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8 Most Romantic Yoga Retreats To Take Your Sweetie



Looking for a getaway with your sweetie that involves yoga, meditation, and lots of healthy eats? Read on and start planning.

For the couple who loves yoga, going on a romantic yoga retreat can be the ideal getaway. Here are Yoga Journal’s top picks for the best, most romantic yoga retreats this year.

Yoga has potential to deepen intimacy with your partner, spark passion, and lead to better sex. So, why not set your sights on planning a romantic, yoga-focused retreat with your loved one?

See also 7 Best Meditation Retreats in 2019

These retreats and resorts around the world are perfect for couples whose love language is decidedly yoga.

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YJ Tried It: I Survived a 10-Day Silent Vipassana Meditation Retreat




What happens when a seasoned yoga teacher and meditation practitioner goes on a 10-day silent vipassana meditation retreat? Lauren Eckstrom reports.

I’ve been meditating for a long time, but as I arrived in North Fork, California, just outside of Yosemite National Park, for my first 10-day vipassana retreat, I was terrified.

What have I gotten myself into? I wondered as I drove down the dirt path to the California Vipassana Meditation Center. What if we get dragged into another world war and no one can reach me?

My nerves were running high. I was about to spend a whopping 10 hours and 45 minutes a day in seated meditation in complete silence—no phone, computer, journal, books, exercise, yoga, or speaking.

Not talking seemed like it was going to be easy. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I spend all day every day using my voice. Silence felt like a welcome reprieve. But no journaling, reading, or yoga? That felt downright cruel.

See also Learn to Meditate

As I unpacked my bags and the many meditation cushions and props I had indulgently dragged with me, I was aware that despite my years of yoga practice, the most challenging part of this retreat was likely going to be the physical discomfort that would arise from all those hours of sitting. I walked to the small pond on the women’s side of the center—men and women are separated during the retreat—and took a seat near a small stream. I could hear frogs ribbit as a beautiful dragonfly buzzed near me. Nature was telling me it would be OK. I began to settle in.

That evening, as 50 women entered the meditation hall, I gazed around at the people I would be sitting with in silence for the next 10 days. Eye contact is not allowed once you start the retreat, so this was my only chance to get a good look at my fellow meditators before we began.

See also Find Your Meditation Style With These 7 Practices

The next morning, the wake up bell rang at 4 a.m. I slipped into my coziest sweatpants and stumbled in the dark toward the meditation hall. As the morning practice began, I started to feel anxious. My body temperature rose, and small beads of sweat began to pour down my face. I slipped my sweater off. When the heat continued, I tied my hair back. As my anxiety lifted to a peak, I opened my eyes and fainted headfirst into the meditation cushion of the woman perched in front of me. I have no idea how long I was out. I opened my eyes, sat back up, took a breath, and felt like I had left my body. This vipassana retreat was starting out with a bang.

Though it’s called a “silent retreat,” it felt noisier than playing the radio at full volume—not because there was talking, but because the voice inside my head incessantly narrated everything. I listened to my breath move in and out. I listened to coughing, sniffling, throat-clearing, and a bevy of other bodily noises come and go. I was mindful of my judgments, fears, and physical pains rising and falling away again and again. It was tedious. It felt like work.

See also Daily Meditation Made Easy

Then, on day three, something magical happened: My body—and mind—became still. While my physical discomfort from all of the sitting was still there, it stopped defining my moment-to-moment experience, and my mental hall monitor faded away.

This retreat woke me up in ways my yoga practice and training never have. I awakened to a voice inside my head that was self-critical and painful to listen to, and I loved that part of myself into healing. I heard the loving voices of my teachers whispering, “May this serve to open your heart; This too is practice; You can do hard things; This too will change; Nothing goes away until it teaches you what you need to learn.” And I kept sitting, ultimately having the incredible experience of the pain not being “mine” anymore. Sure, I felt it in my body, but I learned to un-identify with the pain. I fell into a space of trust that I was OK; that the pain could be there, and I could be separate from it.

In navigating the restlessness, fear, self-criticism, and pain I experienced on this retreat, I awakened to the true meaning of yoga and a profound new depth of presence, love, and acceptance that will stay with me forever.

