Although it’s reach has extended far and wide, ancient scriptures indicate that yoga originated centuries ago as a spiritual development practice in the culturally-rich lands of Asia. So, it’s no surprise that people are flocking from all over the globe to retreat, practice, and learn in the birthplace of this thousand year old tradition. Thailand has since become one of the most popular destinations for international travellers to explore this holistic art form, hosting thousands of wellness vacations annually that cater to busy Westerners looking to gain mindfulness and peace of mind abroad. With it’s predominantly Buddhist religion, ancient ruins, ornate temples, and underlying harmonious way of life, this country boasts the perfect setting to embark on a journey of self-discovery through the practice of yoga. Lush tropical rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and majestic mountains provide a scenic backdrop for any yoga holiday; allowing the combination of nature and serenity to relax even the most burdened of travelers.
Types of Yoga Retreats
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or brand new to the practice, Thailand has an abundance of yoga retreats with different styles, themes, and schedules to fit your individual needs.
Beginner Yoga Retreat
Never heard of a downward dog, and a far cry from relaxing in any sleeping pigeon pose? Not to worry, you’re experience makes absolutely no difference when enrolling in a beginner level yoga getaway. If you’re curious about the practice, interested to deepen an awareness of your body and mind, and open to trying something new than treat yourself to a travel wellness retreat in Thailand. Most packages run for 3, 7, or 10-day intervals with morning and evening asana practices, meditation routines, and free time during the day. There’s no doubt that you’ll leave feeling better than when you started, having stretched your muscles and mind to new levels of flexibility!
Experienced Yoga Retreat
For those yogis with a seasoned practice looking to further immerse themselves in the philosophy and foundations of yogic science, perhaps a Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand is your retreat of choice. Many accredited schools offer 14-28 day training programs in which yoga traditions are practiced for 8-10 hours daily. Learn meditation techniques, chant melodic mantras, and gain a strong foundational practice with hours of physical asana under the guidance of knowledgeable instructors. Although these in-depth training will equip you with all the skills you need to become a yoga teacher, there’s absolutely no need to commit. A teacher training can be a gift to yourself, for yourself, without any expectation to teach others in the future.
Silent Yoga Retreats
In a world of ongoing external stimulation, silence can be a precious gift. A demanding, fast-paced lifestyle can place a great deal of stress on both physical and mental well-being, causing burn out, anxiety, and other negative health complications. A silent retreat gives guests the extended opportunity to dive deeper into their internal landscape and stay with their own experience free from outward distraction. Southeast Asia offers various types of silent yoga vacations in combination with meditation and breathing techniques, most of which are nestled deep amongst a serene, natural setting. Cultivate presence, awareness, and a deeper relationship with yourself by embarking on a silent retreat.
Detox Yoga Retreats
For those looking to rejuvenate their body and mind, a detox retreat combines yoga practices, organic juices, Thai massage, and the abstinence of solid food to replenish and heal. Many ancient therapies believe strongly in the benefits of fasting to improve organ function and overall body wellness. Thailand’s tropical climate boats the perfect growing conditions for hearty fruit and vegetables laden with vitamins and minerals, making this area of the world a top destination when embarking on this style of health getaway. It is always best to look for a professional detox centre, with licensed doctors and nutritionists on site when searching out this type of program.
Yin Yoga Retreats
Yin, or restorative yoga, is a slow-paced style of practice in which poses are held for a longer period of time. This type of yoga can be very powerful in reducing anxiety, improving immune function, increasing circulation, and deepening muscle flexibility. Yin vacations are a unique opportunity to train in an immersive, peaceful retreat environment removed from the pressures of daily life.
Ashtanga Yoga Retreats
Ashtanga is a style of yoga introduced to the modern world almost a hundred years ago by an Indian yogi named Pattabhi Jois. This method of training involves synchronizing inhales and exhales with a progressive series of postures, producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. Ashtanga yoga holidays generally encourage guests to practice physical asana twice daily, with emphasis on the other 7 limbs of this ancient practice; breathing, meditation, ethics, integrity, self-discipline, and compassion towards oneself and others.
