There are a lot of these to choose from all over the world, and new ones are sprouting up every where so there’s a large choice of destinations at any time of the year! Sun destinations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, and the south of France tend to be most popular in the European summer while in the winter; India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mexico and the Caribbean tend to be favourites. There are also a number of other locations which don’t emphasise the ‘sun’ part including Scotland, various parts of England, Ireland, Finland, Canada, Austria to name just a few. Even thought they might not be right up on the beach, these venues are chosen for their quietness and are far more suited to the practice of yoga than large tourist resorts.
Be clear on what you want
Are you going primarily for yoga, or primarily for a holiday? How much yoga to you want to do every day?. Club Med have had yoga teachers for many years in some of their resorts, they might be suitable choice for someone just wanting to do a couple of hours with plenty of fun and sun in between :), but they wouldn’t even think of calling themselves a yoga holiday resort.
A distinction is often made between yoga holidays and a yoga retreats, but it is not always clear. Generally speaking, a yoga holiday is primarily an activity holiday. The time devoted daily to yoga usually won’t exceed three hours, in one, or possibly two daily classes, and you will have time for other activities or just to relax and chill out. The location should reflect this, with a beach or other notable attractions nearby. Yoga holidays will nearly always cater for beginners.
On a retreat, on the other hand, the yoga schedule is likely to be more intense, possibly including some meditation, times of silence, etc. The main focus is no longer to enjoy yourself on holiday, but to deepen your yoga practice. Again, the choice of location should reflect this, with a quiet, possibly remote location. Retreats should be fully residential, the food vegetarian, and meal times carefully thought out to fit smoothly within the daily yoga routine. You will find more ‘hard core’ yogis and yoginis on retreats, and the overall atmosphere can be quite serious, with much less ‘free’ time. Unless you are quite certain that yoga is your thing, and want to move your practice to the next level, a yoga holiday rather than a yoga retreat is the best choice for your first time doing yoga away from home.
Decide whether you going alone, or with a friend
Going alone is not a problem. In fact, the vast majority of people going on yoga course go on their own. A few yoga centres will welcome guests who don’t do yoga, but in most cases, and certainly in the case of a retreat, yoga should be a shared interest with your prospective travel companion, so if you don’t want to go alone, a yoga buddy is a far better choice than your new boyfriend (unless, of course, you met him on a yoga weekend!)