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Yoga Inspiration

by Talia Goldenberg

Grab your mat. These ten locations are sure to get your heart pumping from your early morning practice to your nightly Om.

Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Big Island, HI

Awaken to your beachside view nestled beneath the palm leaves of Monkeypod trees in your personal tree house. Kalani's island retreat provides the lush setting to enhance or nurture your yoga practice. The retreat center offers a variety of yoga practices, including a year-round Introduction to Yoga workshop that brushes you up on the basics or a Yoga Escape for die-hard mantra seekers. At the sound of the conch shell, guests gather at an open veranda to savor the delicious menu, featuring seafood, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Complete your day with hula lessons, traditional lauhala weaving, or a ritualistic sweat ceremony in a lodge reconstructed from lava rock. (800) 800-6886,

Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, CO

Amidst a 600-acre mountain sanctuary of pine forests and meadows, you'll find the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya (the largest sacred Buddhist monument in North America) that will inspire personal growth during your self-directed retreat and renewal program at Shambhala. Choose from a variety of yoga retreats, including such styles as ashtanga and anusara; each retreat takes place in small, intimate groups to enhance your practice. The retreat includes three wholesome meals each day, as well as time to enjoy the mountain air on one of their eight hiking trails, and such unique classes as calligraphy.  (888) 788-7221,

New Age Health Spa, Neversink, NY

Open your heart during the monthly specialty yoga weekends offered at New Age Health Spa, where you'll be surrounded by the beautiful Catskill Mountains. Between the expert guest yoga instruction and the center's heated floors, you'll ease into enlightenment and clarity. Off the mat, explore the 280-acre property on the Alpine Tower climb or enjoy recreational walks amongst the groomed nature trails. Pamper yourself during the holistic Native Sun Purification treatment based on the spa's native roots utilizing herbs from the on-site greenhouses. Or, combine your yoga-centered experience with spa fare and juice fasting for optimal inner healing and cleansing. (800) 682-4348,

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, MA

Retreat to the quiet Berkshire Mountains for quality yoga instruction offered year-round from renowned gurus like Desiree Rumbaugh and Shiva Rea. The thriving center was founded in 1966 with a mission to heal mind, body, and spirit by capturing the vibrancy of daily activities. Achieve this through weekday yoga intensives or week-long retreats that will leave you refreshed, transformed, and inspired. When you're not practicing, indulge in one of their many healing modalities, or go outside your fitness comfort zone with a DansKinetics class.  (866) 200-5203,

Maya Tulum Wellness Retreat and Spa, Maya Tulum, Mexico

Find your rhythm with oceanside yoga fronting the azure Caribbean Sea in southern Mexico. Escape from your beachside thatched-roof cabana for beginner to expert yoga classes in round palapa huts for a new perspective on your practice. Afterward, experience an authentic Mayan belly massage, designed to cleanse your spirit and provide digestive relief.  Continue to connect with the rich Mayan culture by joining an eco-tour to the jungle-rich Coba ruins and caverns or to the hidden cenotes (underwater rivers) for a unique snorkeling experience. At day's end, be sure to find time to swing in your hammock. (888) 515-4580,

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

For years, yogis have retreated to this hidden coastline in majestic Big Sur, which features extraordinary cliffside natural hot springs. Step up your yoga practice by trying AcroYoga, which connects acrobatics, partner yoga, and Thai massage. Or, learn how to bring your yoga off the mat during the Awakening the Buddha retreat. Although yoga is the highlight at this acclaimed center, unleash your creative side at the Arts Center or artistically move through a variety of dance lessons taught at the Dance Dome. Five-acres of the property make up Esalen's farm and garden, so fresh and seasonal harvest is a guaranteed delight. (831) 667-3000,

COMO Shambhala Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos

An hour flight from Miami will bring you to this 1,000-acre private island located in the northern Caribbean. Parrot Cay's pearl-laced sand and calming sea will instantly connect you to nature's rhythms, awaken your quiet spirit, and inspire you to improve your lifestyle. Bodywork is an essential element of your COMO experience. Try world-renowned Maya Fiennes's Five Elements using Kundalini yoga to drive the fire, water, air, ether, and earth components of your personality. Or, use the yoga room to satisfy your sundown yoga cravings. Accompany your yoga days with touch therapy relief (like the Sun Soother), an eco-kayaking excursion, or organic cuisine and “power juices” for inside-out healing. (649) 946-7788,

Sedona Soul Adventures, Sedona, AZ

Be pulled to one of the world's acclaimed power spots, the Sedona Vortex. Located south of the Grand Canyon, this red-rock hillside is punctuated with pine forests and plateaus that come together to help unify your heartbeat with Mother Earth. At this one-of-a-kind spiritual retreat, a typical day may include sightseeing and hiking, Power Spot meditation, nurturing bodywork (from detoxifying wraps to breathwork), or finding balance through a guided spiritual retreat. (928) 204-5988,

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico

Situated beneath the cherished Mount Kuchumaa, during the month of August, this 3,000-acre destination spa will transform its Mexican roots into a yoga retreat haven. With Swami Veda Bharati as your guide and teacher, the new spiritual community will enhance the Ranch's natural setting and embrace the property's intentions of health and wellness for a life-changing experience. Treat yourself to other soul-nurturing extras like Broadway dance lessons, the popular Hot Riverstone Massage, or hands-on cooking classes at La Cocina Que Canta that will give a personal touch to the delightful organic cuisine. (800) 443-7565,

Pura Vida Wellness Retreat and Spa, Costa Rica

Just a mile above sea level, this rainforest setting hosts a unique yoga hideaway. Deepen your practice in one of five yoga halls with jungle to beach views that will keep your energy renewed. Start your day with homemade granola at the wholesome buffet and a trip to Shanti Hall for early morning yoga fulfillment. If you embark on the Mind-Body-Spirit Journey, you'll experience such eco-adventures as a wildlife refuge, windzipping, and an active volcano. After your salsa-dancing lesson, end your day with underwater yoga stretches and holds through Watsu therapy beneath the stars. (888) 767-7375,

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