Yoga with a twist

Need extra incentive to try a yoga retreat? These energizing spring getaways add another element to the practice.

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  • Photograph: Merrick Chase

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    Telluride Yoga Festival

  • Photograph: Merrick Chase

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    Telluride Yoga Festival

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    Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch

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    Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch

Photograph: Merrick Chase

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Telluride Yoga Festival

Yoga and snow sports: Telluride Yoga Festival Winter Retreat


If you're torn between chilling out and a last-chance ski trip, head to Colorado's San Juan Mountains for an action-packed weekend at the Telluride Yoga Festival Winter Retreat, a smaller-scale version of the popular Telluride Yoga Festival in July. Guests stay at the recently renovated Peaks Resort & Spa, which offers ski-in/ski-out access, a 42,000-square-foot spa, and several on-site restaurants (though only breakfast is included in the package). Participants start the day at 8am with meditation, followed by an hour and a half of gentle yoga, and wind down with a restorative yoga session in the evening. The bulk of the day is left open to partake in the plethora of winter activities—skiing, ice-skating (the town center has two ice rinks), sledding and ice climbing are just a few options, and most are within walking distance of Telluride town center (reached via gondola from the hotel). "The most attractive thing about Telluride is it's a very pedestrian town, kind of like New York," says Telluride Yoga Festival director Aubrey Hackman. "Buses come every 15 minutes and run on biodiesel."
When March 10--13
Where The Peaks Resort & Spa, 136 Country Club Dr, Telluride, CO (970-708-9631, tellurideyogafestival.com)
Price shared room $537, private room $1,243 (both include yoga, lodging, breakfast and $100 spa treatment)

Yoga and walking: Hiking Weekend at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch


Most people head to this 35-year-old upstate ranch for one thing: peace and quiet. The daily schedule, beginning with a 5:30am wake-up bell, includes satsang (meditation and chanting), hatha yoga (with a heavy emphasis on pranayama breathing exercises) and two wholesome vegetarian meals per day. Visitors are asked to respect ashram guidelines—no drinking, no smoking, silence after sundown—and help out with household chores like washing dishes and sweeping the floors. But for those who are committed to an undisturbed weekend in the Catskills, the ranch offers stunning mountain views, a wood-burning Russian sauna and guided hikes through nearby Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
When March 25--27
Where 500 Budd Rd, Woodbourne, NY (845-436-6492, sivananda.org/ranch)
Price dorm $70, double $80 or single $95 per person per night (all include yoga, lodging, park entrance and two vegetarian meals per day), plus $15 per day

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