Yoga Journal

Get Lost

The teachings of yoga migrated West thanks to early globetrotters such as Paramahansa Yogananda and Indra Devi. Today, teachers and practitioners alike can use mindful travel to deepen awareness and broaden their practices. India, the birthplace of yoga, remains the ultimate pilgrimage destination, but cities such as London and Los Angeles—home to influential teachers and respected studios—have also become hubs of learning. Meanwhile, smaller towns such as Byron Bay, Australia, boast tight-knit yoga communities rooted in an appreciation for healthy living. Immersions remain mainstays of self-realization, but these days, yoga travelers also want to combine time on the mat with cultural education and other passions, such as surfing, music, dance, and food. We asked dozens of teachers about their must-visit yoga destinations: From not-to-miss festivals and historic ashrams to far-flung, socially responsible eco-retreats, here’s the 2019 Yoga Journal wanderlist.

NORTH AMERICA

1. FEATHERED PIPE RANCH, HELENA, MONTANA

Teacher and Yoga Journal cofounder Judith Hanson Lasater has been hosting yoga retreats at this spacious ranch since 1975. “It’s like summer camp for yogis,” she says: “Jaw-dropping scenery in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, magnificent food, fresh spring water, twice-daily yoga classes, and a week steeped in the silence of nature.” To pay respect to the sacred Native American land the retreat rests on, founder India Supera created the Feathered Pipe Foundation to help preserve ceremonial traditions of the Cree people. Feathered Pipe continues to foster humanitarian efforts that give life to new nonprofits while maintaining missions such as the Veterans Yoga Project and the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation.

2. KRIPALU CENTER FOR YOGA & HEALTH, STOCKBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

With an international network of 2,000 instructors teaching more than 700 programs to 30,000 guests a year, education is front and center at this verdant campus in the Berkshires. For the past decade, Kripalu has led the way in groundbreaking research on yoga and trauma in collaboration with experts from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

3. SEDONA, ARIZONA

Sedona is known for spiritual vortexes—powerful energy centers where visitors can allegedly pick up on sacred frequencies. Healers and enlightenment seekers worldwide travel to its towering red-rock spires hoping to tap into higher consciousness. Each March, the three-day Sedona Yoga Festival draws thousands of practitioners with its lineup of 200 classes and performances by kirtan artists such as Johanna Beekman. Regulars tout an intimate setting where you’re likely to run into presenters (think ISHTA Yoga founder Alan Finger0) in the halls, as well as dedicated workshops on trauma-informed yoga.

4. ESALEN INSTITUTE, BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA

This cliffside retreat opened in 1962 with a series of workshops on yoga and personal growth. Key countercultural figures

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