By Beth Purcell
Yoga continues to gain popularity worldwide as more and more people realize the benefits of the practice for themselves. Although the stereotype still persists that yoga is for only the young and the flexible, this stereotype is waning, and for good reason. Yoga is for every body, at every age. In fact, a consistent yoga practice is one of the best things you can do for your body as you grow older.
Beyond a movement practice (and a healthy diet), another thing you can do to promote wellness is to periodically get away from the daily pressures, habits and routines that you’ve formed. A week or longer is optimal, but even a long weekend away from the daily grind is a major gift to yourself, and a boon to your overall health.
Yoga retreats are a very good way to accomplish this, because in addition to a daily yoga practice, they typically include healthy, well-balanced meals and ample down time for contemplation, journaling, hikes or just plain vegging out.
“Retreats give individuals a chance for their nervous systems to settle down, as this takes time, and provides them with a more profound experience of how they can achieve more peace and health when they really put the time into being present,” explains Rachel Krentzman, international yoga teacher and author of the books, “Yoga for a Happy Back: A Teacher’s Guide to Spinal Health through Yoga Therapy,” and “Scoliosis, Yoga Therapy & the Art of Letting Go.”
Luckily, there are myriad options for yoga and wellness retreats in Baja California. The Peninsula is home to some larger, dedicated retreat facilities, such as the gorgeous Prana del Mar, located at the southern tip of Baja, and Rancho la Puerta – the oldest and most well-known retreat center in Baja California – located in Tecate.
“Rancho La Puerta is a really special place that has its roots in true health and well-being, even before yoga, vegetarianism and holistic health became popular,” states Rachel Krentzman, who will be leading a yoga program there the first week of July.
There are also a growing number of smaller retreat facilities throughout Baja, and custom retreats are also growing in popularity, especially in the North. Such retreats typically leave out of the US, and are an excellent option if you want to leave the transportation to someone else.
Hannah Bader, founder of Yoga Baja, specializes in creating individualized yoga retreat packages for groups, based on their specific desires and fitness level. “I love helping people plan time to relax and have a vacation that is healthy and balanced. Yoga Baja retreats typically offer a blend of all of the great things about Baja. I incorporate yoga with the ocean, wine country and fabulous farm-to-table meals.”
Shaun Jenkins, Founder and Owner of The House of Yogi studio in San Diego, echoes these sentiments, saying, “The natural beauty of Baja, the quality of the wine and fresh foods, and the close proximity to the US makes Baja a natural choice for yoga retreats for our yoga community.”
The take away? There is no need to look farther than Baja California for your next (or first!) yoga getaway.