Caribbean Yoga, Pilates, Wellbeing
Caribbean Yoga retreats, Pilates, and health and wellbeing activities
In this Caribbean Yoga, Pilates & Wellbeing section of Active Caribbean you will find some snippets of information on destinations in the Caribbean where you will find these special interests activities. There are a lot of Caribbean Yoga retreats and wellbeing retreats in the Caribbean as well as luxury spa hotels. In the UK, Royal ‘celebrity’ Pippa Middleton, apparently a great fan of Pilates, has helped to bring Pilates to the fore while Yoga remains an all-time favourite.
What a fabulous region the Caribbean makes for Yoga instructors to take their students on a Yoga, wellbeing or fitness holiday. If you are a Pilates or Yoga instructor we hope you’ll find some destinations in this section to consider for your next accompanied group Caribbean Yoga and wellbeing vacation. Taking Yoga classes on the beach, on the sea, or in the middle of a rainforest must surely be some of the most relaxing and exercising spots you’ll find in the Caribbean.
There are also many Caribbean hotels and resorts which include Yoga and/or Pilates classes – group and/or private – in their wellness facilities, as well as a myriad of luxury Caribbean hotels with top-notch spas, which will suit guests who travel independently.
To enhance your stay in the Caribbean – whether action-packed or not – a spa treatment is a ‘must’ to pamper your body, especially after an active day enjoying one of the wide range of adventure activities and rainforest activities in the Caribbean. Just check out the photo on the top right – it’s a fantastic and unusual Rainforest Spa in St Lucia at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. Another favourite of Active Caribbean is the beautiful spa at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis which has a fully air-conditioned Sports Pavilion. The Resort offers a wide range of activities which include Yoga classes as well as fitness and wellness classes.
Destinations known for their Caribbean Yoga and wellbeing activities
SAINT LUCIA holds an annual three-day ‘health and wellness retreat’ on the island (November) for visitors who are looking for a rejuvenating and tranquil holiday. Yoga, Ayurveda, tai chi classes and healthy cooking demonstrations are included. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Sulphur Springs while you’re on the island and take a dip in the cleansing mud baths.
In DOMINICA, the ‘nature’ island, even if there are no Yoga facilities where you are staying, you can enjoy private lessons anywhere on the island – at a location of your choice. You choose – views of the sea, in the rainforest, by a river or by the sea… what can possibly be more nature loving and relaxing than that! There is also a custom built wellness and Yoga retreat that takes some beating. There are two indoor studios and an ocean-side cabana, spa treatments, adventure activities options, and accommodation is in cottages in the rainforest – each has a patio hammock, an outdoor shower and great scenery. There is luxury accommodation that offers private Yoga classes too… in an orchid garden, on a clifftop or on the terrace of your luxury villa – just for you and/or for couples.
On the unspoilt island of NEVIS you’ll find a Yoga Retreat which is happy to host instructors and wellness teachers who wish to accompany and take their students to the Caribbean for a Yoga vacation. On the island you’ll find daily yoga and meditation sessions, together with power yoga, sports injury yoga, post- and pre-natal yoga.
There are travel companies that specialise in Yoga retreats in the Caribbean. ARUBA is well covered with special Yoga courses and classes. Yoga classes include Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, classical Hatha, Vinyasa Yoga, and Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga. A lot of Yoga classes are given on the beach but you’ll find air-conditioned studios too, as well as a land and sea retreat where Yoga classes are held alongside stand-up paddle board instruction.
In BARBADOS an example of a seven-day Yoga vacation includes both meditation and Yoga sessions which are held at various beauty spots. Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes are also offered as the sun sets. How cool is that. Yoga instructors can take their students on a Yoga retreat and enjoy the comforts of a private villa all to themselves in Barbados, using the tropical gardens or a covered patio for lessons.
There are some very chic hotels in SAINT LUCIA that offer a range of Yoga, fitness and wellness options – two rather special hotels with these activities also offer amazing views of the Pitons. You’ll find Yoga, Pilates, On the Ball, and wellness classes as well as Pilates, tai chi, and kung fu lessons. Both complete beginners to Yoga as well as experienced Yoga students are well catered for, and private Yoga sessions can be booked – excellent if you need help to overcome specific aches and pains. If you are on a budget, don’t worry, you can find reasonably-priced cottage accommodation in Saint Lucia that also offers activities. These activities include Yoga, nutrition and wellness classes, and even a relax, re-charge and renew one-day class where holistic cuisine, massage and healing therapies as well as Yoga and meditation are included in the day’s programme.
