Zen Dens: Yoga Retreats
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Where: Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Guru says: Set on an absurdly gorgeous stretch of Yucatán shore 90 minutes from Cancún, this is the best-regarded retreat destination within the yoga community, hosting more than 50 events a year. Join a group trip sponsored by one of several international yoga stars, such as Baron Baptiste, or simply sign on for Maya Tulum's five-night or seven-night MBS (as in mind, body, spirit) program. The price includes yoga sessions, meditation classes, three vegetarian meals per day (fish is optional), massages, and day-trips. The spa serves up specialties such as Mayan clay massage and Sobata Maya—a concentric navel massage. Oh, and there's a sweat lodge run by a third-generation shaman named Fabian.
Classmates: Among the hippie-chic 20-to-45 set, this place is more popular than soy chai lattes. You're liable to share hardwood with film and rock stars, politicians, and Manhattanites looking for time off from the social circuit.
Om factor: Given the Mayan context and enthusiastic clientele, expect bizarre conversations about Krishna, string theory, indigo children, 2012, Tantra, the evils of Fox News, and the holographic nature of reality. Quick: Say, "Mayan navel massage" 50 times fast.
Prerequisites: Crow pose. You don't have to know how to balance on your hands with legs curled up like a perching crow's wings, but if you don't, you may have asana envy.
Extracurricular: Aside from getting sweaty with Fabian, explore the nearby Mayan ruins in Tulum and some of the largest pyramids in Mexico at Coba. Snorkeling is also first-rate.
When to go: Winter and spring are the most popular, but good deals can be had in summer and fall. Baptiste leads weeklong "boot camp" retreats October 21–28 and May 19–26. (For more information, visit Baptiste's site.)
All-inclusive MBS retreats from $1,020 per person; Baptiste's boot camps from $2,595
Tel: 888 515 4580