5 of the Best Yoga Retreats in Northern California
by Alyssa James | Published March 22, 2018
When you’re looking to reconnect with your inner light or recharge your spirit, a yoga retreat in sunny Northern California might be the ticket. From meditating atop the Sierra Nevada, listening to your body on an idyllic ranch away from the distractions of the city, or tasting wines in California wine country, there is a yoga retreat for you.
Natarajasana, or Lord of the Dance Pose (Photo: Body Flows)
Whether you’re just starting out with yoga and meditation or you need a week to unplug and destress, heading out to nature in The Golden State offers a unique opportunity to relax and unwind. Here is our list of the best yoga retreats in Northern California based on independent reviews and value for money.
The Expanding Light Retreat
From $242/per person
The Expanding Light Retreat is a spiritual and vegetarian community that has been practicing and sharing yoga and meditation teachings since 1969. With more than a dozen yoga, meditation, and teacher training retreats in Northern California, the Expanding Light is a favourite among practitioners of all levels. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of Hatha, Kriya, and Ananda yoga and meditation, experience spiritual counselling, and enjoy daily vegetarian meals. Accommodation options are in private, double, and quadruple rooms and include Wi-Fi service. Guests are also able to bring RVs and tents to accommodate themselves on the 40-acre retreat centre in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Body Flows organizes yoga and wellness retreats in Sonoma Valley. You’ll join women from across the US on the serene Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma for a time of learning and self-discovery. The two yoga classes per day are combination of Hatha and Vinyasa flow with themes designed to promote balance, energy, and strength. During free time you’ll have the opportunity to hike on nature trails, use the pool and hot tub, or relax with an on-site massage while surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. Accommodation options include shared double, triple, and quadruple rooms with private bathroom or a private double room. All meals and snacks are included, along with a tasting of locally produced wines.
Women’s Quest was founded by Colleen Cannon after a successful career as a professional triathlete. She offers women’s outdoor adventure vacations and yoga retreats to empower women through movement and balance. Women’s Quest’s six-day retreat in Sonoma Valley combines world-class road cycling, calming yoga and meditation, and the sensory delights of wine and food for a fantastic girl’s getaway. You’ll enjoy daily Vinyasa and Restorative yoga classes combined with Qigong, professional cycling instruction and access to trails, breakfast and dinners, and two excursions to local biodynamic wineries. Accommodation is at the Bishop’s Ranch in a two-storey, 1930s Spanish-style lodge with private single and private or shared double rooms.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm is a non-profit organization founded to teach yoga, meditation, Vedanta, and yoga philosophy through retreats in the USA and around the world. With more than a dozen teacher trainings and yoga retreats in Northern California, there are plenty of options for taking care of your spiritual side. From learning ayurvedic agroforestry to diabetes and weight management retreats, there is something everyone can benefit from. Retreats include daily Karma and Ayurvedic yoga classes, two daily vegetarian meals, workshops specific to the theme, and accommodation on the yoga farm in Grass Valley. There are several cabins with shared or private single and double rooms, though guests have the option of camping on the farm grounds.
Pete Guinosso is a yoga instructor who creates a spiritual and light-hearted environment for students to develop or improve their practice. Pete Guinosso’s retreats are suitable for beginners trying to uncover the benefits of yoga and meditation. You’ll enjoy daily sunrise and sunset yoga classes, three healthy daily meals, open meditation, and camping accommodation in some of Northern California’s sacred sites. In your free time, take advantage of the immersion in nature to rock climb, hike, or swim.