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Immerse yourself in rejuvenation and retreat this International Day of Yoga

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In today’s fast-paced world, taking a moment to reconnect with oneself is essential for maintaining mental and physical well-being. Yoga, with its ancient roots and holistic benefits, offers the perfect means to achieve this balance. International Day of Yoga, celebrated on June 21st every year, is a reminder of our collective journey toward mindfulness and self-discovery through the practice of yoga. This day encourages us to explore destinations that not only provide a serene environment for yoga practice but also promote overall wellness and rejuvenation.

Here’s a list of some top destinations collated by SOTC and Thomas Cook India where you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature, deepen your yoga practice, and find a perfect retreat for your mind and body.

1. Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh, often referred to as the “Yoga Capital of the World,” is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas alongside the sacred Ganges River. This serene town offers numerous ashrams and yoga retreats, perfect for anyone looking to deepen their practice in a spiritually enriching environment. Daily yoga and meditation sessions are a staple here, often accompanied by workshops on pranayama and Ayurveda, which provide a holistic approach to well-being. Additionally, the adventurous can enjoy river rafting on the Ganges, blending physical activity with spiritual cleansing. Practising yoga in Rishikesh offers a profound experience, with the town’s spiritual energy and the presence of renowned yoga gurus enhancing your journey.

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Popular for its mountainous landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage, Chiang Mai is referred to as a hidden gem for yoga enthusiasts seeking peace and quiet. The city’s outskirts are dotted with wellness retreats offering holistic yoga experiences in lush surroundings. Retreats often feature traditional Thai massages and wellness therapies, enhancing relaxation and rejuvenation. Cultural immersion activities, such as temple visits and Thai cooking classes, provide a deeper understanding of local traditions and ways to incorporate mindfulness into daily life. The tranquil environment of Chiang Mai fosters a deep sense of mindfulness, making it an ideal place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on inner peace.

3. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, is renowned for its serene rice paddies, ancient temples, and vibrant arts scene. It has become a haven for yoga practitioners from around the world. Yoga classes and retreats are set amidst beautiful rice terraces, offering a peaceful and inspiring backdrop for practice. Workshops on Balinese healing practices and mindfulness provide insights into local traditions and holistic wellness. Additionally, Ubud offers opportunities for artistic expression through traditional Balinese dance and crafts, allowing you to explore creativity as a form of mindfulness. Ubud’s peaceful ambiance and commitment to wellness make it a perfect destination for deepening your yoga practice and finding inner balance.

4. Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Located on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, Tangalle is a less-visited gem that offers pristine beaches and a tranquil environment ideal for a yoga retreat. Beachfront yoga sessions and meditation practices allow you to connect with the natural beauty of the coastline, enhancing your sense of calm and relaxation. Ayurvedic treatments and wellness programs offered by local practitioners provide a holistic approach to health and well-being. Eco-friendly accommodations and sustainable tourism initiatives in Tangalle ensure that your retreat is in harmony with the environment. The soothing sound of waves and the serene coastal landscape of Tangalle provide a perfect backdrop for practising yoga and reconnecting with nature.

5. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is not just famous for its stunning sunsets and white-washed buildings; it also offers peaceful retreats away from the tourist crowds, perfect for yoga enthusiasts. Cliffside yoga classes with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea create a breathtaking setting for your practice, blending natural beauty with spiritual growth. Wellness retreats often feature local organic cuisine and Greek massage therapies, promoting physical health and relaxation. Exploring the island’s history and natural beauty adds a cultural dimension to your retreat, enriching your experience. The breathtaking scenery and tranquil atmosphere of Santorini enhance the meditative and restorative aspects of yoga, providing a unique and unforgettable retreat experience.

So, this World Yoga Day, take a step towards rejuvenation by immersing yourself in one of these hidden destinations. Each location offers a unique blend of tranquillity, cultural richness, and opportunities for deepening your yoga practice, enabling you to embark on a journey of self-discovery and rejuvenation in these idyllic settings.

Inputs shared by: Rajeev Kale – President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India) Limited, and Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel

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