go.
Lush and serene Hawaii gels so well with the idea of yoga. Samana Wellness on the Big Island offers 5-day retreats including an Ayurveda healing cleanse. These mini-retreats offer five days of morning yoga and all of your food, but not lodging; they recommend contacting them for places to stay. Kalani is a non-profit that spans a 120-acre eco-village also on the Big Island. They have a full moon yoga retreat in August that offers yummy Kundalini and vinyasa yoga classes every day that can be followed by swimming, massages, hiking, and then a farm-to-table meal and hot tubbing for dessert.
Beautiful and historical Lumeria on Maui offers daily yoga and spa services as well as upcoming yoga retreats—from a women's wellness retreat to a deepening your practice retreat, both in October. Similar to Samana, Maui Healing Retreats offers various retreat programs with DIY accommodations to suit your budget, from a half day personal retreat to a 3-day relationship retreat or a 5-day goddess retreat.
Destination: New York
In August, the 2nd annual Hamptons Yoga Festival will consume a weekend with yoga, music, and healing. This one is fulfilling for the whole family with a kid's village and onsite camping. Yogis looking for a full-on day away can head north for the Live Well Be Well Festival on September 12 at the Bethelwoods Center for the Arts, where Woodstock took place. Kids are also welcome, and various yoga throughout the day is offered along with a market, music, and healthy food vendors.
In August, the wellness resort Lake Austin is amping up their water yoga classes like water vinyasa, restorative water yoga, and SUP yoga. Until October 2 their water activities are offered in abundance so you can customize a yoga retreat that includes yoga and spa time mixed with fun water-inspired classes for the ultimate refreshing retreat.
International Yoga Day was June 21, but any day can be a beautiful yoga day. Especially when you embark on a yoga journey in a new setting. Where do you dream about taking your yoga practice?