7 of the best yoga retreats you need to try

Sure, there’s yoga, yoga, yoga, but pair it with the three Ms – mindfulness, meditation and… massage – at these wellness retreats, and a Zen holiday is guaranteed.

A woman sitting in Lotus pose in an open yoga studio
  • Paul Ewart
  • March 2020

Give yourself a wellbeing makeover with a choice of retreats from luxury resorts to sustainable ones and amenities including vegetarian food, beautiful beaches, daily yoga and meditation.

Hawaii: Lumi Yoga

Lumi Yoga pairs a tropical fly-and-flop with an active wellness warrior getaway on the beautiful island of Oahu. Offering year-round yoga and surf retreats, which run from a minimum of six nights through to several weeks, classes are suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike. Twice-daily yoga, two-hour surfing lessons twice a day (the retreat is located right next to the world-renowned breaks off Haleiwa), guided beach meditations and nightly wellness discussions ensure both body and mind are taken care of.


Byron Bay: Byron Yoga Centre

With a reputation for spirituality and clean living stretching back decades, travellers are drawn to Byron Bay, Australia, in search of the perfect wave and the perfect yoga studio. There’s an A to Z of yoga school options but you can’t go past the Byron Yoga Centre – it has been operating for more than 30 years and is a local institution. Retreats are run over three, five and eight-day programs and include twice-daily classes, meditation, massage and workshops covering everything from philosophy to mindfulness.


Bali: Spa Village Resort

The Balinese emphasis on “balance” aligns perfectly with the practice of yoga and contemporary travellers looking to achieve some internal equilibrium should make a beeline for Spa Village Resort, a palm tree-fringed property in Tembok on the island’s north-eastern coast. A galaxy away from the party-hard crowds at Kuta and Seminyak, the remote beachfront setting – ringed by a volcanic landscape and lush tropical gardens – is a tonic for the body and soul. Pairing traditional Balinese healing rituals with modern approaches to wellbeing, yoga and wellness retreats run regularly throughout the year and feature the “School of Life” program where guests are taught techniques and skills to allow them to redesign their lives and reconnect with themselves. Expect yoga classes for all levels, chakra meditation sessions, hands-on wellness workshops and indulgent top-to-toe spa treatments including the “massage under the stars” (performed at the edge of the ocean under a canopy of stars).


Vietnam: Fusion Maia

At Fusion Maia, indulgent massages and facials aren’t the only happy surprises that come with the room rate (guests get to enjoy two spa treatments daily). Set in the coastal city of Da Nang in central Vietnam, the complex of pool villas, palm-lined gardens and nearby ocean immediately conjure serenity. Week-long retreats put serious yoga-lovers through their paces with a schedule of six classes per day, spanning the yogic medley and held across two yoga studios (one open-air sea-fronting and one indoor and air-conditioned). Other wellness classes include tai chi and meditation.


New Zealand: Aro Ha

Across the Tasman – and a quick 45-minute drive from Queenstown – is Aro Ha, where the all-inclusive six-day signature retreat is not just about sweating it out on the mat, but personal transformation too. Catering to a maximum of 18 guests, programs comprise twice-daily yoga, nutrient-dense vegan meals (using organic produce grown onsite), mindful meditation, hikes around the nearby stunning Southern Alps and daily blissful massages.


Thailand: Suan Sati

A world away from the tourist bustle sits Chiang Mai’s lush green hills. And with more than 300 temples – the highest concentration in the country – it’s clear why there’s a hefty dose of Zen in the air. Positioned on a five-acre organic rice paddy in the northern Thai countryside, Suan Sati offers a two-for-one rejuvenation program with a style of yoga geared towards helping meditation practice. Housed within a permaculture complex, everything in the retreat is recycled, from toilet paper to shower water, so you can hit the mat with a clean conscience.


Four people watching the sun set in the distance
The remote setting makes Thailand's Suan Sati perfect for a relaxing retreat.

Fiji: Daku Resort

Located in the postcard-perfect beach town of Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu, Daku Resort is touted as one of Fiji’s top yoga destinations. Daily schedules comprise morning practice, breakfast and deep relaxation, lunch, an afternoon excursion and restorative yoga before a healthy dinner. Led by experienced teachers from all over the world, retreats are often paired with activities such as snorkelling and hiking, allowing guests to drift into “island time” with ease.


Bali-bound? Here are the island’s best wellness retreats.