See also The Big Brain Benefits of Meditation

Silent Vipassana Meditation At A Glance 


Vipassana meditation is commonly taught during 10-day, silent retreats with instruction on mindfulness and alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation.



Spirit Rock
Woodacre, California

Insight Meditation Society
Barre, Massachusetts

Shambhala Mountain Center
Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

About our author

Lauren Eckstrom is a yoga and meditation teacher in Los Angeles and co-author of the book Holistic Yoga Flow: The Path of Practice. She leads Holistic Yoga Flow workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings, with her husband, yoga teacher Travis Eliot, with whom she co-created Yoga 30 for 30—a 30-day online yoga program of half-hour daily practices. Learn more at

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A 5-Minute Meditation to Release Anxiety




Detach from anxiety and come back to the present.

Rina Deshpande shares her quick 5-minute meditation to release anxiety and let go of attachments. 

See also What’s the Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation?

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Yoga Helped Me Face My Fears About Marriage Once and For All




I went to Mexico to rejuvenate, detox, and practice yoga with my boyfriend. Turns out, it would also be where I faced my fears about marriage.

It was a humid sunrise on a quiet, sandy beach in Tulum, Mexico. Despite our previous late-night mezcal tasting beneath the jungle leaves, my longtime boyfriend, Anush, had dragged me out of our tiny thatched-roof cabana at first light.

I adjusted my Beyoncé t-shirt and gray cotton shorts I’d worn to bed as I scanned the horizon. When I turned back to Anush, he was kneeling in the sand, holding a typed love letter and a tourmaline engagement ring.

“Will you marry me?” He asked.

I was so incredulous, I couldn’t speak. Feelings of doubt and darkness coursed through me, even though I’d always imagined a future with him: He was the one person who made me feel seen and cared for and uplifted. Still, I was reluctant to commit.

My parents went through a dramatic and corrosive divorce when I was 13, but the fallout had lasted long after. Most of the great pain in my life has come from marriage—and its ending. Marriage is the thing that has made me most likely to run, and least likely to trust

See also This Guided Meditation Will Inspire You to Live From Your Heart

As I stared at the man I love, these past traumas lit my body from head to toe with alarm bells. How could I marry anyone? But, as I looked at him, I calmed myself down. I silently told myself something I had learned in my yoga and mindfulness practice: Be here now. With that mantra, I slowly came back to the moment. With that mantra, I reminded myself where I was, who I was with—and most importantly, who I am now.

He waited patiently. I started to cry. Finally, I said, “Yes! Yes. Yes. Of course, yes.” He put the ring on my finger, and he held me while I cried. In that moment of “yes,” my world expanded.

We drank champagne and ate fruit in front of the ocean while the Tulum sun rose, pink and hot on our skin. I could hardly believe my good fortune—engaged in Tulum at sunrise. In that moment, instead of fear, I chose gratitude.

I saw a beachfront yoga class almost immediately after—Tulum, thankfully is crawling with them—and I asked my fiance(!), if he’d like to take it together. I was still shaking from the metamorphic decision I had made: unwavering commitment in the face of fear. I hoped familiar asana would steady me. Internally, I repeated my mantra as we walked into a large triangular wood pavilion, perched on a hidden natural cliff in the jungle, overlooking the beach as if it had been there forever.

See also 17 Poses to Prep for Mindful Meditation

Our yoga teacher, a young woman from Mexico City with a sing-song voice, instructed us to let go of our fears, to open our hearts, to experience the beauty of the moment we were in.

I was exactly where I needed to be. I still had my dark corners—I may always—but I could learn to live with them and still claim the life I wanted and deserve. I could live in the present and not in the past. I could be here now, soaking in the jungle, the ocean, in a magnificent place where afterward we would eat fresh coconut and bike carefree down the beach road and hike up Mayan ruins and speak a little Spanish and accept a glorious chocolate mole cake that said “Felicidades.”

As I looked over at the joyful, patient man doing yoga next to me, the waves crashed out ahead. I took his hand for just an instant, and he smiled. And then we raised our arms together, side-by-side, to salute the sun.

See also 7 Simple Ways to Call in More Joy—and Feel Less Stressed

About our author

Gina Tomaine is a yoga teacher and magazine editor in Philadelphia. Her work has been published in Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and other publications. Learn more at 

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