If you’re into yoga – or perhaps trying to get into it – you might want to think about going on a yoga retreat. Not only will a yoga holiday allow you to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation, but it’ll also go a long way in helping you become stronger, fitter, calmer, and more present — and to develop better flexibility and balance too.
Yoga retreats and breaks have become so popular that these days there’s something for everyone. There are beginner workshops and high-intensity classes — as well as retreats on far-flung exotic shores and in the beautiful countryside of the UK. So, your perfect yoga holiday could be just around the corner.
To get you inspired, here are nine of the best yoga holidays and retreats in the UK and abroad.
1. Tilton House, East Sussex, England
If you’re based in South England, you might want to head to Tilton House in East Sussex. Deep in the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this elegant and historic country house provides guests with a profound sense of calm — and with acres of land to explore and luxurious facilities, you can spend weeks here and not get bored.
Tilton House runs up to three yoga classes a day, including vinyasa and yin-based yoga, and there are also chances to do yoga in a candlelit woodland yurt. There are many different types of yoga retreats too, from women’s wellness to mindfulness and sound healing. You can kick back in the sauna, read in front of a roaring fire, treat yourself to an indulgent massage, or simply sit and relax beneath the stars.
The food here is excellent, and many ingredients are grown in the orchard and kitchen garden, or foraged from Tilton Wood. Menus are clean, light, and delicious, featuring everything from ginger shots and green juices to hearty soups and filling dinners packed with plant protein. Plus, just gazing out at the views from the grand arched windows will go a long way to reducing stress!
2. EcoYoga, Argyll, Scotland
If you want to get away from it all by making the most of the healing and restorative power of nature, why not head to EcoYoga in the Scottish highlands?
Surrounded by dense forests and gleaming lochs, with rugged hills all around, this is a retreat that’s just as suited to nature lovers as it is to yoga enthusiasts.
Ashtanga yoga is the main focus here, and there are usually two two-hour classes a day, as well as chanting, yoga workshops and talks, and mindfulness classes — though you can also do plenty of Iyengar yoga.
Meals are vegetarian and ingredients are picked fresh from the veggie garden (but there are also delicious raw chocolate cakes on offer too!).
EcoYoga is a retreat that’s shaped by its gorgeous natural surroundings. You can enjoy hot soaks and cold plunges in the outside bathing areas, which are dotted around the trees, and relax in the hot tub under a glass geodesic dome. Even from inside the yoga studio, you can admire views of the River Liever gorge.
Guests are encouraged to get involved in as much, or as little, as they like.
3. The Clover Mill, Worcestershire, England
While there are many modern types of alternative medicine and wellbeing, one of the oldest is Ayurveda, an ancient health system that has roots in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Ayurveda states that all followers are made up of three different doshas (bodily energies), and finding balance is essential for both physical and mental health.
When clinical research scientist Julie Dent couldn’t find a high-quality ayurvedic centre in the UK, she opened her own — and The Clover Mill was born.
Located in a converted watermill in the rolling hills of the Worcestershire countryside, followers here are individually assessed to see which doshas need more attention, and then personalised treatment plans are drawn up.
Days begin and end with yoga sessions, guided meditations, mindfulness classes, and personalised ayurvedic treatments. The meals are delicious, healthy, and vegetarian, with much of the veg grown in the mill’s gardens.
With comfortable eco-lodges to stay in, luxurious spa facilities, and relaxing workshops, it’s the ultimate wellbeing escape. Retreats are for two to five days.
4. The Zest Life, Anglesey, Wales
If you want to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities while also enjoying a peaceful yoga retreat, then you might want to head to Anglesey Island in Wales.
The Zest Life is nestled in the pristine Plas Cadnant estate. It boasts mesmerising views of Snowdonia National Park; offering a unique holiday that combines the benefits of yoga with plenty of other exhilarating adventures.
Upbeat physical exercise is the order of the day here. You can enjoy plenty of wild swimming and stand-up paddle-boarding in some of North Wales’ most beautiful lakes, hike up Mount Snowdon, run along the beach (getting tips from triathlete coaches), practise pilates, and enjoy as much foraging, detoxing, fitness, and relaxation as you like.
And of course, there’s plenty of yoga too. Days begin and end with restorative yoga classes that’ll give you an energy boost in the morning and help you wind down (and soothe aching muscles!) in the evening. You can pair your yoga classes with music or meditation, and swap between vinyasa flow and yin sessions.
Food is vegetarian, with menus based around the seasons.
5. Dhanakosa, Loch Lomond, Scotland
There’s no shortage of super luxurious yoga retreats throughout the country, but if you’d prefer to get back to basics and enjoy more of a no-frills yoga holiday, you might want to head to Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat Centre.
Located in the breathtaking Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, this is a retreat that’s all about stripped-back serenity.
Following traditional Buddhist practices, Dhanakosa is suited to people who want to experience a more serious yoga retreat — one where you can enjoy long periods of silent reflection, meaningful meditation sessions, and creative discussions about Buddhism, health, and wellbeing.