Hatha Yoga Retreats
Hatha is an umbrella term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures, or asanas. Almost every type of class that is taught in the West is Hatha yoga, in which participants are introduced to poses and then encouraged to hold them in conjunction with breath awareness. This style of health retreat allows guests to become familiar with postures, as well as emphasizes the physical aspects of transformation throughout the course of a 5, 7, or 10 day wellness getaway.
Adventurous travel isn’t always about riding the biggest wave or scaling to brave new heights. Sometimes it’s about heading inside, to explore the realm of one’s internal landscape. Meditation retreats are generally hosted in a tranquil, natural setting of where guests learn and practice various techniques to quiet the body and the mind. Often these wellness vacations are offered in conjunction with yoga asanas and silence, two practices which can transcend even the most beginner yogi into a deeper state of peace.
All-inclusive Community Yoga Retreats
Thailand offers many affordable all-inclusive yoga retreats in which guests of any skill level can enrol in and enjoy a week of yoga, meditation, silence, organic food, massage, and dancing amongst an uplifting community of people. These wellness vacations are based around the transformative powers of the practice, yet introduce guests to a variety of other activities in an effort to promote connection and well-being. Get active, eat delicious food, tap into your creativity, laugh, play, and discover what it feels like to have a stranger to become as close as family in a few short days.
How to Choose the Retreat For You
The most important thing in determining the right yoga retreat for you, is yourself! What is your intention? Do you want to intensively practice and learn about yoga? Or would it suit you better to have free time for creative activities, exploration, and culture? Do you want to spend your wellness vacation days immersed in stillness and silence? Or would you prefer to meet new people and build lasting connection with fellow travellers? Take your time in choosing your yoga retreat and feel free to email hosts in order to clarify anything that isn’t clear. If detoxifying is your primary objective, search out centres with licensed professionals and modern equipment. Ask your friends, family, and local teachers for recommendations, and carefully read reviews to determine your ideal health holiday location.
Travelling to Southeast Asia for a yoga retreat can be an adventure in itself; accompanied by a whole host of new and exotic experiences outside the realm of every day comforts. However you needn’t worry. Thailand is unparalleled when it comes to offering exceptionally opulent yoga retreat spaces; bearing Western amenities combined with luxurious additions like infinity pools and tranquil spa massages. When booking your trip, consider the possibility of tapping into deep-seated emotions, eating different foods, and breathing in different air. Ask yourself what accommodation style will best help you deal with excitement, physical exertion, and allow you deeply reflect? Find a space, be it private or shared, that serves you and your needs best.
Thai food is one of the most flavourful cuisines on the planet, and retreat centres in this area prepare a delicious menu of healthy, organic food; rich in colour and variety. Often, buffet-style meals are enjoyed as a group three times daily with an emphasis on mindful eating and reducing waste. In most cases, vegetarian cuisine is served, however this will depend on each individual space. Detox programs often limit or eliminate solid foods, providing tinctures of healthy, purifying drinks and natural fruit shakes. It is important to allow the host to become aware of any allergies or food intolerances prior to commencing your trip.
Why Retreat in Thailand
Thailand exudes a peaceful and harmonious energy. Friendly locals eagerly exchange warm glances and helping hands, eliminating any question as to why this area of the world has been labelled by many as, “the land of smiles”. Not only are the people generous and kind, but the natural landscape boasts a plethora of exciting activities to engage in while on vacation. Discover local markets, listen to the serene sounds of a tropical rainforest, rest your body on the warm sands of pristine beaches, and allow your interpretation of yoga to deepen as you bring your practice outside to a lush and undiscovered landscape.
Outcome of a Yoga Retreat
Everyone has a different intention as to why they choose to retreat themselves. However, time and time again, guests profess the same feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation at the end of their yoga package. For some, it’s the introduction they require to begin a practice at home, for others, a deeper level of self-realization is achieved. Regardless, the combination of activity, adventure, nature, connection, and healthy food improves the well-being of both body and mind; allowing guests to return back home feeling whole and happy.
So, what do you have to lose? Why not do something today that your future self will thank you for. Give yourself the gift of a yoga vacation abroad and see for yourself why people all over the world are signing up for a retreat away from the ordinary.