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Highest-rated yoga experiences across the country

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November 4, 2021
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Highest-rated yoga experiences across 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 list contains a variety of classes for every type of yogi.

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#20. NJ Beach Yoga

- Cape May County, New Jersey
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 94

Teri O’Connor, NJ Beach Yoga’s owner, began practicing yoga to help her maintain correct posture in her work as a dental hygienist and didn’t begin teaching until after 40. Both day and night yoga are offered at various local beaches. Rooted in the community, classes are offered in partnership with the Sea Isle City Recreation Department. There are several special offerings, including full moon yoga sessions, yoga parties, a chocolate meditation, and blindfold yoga, which offers disposable blindfolds and gentle meditative movements.

2 / 20
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#19. Yoga in the Vines

- Traverse City, Michigan
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 95

Surrounded by beautiful vineyards, all experience levels are invited to participate in yoga classes at Yoga in the Vines. After class, a relaxing glass of wine is offered at a 10% discount. There are two stunning spots to choose from—Mari Vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula or Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. Sunrise yoga is offered at Mari Vineyards on Fridays during the summer months and can be topped off with an orange mimosa, grapefruit, or coffee.

3 / 20
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#18. 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.

4 / 20
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#17. Thrive Yoga and Fitness

- Bradenton, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 99

Thrive Yoga and Fitness studio has been open since 2014 and offers the practicing yogi several options, including classes, teacher training, retreats, and mind and body services. Yoga classes include Vinyasa flow, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, Therapeutic yoga, and body rolling. The Women’s Empowerment and Adventure Retreat is offered in Costa Rica and offers daily yoga and five-star hotel accommodations. Beach yoga is a great way to get outdoors and connect with nature on beautiful Anna Maria Island.

5 / 20
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#16. Spa NorthWest

- Bradenton, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 99

Originally started as a yoga studio in 2006 by owner Kathleen Gallen, additional services were added throughout the years, including massage therapy and organic skin care treatments. Spa and yoga retreats are available for individuals, couples, and groups. They combine the restorative benefits of massage, facials, and yoga. Yoga workshops and classes include everything from Gentle yoga to Hatha yoga.

6 / 20
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#15. Beach Yoga @ 3rd Street

- Miami Beach, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 115

Beach Yoga @ 3rd Street is not only relaxing but exciting thanks to its location on popular Miami Beach. It all started in 1998 when certified yoga teacher October Rose began practicing on the beach, and locals joined her. Things grew from there, and while Rose has since moved to India, Beach Yoga @ 3rd Street remains committed to offering daily and affordable classes to all, with donation-based classes and teachers who offer their time and talents for the love of yoga, and not monetary reward.

7 / 20
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#14. SpiritQuest Retreats

- Sedona, Arizona
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 118

Dedicated to spiritual and emotional healing, yoga is one component offered as a part of SpiritQuest Retreats. It offers both day and customized yoga and meditation retreats for couples and individuals. Yoga is practiced in various spots on the red rocks of Sedona with the help of personal guides. The retreat center consists of meditation and healing rooms as well as a teepee, medicine wheel, and a walking labyrinth.

8 / 20
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#13. Yoga Kai

- Honolulu
- 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 / 20
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#12. Island Flow Yoga

- Islamorada, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 125

Whether practicing yoga on the pier, beach, or in beautiful gardens, Island Flow Yoga offers beautiful surroundings in the Florida Keys. Full moon beach yoga allows yogis of all levels to hone their practice under the moon. Sunrise beach yoga is another option, and both are done guided by owner Lauren Ferrante, a catalyst life coach and a yoga alliance certified instructor who focuses on Vinyasa flow and fusion.

10 / 20
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#11. Isha USA

- McMinnville, Tennessee
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 136

Isha USA explores the ancient science behind yoga. There are 300 Isha centers around the world and yoga programs focus on Isha yoga, a type of yoga that, “is a comprehensive system that integrates the core of yogic science and presents it for the modern human being.” The Isha Institute of Inner-sciences is a mountain retreat in Tennessee where participants practice in meditation spaces, including the AdiYogi Abode. Individual wellness retreats are offered, as are individual classes.

11 / 20
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#10. Yoga With Elin

- Venice, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 139

Yoga With Elin is offered each day in both the morning and at sunset. Not only is yoga done on beautiful Venice Beach, but it is offered at no charge. Winner of a TripAdvisor 2020 Travelers’ Choice award, Yoga With Elin also offers DVDs for those who cannot make it to yoga on the beach. Elin draws a large crowd and a dedicated one with traditional yoga classes and some interesting options like full moon yoga classes and an Alaskan yoga cruise.

12 / 20
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#9. 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.

13 / 20
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#8. Aluna Wellness Center & Spa

- Bradenton Beach, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 151

This eco-friendly spa takes a holistic approach to wellness and boasts a Himalayan salt wall yoga studio created by founder and owner Tricia Graziano’s husband Matthew Lyndon. In addition to yoga, Aluna Wellness Center & Spa offers organic skin care and massage treatments, as well as acupuncture and healing therapies. Its yoga classes include Hatha yoga, Beach yoga, Yin and Restorative yoga, and yoga Nidra.

14 / 20
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#7. SaltTreeYoga

- Ottawa, Illinois
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 166

SaltTreeYoga is known for the salt cave, which according to the website, “features a Halomed salt generator that infuses microfine particles of pharmaceutical-grade salt into the air.” It also offers Functional Movement yoga, Moderate yoga, and Forever Young yoga. The Himalayan salt cave can be used before or after classes to enhance the relaxation and wellness benefits of yoga. It is also possible to register for yoga and movement workshops.

15 / 20
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#6. Yoga on the Beach

- Key West, Florida
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 178

Yoga on the Beach has several locations in Key West, Florida, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Classes include Slo Mo Flo, Yin yoga, and Yoga Rhythm, which incorporates music, and all classes are taught by the ocean except for Aqua yoga. Taught in a heated pool, Aqua yoga uses water to increase buoyancy and lessen pressure on the joints while participants practice yoga poses in chest-level water.

16 / 20
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#5. Blue Lotus Day Spa & Yoga in Ruidoso

- Ruidoso, New Mexico
- Rating: 5/5
- Number of reviews: 292

The Blue Lotus Day Spa & Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes, including Mommy and Me, Core and Restore, Slow Flow, and Hatha and Lotus Flow. Chair yoga, a type of yoga that is more accessible for individuals with mobility issues, is also on the schedule. All levels are welcome in the 1,000-square-foot studio featuring windows overlooking the Rio Ruidoso River and eco-bamboo laminate floors. Other spa services, including facials and massages, can be relaxing accompaniments to yoga.

17 / 20
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#4. Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii—Waikiki

- Honolulu
- 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.

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#3. 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.

19 / 20
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#2. 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.

20 / 20
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#1. 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.

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

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