Many people turn to yoga as a way of keeping fit and forgetting their troubles. Typical yoga holidays not only offer instruction in asana (postures that hone core strength and flexibility), they also teach meditations and breathing techniques that let you unplug and unwind. Of course, if you really want to break out of old habits, then a change of scene can make you even more receptive to new ways of thinking and feeling. So browse our shortlist of favourite destinations around the world and say "nasmaste" to your next holiday.
The warm climate in Marrakech means you can enjoy yoga outdoors all year round. The courtyards or roof terraces of traditional riads (colourful Moroccan palaces) make scenic locations for morning and evening classes. Many vacations combine yoga with sight-seeing tours of local souks, camel rides in the desert, hikes in the Atlas mountains, cleansing visits to hammams (steam rooms) and feasts of spicy, slowly cooked Berber cuisine.
Several of Goa's yoga retreats have garnered prestigious travel awards in recent years, and it's easy to see why. Framed by tropical jungle, destinations like Patnem offer an ideal opportunity to combine a relaxing beach holiday with a spiritual awakening. Book yourself a hut next to the sea, then venture out for classes in Krijia (breathing and chanting) as well as different styles of yoga.
The island of Koh Samui is home to a number of popular retreats offering rejuvenation and detox programs in beautifully landscaped, beachfront settings. Work on your pranayama (breathing techniques) between spells in the sauna or hydrotherapy centre. For something much more remote, try the mountainous island of Koh Phangan, which has rustic camps that can only be approached by boat.
This is a great choice if you're looking to combine a bit of Chakra balancing with an adventure holiday. Pre-breakfast and evening classes leave you plenty of time to make the most of the exotic coastline. Options include snorkelling, canopy tours of the rainforest and bird-spotting hikes. Accommodation usually comes in the form of chalets, lodges and eco bungalows, complete with infinity pools and fast Wi-Fi.
Study Vinyasa flow yoga, guided meditation and Ayurveda medicine while immersing yourself in the rugged beauty of the Algarve. Make the most of Portugal's balmy spring and autumn by getting back to nature and booking yourself a teepee in the tranquil foothills of the Serra del Estrela. Once you've had your fill of reviving mud baths and other therapies, you can always mix things up with a visit to the coast for some surfing.
There are many spas and resorts across Italy offering yoga holidays, ranging from remote retreats on the sun-baked islands of Sardinia and Ischia to tourist hotspots in Tuscany and the delightful coastal villages of the Cinque Terre. Depending on where you stay, retreats provide a mixture of Hatha classes and traditional hot spring therapies alongside wine tastings, cookery lessons and introductions to pizza throwing.
In recent times, Ibiza has become a prime location for yoga holidays. Away from the noise of the nightclubs, yogiacan work on their mindfulness in centuries-old Finca (whitewashed farmhouses and cottages) tucked away in the pine forests. Alternatively, head to the islands of Lanzarote and La Gomera for a flexible blend of pilates, swimming, tanning, horseback riding and whale watching excursions.
Many of the yoga retreats in California have roots dating back to the hippie movement of the 1960s, making them among the most well-established in the western world. And while you're perfecting your postures and studying the Vedanta, you can also enjoy the crisp air of the Sierra Nevada, take part in the simple life of a ranch, or sample the pleasures of wine country.
Romantic and inspiring, the Scottish Highlands is another top location for yoga enthusiasts. Loch Awe and the Alladale Wilderness Reserve are just two of the settings where you'll find cosy eco-lodges offers classes, workshops, open-air hot tubs, long hikes through the gorse-clad countryside and hearty Scottish cooking. Alternatively, lastminute.com is your reliable source for plenty more yoga breaks UK wide.
Thanks to its volcanic landscape, you can enjoy all manner of wellness-related activities on Sao Miguel, the largest island of archipelago. The mud wraps at Poca da Dona Beija and thermal baths at Ferraria soothe your body and help you relax, and once you're feeling more energetic you can also go mountain biking, canyon exploring and swimming in crater lakes.
Maybe watersports is more your thing? We've got some desriable diving holidays as wel as surfing breaks to consider. Or if you prefer to be on dry land, then one of our cycling trips could be a "wheely" good option.