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Hawaii has 4 of the 20 highest-rated yoga experiences in the country

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November 23, 2021
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This story originally appeared on Sunday Citizen and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Hawaii has 4 of the 20 highest-rated yoga experiences in the country

Derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” yoga means to “yoke or unite.” As a practice, yoga originated in ancient India and combines breath and thoughtful poses and movements to connect the body and mind. Yoga continues to grow in popularity with many new trends springing up, including broga, which is intended to make yoga more appealing to men by combining yoga and high intensity interval training. Goat yoga is exactly what it sounds like, while stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga in the water is a challenging variation that asks both novice and experienced yogis to focus on balance and core strength. Aerial yoga finds participants practicing poses in the air.

Many people enjoy yoga, not only because it can provide an intense or gentle workout, but also because yoga has many health benefits, including improving strength, balance, and flexibility. A Johns Hopkins review of several studies has shown that gentle yoga can help people struggling with arthritis by reducing swelling in joints and easing discomfort. Yoga also aids in stress and blood pressure reduction while helping with weight loss and maintenance. The ancient practice is also great for overall mental help and promotes increased relaxation and improved mood.

With all of yoga’s benefits, it is no wonder that yoga retreats have also grown in popularity. Retreats have become a massive money-making component in the industry, and many travel and fitness sites, including Travel + Leisure, offer lists of the best yoga retreats around the world.

Before embarking on a vacation retreat, you may want to try out a class or two. Sunday Citizen compiled a list of the best yoga experiences across the country based on ratings and review data from Tripadvisor. Five-star activities were selected from the site and ranked by the total number of reviews. The complete list contains a variety of classes for every type of yogi.

#18 in the United States: Maui Goat Yoga

- Kula, Hawaii
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 98

Located on the slopes of Haleakala in upcountry Maui, Maui Goat Yoga utilizes a popular trend in yoga to provide exercise, relaxation, and fun to yogis of all levels. Goat yoga allows yoga participants to practice while surrounded by goats. Maui Goat Yoga enhances the experience with the beauty of Maui’s coastline and several additional offerings in the same area, including a historic coffee house and a working farm. Sunset Maui Goat Yoga With Live Music is a special class offered from April through October.

#13 in the United States: Yoga Kai

- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 120

This SUP yoga floating studio is located in Oahu, Hawaii, and focuses on yoga done in the water on a stand-up paddleboard. Private and group classes are offered, and teacher training is available as well. One of the most unique classes is Glowga, which is performed on a paddleboard at night in the stunning Hawaiian waters against LED lights attached to the board. Vinyasa flow beachside yoga at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park is another relaxing option for the practicing yogi who wants to combine yoga with the beauty of nature.

#9 in the United States: Maui SUP Yoga

- Lahaina, Hawaii
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 140

Maui SUP Yoga offers yoga on land, at the beach or in a studio, and in the water with stand-up paddle board (SUP) yoga. Several packages provide yoga in conjunction with other activities such as hula dancing, crystal bowl sound healing, or a trip to a Hawaiin taro farm. It’s possible to take public group and private group and individual classes at Maui SUP Yoga. It also provides teacher training and surf lessons, making the most of its beautiful ocean location at Kamehameha Iki Park.

#4 in the United States: Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii—Waikiki

- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 351

Jungle yoga hikes in Oahu, Hawaii, offer a day retreat in rustic areas with waterfalls and other natural beauty, while Waikiki beach yoga offers a stunning outdoor studio experience. Founder Karen Lei trained in India in meditation and yoga, and in science-based mindfulness at the medical center at the University of California San Diego. Spa sessions are also available through Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii and can be done in conjunction with yoga.

Continue reading to check out the top three highest-rated yoga experiences in the country.

Highest-rated yoga experiences in the country

#1 in the United States: The Art of Massage and Yoga Therapy

- Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 592

The Art of Massage and Yoga Therapy offers Beach yoga, Thai yoga therapy, Restorative yoga, Paddleboard yoga, and Chair yoga. Thai yoga therapy is bodywork therapy that combines stretching techniques and acupressure to reduce tension. Outdoor fitness is also a priority. A day of outdoor fitness takes place on Pinckney Island, South Carolina, and includes a deep stretch yoga class. This special event also includes a vegan lunch.

#2 in the United States: Vortex Yoga Hiking in Sedona

- Sedona, Arizona
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 430

Combining the beauty and wonder of hiking in Sedona, Arizona, with yoga, Vortex Yoga Hiking in Sedona came about in part due to Yogi Blair’s experience taking a yoga hiking physical education class. The 60- to 90-minute tours split time between hiking and yoga, and participants can practice at all levels. Sedona has become known for its many options for budding and expert yogis.

#3 in the United States: The Salt Cave and Spa

- White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 368

Not only does the Salt Cave and Spa offer salt/halotherapy sessions and other spa treatments including facials and massages, it allows spa-goers to practice yoga in the salt cave. Salt is particularly beneficial to the respiratory system and helps to reduce inflammation and widen airway passages. There are 45-minute sessions of Vinyasa/Kundalini yoga that promote overall relaxation and wellness and are available on Sunday mornings.

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