First Look // Our Favorite NEW 2018 Yoga Retreats
June 9, 2017
Our 2018 offerings are all about designing the most dynamic and inspiring new yoga retreats that you can’t get anywhere else, while refining our tried and true trips from 2017. People always ask us how we design our retreats and how we choose retreat centers and teachers, so we thought we’d share our design process.
Oaxaca, with Mari Sierra
January 14-20, 2018
We’ve combined one of the hottest destinations on the planet with one of the most inspiring teachers we’ve ever met.
In January, I went down to Oaxaca to design our first yoga retreat in Oaxaca. I spent the week with a good friend at El Diablo y Sandia. We spent the mornings practicing yoga, meditating and singing on the roof as the sun came up. After a big communal breakfast he would work on his new album and I would go off to discover a new cafe, to do my own work and check in with the Yogascapes crew. We would choose a new restaurant to meet for lunch and then we would go off to explore a new part of town, markets, bookstores, ancient ruins, juice shops, galleries and another new place for dinner to test out. The idea was to get a pulse of the city, to find out where and what would make the perfect retreat experience and who would want to be involved. We ate at two restaurants that blew our minds and met with the chefs who will be hosting us on a ranch and taking us on a market tour and cooking class in town. We found an incredible Mezcal Palenque where we’ll take the group in January. We found all the restaurants we want to share with our students and the perfect bed and breakfast to host our group. Most importantly, we are building in enough free time for our participants to explore the way that we did. To find their own favorite restaurant and bookstore. To get lost in a market and taste their way through this special place.
May 6-12, 2018
We’ve been to Morocco 4 times. Because we’re working with David, who is all about the journey and transformation, we decided to work with our friends at Riad Zam Zam to help take us deep into the Sahara for 4 days before returning to Marrakech to reintegrate and explore.
Besides actually being on one of our own retreats, designing new yoga retreats is by far the most exciting thing we do at Yogascapes. First and foremost we only design trips that we ourselves would want to go on and only work with teachers that we ourselves would want to learn from and be in class with every day. It’s core to our values that we only create retreats that we are proud of and only work with people that are of the highest integrity. When our dream retreat matches up with what travelers are most excited about then we know we are on to something and start researching like crazy to find every single retreat center in a given location. We look for small to medium sized retreat centers that have that special something. Usually when one aspect of a place has that special something you see it appear in all the other aspects. For example retreat centers that have well designed bedrooms and yoga studios tend to also have well designed food. We look at all aspects of the experience. From the location, the yoga space, the food, the staff, the owners, the beds, the nature, the safety; all the big things and all the little things that make the difference whether you are aware of them or not.
After experiencing Mischa’s teachings on our yoga retreat in Spain last year, we knew that Sicily would be right up her alley. We’ve been to Italy a handful of times, but this is our first trip to the southern island of Sicily and we found our home away from home at Danena Sicily.
More often than not we are experiencing these retreat centers in person so that we can know what it feels like to spend the night somewhere, the sounds that wake you up in the morning, the breakfast that starts your day, the people that you interact with along the way and again, all the little moments that make an experience special. We work with retreat centers that have good local relationships so that we know we are having a positive impact on the community and so that we are offering our participants the most authentic excursions and experiences in each location. When we go in person we meet locals and have a flexible itinerary so that we can find all the magical places along the way, all the most delicious restaurants, secret hot springs, authentic cooking classes.
February 25-March 3, 2018
Every year we have one retreat that stands out as the most secluded, lost in paradise type of feel and we are so excited to have discovered Gitana Del Mar. Chelsey thrives in abundant nature and we knew this would be a perfect match.
Once we’ve chosen our retreat center, we then go about finding the perfect teacher for the experience. Often we’ll actually have a teacher in mind while we are doing the research, but sometimes when we get to a place we just know exactly who will be best for teaching in the space. The idea is that a specific teacher can take you on a deeper journey than you would normally be able to get and a specific place can pull out the best in a specific teacher’s teachings.
February 11-18, 2018
Okay, so we’ve been here during Northern Lights before, but it’s so darn amazing that we wanted to include it on the list. Last year we sold out with 50 people on the waiting list. This year we’re doing it with Gloria, so sign up while you can!
The last major ingredient is deciding when to go. Some locations are great every month of the year, while others have specific times that are more special than others. For example we love going to Italy in the fall because there’s so much in season and Japan in the spring to catch cherry blossom season! We always try to take our participants during the best time of year, both for the location and for their life.
Once all of these pieces are in place we work with the teachers to create a dream itinerary which informs how we launch our trip out into the world. This process is actually very sacred to us and we spend a lot of time collaborating around intention so that every trip we offer into the world is special.
August 10-12, 2018
We’re so excited to go back to one of our favorite retreat centers in California, the Lotus Feed, to host a super special and unique women’s retreat with an emphasis on Kundalini Yoga, taught by the powerful Liya Garber.
Check out all 2017 & 2018 yoga retreats here and sign up before they sell out, because they will.