There are many excellent yoga retreats in Sri Lanka.
When it comes to wellness and enjoying a yoga holiday, Sri Lanka doesn’t always first come to mind! It is maybe a less popular choice than Bali but one that I would strongly recommend to anyone who’s looking for a wonderful yoga destination that offers remarkable off-the-beaten paths.
If you’re looking for an authentic wellness experience sans the tourist boom and expensive rates, unspoiled Sri Lanka is a perfect choice. Delectable cuisine, refreshing tropical climate, sandy beaches, and fascinating wildlife – this country has the ideal environment that will help motivate you to deepen your yoga practice. Not to mention, the country is very spiritual, with Buddhism being largely practiced.
Before you embark on an amazing journey to spiritual transformation and mind and body rejuvenation and I tell you everything about the most amazing yoga retreats in Sri Lanka, there are some important preparations to be done to make the most out of your yoga retreat.
How To Choose The Best Yoga Retreats In Sri Lanka
Not all yoga retreats are created equal. There are just so many of them offered all over the world and it can be challenging to choose the best one that resonates with you. If you’re a beginner, you would want to look for a retreat that offers programs that cater to your skill level. There’s also the option of going on a private retreat or one that’s offered in groups.
Be Clear With Your Intentions
If you need help deciding which yoga retreat to go for, you first need to be clear about your intentions. Ask yourself, “why do I want to go on a retreat?” or “What do I hope to get from by going to this yoga retreat?” “What kind of yoga practice do I like?”
Choosing the Best Yoga Retreats
Once you are clear about what you want out of a yoga retreat, reflect on the following questions:
Where do I want to travel to for a yoga retreat?
Location is an important aspect to consider when choosing a yoga retreat. Most likely, you’ll be spending more than a couple of days in a retreat – if not, a month, if you wish to. That said, you need to choose a place that you’ll be comfortable in, both the surroundings and the climate. Is Sri Lanka the best place to go to for you? It is one of the best yoga destinations, and there are some excellent yoga retreats in Sri Lanka that you can choose from.
Who will be my yoga teacher?
The good thing about retreats these days is that they’re easy to find – all thanks to social media and other online platforms that promote these offers. Too often, yogis will be having a retreat with an instructor they’ve never met or don’t know anything about. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it could be a dealbreaker, especially if you don’t align with the teacher’s style, intentions, and character.
Before going on a trip, take the time to get to know the teacher who’ll lead the retreat as this can be a big factor in ensuring you get the experience that you’re looking for. If you have a teacher in mind that you want to work with, then it’s best to visit their website to know about their schedules. If not, you can send an email and get the vibe from your teacher’s response.
What is my budget?
To be honest, yoga retreats can be a bit pricey so it’s best if you know what the package includes before you book. Most retreats do have meals and accommodation included in the package. Timing your retreat can help you save on the costs as off-season retreats tend to be priced lower.
The plus side is that you don’t have to compete for slots with other retreaters. Also, keep in mind that the duration of a retreat also matters: a month-long retreat will of course be much more expensive than a weekend retreat but the cost per night will also be considerably lower.
How to get to the retreat center?
Going on a wellness retreat is just like traveling to different countries or states – but can be a more transformative experience. Still, you need to know how to get to your retreat center. How many flights will you be taking to get there? Will you ride a bus or a train to reach the site? Is there a need to book additional hotel nights before going to the facility?
Answering all the questions should help you come up with an informed decision so you will not go on a retreat clueless. As for Sri Lanka, you should know that even a dense forest where a retreat facility is located could be near a busy road. But don’t worry, you’ll still have that peace and serenity you are looking forward to.
What To Bring To Yoga Retreats In Sri Lanka
Now you’re ready and you’re clear about your intentions as to why you want to go to Sri Lanka for a retreat. The next thing you’ll be thinking is “what am I going to pack?” Instead of just throwing whatever you can find in your closet for your trip, choose what you pack mindfully.
Below are some tips on how to pack for your Sri Lankan yoga retreat:
- Start with the basic travel essentials. First and foremost, don’t forget your tickets/boarding pass, VISAs if needed, and passport, toiletries, a first-aid kit, and some healthy snacks.