Given the astounding natural beauty of the local area, it’s no surprise that being outdoors is a key part of these retreats. You can enjoy hillwalking, Tai Chi, arts, and alternative health classes, and sit down to delicious and wholesome vegan food.
While you’ll be cooked for and looked after, the community feel of this retreat means you’re welcome to help with the washing up!
6. Como Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia
Bali definitely isn’t short of yoga retreats, but Como Shambhala Estate is undeniably one of the best. Found just a few miles outside of Ubud, Bali’s spiritual centre, this stylish retreat looks out onto a lush valley where you’ll feel at peace the moment you arrive. The air smells like flowers, frogs sing in the trees, and a warm breeze rustles through the garden.
If you’re interested in ayurvedic practices and want to improve your overall health as well as your yoga skills, you’re in luck, as the programme here is all about keeping your body balanced — not just with yoga sessions but with healthy food and treatments. Many guests leave having lost large amounts of weight; some fast, some detox, and some just enjoy eating healthy, light Asian food.
In terms of treatments, the Indonesian massage is one of the most indulgent, but you can also wander down the ravine to swim in the sacred pool that’s blessed by priests every morning. The perfect pH balance of the water might leave you feeling as rejuvenated as the yoga sessions themselves — and the views of the emerald rice fields glinting in the distance are just an extra perk.
7. Chaya Yoga Retreats, Goa, India
You can’t write about the best yoga holidays in the world and not include an Indian retreat.
As the original home of yoga, India has been attracting yoga enthusiasts for many years, but if you’re looking for a retreat that feels like a relaxing holiday, look no further than Chaya Yoga Retreats. Just a short walk from Goa’s Ashvem beach, this location is a tropical paradise.
Over the past 10 years, the founders of Chaya Yoga have created over 60 bespoke yoga retreats all across the world, but the Goa centre is arguably the most beautiful. Located around a pretty pool and courtyard in the midst of a lush oasis, the accommodation here is sleek and minimalist, and it’s the perfect place to rest your body and recharge your mind.
There are lots of different types of yoga and relaxation exercises you can get involved with during your stay; you can attend breathwork classes, get to grips with meditation and chanting, and participate in inspiring workshops.
The plant-based food served up is also fresh and delicious, and there are group activities you can attend too, from beach visits to night market trips.
8. Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand
Another exotic retreat which enjoys a truly idyllic setting is Kamalaya, on the Thai island of Koh Samui.
As the brainchild of a former monk and Asian art dealer, this estate is the perfect balance of tranquillity and creative style. Rooms and villas are dotted among lush gardens packed with pristine ponds and tumbling waterfalls, and the views down to the Gulf of Thailand are breathtaking.
As well as yoga, there’s a focus on herbalism here (over 40 species of medicinal plants grow in the surrounding area), and many of the treatments highlight the healing power of these plants. The range of programmes here is exceptional, and Ayurvedic, Chinese, Indian, and Thai therapies are used. You can also take advantage of Reiki, Shirodhara, and Taoist deep abdominal massage.
Each session can be tailored by expert therapists, so if you’re looking for a personalised experience, you won’t be disappointed. There are lots of programmes here designed to boost mental health too, from one-to-one mentoring to mindfulness.
Kamalaya’s superfood-laden meals are delicious and packed with fresh, fragrant flavours, and meals are prepared slowly to preserve nutrients.
9. Castello di Potentino, Tuscany, Italy
Yoga retreats may be known for serving up healthy plant-based food and encouraging guests to detox, but that isn’t for everyone.
If you enjoy tucking into indulgent food and fine wine on your holidays and want to enjoy doing just that on your yoga retreat, you’re in luck. Recently there’s been a rise in ‘wine and wellness’ retreats, and Tuscany’s Castello di Potentino is one of the best.
This is a yoga retreat that’s perfect for foodies looking to indulge and treat themselves – while still finding plenty of time to dedicate to yoga. Castello di Potentino is positioned in a medieval castle surrounded by gnarled olive trees and vineyards — so you can spend your days sipping wine, feasting on delicious Italian food, and unwinding with daily ashtanga vinyasa sessions by the castle’s freshwater outdoor pool.
You can also attend cooking classes with Michelin-starred Italian chefs, where you’ll learn to make pasta from scratch, knock up the perfect risotto, and make traditional Tuscan dishes.
When you leave, you’ll also have acquired an official wine certification – so who knows, this could be the start of a new career! All this pleasure doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, it’s ideal.
Yoga has extraordinary health benefits, and aside from improving strength and flexibility, boosting energy levels and concentration, and aiding weight loss and sleep, it can also improve happiness levels, reduce stress, and help you become more self-aware and mindful.
A yoga retreat can be the ideal way to relax and get away from it all — and you might find you leave feeling like a whole new person. While there’s no shortage of luxurious yoga retreats located in exotic destinations, we hope this article has shown that there are also excellent retreats on our own shores too.
If you’re thinking about getting into yoga or you’re fairly new to it, you might want to have a read of our introductory guide. Or for more travel inspiration, you’ll find plenty of ideas in the relevant section of our website here.