With this year’s International Day of Yoga being celebrated tomorrow, Sabi Phagura looks at some of the amazing places where yoga can be performed across the globe once destinations start to welcome back visitors.
In the face of this global pandemic, we all need to take time out for ourselves to destress and look after our physical and mental wellbeing. And while this can be done in numerous ways, from healthy eating to exercise, to spending time in nature and going for walks, yoga could be argued that it trumps them all.
And the arrival of International Day of Yoga 2020 this Sunday (21st June) could not have been better timing. The day is observed annually to spread awareness and the effects of yoga to everyone. The word ‘yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit, which means to ‘join’ or ‘unite’. It’s a powerful tool to deal with stress and uncertainty, as well as giving the body great physical strength.
And because yoga can be done anywhere, including from the comfort of your own home, it’s no surprise then that the discipline has garnered popularity during the Covid-19 outbreak. With gyms and studios remaining closed until the foreseeable future, it’s a great way to look after yourself.
Here at Luxurious Magazine, we have been dabbling in the practice via YouTube videos and live Zoom sessions. Still, we cannot wait to head out to stunning yoga retreats across the globe once travel restrictions are lifted, and the following are just a few of our favourites.
Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort, The Maldives
Set amidst tropical vegetation, delightful beaches and manicured gardens, as well as hugging a natural lake, Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort offers a tranquil setting for guests to completely relax, unwind and to focus upon their wellbeing. The resort takes full advantage of its stunning surroundings and an abundance of outdoor space, thereby bringing guests closer to nature during their holistic stay.
Early risers can benefit from pure tranquillity by taking part in sunrise yoga throughout the week, while sunset fans can close their day with the practice by taking in spectacular views. The more adventurous can try their hand at floating and aerial yoga.
These sessions are all unique and will have guests practicing yoga on top of a dhoni in the middle of the ocean. With only the soft breeze, the gentle sound of waves, and the hypnotic rocking motion of the sea, it is guaranteed to be an amazing experience.
Guests can stay at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort in a Beach Villa from £935 ($1,222) based on two people sharing per night. For more information, visit www.pullmanmaldivesmaamutaa.com.
JoogaTaival Forest Yoga, Finland
Finland may be synonymous with Lapland, but with the Finnish way of life intrinsically linked to the forest, it provides the perfect backdrop to practice yoga thanks to its calming green colours and soft rustling leaves.
With over 70% of Finnish land comprised of woodlands, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat giving Forest Yoga a go anywhere else. Taking in the forest atmosphere, also known as ‘Forest Bathing’, it’s proven to lower blood pressure, detox the body and improve overall mood. Combine all this with the fundamentals of any yoga practice, and you’re guaranteed to leave rejuvenated in the mind and body.
JoogaTaival in Hossa National Park offers mindfulness yoga classes in the heart of the forest, as well as wellbeing courses, breaks and retreats to strengthen the connection between body, mind and nature.
For more information on Forest Bathing, head to www.visitfinland.com or www.joogataival.fi.
Roseate Ganges, Rishikesh
The foothills of The Himalayas on the River Ganges, just outside of Rishikesh, the yoga capital of India, is one of the most desired places to practice this discipline. And Roseate Hotels and Resorts’ newest hotel, The Roseate Ganges, is uniquely located right here. Taking the theme from the land, this hotel redefines opulence through impeccable design and architecture by combining it with an experience for guests seeking physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
Yoga and meditation practice can be taken daily on the white sand on the banks of the fast-flowing river Ganges accessed directly from the hotel by a private stairway. Guests can choose to practice privately or with one of the hotel’s incredible instructors who offer practices, such as pranayama, dhyana, yoga Nidra and yoga alignment.
Looking for something a little different? The hotel offers bespoke experiences including a visit to one of Rishikesh ashrams where you can experience the daily Ganga Aarti Ceremony as the sun sets over the river.
Available from £195 per room per night. For more information, visit www.roseatehotels.com.
Ard Nahoo, Northern Ireland
You can step up your yoga practice by heading to the Ard Nahoo – a family-run eco-retreat and yoga school. Set in the beautiful hills of North Leitrim, you’ll be well secluded from the world with just three self-catered Eco Cabins, sleeping only 17 people. Ard Nahoo’s one-day yoga retreat is specifically designed for all levels, with its studio windows overlooking the natural pond.
The carefully-crafted schedule begins with a walk through the surrounding countryside, before a gentle restorative class and relaxation session. After lunch, guests will partake in an Uisce Hour; a session in the indoor/outdoor wet area with infra-red sauna and hot tub. And as the decking area overlooks Lough Nahoo, visitors can gaze over the rolling hills and enjoying utter bliss.
For more information on The Anusara Yoga Day Retreat, visit ardnahoo.com.
La Sultana Oualidia, Morocco
La Sultana Oualidia is a beguiling Moorish fortress with 12 individually designed rooms in the heart of Morocco’s ‘Oyster Capital’. And you don’t have to be a crack-of-dawn early riser here to take part in the morning yoga. Sessions start at 8 am, and since the hotel overlooks the most stunning and serene saltwater lagoon on the Atlantic coast, it’s not a bad start to the day.
La Sultana Oualidia’s tranquil scenery acts as the perfect backdrop to soothe the mind and enhance the many positive effects of yoga. And you’re not just limited to yoga. La Sultana Oualidia offers a range of activities, from surfing and horse riding to bird watching safaris and Saturday souk visits.
Rates at La Sultana Oualidia start from £354 per night for a Panorama Room for two people. For more information, visit www.lasultanahotels.com.
Happy International Day of Yoga!
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