October 1, 2014

Travel Getaways

Yoga Retreats in Florida

Chris Sherman | 6/1/2008
Yoga Lingo
yoga Yoga has many ways, many teachers and many words from Hindu and Buddhist practice and the customs of India, Thailand, Tibet and beyond.

» Gentle: A starting place for people
of any age and condition to learn positions, alignment and attitude
» Flow: Faster practice in which postures change quickly with little rest; emphasis on fitness
» Ayurvedic: Practices that emphasize healing
» Bikram: Yoga conducted in a hot room, named for its founder, a Beverly Hills yogi
» Kripalu: A Massachusetts swami’s teaching of alignment and breathing for relaxation and spiritual growth
» Hatha: Combines mental and physical health and moral growth
» Ashtanga Vishnaya: Less structured movement focused on meditation and restoration
» Namaste: A salutation with hands pressed together and a slight bow that ends most yoga sessions

There also are smaller purely yoga retreats, from Gainesville to the green seclusion of Rasayana Cove’s rustic cabins with ayurvedic treatments and natural foods, a long hour east of Sarasota and the maddening interstate.

For more cosseted serenity, every hotel worth its $300 rack rate has an ever-expanding spa program that often includes a yoga class. Newer hotels have installed destination spas with extensive beauty and fitness treatments. Canyon Ranch, the pioneer Arizona spa, has extensive facilities at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee and will open a full-fledged spa complex in Miami this October with 100 rooms and 400 condo units. All have access to green tea facials, hot stone massages, yoga in groups or one-on-one instruction, and since it’s Miami, CR serves alcohol.

Many resorts are designed or redesigned with such feng shui that the architecture itself massages the guest. Lobbies, kitchens and bars of basalt, cool white canvas and tropical woods provide places of repose so peaceful you could skip yoga class and the spa.

One such is the Setai, which a Singapore hotelier has refashioned from an old Art Deco mass in the crowded heart of Miami Beach into a stack of spaces that unfold like an endless series of origami. Such serenity and humility is also one of the most expensive in town.

A more intimate — and affordable — combination of rejuvenating environment and full yoga schedule is offered at The Standard, a small ’50s motel suspended on a residential isle in Biscayne Bay. The renovation has turned it into a hip temple of minimalism, natural fabrics, mineral pools and Turkish baths. The restaurant serves chamomile teas, mahi cioppino and ginger-chocolate torte; and there’s an h2-OM party Friday nights, bathed in hip music and rejuvenating waters.

Tags: Dining & Travel, Healthcare

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