- When it comes to clothing, bring only those that you need – this means, yoga pants, underwear, comfy clothes, and swimwear. Sri Lanka is a beautiful paradise and you don’t want to miss out on the beach fun.
- Put on some comfortable footwear too, as some retreats give you some downtime to explore the area on your own.
- More importantly – your yoga gear. Ideally, this should include your travel mat and a yoga towel. Bringing a non-toxic yoga mat is recommended as this eliminates any safety concerns over using common mats. If you have not invested yet on your own yoga mat, here are some yoga mat recommendations made from sustainable materials.
For more ideas on what to pack for your trip, check out my post What To Wear In Sri Lanka: Essential Items You Shouldn’t Travel Without.
How To Prepare For Yoga Retreats In Sri Lanka
Packing the right things is just one part of the preparations you have to make for your wellness journey. Aside from this, you need to be physically, spiritually, and mentally prepared for the retreat. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your fifth time because each retreat is different and will offer a unique experience.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to practice yoga on your own. When you do, you can be confident about your movements as well as be comfortable about practicing out of your comfort zone – whether it is your home or a studio. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’ll be out on a retreat by the beach or in a remote jungle – you can still do yoga and do it comfortably because you’ve conditioned your mind and body well.
Need extra help in boosting your confidence? Check out this guide on practicing yoga anywhere!
Another tip I’d like to share is to change your eating habits to the healthier side. Eat nutritious foods that keep your mind and body functioning. It’s worth noting that most retreat centers that include meals in their package serve vegetarian or vegan food.
If you’re not used to this diet, you might want to start getting your body used to it. It’s a plus, anyway, since you’ll be eating organic, healthy food. Take it as an opportunity for a food reset and switch to a more mindful way of eating.
Lastly, journaling is highly encouraged. Going to a beautiful place like Sri Lanka for a retreat is one experience you would want to cherish. A journal is an excellent tool to help preserve those memories – plus, it helps you keep track of your progress or your reflections, which could greatly help in your journey to self-awareness.
The Best Yoga Retreats In Sri Lanka
Ready to go on a wonderful Sri Lankan retreat? Here are 6 of the best yoga retreats in Sri Lanka.
Ulpotha Yoga & Ayurveda Retreat – Galgiriyawa Mountain Area
Let’s start off with not only the best yoga retreats in the country but also considered one of the top-rated in the world. Ulpotha retreat brings you a traditional experience mixed with modern-day yoga.
Ulpotha also has one of the perfect, breathtaking places to get into a meditative state – and you’ll have the smell of nature and the sounds of the birds to help out. The retreat center offers all forms of yoga, but also provides Ayurvedic healing. Yoga classes include Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, and Nidra.
A typical day would include morning and afternoon yoga classes, guided temple walks, three daily meals, and a complimentary healing massage.
Many who leave this retreat will describe their experience as life-changing. If you plan to join this retreat, do know that it’s not available all-year-round. Ulpotha retreats run from November to March, and June to August, so plan accordingly.
Plantation Villa – Thudugala Road
Want to go on a yoga retreat to feel better in your body? This 14-day holistic health and yoga retreat with Plantation Villa might just be the treat for you. Yoga styles practiced include Restorative, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Nidra Yoga, among others.
In this wellness retreat, you’ll go through Ayurvedic treatments and receive natural herbal medicines to help you with your wellbeing journey, along with daily guided yoga and meditation classes. You’ll also get to go on nature hikes and marvel at the beauty of nature. On top of that, you’ll also learn how to cook delicious meals that will be in line with your goals to be thriving and healthy.
Tri Lanka – Lake Koggala, Galle District
Are you more interested in a luxurious yoga retreat? Consider Tri Lanka, a sustainable hotel located in the South. Your stay in this luxury hotel lets you have spa treatments, yoga sessions, and tasty dining – and you get to do all that while being presented with a stunning view of Koggala Lake, one of the largest lakes in the country.
