Have you ever felt like you could use a holiday to get over your holiday? Travel junkie Monica Stott, who is one of our social media specialists and blogs over on The Travel Hack, says a relaxing yoga retreat is the perfect way to wind down.
After two weeks spent propping up the beach bar, partying until sunrise, eating every single special on the menu and checking out every sight and sound a destination has to offer, you can come home feeling exhausted, not to mention feeling like your clothes have mysteriously shrunk a size or two…
On my last trip to Thailand I decided I didn’t want to come home feeling like this so I enrolled in a week long yoga course and it turned out to be just what I needed.
A typical day at a Thai yoga retreat
I’m woken at 7am by Ana as she delivers green tea and fresh fruit to the balcony of my beach bungalow. I sit outside and watch the sun rise as I rock sleepily in a hammock and tuck into my pineapple and watermelon while the sea breeze wakes me up.
The yoga school is next door and is a large yet simple wooden hut standing on stilts just off the beach. Downstairs is a courtyard garden where fresh juices are served among brightly coloured flowers and under the shade of the trees. Upstairs is the large yoga room where squidgy mats lie across wonky floor boards and a salty breeze floats in off the sea.
The morning yoga routine begins quietly to the relaxing chime of music and we start a slow and steady sun salutation to welcome the day. By the end of the first session the sun is warming up and it’s time to dive into the sea to cool off.
There’s a more intense class just before lunch that leaves my legs wobbling and my arms trembling but I’m feeling stretchier and more flexible than I have for years. The intense Thai heat actually helps with flexibility as it almost becomes a Bikram yoga class (hot yoga) but, thankfully, it’s not quite as sweaty.
There is an option to take another class after lunch but I go for the relaxing option and spend the afternoon chilling out on the beach in true holiday style. I grab a snorkel, a mask and some flippers and head out to the shallow coral reef to explore the underwater world.
After an afternoon nap in a shady hammock it’s time for the evening yoga class which focuses on stretching and relaxation. As dusk falls we lie on our yoga mats in a sleepy daze, listening to the crash of the waves and the nearby crickets. I feel like I could stay here all night but the Thai night life is calling me with the promise of spicy curries and cheap beer. How could I say no?
So how did I feel after a week at yoga school?
I felt like I’d grown about 6 inches after a week of yoga. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to grow 6 inches in 7 days, especially when you’re in your twenties, but I honestly felt taller, leaner and lighter.
I’d done everything I would have normally done with my holiday like exploring the area, scuba diving and indulging in the local restaurants so I didn’t feel like I’d sacrificed my whole holiday, but I went home with an extra spring in my step, a clear head and a fresh outlook on yoga holidays.
Have you ever taken a yoga retreat or something similar? Why not head over to Facebook and let us know what you thought?
Does the idea of a yoga holiday have you yearning for Thailand’s beaches? Take a look at our collection of Thai beach holidays with 50% off accommodation.