Great Yoga Retreats a sublime book of Yoga Spas and Resorts

Mar 18, 2010 by Tom Jones

Sometimes, the not so very original quote of “You can’t Judge a Book by its Cover” is so true, it’s often laughable to think otherwise.

The new TASCHEN publication of the magnificently beautiful coffee table sized book, Great Yoga Retreats, by Editor Angelika Taschen, and writer Kristin Rübesamen, quickly gets one to see, learn, understand, and literally feel the positive energy that the book was intended to convey.

It’s a looking glass into a discipline, lifestyle, and a way of life that millions around the world adhere to and practice.

With Great Yoga Retreats, TASCHEN has published what few know and if they did, they’ve failed in producing a comparable compilation of gorgeous Yoga retreats around the world.

It’s not just an attractive coffee table book, but it’s a serious book, where Yoga disciples of all types and abilities will know where they can travel to spend quality down time, and have the requisite knowledge ahead of time to know which Yoga Retreat to visit at the most striking places on earth.

TASCHEN’s book has a very serious side pertaining to its topic:

After more than 10 years of intensive Yoga practice, I plan not only my day around the daily Yoga sessions but also my holidays, and I visit a Yoga retreat once or twice a year. I can but warn you: Yoga is addictive and will make you high. As such, this book could be your introduction to the Yoga drug, so please preceded with caution.

Angelika Taschen

With its hundreds of gorgeous colored pictures, excellent research and prose, and detailed descriptions of each particular destination, one would be hard pressed to find a book that could replace Great Yoga Retreats in its heady compilation of its book’s eponymous content, replete with a complete critical, quantitative, and qualitative description of each one’s attributes.

Its handsome prose takes you directly into the “belly of the beast” of the numerous resorts that they feature.

Feathered Pipe Ranch, Helena, Montana

Spoiler Alert: once you start to read Great Yoga Retreats, you’ll become addicted, because the Retreats are lush and inviting.

It would be a huge deficit, if some of the places which are detailed, photographed, and cataloged weren’t mentioned. Each Retreat’s individual specialties and specifics are delineated–from rooms, food, availability, activities, types of Yoga practiced, and complete telephone, website and other specific contact information.

The book’s lyrical and close up descriptive prose written and composed by Ms.Taschen and Ms. Rübesamen, are used in conjunction with their deep sense of the areas covered. Overall, you can’t but share their Joie de vivre and hipness that’s covert yet playful, as told to the reader.

Ulpotha, Galgiriyawa Mountains, Sri Lanka

Not many can lay comparison to the sheer joy in experiencing and explaining any travel story, let alone in any medium that matches their editorial coverage.

And by doing so, they provide much thought provoking composition– the book’s writing matches its theme. One can easily and intuitively recognize how the author and editor both are profoundly unwavering and immersed into their topic, and as a treat, they recommend two books for each Retreat they cover–their selections run the gamut, always including one for Yoga study, and the other suggestion is one that’s a who’s who of author’s and books that only the bibliophiles from TASCHEN would know to toss your way.

Included is the deeply magical Ashram’s of India, to the Cloud of the Himalayas, to the magnificent Galgiriyawa Mountains of Sri Lanka, along with its incredible beauty of Thailand’s Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary of lush tropics and ocean horizon, that touch the soul and heart, (and from which the cover picture of the book was taken).

You’ll learn about the Uma Paro, Paro, Taktsang monastery with its “garden, brightly coloured flags that flutter in the wind and the sky over the Paro valley in a Cobalt Blue,” to the rustic Hollbachoff retreat in Bavaria, Germany, with its sun drenched, flowery, airy and mountain ambiance.

Uma Paro, Paro, Bhutan

Venturing into the Tuscan Yoga Boot Camp at Borgo Leolana, and its companion Il Convento, the editor and writer take you further into Tuscany’s “green hills, vineyards, endless chestnut forests, olive groves and river sources, the mountain pasture of the Appenines and the peaks of the Apuan Alps on the Horizon.”

Included in the Great Yoga Retreats is the Formentera resort, not far from Ibiza, Spain, with miles of aqua-tinted deep blue ocean, forever known as one of the world’s leading Cultural Heritage islands, where even the Romans and Bob Dylan would at various time and place, would come to enjoy and stay.

The Ibiza Moving Arts Yoga studio is located on the island known for its partying and counter-culture; to the grandeur of the Andulusian region of Spain; and Kretashala in Crete, Greece– where it sits in a bay of stunning beauty and line of mountains; and to the lush Ananda Ashram in New York’s Catskill Mountains, which resembles a picture perfect postcard of green tropical foliage, and waterways.

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

Included is the world famous Esalen Institute in the magnificent region of Northern California’s Big Sur, that’s “part institute, part think tank, part refuge,” and a tribute to the spiritual revolution that many of our and other artists around the world have been inspired by; to the Southern Californian White Lotus Foundation near Santa Barbara, with its splendorous waterfalls, and indigenous Southern California beauty of blue skies, sandy beaches, and lush landscapes chiseled into various stones and canyons.

Great Yoga Resorts covers the always pleasing Amansala Bikini Boot Camp in Tulum, Mexico (The book reviewer’s must go-to place!), to the British West Indies–home to Keith Richards, and Donna Karan–as its waves and natural habitat serve as the backdrop for the Parrot Cay, Turks, and Caicos Islands, where the Yogis are are both disciplined to have you as their guests, but will allow you “Sanskrit Peace and Harmony; and the luscious Villa Sumaya, in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.


Kudos to Ms. Taschen and Ms. Kristin Rübesamen for compiling an easy to understand category and country Index and Outline, as well as a global map that will last you the rest of your life, to thoroughly provide you the chance to pick a place to recharge your life’s batteries.

I recommend reading this book’s preface first, as it will leave you with where the book begins and as a conclusion for our need for us to strive for perfection and to return or go to our favorite Great Yoga Retreat.

Lastly, I want to mention that Travelin’ Local has a second brand new copy of this gorgeous book to give away.  Just leave a comment and subscribe to our newsletter (see the form at the top of the page), and you’ll be in the running for a TASCHEN custom book that’s fresh from the publisher. Sorry, this is only open to US residents.

We’ll announce the winner on tax day, April 15th.  If you think the pictures and text are wonderful here, just wait until you see the places described and photographed in the book.

If you don’t feel like waiting that long, you can easily find a TASCHEN bookstore locally at either of these two locations:

Hollywood Store
Farmers Market
6333 W. 3rd Street, CT-10
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Beverly Hills Store
354 N. Beverly Drive,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Or you can purchase it directly from TASCHEN’s online store.

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2 Responses to “Great Yoga Retreats a sublime book of Yoga Spas and Resorts”

  1. Melanie says:

    You’re right, just looking at the pictures and your descriptions here makes me want to do a downward dog immediately! My yoga practice is inconsistent but I fully believe in the benefits. Namaste


  2. Bal Bruce says:

    It can help you see your bliss, and several say yoga may also help you shed those people extra fat. it is not clear just how pilates might help folks keep off the fat, at least coming from a scientific standpoint.


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