Sometimes you just need a little “om.” The daily stresses of life can pile up, the chaos of corporate life can get to be too much or maybe the kids are just getting on your last nerve. You can escape to the gym, or you can escape to a more serene environment where mind, body and spirit are the focus of your journey.
Yogis unite — the following are some of the 10 best spots around the world for a perfect yoga revival.
1. Azeda Beach, Buzios, Brazil
With 21 beaches and an ultra-loose local attitude, the Brazilian resort town/fishing village of Buzios, made famous as a favorite of Brigitte Bardot, is sure to make a more than adequate ashram. Azeda Beach, only accessible via a walking path from Osso Beach or by boat, has great space to spread your mat and relax while you gaze out at the ocean. Azeda rarely gets overcrowded, but if you want privacy, go early in the morning.
2. Cape May Lighthouse Park, Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is a spot on the Jersey Shore unlike any other. The historical resort town has a calming vibe that, in part, is created by its award-winning beaches and colorfully painted Victorian homes. But the best place to take in the scenery and the harmony of the sea, as you practice your asanas, is near the Cape May Lighthouse.
3. Battery Park City, New York, New York
You may forget you’re even in New York City while enjoying the parks of this southern Manhattan neighborhood, except for the excellent view of the Statue of Liberty. The best park to practice in is Robert F Wagner Jr. Park. You’ll have plenty of space and a bit of peace while you ashtanga as sailboats breeze by along the Hudson River.
4. Ventura Pier, Ventura, California
Located on the coast of southern California between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, Ventura is a city that feels more like a small-town. The pier and promenade, located just off Harbor Boulevard, won’t get as crowded as the Los Angeles attractions, and you still get to soak in the ocean atmosphere during sun salutations.
5. MacArthur State Park, Singer Island, Florida
Claim one of the pavilions in this peninsula park where you can breathe in the sea air among the subtropical coastal habitats. Well worth a hike after your practice.
6. North Avenue Beach, Chicago, IL
Ponder the marvel of the great Lake Michigan from a grassy spot in front of one of the best beaches in the city. While a park that ranges in activities from volleyball to bicycling to swimming off the sand, you can find a place along the beach to take in all in and let it all go.
7. National Mall, Washington, DC
Immerse yourself in the powerful vibes of the country’s capital, and a view of the Capitol, as you perfect your downward dog. The lawns of the mall are active with tourists and local employees, but expansive enough for you to maintain some of your own space.
8. Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada
You’d be hard-pressed to not find a spot on this gorgeous island that’s good for meditation. In Victoria‘s Beacon Hill Park, you’ll be surrounded by the colors and scents of the garden scenery, which will make your pranayama all the more powerful.
9. Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, WI
Any one of the lake-front inns in this city located across the great lake from Chicago will provide ample atmosphere for reviving your spirit. But you can also grab a grassy spot near the Riviera Ballroom, on the main Lake Geneva strip of Wrigley Drive. For more tranquility than the summer tourist-season might provide, try going in the spring or fall.
10. Parc Guell, Barcelona, Spain
Balance will be your intention at Parc Guell, a garden complex designed by Antoni Gaudi. Pick a high spot overlooking the incredible colors of the structures so you can take in the genius of the artist while you chant your “Om.”
M. Fuchsloch is a Seed.com contributor