The 10 best gay-friendly yoga retreats

As creatures of habit, wrapped up in our Instagram-fuelled lives, spending days glued to a screen, it’s important to escape and be reminded of the connection between mind, body and soul. But while many of us might spend one measly hour at a yoga class after work, there is a way you can immerse yourself more completely into the yogi lifestyle in close proximity to a spa for ultimate relaxation. Enter our selection of gay-friendly yoga retreats providing guests with 3, 5 or 7 days at a time to realign their chakras in luxury amid some of the world’s most breathtaking environments. From the Himalayas to Transylvania, we at Mr Hudson have covered the world’s best gay yoga resorts for every type of traveller.

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Ananda in the Himalayas

1. Shanti Som Yoga Retreat, Andalucía, Spain

Situated at the centre of Sierra de Las Nieves Nature Park in Andalucía, Spain, is the Shanti Som Yoga Retreat where guests of all levels can learn the ways of the yogi. Outside of twice-daily yoga classes to learn the foundations of the exercise, your retreat will be full-scale luxury, complete with spa, outdoor pool and mountain vista views across the entire outdoor pavilion. Aiming to restore inner balance and improve mindfulness, Shanti Som Yoga Retreat brings a taste of the orient to the forested hills of Andalucía with its Feng Shui design and tranquil atmosphere.

2. Kamalaya Yoga Synergy, Thailand

On the Thai island of Koh Samui, with its reputation for wild full-moon parties on paradisiacal beaches, you might be surprised to find an zen alternative activities over at Kamalaya Yoga Synergy. Multi-award-winning and set within the island’s lush tropical jungle, Kamalaya Yoga Synergy is a wellness resort offering tailored yoga and meditation sessions for all levels. Work on replenishing your inner balance through yoga and other complementary classes such as Tai Chi and circuit training, before indulging in a sensual massage or two. With each personalised programme, Kamalaya Yoga Synergy aims to help guests fulfil their goals by addressing physical limitations and teaching lifelong meditation techniques.

Photo: Artem Beliaikin

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Those looking to escape their comfort zone entirely should try the ‘Naked Yoga Retreat’ which place for five nights in October, at Cinq & Sept

3. Cinq & Sept, France

Away from the tropics of South East Asia to a small wine-making village in France, find Cinq & Sept, possibly the best gay yoga retreat in the whole of Southern Europe. As well as featuring a relaxing summer lounge area and outdoor pool, this ground-breaking gay establishment is also conveniently located close to Europe’s finest castles and the popular city of Montpellier. With all the 5-star luxury of a top hotel but with the homely vibe of a guesthouse, Cinq & Sept is a real treat, peaking in the evening when the pool-side parties get started. Those looking to escape their comfort zone entirely should try the ‘Naked Yoga Retreat’, led by Nickles Spencer, one of the UK’s top yoga instructors.

4. Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Mexico

The delicious colours, textures and scenery of Mexico seem to converge on the Riviera Maya, where the resorts of Cancun stretch along flawless beachfront and the Yucatan Jungle opens out behind. Down south towards Playa del Carmen, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa awaits, a luxury full-service spa and resort with the perfect ambience for relaxation. Each morning, after your complimentary a la carte breakfast, enjoy a dip in any one of three outdoor pools, shop for Mayan handicrafts at the on-site boutique or admire the ocean view up on the resort’s observation tower. Yoga is also high on the agenda, led by experts in the Yoga Pavilion with jungle views. Activities at Belmond Maroma Resort are varied, from cooking lessons to tequila tastings, in addition to a maze of trails and paths surrounding the grounds. When it comes to dinner, opt for traditional regional bites at El Restaurante before browsing the extensive wine collection in the Belmond Maroma Wine Cellar.

Photo: Annie Spratt

Punta de Mita Mexico

Photo: Dan Moore

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Need a yoga break? The same team that brings you the content you love designs your perfect trip

5. Frog Meadow Farm, Vermont, USA

It’s men only for Vermont’s number one gay yoga offering. Labelled as a Bed and Breakfast & Massage Oasis for Men, Frog Meadow Farm is a prime destination to restore your chakras, in the company of other likeminded men. With an emphasis on yoga, Pilates, meditation and massage techniques across the four-day retreat, Frog Meadow Farm works hard to integrate the group starting Friday evening with an Opening Circle and light meditation. Based on 63 acres of private property, Frog Meadow Farm boasts a wood-fired hot tub, gym and campfire station, also allowing free snowshoe rental for guests looking to hike Vermont’s awe-inspiring trails. The nearby town is just as progressive and worthy of your time, cram-packed as it is with restaurants, microbreweries, a culture and arts community and a calendar of events spanning gallery tours and film festivals.

