I am sure you feel refreshed after your daily morning yoga or meditation session at the local wellness centre but just imagine the levels of Zen-like relaxation you would experience from performing your Sun salutation poses overlooking Bali’s rice fields or practicing spiritual meditation in an ancient Buddhist temple or fragrant apricot orchard amongst the mountains and valleys of Ladakh.
And guess what, Yoga retreats and wellness getaways are becoming increasingly popular among not only long-time Yoga practitioners, but also people who have never set foot inside a Yoga studio before. A Wellness Holiday will do more than simply help you unwind from the stresses of everyday life, it will also help you stay active while on vacation, deepen your practice and learn more about Yoga and meditation while enjoying your holiday. Free yourself from your modern-life’s daily routine, mix a beautiful cocktail of yoga and meditation with travel, then lay down your exercise-mat amidst some of Asian’s most beautiful scenery.
In today’s issue of Secret’s Out, we have collated seven of Asia’s best destinations for a wellness holiday. These are places you can unwind, hone your wellness skills and enjoy a myriad of restorative activities to channel your chi between classes.
So, light a few incense sticks, pour yourself a glass of your favourite libation, strike a pose and meditate on our offering of the best destinations for yoga and meditation in Asia. Om Shanti!
This mainly Buddhist country has a vibrant culture, the kindest people on earth, 100s of fascinating festivals, majestic temples, quaint villages, and one of the best cuisines in the world.
If you choose this jewel of South East Asia to be the next stop for your wellness vacation, November and January are the two most popular months for yoga and meditation practitioners.
Supanniga Home is located in Khon Kaen in ‘Isaan’, the North East of Thailand, a region famed for stunning rural landscapes and its distinctive culture and cuisine. Supanniga Home’s 3 villas are perfectly incorporated into 6 hectares of mature gardens. Set under large trees it is easy to dive deep into your meditation while listening to the gentle ringing of chime bells and birdsong from the elegant and mature trees above. Each of the villas’ luxurious interiors feature contemporary design with a local touch—from modern furnishings to antique pottery and porcelain tea ware, and lush Isan silk.
Set amidst beautiful tropical landscapes with scenic mountain views, Sanak Retreat Bali offers a relaxing getaway. Surrounded by lush rice fields, the resort is off the beaten path in North Bali, far from the crowds. Here, Sanak’s Yoga expert is dedicated to share his wisdom and skills with you, and adapts seamlessly to your personal yoga style preferences, or chooses the one for you for maximum physical and emotional balance. Yoga and meditation will give you peace of mind, a path to personal fulfillment and greater self–awareness.
The team at the Sanak Heal Spa also offer a combination of ancient Balinese Meditation and Japanese Reiki, which promotes wellness by drawing out negative energy from your body and replacing it with positive energies to promote the body’s natural healing process. Serenity for the soul from the incredible natural beauty that surrounds Sanak Retreat, timeless scenes from the rural life of the neighbouring villagers, nourishment for the spirit, body and mind from farm to table dining on the freshest produce to a choice of activities getting you close to the local people to learn about their spiritual and their practical lifestyles. A stay at Sanak Retreat is a wellness stay on every level.
Brijrama Palace Heritage Hotel
A magical blend of nature’s wonder and the meaning of human existence, does contemplation get any deeper than this? Well, this is all perfectly blended at Brijrama Palace located as it is on the banks of one of the world’s holiest rivers, the River Ganges, and set in the heart of Varanasi, one of the holiest cities too. The early morning’s Golden Ganges and illuminated Ghats have inspired men to chant, sing and conjure body peace through yoga for 1,000s of years. A life changing experience for many, a pilgrimage for millions, this magical scene truly touches the soul. Sunrise Yoga is performed daily at Assi Ghat on the banks of the Ganges. A morning at Varanasi is though full of life, as dawn breaks the city is alive with the sounds of devotees, pilgrims, vedic chanting and music. The full circle of life is played out daily on the banks of the Mother Ganges and makes the perfect backdrop for your yoga practice. Start the day with new hopes, aspirations and internal strength with vibrant soulful Indian music and powerful yoga at the incredible Brijrama Palace, one of Varanasi’s oldest landmarks.
