If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. By taking a yoga retreat, and even becoming a certified yoga instructor, you will learn to balance stress and alleviate anxiety so that you can lead a healthier lifestyle.
When you learn the proper techniques of yoga from expert practitioners and instructors, you’ll deepen your understanding of this ancient form of exercise. You’ll increase your strength and flexibility, both physically and mentally. And if you let it, a yoga retreat can be a turning point in your life. Here are a few reasons why this is a great idea:
- Take your yoga practice to the next level
- Create a new exercise routine that lasts
- Learn how to meditate and breathe properly
- Let go of the negative and start each day fresh
- Become mindful and witness what’s happening around you
- Replace unhealthy habits with new, better ones
- Rest, relax, and gain a new perspective of the world
- Detox your body and your mind, and detox from the digital world
Combining a yoga retreat with a volunteer trip can be an amazing way to change your worldview, do good for a community in need, and have a chance to renew, refocus, and reenergize. International Volunteer HQ offers a variety of opportunities where you can do just that, in Bali, Costa Rica, India, and beyond.
Another reason to consider a yoga retreat is that you’ll meet like-minded people. You’ve already got a common interest, so you can spend more time learning from each other, sharing new interests, and even consider becoming a yogi. That’s right: you can use yoga teaching/training retreats to test the waters and decide if certification as a yoga instructor is right for you. Maximo Nivel offers certification courses in Latin America that will set you on the path toward a career in teaching what you love!
Taking a break and focusing on self-care is critical to your health. If your health isn’t the best, and you’d love to boost your immune system, sign up for a yoga and meditation retreat that includes Ayurveda medicine. Frontier whisks you away to India, where yoga was created, and gives you a firm foundation in the subject.
And if you’re up for an adventure trip that combines volunteering with a yoga retreat, then take a look at Love Volunteers’ program in Palampur, India. You can go paragliding in the Himalayas and hike to a mountaintop temple.
Disconnect from the hustle of every day, and leave technology and social media behind on a travel experience abroad to Bali, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Morocco, and beyond. Check out the locations and recommendations below!
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Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ works with local organizations and NGOs in more than 40 countries, providing 200 affordable and safe projects worldwide. A trusted volunteer organization, IVHQ sends more than 10,000 people abroad annually, connecting travelers with meaningful projects.
A Bali retreat in Ubud lets you pair classes at The Yoga Barn with one of six IVHQ volunteer projects: Construction and Renovation, Environmental, Healthcare Education, Kindergarten, Teaching, and Turtle Conservation. This is a DIY environment that’s flexible and friendly. Choose from workshops and classes that teach you Yoga, Dance, Meditation, Ayurveda, Detox, Breathwork, and Healing modalities. Fees start at $295 for a volunteer program, and you can add on an energizing yoga retreat.
There are numerous volunteer projects in Costa Rica that you can combine with a DIY Yoga Retreat at Downtown Yoga in San Jose. Choose from IVHQ’s programs in Childcare, Healthcare, Construction and Renovation, Teaching English, or Special Needs Care in the capital city. This is a perfect place to challenge yourself since adventure is never far away. San Jose is surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, and rainforests, so it’s a hiking paradise with lush, quiet places for meditation. Program fees start at $345 for one week.
IVHQ offers an excellent family-friendly volunteer and yoga retreat in Indonesia on the beautiful island of Simeulue. When you’re not helping to conserve the ecosystem, you can take part in a yoga/surf camp. This active program puts you on an island conservation project conducting bird surveys, gardening, community education, and marine surveys. Yoga classes are offered in the morning and afternoon and are included in the program fee of $660 for one week.
Experience yoga and meditation in the home of yoga with IVHQ’s yoga teaching/training retreats in Kerala, India. Participate in an authentic and immersive ashram set on the Arabian Sea. Volunteer placements are located in the city of Kochi, and range from Kindergarten, Teaching, Medical, Dentistry, Women’s Education, and Special Needs Care. Add a week onto your volunteer experience to detox, cleanse, and relax with Ayurveda – an archaic and holistic system that is still part of the Indian traditional healthcare. Fees begin at $360 for the India experience.
The Mexico volunteer program offered by IVHQ is based in Merida, which you can follow with a week at the Amansala Yoga Retreat in Tulum. Choose from Teaching English, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care/Animal Rights, and Maya Agriculture as a volunteer project, and then disconnect and practice yoga each day at Amansala, an eco-friendly retreat preferred by yogis worldwide. Tulum is known for its white beaches, turquoise waters, and Mayan ruins. Volunteer program fees begin at $270 for one week.
Find yourself amid ancient Buddhist temples and tropical beaches in Thailand with IVHQ’s volunteer and yoga retreat combo. This option places you in Chiang Rai, famous for its breathtaking mountain scenery and historic religious sites. Find your focus within the community as you volunteer in a village with Outdoor Work, Teaching English, or Childcare. Follow up your week of hard work with a relaxing retreat at The Sanctuary on Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand, or at The Yoga Tree in Chiang Mai. Program fees start at $320 for one week.
Travel to multicultural, colorful Morocco for a volunteer and yoga retreat that places you in a historic city between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Journey to Rabat for a volunteer project that helps with Childcare, Teaching English, Teaching French, Women’s Education, or Sports Development. Take language lessons and learn Arabic or French. After your week of volunteering, practice yoga at sunrise and surf the waves at sunset with Surf Star Morocco, or enjoy an all-inclusive yoga holiday in Marrakech with Revealing Vajra. Program fees for volunteer programs start at $310 for one week.
