Here at Yoga Journal, we are fortunate to work with such a powerful network of renowned teachers—and this year, you can too! Book a retreat with one of our Yoga Journal Influencers and experience in-depth workshops in some of the most coveted locales in the world—from Yoga Nidra in the Rockies to women’s circles in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to meditating in exotic Uluwatu, Bali. Staying home? Follow these influencers’ retreat adventures on Facebook and Instagram via #YJInfluencer.
1. Yoga and Creativity Retreat: Unlock Your Inner Artist with Robert Sturman
March 9–11, 2018, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Curious how art, yoga, and the mind all come together? Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health has the answer in Robert Sturman’s workshop, Poses, Postures, and Photography. The weekend program melds aesthetics like coloring meditation and mala-making with how art can be felt through asana. There is a place for all creatives—whether you’re a photographer, model or muse. Sturman celebrates movement by capturing the physical body into expressive images using expert advice on composition, balance, and integration of yoga with the environment.
From $194 per night + $295 (tuition), kripalu.org
2. The Inner Wisdom Retreat with Sara Clark
March 10–17, 2018, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The casitas at Xinalani Retreat Center in Puerto Vallarta are like the treehouse you’ve always dreamed of—a sacred space within reach of your social circle—making the resort the perfect platform for Sara Clark’s women-only seven-night getaway. “When there is a sacred space for women to gather together, magic happens,” Clark says.” We laugh, we cry, we heal. As we speak our truths while being fully seen and heard in sisterhood, we give ourselves permission to step more into our power to change both our inner and outer world.” Let the coastal jungle surroundings catapult you into your intuitive nature, all the while nourishing your body with gourmet Mexican-inspired dishes. In addition to soul-warming women’s circles, the retreat wraps up with the new moon fire ceremony that sets the tone for new beginnings as you return home.
From $1,560, saraclarkyoga.com
3. Morocco Manifestations Retreat with Lauren Eckstrom
March 11–17, 2018, in Morocco
Holistic Yoga Flow, the brainchild of Lauren Eckstrom and Travis Eliot, invigorates the body and the mind through a seamless power vinyasa sequence. Traveling with the duo encompasses the gist of the practice as it brings balance to a whirlwind Morocco experience. You’ll get to om into the Atlas mountain range, barter for an original souvenir at the Marrakech souk, and take in the kaleidoscopic beauty of the Bahia Palace mosaics. Stay at the artsy and eco-friendly Fellah Hotel known for its Hammam-style aesthetic.
From $2,899, laureneckstrom.com
4. Relax, Renew & Restore: Lunar Flow & Spa Treatment with Denelle Numis
March 10 in San Francisco; March 21 in Edwards, CO; March 25 in Greenwood Village, CO
You may just be humming Jim Brickman’s lyrics—“I see the moon, the moon sees me. The moon sees somebody I want to see”—all the way home from Denelle Numis’ two-hour workshop. Prepare to find inner balance via a lunar vinyasa flow, followed by a BeautyCounter face mask and a brief Yoga Nidra practice. “Yoga is all about balance,” Numis says. “The balance of opposites to be exact. It is important to balance our solar yoga practice with a lunar practice.” The workshop will focus on slowing down and connecting to the moon’s energy cycle, the ida nadi. “[It’s] the more receptive side of our energy,” she adds.
5. Goddess Yoga Arts Gathering: Aphrodite with Sofiah Thom, Sianna Sherman, and Achintya Devi
April 21–26, 2018, in Chacala, Mexico
Let’s get one thing clear: a Tantric yoga practice has nothing in common with Sting’s personal endeavors. “Tantra can often be misunderstood,” Sofiah Thom says. “It is not simply about sex. Tantra literally means to weave, thus, we are weaving the strands of our diverse nature—masculine and feminine, light and shadow, spirit and flesh—into a unified whole once again. We don’t reject the body and its desires, but embrace it as a part of our awakening.” This Chacala, Mexico, escape includes afternoon workshops like Womb Meditation: Release Past Lovers and Restore Sexual Sovereignty and Aphrodite Dance: Reclaiming Your Feminine Essence. Afternoons are at your leisure, exploring the charming Pacific coast beach town, perhaps.