And of course, since you’re surrounded by nature, you’ll have that peaceful environment where it’s super easy to get into a meditative state. Other exciting activities you can take part in are learning Sri Lankan cuisine and a fun boating session to Cinnamon Island.
Don’t hold yourself back. If you feel like indulging yourself in a much-needed restorative, transformative, and refreshing luxury retreat, why not try Tri Lanka?
Sri Yoga Shala – Thalpe Road Durage Watta Metaramba, Unawatuna
Does meditating or introspection in isolation sound more appealing to you? There’s no better place than the Sri Lankan-owned Sri Yoga Shala. Located in the jungle, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your inner self, while still surrounded by like-minded people. And yes, this jungle retreat center is just a kilometer away from a busy road, but nothing of the hustle and bustle will get in the way of your meditation.
Sri Yoga Shala also offers free classes to women on a regular basis as they embrace the feminine community. Their women-focused program offers stress management and empowerment workshops, making Sri Yoga Shala a great choice for female yogis.
Interested in Yoga Teacher Training? Sri Yoga Shala has it too. Meanwhile, if you want to go on a lengthy 10-day retreat with them, you will have 20 sessions of yoga and three sessions of a 60-min massage. They also offer retreats lasting three, five, and seven days.
Yoga sessions happen in the morning and afternoon. Meals served are from their plant-based cafe. Once you’re done with your afternoon yoga, you’re free to explore the area.
Welikande Estate Wellness – Kandy, Central Province
Welikande Estate Wellness offers year-round retreats of meditation, yoga, and nature exploration. It’s the ideal retreat if you want to take time off to relieve stress. A cooking class and outdoor activities like hiking are part of your wellness retreat. They also offer Yoga Nidra classes and workshops.
Their 5-day Rest and Renew Yoga Retreat is available all-year-round and you’ll be doing daily yoga classes in the mountains with a view of the relaxing sunset. Expect Hatha, Yin, Restorative, and Nidra to be the yoga styles practiced in this retreat.
Surf & Yoga Retreat by The Nuga House – Ahangama, Southern Province
Feeling disconnected lately and want to reclaim your authentic self? A surf and yoga retreat might just be what you need. The Nuga House offers a 4-day retreat of this kind, which provides the opportunity to unwind and be one with nature, and in the process find yourself.
The 4-day retreat typically includes a healthy, daily breakfast meal, surfing lessons with a certified instructor, and of course – daily yoga classes with styles including Yin, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini, Restorative, and Sivananda, among others.
Surfboard and yoga gear are offered during your class, but if you have your own, that’s totally fine. After an exciting physical activity on the beach, you get to relax in a stylish room in this luxury hotel.
Final Thoughts On Yoga Retreats In Sri Lanka
Regardless of the purpose of your yoga retreat – whether you want to lose weight, improve on your yoga skills, find yourself, or get away from stress, Sri Lanka always has the perfect opportunity for you to deepen practice so you can leave as a whole, new, authentic being. The most important thing to do is to just have fun and enjoy your journey.
Further readings about Sri Lanka
Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Make sure to read my other posts:
- 20 Absolutely Beautiful Places To Visit In Sri Lanka
- 19 Things To Know Before Visiting Sri Lanka
- Everything You Should Know Before Backpacking Sri Lanka
- Food In Sri Lanka: 25 Delicious Dishes You Should Try
- A Guide To The Most Unique Temples In Sri Lanka
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Bentota, Sri Lanka
- 13 Things To Know About Whale Watching In Mirissa, Sri Lanka
- 9 Fabulous Things To Do In Mirissa Sri Lanka, And One Not To
- Where To Do A Safari In Sri Lanka
- A Very Useful Guide To Ella Sri Lanka
- A Guide To What To See And Do In Trincomalee Sri Lanka
- A Great Guide To Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Sigiriya Sri Lanka
- A Complete Guide to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
- A Complete Guide To Kandy Sri Lanka
- A Complete Guide To Galle Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Off The Beaten Path
This post was contributed by Lucile Hernandez Rodriguez. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher, Blogger and Mindful Business Advisor. She shares actionable advice on Mindfulness, Yoga and Travel on her blog, lucilehr.com. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest!