Yoga In The Tropics

Posted by on 1/13/11 in Uncategorized

Since we have announced Wanderlust at The Standard, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the growth of yoga and wellness/spa centers that are "south of the border" since Miami is famous for its Latin vibe.

Before we delve into that subject, I would like to say that Wanderlust at The Standard will be like no other. This is your complete spa getaway; your weekend to treat yourself. Some of the amazing amenities that will be included in the trip are a hamam bath, an aroma steam room, mud baths, a sound shower, the roman hot tub, and last but not least…an infinity pool looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." True words to live by, they made tip the scale towards this weekend of relaxation.

Yoga and organics as a whole are growing at rapid speeds as Jeff Krasno noted in his blog, Wanderings #6: Timespirit. To support this observation, here are some interesting findings, south of the border:

-Recently, South American Journeys posted retreats at Machu Picchu in Peru, Brazil, and the Peruvian Amazon.
-Argentina is home to the Indra Devi Foundation, which is the largest Hatha Yoga Center in South America with over 2,000 weekly students in 3 locations. This was founded by David Lifar, a South American yoga leader.
-Currently, there are an estimated 400,000 Hindus in South America. Hindus also form 35% of the population of Guyana.

Not only is it important to look at the growth of yoga itself in Latin America, but it is also great to take a look at the emergence of places to practice in places beyond the US. Some of the better ones are the Sacred Valley in Peru, Copacabana in Bolivia, Elqui Valley in Chile and of course Rio de Janeiro in Brazil amongst others. These locations hold valuable spiritual meaning to South Americans because of their Inca and Shaman beginnings. The Sacred Valley in Peru specifically has seen major tourism, spiritual retreats and many yoga workshops lead by world renowned leaders. On a rare occasion, there are ayahuasca retreats from the best shaman in the Amazon. Because of Elqui Valley in Chile's location on the thirty degree latitude line, it is said to be a high point of energy.

While it's obvious that North America has more yoga retreats than anywhere in the world, South and Central America fall just 2nd with Europe at number three. Some great yoga retreats in South and Central America are:

-Sivananda in the Bahamas
-Enchanted Mountain Center for Yoga and Well Being in Garobapa, Brazil
-The Moment Yoga and Adventure Vacations in the Dominican Republic
-Nosara Yoga Retreat and Pura Vida Retreat in Costa Rica
-Rio Calinete, Villas Shanti, Present Moment Retreat, Solstive Mexico, and Maya Tulum all in Mexico.
-Willka T'ika in Peru
-Expanding Paradigms in Texas, Mexico, and Costa Rica. (link)

South America has also seen a surge of spa-like resorts similar to The Standard Spa. In a recent entry from National Geographic, the top 50 wellness destinations were highlighted. Lets take a look at some of those resorts.

-House of Jasmines in Argentina is on a colonial style ranch and spa on 300 acres of high country. Besides the great amenities included in your stay there, the local area is surrounded by beautiful hills, valleys, and canyons.
-For a less tropical and more topical stay, the Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa in Chile utilizes its surroundings and specializes in thalassotherapy, which is the use of seawater to restore the skin's balance. After pampering yourself with spa treatments, you can take hikes to see magnificent snowy peaks, glaciers, fjords, and rivers.
-Want to go south but not to another continent? The Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic is the perfect stay. Like many other South and Central American spas, this resort uses local materials for things such as gang and seaweed wraps. Hungry during your stay? Pick an avocado, passion fruit, or some almonds off of the trees on property.

To cap it off, check out this video of The Standard Spa for a little preview of Wanderlust at The Standard.

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