From $1,800, goddessyogaarts.com
See also The Truth About Tantra
6. Bali Coastal Retreat with Laura Burkhart
April 21–28, 2018, in Uluwatu, Bali
Come for the beaches of Uluwatu, leave with the intention to let go. Laura Burkhart’s twice-a-day yoga sessions will be a balance of workshop-style lessons, vinyasa flow classes, and restorative practices. “Most of us have busy lives and we don’t take the time needed to reboot,” Burkhart says. “Just like anything else that needs to be recharged, we need to do the same to function at our optimum. I think the best way to find total restoration, clarity, and to fully let go is by removing ourselves from our normal environment and go to a place where we can fully surrender in an environment that nurtures our body, mind and spirit.” When not on the mat, explore the nearby surf breaks and hiking trails in emerald jungles of Bali.
From $3,195 (Take 10% off using promo code YOGAJOURNAL), internationalyoga.com
7. Tour the Holy Land with Lauren Taus
May 15–22, 2018, in Israel
Look to the past to feel present during Lauren Taus’s all-inclusive Israel adventure. Taus, who has lived in and visited the Holy Land nearly 20 times, will guide her group through the ancient sites while partaking in tasting tours, and more—Tel Aviv, Tsfat, Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Masada, and Bin Gedi are all on the itinerary. “We will be guided the whole way,” Taus says. “We will spend time with locals everywhere—because I know them. It’s Israel the right way.” In addition to a daily yoga and a meditation practice, the retreat aims to highlight the country’s diversity as a way to reflect on one’s own personal divides.
From $3,500, laurentaus.com
8. Bali yoga retreat with Jacqueline Smyth
June 9–16, 2018, in Ubud, Bali
“Adventure is not only good for the soul, but it truly wakes you up to who you are and gives you a new perspective to move through life,” says Jacqueline (Jax) Smyth. “My retreat is designed to help bring that element out.” Come stay at the boutique Naya Ubud, nestled around rice fields, yet less than a 10-minute drive to the center of eventful Ubud. Your yoga pavilion is surrounded by tropical gardens, as you transition from “Sweaty Flows” to “Sweet Restoratives.” Smyth, a former Bali resident, will take you on off-the-mat adventures like middle-of-the-night expeditions to Mt. Agung and floating lanterns over rice paddies. You’ll start to notice a personal transformation faster than you can utter “Eat, Pray, Love.”
From $2,370, sisterhoodofthetravelingmats.com
9. Zanzibar with Heather Lilleston and Nina Orengo
June 17–24, 2018, in Zanzibar, Tanzania
We dare you to find waters as radiantly turquoise as off the coast of Tanzania. Let the Indian Ocean lap the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar as you Namaste into each new day with Heather Lilleston and Nina Orengo. “We teach a variety of yoga during our retreats to make sure that whatever we are engaged in makes us more receptive, aware and able to merge into the environment we are retreating in,” Lilleston says. “Zanzibar is rich in history, both positive and negative, and learning to sit with both of those energies—to be still, to feel, and to circulate—is what yoga is all about.” In your free time, explore with dolphins or awaken your taste buds on a spice tour. Come night, the stargazing will awe and humble even the best-traveled yogis.
From $1,980, yogaforbadpeople.com
10. A Forrest Yoga Gathering: Self-Care Traditions of the Past, Present, and Future with Erica Mather
June 29–July 1, 2018, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Erica Mather, one of the disciples of Ana Forrest and a Forrest Yoga “Guardian” instructor, will meet you at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health to share her principles on self-care. “Our notions about self-care are affected by our upbringing,” Mather says. “Understanding and cleaning up how we relate to ourselves based on past information is important to laying a solid foundation in the present and for the future.” The 100-acre hilltop property is surrounded by valleys, reminding visitors of the power and essence of time. “The beautiful grounds of Kripalu afford us the opportunity to interact with nature as part of our internal work,” she adds. Mather, along with three other Forrest yoga instructors, will talk about honoring ancestors as a path to preservation. While each morning will be spent on an asana practice, the afternoons are used for Ayurveda, ritual, and ceremony workshops. Into the woods you go.