Muang La Lodge
Muang La, Laos
Hidden in the small village of Muang-La on the banks of the Nam Phak river, this lodge features 5 wooden villas and 9 traditionally designed guestrooms. If peace and tranquility were personified, they would call Muang La their home for sure. Natures paintbrush has blessed the canvas here, from the mountains to the river, the views alone will promote wellness even in the hardest and most tired of souls. Not to be missed is the natural hot spring, set within the river itself. The volcanically heated water bubbles up within the flow of the river and has eased the aches and pains of the local people for centuries. A place to relax after a hard day cultivating crops, a place to meet and chat, swap stories and dreams, a place to simply be at one with the surrounding nature.
Muang La Lodge is the perfect base to explore and really start to understand Northern Laos. The team here have created experiences to help you connect with and meet the local hill tribes and learn about lifestyles and their animist beliefs. Spiritual wellness, and physical wellness, you can also take guided treks, learn the art of Lao cuisine, raft the river or mountain bike the forest trails. Then return to the resort and unwind by taking time out to meditate, enjoy a hot-spring bath in one of the 4m elevated baths overlooking the river and the mountains, and personify peace and serenity.
India offers a mystical atmosphere that will allow you to deeply connect with yourself and further your spiritual journey through practice and guidance from the greatest gurus and renowned yoga instructors. And if you’re already a seasoned practitioner, there really isn’t a better place in the world to practice and enjoy your yoga amongst India’s incredible and iconic scenes.
Neeleshwar Hermitage is located in Northern Kerala, South West India and looks out across a beautiful beach to the Arabian Sea. Also known as Malabar, this region is one of the world’s main centres of Yoga and meditation. The Hermitage takes spiritual wellbeing and wellness very seriously, with the architecture of the property designed according to the principles of Kerala Vastu. The property is oriented to the east to capture the rising sun, with the delightful traditional bungalows radiating out across the property along the 4 cardinal points. With an Ayurvedic clinic at the property wellness is promoted from the inside out, starting with a consultation with the doctor to the possibility to enjoy Ayurvedic dining too. As one of the most popular places in the world for yoga, yoga of all levels is taught and practiced here. But simple relaxation is also taken seriously, whether enjoying the beautiful white sand beach at the front of the property or taking a lazy cruise on their houseboat to enjoy the unique wildlife in the Malabar Backwaters, one thing you won’t be at Neeleshwar Hermitage is a Hermit!
Slow Private Pool Villas
Set in the middle of beautiful Gili Air, a short boat ride from Lombok, Slow Villas features 10 contemporary, Balinese style luxury villas, each with its own private swimming pool. Gili Air is a paradisiacal tropical island, small enough to walk around in 2.5hrs, there are no cars on the island and one really isn’t needed as no-one here ever feels the need to rush. Slow’s concept is based on the slow spirit (slow cooking, slow moving, slow stretching) complemented by a range of wellness promoting activities including diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing, swimming with the turtles, yoga, pilates, zumba lessons, golf, and trekking. Known also as the Turtle Capital of the World, Gili Air is a fantastic place to enjoy nature and the underwater world and really, is there anything more rejuvenating and relaxing than enjoying nature?
Private yoga classes are available on demand at Slow Spa or in the comfort of your private coconut garden, from morning Vinyasa to evening Yin. You’ll be free to spend the day enjoying the spoils of Gili Air!
Located in the ancient Ladakhi village of Nimmu, Nimmu House is a 130year old restored heritage house. Once the home of a cousin of the King of Ladakh, the property is near the confluence of the sacred river of the Indus, which rises in Tibet, and the Zanskar River. Treks here offer spellbinding views of the rushing waters of the valley with the majestic backdrop of the golden mountains of Ladakh. Nimmu House is the perfect place to stay before or after trekking in Ladakh thanks to its relatively low altitude of 3100m.
Ideal for families, a stay here offers the perfect playground for your kids to get in touch with nature while you enjoy meditation and yoga. Yoga classes are given morning and evening of every day with private sessions on-request. Practice meditation at one of the nearby ancient Buddhist monasteries, or try your hand at timeless arts such as pottery with a local villager and learning to cook Ladakhi cuisine.
With only 7 Ladakhi comfortable tents scattered throughout the fragrant apricot orchard and 5 charming rooms within the house, Nimmu House will be your home away from home in the heart of the Himalayas.
Relaxation starts early with every Secret Retreats Reservation, let our Concierge take the stress and strain of planning and booking your travels from you, and prepare to relax and pamper yourself with our pick of the best places in Asia to start or continue your wellness journey.