November 13, 2003
Enjoy Wedded Bliss in Lotus Position
Not every couple's notion of the ideal honeymoon entails a hedonistic beach resort and lots of fruity drinks garnished with umbrellas. Some want to begin married life with yoga.
Some couples pursue tantric yoga, a form that includes a tranquil sexuality, in hopes of creating a powerful union of mind, body and spirit. The Institute for Ecstatic Living -- (877) 982-6872; www.ecstaticliving.com -- organizes tantric vacations to Costa Rica, Hawaii and cruise getaways.
If that sounds a bit too New Age, there are other benefits to learning yoga as a couple. First, one partner can help the other get into the asanas, or poses, sort of like using a spotter in weight lifting. Second, yoga helps with the pursuit of other sports and activities. Finally, it's fun.
When planning a yoga honeymoon, consider how much yoga each of you is likely to want to practice. Most spa resorts include some yoga as part of their overall fitness program, while some retreats offer more intensive yoga instruction. Unless both of you are experienced yogis, you'll likely want a getaway that combines quality yoga instruction with other activities. In many cases, a resort with a high-quality destination spa will keep both partners happy. Here are some getaways to get you started:
Pura Vida Spa -- (888) 767-7375; www.puravidaspa.com -- in Costa Rica has special yoga weeks with guest instructors throughout the year, including a tantric week for couples. You can book its "Mind/Body/Spirit Adventure Week" any time. It includes seven nights' lodging, daily yoga classes, hiking and a rain-forest excursion from $1,100-$2,000 per person, double occupancy.
New Age Health Spa -- (800) 682-4348; www.newagehealthspa.com -- in New York's Catskill Mountains has rates starting at $174 per person, per night, double occupancy, two-night minimum. That rate includes daily yoga classes. The spa also hosts weekend-long yoga programs for more intensive instruction.
In nearby Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn -- (800) 527-2200; www.postranchinn.com -- overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is decidedly deluxe. Accommodations start at $485 per night. Guests can join daily yoga classes in The Yurt, as well as sample tai chi and qigong. The inn is surrounded by scenic hiking trails.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa -- (800) 422-2736; www.nemacolin.com -- in Farmington, Pa., offers a "Couples Vacation." Accommodations range from lodge rooms to luxurious townhouse suites. Rates start at $185 per night.
Shambhala Spa at Parrot Cay -- (877) 754-0726; www.parrot-cay.com -- in Turks and Caicos, British West Indies, has special "Healing Weeks" scheduled throughout the year. Many feature guest yoga instructors. Prices vary, depending on the program, but one six-night yoga retreat is $4,610, double occupancy. That includes accommodations, three meals daily, five hours of yoga and meditation instruction each day, plus two hours of massage therapy during the week.
The new Mii amo Spa at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz. -- (888) 749-2137; www.miiamo.com -- is located right next to one of the seven "spiritual vortices" that make the area a mecca for New Age travelers. In addition to spa treatments, Mii amo hosts four-day yoga retreats that teach guests how to incorporate yoga into their daily lives. Four-night spa getaways start at $1,750.
Finally, one way to support Israel at this time is to honeymoon at a spa in the Jewish State, which offer yoga and exercise along with spa treatments. The Carmel Forest Spa Resort in the Carmel Mountains -- www.inisrael.com/isrotel/hotels/carmel_forest_spa_resort -- has Internet rates that range from $270 single on weekdays (Saturday to Wednesday) to $570 double on weekends for a deluxe suite.
Mizpe Hayamim, above the Sea of Galilee, offers a variety of treatments and massages. Internet rates at www.mizpe-hayamim.com -- range from $179 single during the regular season (which is now) to $367 double for a two-person executive suite during the peak season, which includes the High Holidays and Passover.
Article courtesy Copley News Service.
Alison Ashton is a San Diego-based freelance travel and health writer.