Yoga

For many of us, long days at the office, stress, and errands can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle. So we often look at our vacations not as a chance for a calorie binge (well, not always), but as a chance to hit the reset button and get back to our exercise and fitness regimens. And those who do manage to stay fit year-round may not want to part with their healthy lifestyle choices when they go away for a week or two. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the mind-body connection — and considering that September is Yoga Month, it feels like there’s no better time for a calming, healthy getaway. From a rustic yoga retreat to a luxe private island escape, these are the 14 best spots for a health and wellness vacation.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas

Yoga Retreat

Those looking for a relaxed vacation with some yoga thrown in should look elsewhere. This is a serious ashram by an established group (there are nine Sivananda Yoga Ashrams throughout the world) and the 5:30 a.m. wake-up bell proves it. Guests focus on postures, breathing, positive thinking, and meditation, and have some free time to take advantage of the beautiful beach setting. Seemingly a world away from neighboring mega-resort Atlantis, this five-and-a-half acre oasis has a range of accommodations from tents to Beachfront Suites (most rooms have shared bathrooms, though). Two vegetarian meals are prepared daily right after each two-hour yoga class , while morning and evening satsangs (a mix of meditation, chanting, lectures, singing and dancing) help create a sense of community. Extra workshops and lectures are built into the daily schedule, and there’s a wellbeing center for massage treatments and Ayurvedic body treatments.

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September is National Yoga Month — who knew?! Back in 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services decreed this be a month dedicated to sharing the health benefits of yoga and inspiring a healthy lifestyle. Throughout September, there will be nationwide yoga events that individuals of every skill level can participate in, culminating in “The Time for Yoga,” a global community yoga session taking place on September 30. Everyone can also sign up for one free week of yoga through the organization’s website. Basically, you have a month to get zen (for cheap) — don’t squander it! Even if you’re on vacation. Hotels sometimes come equipped with the best fitness spaces you’ll find, yoga mats included, and we’ve picked out our favorite hotels where finding your inner peace is made just a tad easier:

Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa, Maui

Morning yoga sessions on the beach at Maui’s Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa.

With one of the best pools in Hawaii, a top spa, and a prime location on one of Maui’s best beaches, its hard to find a flaw at the opulent Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa, where beach-side yoga is free every morning. Is there a more perfect way to greet the day?
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Believe it or not, there's free yoga to be had in NYC

For you yoga lovers, flowing through poses is an important weekly (if not more) ritual. But, when you’re caught in the whirlwind that is “vacation,” visiting your yoga mat can be tricky. Fortunately, if you’re visiting New York City we’ve got good news for you. In the heart of the East Village on St. Marks Place, Yoga to the People makes keeping up your yoga, while traveling, easy. The studio offers several free, hour-long classes daily where you can stop in, stretch out, and take off to continue your NYC trip. Stay at the Bowery Hotel near Yoga to the People in the East Village.

About the Classes:

Classes cater to all levels of yoga (beginning, intermediate and difficult). Whether this is your first yoga class, or you’ve been practicing for years, you’ll be challenged, encouraged and reminded to attend to your body and your breath because it’s your practice. With a free-spirited, non-competitive atmosphere, this studio epitomizes the relationship between flow and breath, between body and earth. Yoga to the People’s experienced teachers will offer you a series of flows that explore your limitations.

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The Pool at the W South Beach

The Pool at the W South Beach

South Beachers have been holding back some pretty guilty smiles on FaceBook and Twitter pages recently as tales of shoveling out from Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse overwhelm their friend’s updates. We know it’s hard to handle grey days of frost and slush but it’s also hard not to reply, “Hey! I’m tanning right now and your snowbound stories are messing with my Bliss!”

If you have had enough of the wicked winter weather, here are a few easy steps to realigning your chi (or just defrosting your toes) on South Beach. Read More »

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