From $194 per night + $295 (tuition), kripalu.org
11. Summer 2018 retreats at LUXYOGA with Benjamin Sears
Retreats June–July 2018 in the South of France
What do you get when you combine a yoga retreat with the French Riviera? A summer Francophile yogi dreams are made of. “People immediately drop a bit of shielding when they walk through the doors to panoramic views of the Côte d’Azur,” says LUXYOGA founder, Benjamin Sears, who is partnering with a range of yoga and wellness experts—from a doctor who can spot muscle imbalance to fellow YJ Influencer Erica Mather. First up on the roster, newly-added Yoga X BodyFit (June 21–27), which fuses traditional yoga with modern science. Hot Yoga Evolution (July 1–7) goes beyond the 26 postures by transcending effort into mindfulness. Those seeking to fine-tune their essence of positivity, might opt for Grace & Gratitude (July 11–17), a retreat that’s about “learning where to look.” For a more traditional selection, sign up for Vinyasa Yoga (July 22–28), an immersion-style retreat that pairs exceptionally well with Rosé and oysters.
From $2,985, luxyoga.com
12. Roots Retreats Presents: The Mountains Are Calling with Twee Merrigan
July 15–21, 2018, in Breckenridge, Colorado
This is one yoga retreat where you can leave your mat at home. “We balance on jagged rocks and smooth, round, fallen trees along the trails to better understand what we really have inside of us for when Life is not a solid surface covered with an eco-friendly yoga mat that we can count on to stay still,” Twee Merrigan says. “Who are you when your foundation crumbles or shifts?” Her Breckenridge retreat encompasses this idea by melding traditional yogic practices (sunrise meditation) with spirited outdoorsy activities (mountain biking) each day. The itinerary also includes hiking through the Rockies, Yoga Nidra in the forest, optional cannabis ceremonies, and gourmet vegan meals (purple pierogi, zucchini pasta with beetballs, and even coco-cinnamon ice cream!). Merrigan adds, “Yoga is all the time. Everywhere. It’s up to us individually, to consciously and mindfully embrace it the moment we become aware that it’s ‘All Yoga, All The Time’.”
From $1,295 (retreat only), accommodations from $244, rootsretreats.com
13. Cultivating Space with Meredith Cameron
August 2–5, 2018, in Sonoma, California
Spending four days exploring the 108-acre Lotus Retreat Center at Taylor Miad Farms in Sonoma, is a bit like entering a time capsule. Between wine tastings and herbal medicine class, linger in by the fresh water springs or tend to the harvesting for the evening’s Farm-to-Table feast. A peaceful energy permeates everything from revering the redwoods to embracing Vrksasana at sunset yoga. “Just as Mama Earth is constantly adjusting to always be at her highest vibration, so are we,” Meredith Cameron says.
From $849, meredithcameron.com
14. Affordable YTT with Jeffrey Posner
Modules offered March–August 2018
Look no further than Yoga Framework in North Haledon, New Jersey, to finesse your yoga teaching skills. This small township, just an hour northwest of New York City, is also where Jeffrey Posner teaches his incredible 50-hour modules—making it an ideal way to work on your hours with a flexible schedule. “My innate ability to convey subject matter methodically will ensure that you learn every aspect of teaching, detailed sequencing and other movement patterns,” Posner says. The Inversion, Arm Balance and Restorative module (March 3–4 and March 17–18; May 30–July 25) will demystify arm balances and inversions by applying physics and bandha control. Postures and Positioning (March 21–May 23) explores the sacred geometry and pranayama in Hatha yoga. While Teacher Blueprint (March 31–April 1 and April 14–15; August 1–October 3) delves into the business yoga and philosophy to apply to everything from meditation to prenatal yoga to injuries.
$850 for 50-hour module; yogaframework.com