Since its start in 2003, Maximo Nivel has worked with more than 25,000 travelers, placing 4,000 people each year on educational, adventurous, and cultural travel programs. This organization offers safe, affordable, and high-quality volunteer programs as well as internships, language courses, and teaching certifications, and yoga teacher training retreats in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.
If you are passionate about yoga and are ready to take the next step, consider a certification course through Maximo Nivel that helps you launch a healthy, balanced career as a yoga instructor. Yoga teacher certification courses are set in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru – some of the most breathtaking locations in Latin America. You’ll spend 200 hours on the course, learning the basics in Techniques, Training, and Practice, followed by Teaching Methodology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Yoga Philosophy. Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers round out the course, leading to a 10-hour Practicum. Maximo Nivel’s RYT 200 Yoga Instructor Certification courses follow Yoga Alliance teacher training requirements. Get started today!
Founded in 2009, Love Volunteers has placed more than 20,000 travelers on trusted, highly-rated volunteer projects worldwide. Transparent, low-cost fees are a mainstay with Love Volunteers, with programs starting at only $280. Love Volunteers offers more than 120 different projects to choose from in 34 countries worldwide, including volunteer yoga teacher programs.
Combine a volunteer experience with a yoga adventure in Palampur, India with Love Volunteers. Located in the “Tea Capital of North India,” Palampur is a hill station in the Kangra Valley. Numerous streams flow from the nearby Himalaya Mountains to the valley, where the tea bush thrives. With this volunteer yoga program, you’ll visit the internationally famous tea gardens and plantations while in Palampur, as well as the popular markets, which sell everything from groceries to appliances. Hike through thick oak and rhododendron forests to the region’s highest point, the Birni Mata temple, while you’re there for amazing views and inspiration.
On this volunteer placement, you’ll help at daycare centers, lending a hand to renovate and paint rooms and buildings. You’ll also provide companionship to young children, teaching them a little English while you’re visiting. You’re welcome to bring small presents of arts and crafts and toys as gifts for the disadvantaged children.
Take time during your placement to learn and practice yoga and meditation. Expand your senses with a trip to the serene and divine Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery, and meditate in the hall there. Another must-see is the Shiva Temple, just 16km from Palampur. Built in the 12th century, it’s one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva and is a marvel with spellbinding craftsmanship and pristine grounds.
You’ll fly into Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and then transfer to Palampur, which is connected by road to all major cities. During the orientation session, you’ll learn about safety, basic culture, and history. Take this time to meet other volunteers and make travel plans. The volunteer house features dormitory-style rooms, Western-style bathrooms, and hot showers. Internet is provided, as well as meals. Volunteer yoga program fees start at $909 for two weeks. Read more about this exciting adventure.
Frontier places volunteer travelers on more than 400 programs in 60 countries, with an emphasis on projects that provide sustainable livelihoods for local communities. Founded in 1989, Frontier is a nonprofit conservation and development NGO with an interest in safeguarding biodiversity. Its projects range from community development, education, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, humanitarian, and research and conservation.
Regain balance and realign your priorities on an India Yoga Retreat with Frontier. Embrace the traditional practices of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda medicine to improve your mind and your body on this two-week retreat. This retreat will give you an in-depth understanding of yoga, making it one of the most educational yoga teacher training retreats. With an emphasis on lifestyle and dietary changes, you’ll see an immediate improvement in your energy levels. Learn how to combine meditation, the use of herbs, body purification processes, eating of whole and healthy food, and the chanting of mantras to transform your body and to fulfill the four aims of life: dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (liberation).
On this retreat, you’ll immerse yourself into a daily practice of yoga and meditation, massage, relaxation, and Ayurveda treatments. Improve your posture as you’re instructed by expert yogis, and relieve yourself of stress and anxiety through guided meditation.
Your first week is spent exploring the history and culture of Goa, and taking language lessons to deepen your understanding of the Indian philosophy of yoga and meditation. This kind of experience is only possible at a yoga teacher training overseas trip like this one. Goa is a popular destination for travelers because of its tropical climate, its clean beaches, venerable temples, and world heritage architecture.
You’ll spend your next week immersed in the study of yoga and Ayurveda, taking time each morning for self-guided yoga and meditation starting at sunrise. Fill your days with walks in the gardens and relaxation. Afternoon sessions are filled with lessons about Ayurveda, as well as meditation, massage, and breathing techniques. Cleanse your body with Ayurvedic medicinal treatments that include herbs, oils, and body scrubs.
Accommodations are comfortable with shared rooms, with vegetarian meals provided. The cost of this program is $1,295 for two weeks. Reserve your retreat here!
Start Planning Your Yoga Retreat Today!
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a devoted daily practitioner of yoga and meditation, you’ll learn something new and useful on a yoga retreat. When you combine a self-care retreat with a volunteer placement, you’ll be doubly blessed. With options that include volunteer programs and yoga centers in mountains, beaches, deserts, and rainforests, you’re never at a loss for inspirational surroundings.
When you’re finished with your yoga retreat, you’ll bring more than memories home with you. You’ll have created new habits and introduced positive change into your life. You’ll be able to wake up every morning, and stretch and greet the sun with a smile on your face and a lightness in your heart for having not only helped others but also helped yourself.
Robin Van Auken · Writer
Robin is a researcher, writer, and a registered professional archaeologist, a skillset she uses every day as a cultural communication specialist with Hands-on Heritage. Her projects connect communities with an emphasis on interpretation and education and conserve cultural and environmental legacies.