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BOOK REVIEW - Yoga Vacations

Yoga Vacations: A Guide to International Yoga Retreats

Author: Annalisa Cunningham

Publisher: John Muir Publications, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rating: *****

This beautifully organized book describes more than 100 yoga vacations around the world. The writing style is as clear and elegant as yoga itself and is enhanced by a reader-friendly font, plenty of blessed white space and richly colored photos. Yoga Vacations is a travel guide and lexicon that anticipates your every question.

Each retreat is described briefly in two pages sometimes a bit more. Every entry follows a tidy little formula. Descriptions begin with a paragraph about the place, be it in Bali or Maine or Peru. The address, contact names, airport information and directions on getting to the retreat are followed by information on the backgrounds and philosophies of the teacher(s), descriptions of the yoga style, student criteria and the number of participants allowed. A description of the yoga room, accommodations and meals is followed by information on disability access, the cost and whether or not the resort accepts credit cards. A sample daily schedule, list of other activities and services (such as massage), guest comments and a short summary round out the details.

The beauty of these vacations, researched and selected personally by the author, is not only in their serene, often breathtaking backdrops, but also in the way their programs are designed. Set in such tranquil spots as private villas high up in the mountains or secluded sanctuaries near quiet beaches, the vacations offer add-ons like hikes, horseback rides or other excursions to interesting locales. For example, The Kenmore Inn in Fredericksburg, Virginia, organizes a weekend spring-break yoga retreat that combines tours of the historic city with yoga, breath work and meditation practice. Mana Lea Gardens in a lush, secluded corner of Maui provides hiking, a solar-heated bathhouse, hot tubs and a swimming pool in addition to yoga and meditation. Your vacation at Teahouses in the Himalayas (Nepal) starts with four days in Kathmandu, continues with three days in Pokora for a yoga intensive, and concludes with an 11-day trek in the Himalayas always with yoga stretching.

The author, Annalisa Cunningham, who has a master's degree in counseling, has been a certified Hatha yoga instructor for more than 15 years and a certified massage therapist for more than 20. She organizes yoga vacations and retreats in the United States and Mexico.

Yoga Vacations is available in hard or soft cover from major bookstores.

For more information about this book, visit Amazon