Consider JAMAICA overlooking the Caribbean Sea in St Elizabeth, where there are several Yoga, wellness and fitness courses, group and private Yoga classes held in laid-back surroundings. These are run by several different teachers who cover active Yoga, restorative (Yoga, stretch, core) with music. Intensive fitness classes, athletic training classes, and running trails, and fitness weekends are other options. In Negril you’ll also find an open air Yoga studio set in tropical gardens in a no-frills Yoga retreat which is available to guest teachers with student groups as well as individuals.
Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga is getting really popular in the Caribbean in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Floating on the warm Caribbean waters is SO peaceful but you do need good balance. If you haven’t got it, you soon will! SUP Yoga is great for body strength, improves co-ordination, balance and stamina. There are special Yoga retreats for couples in the Dominican Republic and, rather more unusual, combined kettlebell and Yoga breaks – kettlebells are large round cast iron ‘ball’ weights with a loop on the top (2-100 pounds in weight) which have been used for decades in Eastern Europe.
For open-air Yoga with absolutely stunning views check out exciting BELIZE where Yoga retreats run by well qualified instructors offer meditation, Pranayama, chanting, postures, and philosophy. In Belize you will be able to combine Yoga with an eco-adventure or stay in a cottage in a pine forest Yoga hideaway in the jungle.
The BAHAMAS are hot on Yoga… you’ll find Yoga retreat courses for Yoga lovers of all levels, and they cover everything from juice fasting and sound healing to Theta healing and advanced Sadhana. Meditation, postures, and breathing practices are included. Want to be a Yoga instructor? Then, in the Bahamas, you can learn how – on an immersion course over four weeks.
There’s a 250-acre biological reserve in COSTA RICA in which nestles a retreat that offers a yogic lifestyle in the Costa Rican rainforest; Yoga for women vacations; a holiday with a mix of dance, hoop, Yoga and Pilates; and a vacation specially for couples which combines Yoga with adventure. All this takes place on the Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica.
GRENADA is a great island for a Yoga retreat – a few of the top hotels have excellent facilities offering Yoga and/or Pilates in group sessions and private lessons. Here you can practise Yoga in tropical landscaped gardens and on a deck overlooking a beautiful beach, as well as in a serene Yoga studio, and in an open-air pavilion on the beach.
Healthy eating is promoted so, if that’s what you’re looking for, in Grenada you will be able to find a Yoga retreat offering vegetarian and Ayurvedic cuisine– Caribbean-inspired and using local vegetables, fruits, and spices of course -Grenada being the ‘spice’ island of the Caribbean. The few luxury Spas in the best hotels are pretty impressive – Spice Island Beach Resort has a particularly chic spa offering treatments using local spices and produce – nutmeg, ocean seaweed, Aloe Vera and coconut.
In the north eastern region of PUERTO RICO you’ll find wellbeing facilities on the beach or in a Yoga studio in one of the top hotels there – private Yoga, stretch classes, Pilates customised sessions, and private meditation sessions. If your mind, body and spirit aren’t so keen on the beach there is a lush jungle mountain Yoga retreat option offering mountainside rooms with fan and balcony hammock (four rooms in each wooden building), group and private lessons, a fully equipped Yoga centre, various workshops, teacher training, and lots more.
You can also enhance your holiday, learn how to relax and promote harmony between your mind and your body in an intimate house in the tranquil hills in south TOBAGO. Expect meditation, both dynamic and gentle Yoga classes, Pranayama, and more.
Another Yoga venue in Tobago, open to all levels of Yoga experience, is an unusual thatched open-air structure called an ‘ajoupa’. Yoga and Tai Chi classes are offered most mornings, Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini classes in the evenings and there are also various workshops held through the year (alternative therapies, mind and body health).
The ST KITTS Marriott Resort offers quite a few fitness classes as well as ‘Yoga Flow’ classes for beginners to be introduced to a composite of Yoga styles. The resort also holds fitness classes (Tai Chi, Chi Gung and Yoga), as well as cardio kickboxing lessons, dance aerobics classes, and spinning exercises (stationary bikes)
Connect with Mayan history in the YUCATAN PENINSULA of Mexico where there is a serene seaside spa and wellness retreat that offers a heap of different Yoga retreats offering a wide range of Yoga and wellness options including teacher training, meditation, dance, hot Yoga, smoking cessation retreats, healing, alternative medicine, healthy living, healing and arts, Qi Gong and massage therapy. Accommodation is in cabanas on the beach, Yoga in two halls (3,000sqft and 1,500sqft). Another example of the wellbeing activities Yoga retreats offer in the Yucatan Peninsula, this time in Cancun, are Yoga, Pilates, stretching, and fusion Pilates combined with Zumba, tennis, wakeboarding, and windsurfing.
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Images on this Caribbean Yoga, Pilates, Wellbeing page are copyright of www.linda-jackson.co.uk, St Lucia Tourist Board (main image, class), Half Moon A Rock Resort (Pavilion, spa treatment)