11 Incredible, scenic places to take a yoga class
Yoga is an activity that brings peace, flexibility and healthy breathing to the individual. Your scenery should inspire you to achieve this state of relaxation, be it inside an ordinary yoga studio or in breathtaking whereabouts. Here are some of our top picks for the latter.
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
1. Yoga in a hot springs crater — Park City, Utah
Image: Park City Yoga Adventures
Park City Yoga Adventures takes visitors deep inside the 10,000-year-old Homestead Crater with relaxing hot springs and mineral water. Julia Geisler, the founder, demonstrates yoga poses from the dock while guests move and bend on paddleboards that float in the natural therapeutic pool. After yoga, rest in the natural hot tub surrounded by mineral waters from the hot spring.
2. Elephant yoga — Thailand
Elephants have long had their place in ancient ritual and meditation for both the Brahmin and local Buddhist traditions because of their calm nature, rhythmic pace and unhurried breath. At the Golden Triangle, guests can experience Asana yoga postures on the smooth backs of elephants — with the benefits of breathing and flexibility.
3. Paddleboard yoga at ocean’s edge — Aruba
Image: Rachel Brathen
Island SUP Yoga was created by Rachel Brathen and Dennis Schoneveld as a way to keep the yoga and SUP community growing in Aruba. Try an extra yoga challenge by balancing yourself on the paddleboard while the warm, lapping waves brush against you.
4. Yoga in the woods of Sangre de Cristo Mountains — Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Santa Fe YogiHike experience is a 2.5- to 3.5-hour trek into the nearby city mountains. The intimate group size of six people provides an exhilarating physical experience, combining hiking and yoga, while immersed in the natural sights and sounds of the great outdoors.
5. Yoga in the bush — Kenya
Image: Kinondo Kwetu
The yoga classes given by the luxurious Kinondo Kwetu is located on a "secret" abutment on a cliff that juts out over the Indian Ocean. Yoga is performed in an open air studio allowing gentle breezes to pass through. By being concealed in a grove of trees on the cliff, it's easy to meditate without distraction.
6. Yoga in the city — New York City
Image: Serene Social
The James New York hotel partnered with Serene Social to bring rooftop yoga in the midst of the NYC skyline. Renowned yoga instructors lead a calming hour-long, complimentary, women-only class for guests with breathtaking 360-degree views of Manhattan. Non-hotel guests pay $25 to participate.
7. Hip hop and beer yoga — Aspen, Colorado
Image: Thug Yoga Aspen
Thug Yoga was designed for snowboarders and skiers who were intimidated by or couldn't afford traditional studios. It was an effort to help these athletes prevent injuries and improve their performance through yoga. The instructor will play Berkel Beats — and, afterwards, guests swig beer provided by the Aspen Brewing Company in view of the snowy landscape.
8. Yoga in a Caribbean garden — Barbados
Image: Colony Club
Guests at the Colony Club resort in Barbados are transported to another world as they perfect their Downward Dogs amidst lush ferns, swaying foxtail palms and blossoming hibiscus flowers in the resort's garden. Offered weekly, these complimentary yoga classes encourage guests to lay their mats beside the lagoon-style pool amongst gently cascading waterfalls for a one-hour Hatha cleanse.
9. Yoga in the Norwegian wilderness
Image: Visit Oslo
The forest region of northern Oslo, Nordmarka, is a scenic hodgepodge of illuminated red-marked ski trails, hiking, biking routes and idyllic lakes for swimming. The calm surroundings are a perfect place to become one with the elements through some invigorating yoga.
10. Yoga by the sea and mountains — Loreto, Mexico
Image: Villa del Palmar
Drink in the views of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range on the Islands of Loreto. The Villa del Palmar resort is in a prime location for yogis to soak up the indigo waters of the Sea of Cortez during a beachfront yoga session.
11. Rafting yoga — Boise, Idaho
Image: Mountain River Outfitters
Two- and five-day girlfriend getaways on Idaho’s Salmon River combines high-octane rafting with relaxing yoga sessions on the beach. The solitude and beauty of the adventure brings mammal surprises along the way, like big horn sheep, elk and deer.