Frog Meadow Farm

6. Yogarosa, Ibiza, Spain

While known for its evergreen party lifestyle, Ibiza is more than just a one-trick pony. In fact, Ibiza and neighbouring Formentera are havens for holistic vacations. Yogarosa, in particular, is a top destination, laid within 4 acres of tranquil Ibiza countryside, surrounded by pine forest and lavender gardens. Owned by Rosa Klein, Yogarosa offers yoga and meditation within the Bedouin tent, hung with a bunting of prayers. Combine asana flow with pranayama meditation and realign yourself with nature and your natural rhythms…  before a cooling dip in the pool and a healthy lunch from the resort’s resident plant-based chef.

Photo: Yogi Madhav

7. Sanará Tulum, Mexico

Another of the top gay yoga resorts in Mexico belongs to the same North East coast, this time in the city of Tulum further south. Sanará Tulum is the holistic hangout for any Tulum insider with a love of yoga. The timetable here is unfixed, allowing guests to truly rest with the potential for thrice-daily yoga sessions, a full spa with treatments and strolls along the beach, just moments away. Meals are served on-site and are grain-, gluten-, dairy- and refined-sugar-free, which your body will thank you for. As well as SoundBath and Sound Bowl Yoga evenings each week, daily activities include paddleboard yoga and SUP training courses in the crystal clear waters of the nearby Mangrove cenote.

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Rishikesh, based in the foothills of the Himalayas along the sacred Ganges river, is said to be the where the yoga originated and a number of authentic retreats still exist today

8. Ananda in The Himalayas, India

No guide to yoga retreats would be complete without a mention of India, the birthplace of yoga. Rishikesh, specifically, based in the foothills of the Himalayas along the sacred Ganges river, is said to be the where the exercise originated and a number of authentic retreats still exist today. One of our favourite gay-friendly offerings lies a little further up in the mountains on a 100-acre estate, so-named Ananda in The Himalayas. At Ananda, Ayurveda (an Indian medical practice) lies at the heart of everything; guests start and end their days with yoga under the open-air sala, before trekking up to Kunjapuri Temple or heading down to Rishikesh for the aarti ceremony (a Hindu ritual). But mostly you’ll want to soak up the setting from the spa’s relaxation room; the forest around you, the Ganges valley below, all enveloped in the purest air. While Ananda offers Eastern healing at its best, all your Western needs will be gladly taken care of, including Wi-Fi, TV and comfortable beds.

Ananda in the Himalayas

9. Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania

From the storied lands of the Dalai Lama to the spooky homeland of Dracula, our next choice takes us up into the misty Transylvanian mountains near Brasov. Akasha Wellness Retreat, located in a quaint hillside village with perfect air, views and solitude, is easily the most convenient retreat getaway from Western Europe. Quite literally up in the clouds, Akasha is a small family-run retreat, allowing for calm meadow walks, home-cooked vegan food and a nourishing atmosphere with no spooky stories to be heard.

Photo: Marc Sendra Martorell

Photo: Yogi Madhav

10. Lumeria, Maui, Hawaii

If warmer climes are what you’re after, Lumeria is just the spot, a luxury healing retreat on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Set up to nourish the mind, body and spirit, Lumeria blends mindful yoga with the heritage and culture of Maui’s North Shore, allowing guests to feel refreshed while also enjoying the local setting. Over five nights, settle into a routine of vinyasa flow practice, followed by mid-day free time for scenic road trips, waterfall chasing or treks to the sacred Haleakala volcanic crater. On site, guests can also wander among the grounds’ manicured gardens, make use of the spa facilities, or lounge in a hammock beside the saline swimming pool. Meditation at Lumeria continues into the evening, including restorative yoga and sound healing sessions, followed by farm-to-table meals when all guests gather together to share stories and wine.

Photo: Simon Migaj

BONUS: Men Only Pilates and Yoga Retreat Greece, Mykonos, Greece

If you’ve not had your fill of yoga just yet, we’ve included a cheeky bonus based in Mykonos, Greece. Men Only Pilates and Yoga Retreat is a place to experience a range of spirit nourishing class activities, covering Pilates, yoga, functional training, bootcamp and mind-balancing meditation. Each class is optional with alternative activities for thrill-seekers, such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. With Greek lives lived largely on the beach, there is, of course, a range of water sports available, including surfing, kitesurfing and diving. Then, after your late afternoon spa session, get yourself dressed for a night on the town to discover the truth behind the hype of Mykonos’ nightlife.

For more relaxation try the best wellness retreats in California.

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