My top picks for your next yoga retreat

Over the years, retreats have become a popular way to travel. In my post on solo travel, I talked about how they can be a great way to dip your toes into going somewhere alone. They also can be a way to connect to new people while exploring a new place and practicing some self-care. I am so excited to be joining the retreat community as Roam & Wander will begin hosting retreats for women in 2020.

I reached out to some of my inspiring girlfriends to share their stories on how they came to host retreats all over the world. They all explained how their love for travel and self-exploration became the catalyst in creating their companies, and how it shifted them out of a comfort zone when a new experience called. Make sure to click on the links to learn more about their journeys, and how you can join one of their retreats.

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Teacher: Patricia Pinto

Company: Love Surf Yoga

What was the motivation behind becoming a yoga teacher?

I accidentally became a full-time yoga teacher after the collapse of the economy back in 2008. I was going to school and took my YTT to make extra money, and I couldn't find a job. After teaching for a few months and while still in school, I decided I wanted to devote myself to learning more, and healing myself with the tools yoga has to offer.

How did your retreats come about? (ps I hear you about winter!)

I was starting to dislike New York winters, and I've traveled since I was very young on budgets, with friends, boyfriends and alone, for surfing in particular. Although I am not an amazing surfer, I do enjoy empty line ups and little waves. I wanted to share the love of travel, yoga, and surfing; thus, Love Surf Yoga was born.

What is the main focus of your retreats? 

Seasoned yoga teachers with extensive knowledge of traditional yoga methods, pro surfers giving us tips, all mixed in with fun times. You don't have to be a surfer or a yogi to come, be open to spending time with great people, and allow you to invest yourself in self-care for a week. My favorite part of every single retreat is at the end when everyone has become a family.

Upcoming retreats include South Africa, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico

You can find her teaching stateside in NYC and Miami

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Teacher: Rebecca Bly

Company: My Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

What was the motivation behind becoming a yoga teacher?

I graduated from Teacher Training in 2006 and started teaching right away. It was simple; I loved yoga and loved helping people. I was completely unsatisfied with my day job. I started teaching at night and dubbed my day job as my "mortgage job," while my evening classes were my "spirit job."

How did your retreats come about?

I had been traveling to Costa Rica from D.C. for a surf camp for about six years when I decided I wanted to take my students there. Having been a "camper" for so many years through surf and other organized adventure travel groups, it was a natural, easy, and fun for me to expand into retreats.

What is the main focus of your retreats?

My goals when teaching are first and foremost to make everyone comfortable and help them to feel at home while they're away. Beyond that I encourage them in receiving whatever it is they need from their vacation; personal growth and opening, release, and relief, energy and confidence. My favorite part is having time to connect individually with everyone on retreat; nothing formalized or forced, but little conversations or story sharing over breakfast or on a beach walk. It's amazing to see how people open up, grow and change over the course of a short week; I think it's these moments that help.

Upcoming retreats include a Friendsgiving in Santa Teresa

You can find her teaching in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and Washington, D.C.

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Teacher: Katrin Schiskin

Company: Yoga With Katrin

What was the motivation behind becoming a yoga teacher?

I was going through a phase in life where I wanted to change my life. I left my financial services marketing job in London to live and connect with nature and the ocean. During this process, I decided I wanted to develop my practice and make sure I had the license if teaching yoga came up as an alternative on my new journey. Indeed it did! As soon as I moved to Costa Rica, I got my first class in a hostel, and I have been teaching ever since.

How did your retreats come about?

I now live on the beach in El Salvador. Knowing that yoga and surfing can be an excellent combination, I began to host private yoga and surf retreats in my house. Together with my friend and fellow yoga teacher Alexandra Pacheco, we have started yoga & surf retreats in a beautiful villa on the beach in El Zonte, El Salvador.

What is the main focus of your retreats?

Our main focus is for everyone to have fun! We achieve this by being in an environment where guests can connect to nature (especially the ocean), and themselves. Our goal is to create a feeling in the student that they can take time for themselves. Through that feeling, we hope guests will feel reinvigorated. 

Upcoming retreats in El Zonte, El Salvador 

You can find her teaching at Balancé and private instruction in El Salvador

Photo: Rich Lacey Photography

Photo: Rich Lacey Photography

Teacher: Alicia Ray

Company: Alicia Ray Wellbeing

What was the motivation behind becoming a yoga teacher?

It took me years to grow into an appreciation of yoga. Working as a fitness instructor I preferred high impact cardio classes and exercise that would make me sweat! I thought that this was the best way to de-stress and feel good. I discovered outdoor yoga whilst on a surf/yoga retreat in Portugal. I remember doing a vinyasa yoga class on a rooftop overlooking the sea at sunrise and this was a turning point for me. I went on to do surf/yoga retreats in Sri Lanka, Morocco and Costa Rica; each experience of yoga complimented my surfing perfectly and inspired me to continue my path towards becoming a yoga teacher which brings together so many elements that I hold as important for health and wellbeing. 

How did your retreats come about?

I experienced a difficult period in my life several years ago where a number of losses impacted on my ability to manage a high pressured job and stay ‘well’. I took some time out and flew to Sri Lanka where I inadvertently created my own retreat. I spent time in a beautiful place with nourishing food and a peaceful environment. I came back to the UK feeling revived and from this experience I learned that having some space away from things can enable a new perspective to emerge. I have worked for the National Health Service (in the UK) for over 15 years and have trained as a clinical psychologist, cognitive analytic therapist, cognitive behavioural therapist and systemic practitioner. This inspired me to support others to benefit from this type of space and develop a psychology-informed yoga and wellbeing retreat. 

What is the main focus of your retreats?

The focus of my Sri Lanka retreat is developing self compassion and acceptance. My aim is for guests to experience tranquillity, find balance and restore their sense of wellbeing. I have carefully selected a package of boutique style accommodation, delicious and nourishing food and daily wellbeing activities that will take care of mind, body and soul. The retreat incorporates twice daily yoga, mindfulness and pranayama, wellbeing workshops and an individual wellbeing consultation combined with carefully selected excursions to allow guests connect to nature and to the Sri Lankan culture. 

Upcoming retreats in Cornwall, UK and Sri Lanka

You can find Alicia teaching in her community of Cornwall and in the summer months, on beautiful Gwithian Beach


Nikki FlamingComment