California is known for its relaxed and easy pace and it’s assumed that everyone walks around sun-kissed with stellar physiques and rockin’ bods. That’s not completely true but fitness is a big deal to Californians and yoga is heavily weighted on the Cali menu of healthy living and well-being. From Bikram, Vinyasa and Hatha to Restorative, Power and Hot Yoga, California boasts a program, technique or class to infuse the yogi spirit with a calm and meditative energy. The following list of retreats will help perfect your Savasana, downward-facing dog, enhance strong vinyasa flow and aid in steady, slow breathing for a well-balanced and centered you. These highly recommended retreats offer organic and vegetarian cuisine, massage treatments as well as a variety of mind and body stimulating activities for a life transforming experience. Namaste!


Relax At These 6 Beautiful California Yoga Retreats




1. Esalen Institute

Where: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, California

Esalen is a paradise of 120 acres of nature’s best land sweetly carved in between the mountains and sea on the cliffs of Big Sur. Less than an hour south of Monterey, this oasis of serenity offers a variety of yoga programs, including Restorative, Vinyasa, Hatha, and more. Meditation, song, dance and writing are also on the roster of activities for self-expansion. In addition to body balance, you will experience delectable farm-to-table cuisine, hot mineral springs and baths, massage, scenic gardens, and spectacular coastal views. The center operates year-round, and rates vary by program. All rates are all-inclusive with accommodations, meals and use of facilities.

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2. White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center

Where: 2500 San Marcos Pass Road, Santa Barbara, California

Your aim for personal rejuvenation will be satisfied beyond your imagination at White Lotus. Overlooking the exquisite city of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, and the Pacific Ocean, White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center occupies 40 acres in the San Marcos Pass. This location is ideal for nature hikes, retreating to the swimming hole or hot tub, enjoying a relaxing massage, and carving out secluded spots for self-reflection. Cascading waterfalls provide breathtaking scenery for this territory that was once inhabited by Chumash Native Americans. Accommodations include yurts (lovely canvas-draped, dome-shaped structures with Balinese daybeds), tents, and privates (custom designed sleeping quarters). Vegetarian gourmet meals are sure to please your food palate. Retreats are scheduled year-round starting at rates of $650 for a weekend retreat. Rates include accommodations, gourmet vegetarian meals, two daily yoga classes, and use of facilities.

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3. The Pearl Laguna

Where: 21095 Raquel Road, Laguna Beach, California

The Pearl Laguna’s crisp, chic ambiance and décor nestled against century-aged Sycamore and Oak trees in Laguna Canyon is a must-visit for ultra-modern yogis. The Pearl Laguna combines a sweet, aromatic blend of yoga, meditation, organic and vegetarian cuisine, hiking, and topped off with soothing massage for an invigorating and cleansing treat for oneself. Luxury accommodations include organic mattresses and linens, and oceanic views are sure to tantalize and rejuvenate for an invigorating transformation. Year-round retreat rates start at $4,850 per person, including six nights of luxury accommodations, all-organic meals and fresh juices, guided hikes, two daily yoga classes, and five one-hour massages.

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4. Sivananda Yoga Farm

Where: Ballentree Lane, Grass Valley, California

Sivananda Yoga Farm is located on 80 acres of land in the Gold Country of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California. The program is harmonious designed with a basic schedule of two daily satsangs (silent meditation, mantra chanting and spiritual lecture) and two yoga classes while still having plenty of free time to rest, swim, sauna, hike the trails, and enjoy delectable vegetarian cuisine. Revitalize your mind and body at the Sivananda Yoga Farm. Open year round. Dorm rates from $65/night per person to - Single rates of $240/night. Your inner being will thank you!

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5. SpaFari

Where: Santa Barbara, California

For a more vigorous adventure, SpaFari has designed a well-balanced rejuvenating program that incorporates daily yoga classes, meditation in a mountain temple, nature hikes, gourmet meals in various local vegetarian restaurants around Santa Barbara, daily massage, as well as added time for self-reflection and silence. Activities such as sea kayaking, sailing and biking fill in as individual tastes desire to round out the Santa Barbara experience. Hotel accommodations are secured through the elegant Santa Barbara Inn. This package is offered in March, April & May and is available Sunday-Saturday 7-Day weeks. Rates start from $3,850 per person, double occupancy. Other choice accommodations range in price from unique and comfortable to deluxe and luxury. (Custom and private Santa Barbara SpaFaris are available anytime.)

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6. Body Flows

Where: 525 3rd Street West, Sonoma, California

Body Flows conducts spectacular Yoga and Wellness Retreats in Sonoma and Napa Wine Country, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Signature Yoga, hiking and wine tasting retreats rotate throughout the year. The excursion day begins early, with a stimulating outdoor vinyasa yoga class against the winery as a stunning backdrop. You then go on an invigorating and scenic three mile hike. The wine tasting and nourishing food pairings round out the day. This makes a great treat for yourself or a loved one, and os a delightful day of rejuvenation and self-indulgence. Rates start from $125 for the one day retreat.

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This article was written by Sharon Cleveland Blount.