For serious and passionate yoga practitioners, going to a yoga retreat center can feel like a visit to Disneyland. Retreats immerse you into the yoga practices, both on and off the mat. Also, working with an experienced teacher for an extended period of time can significantly deepen and expand your practice. While you can book a retreat just about anywhere in the world, there’s an array of benefits that you can experience when you attend a yoga retreat in Southeast Asia.
Benefits of Yoga in Southeast Asia
People explore Southeast Asia for a broad range of reasons. But one of the best benefits of a yoga retreat in this area is the low cost. This area covers the countries of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. By going on a yoga retreat in these countries, not only will your understanding and knowledge of yoga be deepened, but you’ll also be immersed in various cultures.
Southeast Asia offers a variety of options for the budget-conscious yogi, whether you’re traveling as an individual or with a friend or partner. For most countries on this continent, you can plan to spend as little as $35 to $40 per day for general travel and meals. If you’re particularly thrifty and skilled, you can get by in some areas on a mere $15 a day. Expect to spend $40 to $120 a night for an inclusive yoga retreat center in this part of the world. The cheapest rates among these counties are in Bali and Thailand.
For example, the Bali yoga retreat at the Blooming Lotus Yoga Institute offers an all-inclusive 4-day retreat that includes two daily yoga classes, two workshops, two vegan meals per day, and one cultural event for $400.
To reduce your costs even further, you may be able to volunteer or do a work exchange. The lack of expenses makes it easier to fully embrace and experience the culture and society around you.
Healthy and delicious food
The food in Southeast Asia is one of the top reasons one may express interest in visiting the continent. You can explore local food markets, try out street vendors, and dive into the delicious cuisine available. In these countries, there’s a range of tasty foods to enjoy, such as Malaysia curry, Thai Som Tam, and Khao Soi. The local food is vibrant, delicious, and often vegetarian or otherwise health-conscious, which can only further boost your yoga experience.
Most yoga retreats will include 2-3 meals per day in their rates, but beverages and snacks are usually extra.
Connect with nature
Southeast Asia consists of beautiful coastlines, dense jungles, and many other natural attractions that can appeal to any yogi. Most yoga retreat centers in this part of the world will be located on a beach or surrounded by tropical jungle. You can perform morning yoga along the beaches in Indonesia and the Philippines, where you can see an array of marine life. These beautiful surroundings can help you feel more deeply connected to the world around you, whether you’d like to lay out under the stars on the beach or go to elephants on a wildlife expedition.
Rich culture, deep history
The continent is home to a wide range of different cultures, beliefs, customs, languages, lifestyles, and traditions that you can get to know on a yoga retreat. You can learn first-hand about the primary religions of the countries. Most of the inhabitants of Southeast Asia have deep knowledge and belief in Buddhism or Hinduism, which align closely with the yogic philosophy and practices. Studying and practicing yoga and meditation in a society that embraces and values these practices is a huge cultural shift and powerful experience for westerners.
Southeast Asia has a strong infrastructure that makes traveling and exploring the surrounding countries a breeze. There are plenty of trains, busses, and other systems to choose from that allow you to get around without spending a lot of money. Usually, a yoga retreat doesn’t offer travel accommodations, so you always need to factor in local travel costs in the total cost of your retreat.
Southeast Asia is close to the equator and primarily has a tropical climate, which means the weather is mostly hot, dry, and wet. This can feel amazing, allowing you to remain in shorts, go swimming, and otherwise feel comfortable and relaxed.
Warm tropical weather is especially conducive for going deep in your yoga stretches. The ideal time of the year to visit Southeast Asia is from November to April since the temperatures are milder. Temperatures can vary drastically—the beaches can be warm while the mountains can be chilly.
Note that the monsoon rainy season is usually between the months of June to October, so you may wish to avoid travel during these months.
The intent of booking a yoga retreat is to support the health of your emotional and physical well-being. Perhaps you’ve injured yourself recently and could use some gentle relaxation as your body heals itself. Maybe you need to consider upcoming changes in your life and would like to prepare for the experience. Whatever you need, a yoga retreat can offer the time, exercises, and treatments necessary to boost your health.
Spa treatments, massage and, alternative healing therapies are abundant and affordable in Southeast Asia. So, take advantage and spoil yourself to deepen your healing experience.
There are many types of yoga retreats that you can choose from in Southeast Asia. Most offer unique accommodations, meditation, yoga classes, meals, spa treatments, and more. With so many selections, you’re sure to find a wonderful yoga retreat that can suit your budget. For the best experience, take some time to fully plan your yoga retreat and research the best yoga travel gear to pack.
When you leave a yoga retreat, you’ll have a range of new experiences that one simply couldn’t find anywhere. From immersing yourself in the deep history of the region to experiencing the beautiful solitude offered by the natural environment, you’ll leave with a stronger understanding of this part of the world and its people.