Eight Australian Yoga Retreats to Help You Achieve Your Most Flexible Zen
Practise your back bends in Byron and your downward dog in the Daintree.
With a brand new year upon us, it's the perfect time for a bit of re-centring and rejuvenation. And there's almost no better way to do that then with a few days at a yoga retreat. Not sure where to go for your R&R? We've rounded up ten stellar retreats across the country — ranging from the budget-friendly to the all-out luxurious — that are guaranteed to leave you feeling calm, contented, and ready to take on 2017.
Set in 12 acres of natural bushland, this 30-bed eco yoga retreat offers relatively affordable escapes that include beginner-friendly yoga, meditation workshops, and accommodation in gorgeous treetop cabins. Extra perks include a magnesium-infused swimming pool and delectable vegetarian food.Don't have time for a weekend retreat? Drop in for a cheeky day visit and you'll be back in Sydney by dinner time, all relaxed and centred.
Located in the lush rainforest on the Gold Coast hinterland, Eden Health — one of Australia's first retreats — offers guests an individually tailored experience. Want to improve your general health? Manage your stress? Or just chill the hell out? Eden Health will design a program to meet your specific goals over the course of your stay. The centre's extensive facilities (a spa, a natural mud bath, tennis courts, and a heated pool are just a few of the offerings) also mean you'll have plenty to keep you occupied during your downtime.
A firm favourite among the yogi crowd, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat this year won Luxury Travel Magazine's Best Australian Health and Wellness Property award. The all-encompassing wellness experience pairs yoga and meditation classes with naturopathy, nutritional advice, an award-winning spa and stunning accommodation. While a few days at this luxurious retreat will put a serious dent in your wallet, the unique experience is well worth it.
It doesn't get much better than working on your downward dog in a World Heritage rainforest. Two hours north of Cairns, Prema Shanti is a secluded, intimate, and eco-friendly retreat that offers a yoga temple, meditation room, and boutique accommodation. Greet the day with a meditation session, wind down with an evening yoga class, and spend the hours in-between relaxing with a massage or another spa treatment. We won't blame you if you never want to leave.
Searching for a Bikram (that is, hot yoga) retreat? Tranquil Point Bikram Yoga School in Cynget, Tasmania, specialises in this variety. Located 45 minutes from Hobart, the school boasts gorgeous ocean views, an orchard, and an organic vegetable garden. It's a good option for those who are interested in a more active retreat as you can fill your hours off the mat with bushwalks, kayaking and leisurely swims.
As Australia's yoga capital, Byron offers wellness retreats aplenty. While many are geared towards yoga buffs (and can, therefore, be rather intimidating to the beginner), Radiance Retreats focuses on deep, slow vinyasa, making it a great choice for newbies. Run by renowned yogi and author Jessie Chapman, the retreats supplement top-notch yoga classes with meditation, hikes, beach walks, and spa therapies.
For an intimate getaway that melds a homey atmosphere with just the right amount of luxury, head to Griffins Hill Retreat. Set in the tiny, bucolic town of Dunkeld, about 250 kilometres west of Melbourne, the retreat is run by internationally-renowned yoga teacher Frank Jesse and his partner Jane Gibb. While Frank teaches Iyengar yoga in the centre's modern yoga hall, Jane whips up vegetarian delights with ingredients from her garden. Between sessions, clear your mind with long walks in the adjacent Grampians National Park or sit with a cup of tea and take in the sweeping mountain views from an armchair.
If you're keen to try a retreat without breaking the bank, you'll love the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre. Founded in India in the 1930s, Brahma Kumaris offers donation-based retreats in over 110 countries across the globe. With a focus on meditation and spirituality, the centre's weekend retreats also include beginners yoga classes. Nestled in 53 hectares of gorgeous bushland near Leura, it's the perfect place for Sydneysiders who need a respite from the frantic pace of city life.