Aah, winter in Melbourne. The perfect time for AFL, ugg boots…and getting the hell out of here! The smart set don't freeze their asses off post-April, they sweat them off in overseas yoga, pilates and bootcamp retreats that don't cost the earth, but sure get you in touch with it.
Here are the six best fitness retreats to hightail it to this autumn/winter. Feel the burn (but remember to slip slop slap!).
YOGA 213 | BALI | 9TH - 14TH MAY
Yoga 213 meshes hip-hop and hip openers. And it's darn fun. Add to that a Balinese backdrop, and this has to be the happiest getaway to beat the winter blues big time. Based on the foundation of Yoga, Music and Happiness, the retreat runs for five days and includes the magic benefits of yoga beyond the mat, such as paddle board yoga, singing, dancing, pranayama, nutrition and dancing. Book here.
YOGA FLAME | BALI | 26TH - 31ST MAY
The Yoga Flame Bali Retreat is a six-day/five-night sojourn of sunrise meditation, daytime dynamic practice and evenings of open-air implementation. An all-round retreat for the true yoga lover, your stay includes visits to local temples, rice-paddy perusing, surfing, shopping and respite. This retreat is about rediscovering connection and ceremony – both of which can be lost in the mid-year mayhem. Book here.
COME HOME TO YOURSELF | CALIFORNIA | 11TH - 16TH MAY
Organic food, yoga, meditation, all set in a historic wilderness retreat at the base of the mountains… You might never want to come home! Julie Smerdon of Shri Yoga, and Dr Lorin Roche, meditation expert of 40 years, will be leading the retreat, which combines yoga, meditation, hiking, massage, cooking classes and even discounted tickets to yogi nirvana, Shaktifest. Book here.
KX PILATES | BALI | 1ST - 7TH JUNE & 13TH - 19TH JULY
Pilates more your bag? Then the KX Pilates retreats are the gentle nudge you may need to – figuratively and literally – stretch yourself from top to bottom. A tight schedule for any fitness levels (daily pilates, beach training, boxing interval training, surfing and ropes courses are all on the menu) invites individual attention by instructors – and therefore, bespoke benefits for you. 'It's your holiday' is their motto, so you can rest assured there are no drill Sergeants when it comes to stretching and non-stop seeds and juices. Instead, this is a balanced and controlled way of boosting energy and health within sublime – and chic – Seminyak. Book here.
Emma Seibold of Barre Body.
BARRE BODY | FIJI | 1ST - 6TH AUGUST & 8TH - 13TH AUGUST
You would have heard of the phenomenon that is Barre Body. From Southside to celebrity land, demi-pliés and downward dogs are creating quite the fitness craze. And now it's moving to Fiji. Founder, Emma Seibold, is hosting a six-day yoga and barre retreat at the luxe InterContinental Fiji Resort and Spa. The schedule is as loose as a prima ballerina's bun is tight. There's oodles of free time for indulgence and relaxation hinged on daily yoga overlooking the beach, afternoon beach barre sessions, and super fun standup paddleboard yoga. Book here.
We spent two minutes chatting with Emma Seibold about all things Barre Body and Melbourne related - read all about it here.
LOVE MY BODY | BYRON BAY, BALI, DAYLESFORD | VARIOUS DATES
In a society where loving your body is not really the norm, it's refreshing to unabashedly pursue this sentiment. Love My Body is about empowering women to look and feel their best via general daily health – and head space – tweaks. If you're not loving yourself sick right now, get thee to Bali, Byron or Daylesford for three or six days of challenging yourself internally (raw food and green food are on high-rotation), as well as externally, via lots of training and physical challenges. Sprinkle in some sunshine, massages, R&R and all-round healing time, and there is no doubt you will return enjoying a reborn romance with your sweet self. Book here.
Want to know more about Love My Body's amazing founder, Hayley Roper? Don't miss our interview with Hayley here.
BOOTCAMP CROSSFIT | BALI | VARIOUS DATES
Heard of CrossFit? The fastest way to get kick-ass glutes and toned guns? Well, it's going Troppo. The cornerstone of The Sharing Bali Bootcamp Crossfit retreat is a morning workout utilising the tropical surrounds (coconut races anyone?), complemented with various dynamic outdoor activities, such as white water rafting, cycling and volcano climbs. Not necessarily designed for the super fit – nor for the faint hearted – this retreat offers the perfect blend of adventure and athleticism if your mind is willing. Your body will just have to keep up. Run by Jason Donaldson, founder of The Cell, over six days, there are various dates and group dynamics on offer. Book here.
Image Credit: KX Retreats.
If you like it really hot, pop 4th to 8th November in your diary. Local high-end hot yoga studio, One Hot Yoga, will be hosting a luxurious hot yoga retreat at Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui. Stay tuned for more announcements via their website.
Main Image Credit: Taschen.com