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Top 7 Yoga Retreat Centers in the United States

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Updated April 09, 2014

Looking for a place to go for a weekend retreat with some of yoga's hottest teachers, or to delve deeply into a specific yoga style? You won't have to pull out your passport to check in to any of the top yoga centers listed below, all of which feature yoga workshops in addition to many other complimentary offerings. The amenities and vibes of these centers does vary a lot, so read up on the accommodations, food, and other services provided to make sure you are heading somewhere where you are going to feel comfortable.

1. Kripalu Center

Where: Stockbridge, Massachusetts

What: Though originally associated with an eponymous style of hatha yoga (see Kripalu yoga), these days the Kriplau Center hosts year-round workshops in a myriad of styles with some of yoga's best-known teachers. Kripalu yoga teacher-training programs are also available, as are classes on ayurveda, healthy living, and alternative healing, among many other related subjects. The center is located in the Berkshire mountains and includes hiking trails and lake access. Visitors may opt for private or dormitory-style rooms. Meals are included and always have vegetarian options. Guests are asked to restrict their cell-phone usage to designated areas in order to encourage relaxation.

2. Omega Institute

Where: Rhinebeck, New York

What: Omega hosts yoga workshops with top teachers, including Jivamukti teacher training, as well as classes on many other subject including spirituality, healing, and wellness. Located 90 miles from New York City in the Hudson valley, the campus features trails, lake swimming in the summer, canoeing, and tennis, among other activities. Accommodations include cabins, shared rooms, dorms, and the option of camping. Three vegetarian meals are offered daily and guest are also free to attend open classes and make full use of the grounds.

3. Himalayan Institute

Where: Honesdale, Pennsylvania

What: Yoga classes and workshops are on offer here, as well as instruction in meditation and spirituality. The head of the Himalayan Institute is Pandit Rajmani Tiginait, a Tantric scholar who leads many classes on this and other subjects. Located on 400 acres in the Pocono mountains, extensive hiking trails are available. Vegetarian meals are provided. Rooming options run the gamut from dorm-style to private guest house.

4. Esalen Institute

Where: Big Sur, California

What: Yoga workshops with many prominent teachers (with a slight west-coast bent) are offered at this scenic center on the California coast. Extensive offerings on other subjects are available, including creativity, gender, spirituality, and personal development. The grounds include a beach, pool, garden, and clothing-optional hot springs. Most of the rooms are shared, although private rooms and suites are available at a premium. Scholarships and work study options are available. Cell phones do not work due to the remote location. Three meals a day are provided and feature a full range dietary options.

5. Yogaville Ashram

Where: Buckingham, Virginia

What: The Yogaville Satchidananda Ashram is founded around the study of Integral yoga, though they offer workshops in other related traditions, including mediation, pranayama, and chanting. Teacher training programs are also available. Situated on 600 acres near the Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors may choose from dorm, shared, or private rooms, or make use of campsites during the warmer months. Three vegetarian meals are provided daily. Activities include hiking, yoga classes, meditation, and kirtan.

6. Shambhala Mountain Center

Where: Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

What: This Buddhist center offers workshops on yoga, meditation, and mindful living in addition to the in-depth study of Tibetan Buddhism. A wide variety of housing options are available at the center, ranging from private suites to shared rooms to tents (summer only). Three meals a day are included. Cell phone service is not available. Scholarships and work-study opportunities are available for those with financial need.

7. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm

Where: Grass Valley, California

What: The Sivananda organization runs two yoga retreat centers in the U.S., one in New York state and the other in California. They also have a center near Montreal, Canada and one in the Bahamas, if you want to travel farther afield. All of these ashrams feature ongoing instruction in Sivananda yoga and regular teacher training programs too. At the California location, accommodations include cabins and camping. A stay includes two vegetarian meals a day. The ashrams also observe a modest dress code and require guests to participate in a fixed schedule of activities.

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