Yogis are flocking to plein air classes everywhere from the African bush to downtown Austin rooftops
Imagine tree pose in an aspen forest or pigeon on a white-sand beach, and you’ll immediately understand how being outside in a stunning setting can elevate your yoga practice. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best locales around the world for an open-air yogi vacation, whether you’re a lifelong practitioner or someone just getting into the game. And they happen to be near some awesome adventure terrain, too.
Five days a week during summer, you can partake in $5 outdoor yoga sessions atop Aspen Mountain, where you’ll be treated to views of the Elk Mountain Range and blooming wildflowers. Get there by riding the Silver Queen Gondola (lift-ticket prices apply) or hiking a 3.1-mile trail that climbs 3,200 feet to the top. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies also offers summertime outdoor yoga for a $10 suggested donation on its 40-acre nature preserve downtown. Or book a suite at Aspen Meadows Resort (from $199), which has yoga classes at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and Castile Creek.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
YogiHiker leads guided treks into the Santa Fe National Forest, where you’ll climb to a mountaintop, then set up a temporary, open-air yoga studio atop a peak for an hourlong guided class. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden also has regular yoga classes on its grounds all summer. Stay in a casita at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado (from $399), set on a 57-acre property just ten minutes from downtown Santa Fe’s historic plaza. Guests can practice yoga and meditation at an on-site yoga tepee and deck built on a spiritual vortex once identified by a shaman. During winter, the hotel offers yoga outside in the snow.
Beech Mountain, North Carolina
In the winter, Beech Mountain Resort has skiing and snowboarding. But the fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts. One of the main summer draws? Yoga on a deck atop the mountain’s 5,506-foot summit, which takes place every weekend June through September for $12 a person. Stay at the Westglow Resort and Spa (from $300), located 22 miles away near the town of Blowing Rock, and you can take outdoor yoga classes at its wellness center, with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
East Serengeti, Tanzania
Thomson Safaris has access to a private, 10,000-acre swath of Tanzania called the Eastern Serengeti Nature Refuge. Most people come for wildlife-spotting expeditions and guided nature hikes through the savannah. But the camp’s new, specially-built yoga platforms might be worth a visit of their own. Do downward dog and warrior’s pose in the middle of the grasslands while giraffes and zebras wander in the distance. Teachers lead classes, or you can stretch on your own. From $5,490 for eight days
From May through September, guests get delivered to Tutka Bay Lodge via a water taxi or chartered flight. Located at the mouth of a fjord nine miles from the seaside town of Homer, the family-owned, 11-acre property has six guest cabins, a sauna, hot tub, and, you guessed it, a spectacular yoga deck where instructors lead morning sessions overlooking Kachemak Bay as bald eagles soar in the distance. Whip up three-course meals at the lodge’s cooking school in your downtime, or head out to sea kayak or hike the trails in Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. From $5,695 for three nights
Bavarian Alps, Germany
The resort of Schloss Elmau, nestled in a stunning region of the Bavarian Alps just 60 miles south of Munich, is known for its spa and wellness offerings, including yoga retreats. You can enjoy daily classes with mountain views in its spacious studio, or take your child’s pose outside, overlooking a neighboring lake and the sky-scraping peaks. The resort is also home to a renowned bookstore and has a concert hall with regular classical-music and jazz performances. From $566
You’ll find outdoor yoga all over the Texas capital. Wanderlust Austin is a studio with rooftop yoga and free hourlong vinyasa classes in Republic Square Park. Even Whole Foods has rooftop sessions in partnership with Black Swan Yoga. Yoga Hike caps off treks into the surrounding state parks and nature preserves with gentle classes and trailside mindfulness exercises. And the Carpenter Hotel (from $205) hosts a free community yoga series outside in an amphitheater on its grassy lawn.
Turtle Bay Resort (from $269) sits on a North Shore peninsula and has five miles of coastline, 12 miles of beachfront hiking trails, several outdoor yoga classes each day, and hosts Wanderlust Oahu, a four-day retreat each spring with top yoga instructors, DJs, and workshops. Or stay at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina (from $645), on the island’s west coast, for white-sand beaches and rolling mountain ranges plus yoga outside at scenic Pohaku Point.