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Yoga Retreats: The All-Inclusive Vacation for Recession Torn, (The Acceptable Splurge)

in Recession Yoga, YD News


Splurging on luxury is a real no-no in this crap economy, but what if it’s for a self-helpy learning experience?

If we’ve gained anything from the Recession, and the coinciding bubble of yoga in America, it’s that self-medication has no price tag. And a Reuters story like this is destined for syndication and a massive ripple effect, presumably like the last one. So who has the extra greenbacks to splurge on yoga retreats, you ask? Why, the same folks who’ve been shelling out for teacher trainings and stretchy yoga pants. And, really, who can blame them? When we’re not blogging, sleeping or yogaing you can usually find us spelunking for spare change in our cavernous bank accounts so we can afford our regular yoga classes and, *crossing fingers*, maybe a retreat some day. They always look so lovely!

But even the cash strapped and recently pink slipped are finding a way to the sands of respite:

“Several people I’ve spoken to in the last few weeks have said, ‘You know, I just lost my job and I really shouldn’t be doing this, but I need this retreat so-o-o badly,'” Wesleigh Roeca, who runs the retreat program at YogaWorks, said in an interview.

Then of course there are the guilty lot who feel bad jetting out for a lazy vacation of beach lounging and tiny umbrella drinks, so they’re opting for the all-inclusive, “self-transformation” holidays, some even sans alcohol! (Kripalu retreats have no alcohol policy). But the real draw is the all-inclusiveness, it’s a package deal: airfare, hotel (often 4-, 5-star), some meals, excursions, massages, and yoga, oh my! It’s a bargain! For the cash saddled it takes all the hard guess work out of “What DO I do in paradise?” and “What am I really gaining from my vacations besides temporary escape?”

Says Billy Asad, veteran corporate and studio yoga getaway planner,

“I book the hotel, I do everything. This idea of ‘I don’t want to think beyond booking my trip’ is becoming more mainstream.”

So if you haven’t blown your remaining fortune on gold bars and real estate, we suppose self-improvement isn’t the worst investment these days. Yogis and non alike can probably admit a retreat may be well worth the (possibly) necessary scrounging and penny pinching. (Full disclosure: we have yet to enjoy such pleasures of yoga on the beaches of Bali, or a similar tropical paradise, though we distinctly remember offering to climb in a few suitcases). However, keeping level heads level is important – in yoga, in life – and you can’t just blow your load on a week retreat! Or, maybe you can?

Lost your job? How many of you would go anyway?

Yoga Retreats: getting away from it all [Reuters]

EarlierTeaching Yoga: The New Waiting Tables for the Non-Rich

10 comments… add one
  • Yoga retreats are great. Yoga Worldwide has a great listing of may yoga retreats around the world.

  • For those in or near NYC, there’s always Ananda Ashram in Monroe NY (http://www.anandaashram.org/). It’s about an hour from the city (the bus ride is an hour and twenty) – and everything is pretty durn cheap. Mention my name when you get there and they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. It might kind of funny, though.

  • I guess the sort of yoga retreats I attend (private, no luxuries) probably aren’t those being described above. They aren’t about a nice holiday. They’re about inward focus, learning and more inward focus/contemplation.

    Does a yoga retreat where you sleep in a tiny bamboo hut with no electicity, running water or flushing toilet sound like anyone’s cup of tea? Oh yeah, when we’re not doing yoga, meditating or discussing yoga philosophy, we’re busy with the upkeep of the land (in the wilds of north-east Thailand), including emptying those non-flushable toilets, working in the permaculture garden and weed whacking.

    But this year, I’m not going. Yeah, I lost my job and can’t afford it. So my priorities are to continue my studies and practice here at home and oh yeah, finding ways to earn money again (which I haven’t done for the past three months!).

  • If you’re looking for a yoga retreat, consider the brand new Prana del Mar – http://pranadelmar.com – at the southern tip of Baja, Mexico. While only 20 minutes outside of Cabo San Lucas, it feels very remote and tranquil. Elegant oceanfront accommodations, delicious food, beautiful setting, and exceptionally serene. Comfy beds, organic linens, swimming pool, hot tub, travertine tile, spa facilities including massage, scrubs, reflexology, and more. Get there before it’s discovered!

  • GMan Smith

    I love the spam comments advertising in opposition to the message of the post.

  • sarah

    I´ve just been on a great yoga holiday at Casa de Carrasco in Spain and it only cost me €30 a day! That includes bed, breakfast and a great yoga class each morning. Can´t fault the hiking that surrounds this olive grove or the beautiful swimming pool, or the nearby beach….. Go there before the crowds do.

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