Californians have had a long love affair with yoga and have even started adding it to their school curriculum after recognizing the benefits of reconnecting with yourself (source).
So, it’s no surprise that you might be thinking of spending some good r&r time in the state. Luckily, there are lots of yoga retreats in California so you won’t be short of choice. In this guide, I’ve shared the best retreats in the state with picks for every type of yogi.
Best Yoga Retreats in California
Here are the top yoga retreats in California:
- Top Pick: Sagrada Wellness
- Great for Outdoorsy Types: Yoga Bloom Wellness
- Intimate Retreats: Love is The Prize Retreat
- For a Spiritual Experience: Vedanta Spiritual & Holistic Retreat
- A Do-It-Yourself Approach: Santa Barbara Yoga Center
- Camp Under the Stars: Whitney Base Camp & Climbing School
- Good Community: Althea Yoga
- Best for Yoga and Fitness: Intouch SF
- Digital Detox: SoCal wellness retreats
Keep reading for my review of each recommendation and a full side-by-side comparison table at the end.
Top Pick: Sagrada Wellness
Sagrada Wellness is a yoga retreat destination that finds itself on top of a majestic hilltop in Santa Margarita, Central Coast California.
They host a huge variety of different retreats which is why they are my top pick in the state because there’s something for everyone.
A selection of the yoga retreats they offer include:
- Wine tasting, meditation, and yoga
- Nature, hiking, and yoga
- Pilates and yoga
- Writing and yoga
When you stay with them, expect private rooms, nature trails, outdoor showers, daily yoga classes, a hot tub, saltwater pool, and a beautiful courtyard to enjoy a glass of wine with fellow retreaters in the evening.
Great for Outdoorsy Types: Yoga Bloom Wellness
Yoga Bloom Wellness organizes retreats at different well-known yoga resorts in California such as Casa de Chinquapin. The retreats are always very outdoorsy and great for people who want to be close to nature.
They’re organized by Suzanne Wunsch who was brought up in the mountains of California which explains her love for the outdoors.
On a Yoga Bloom Wellness retreat, expect hiking and activities such as standup paddleboarding. Of course, there will be plenty of time for meditation and yoga too, with a preference for restorative style with poses held for much longer than usual Hatha.
Intimate Retreats: Love is The Prize Retreat
Love is The Prize run 4 or 6 day retreats with no more than 10 people which makes it a super intimate experience.
You’ll stay at one of the three houses on-site with access to shared facilities and a wonderful courtyard. There’s a packed schedule with time for yoga, nature walks, and spiritual group discussions.
On one of the days, expect a day of Noble Silence, designed to help achieve inward freedom which is necessary for your happiness and well-being.
For a Spiritual Experience: Vedanta Spiritual & Holistic Retreat
Vedanta Spiritual & Holistic Retreat is a center and eco-village in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. This retreat is a great chance to disconnect from your hectic life and reconnect with yourself.
This retreat is very spiritual, taking place one per moon cycle during the full moon. One thing that makes this trip special is the moonrise ceremony on Dome Rock and full moon meditation.
But that’s not all you’ll do. There is a large yoga studio, evening workshops, 10-persons Jacuzzi, an open kitchen and dining area, close proximity to mindful walks through the rolling hills, and local hot springs. The center is located near the Trail of 100 Giants so expect a forest bathing excursion
A Do-It-Yourself Approach: Santa Barbara Yoga Center
The Santa Barbara Yoga Center is one of the most popular yoga retreats in California and they take a different approach to many of the other retreats here.
There are no set dates or timetables, instead, you’ll choose dates with availability and create your own timetable for a more personal experience. You can stay for a short 3-4 day trip or try a longer 2-week retreat.
There is a varied timetable of classes that you can attend as you please, including many types of yoga such as hatha, kundalini, vinyasa, yin, and restorative. You can also walk to the beach, see a local play or concert, read, and meditate.
Camp Under the Stars: Whitney Base Camp & Climbing School
This retreat takes place at different locations in California, including Joshua Tree National Park and Alabama Hills. As well as daily yoga sessions, you’ll also get to try your hand at some rock climbing in renowned locations. Skill level doesn’t matter as you’ll be divided into groups based on your ability so it’s great for both newbies and experienced climbers and yogis.
These retreats are for people who want to get out and be close to nature since you’ll be camping outdoors. But don’t worry, all camping gear is included for you.
There’s a big community element to these trips too, in the evenings, you’ll spend time around the campfire enjoying the company of your fellow retreaters.
Good Community: Althea Yoga
If you’re interested in yoga retreats that have a strong sense of community among yogis, then Althea Yoga is a great one to choose. Althea organizes a few different 4-day retreats that take place at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, CA.
The 12-15 person retreats focus on a range of different yoga styles including hatha, yin, restorative, and nidra. Each retreat varies but you’ll also get to do daily meditation and educate yourself about yoga and its principles.
These retreats are about the social aspect of yoga as much as the physical and mental parts with plenty of companionship and lots of fun to be had.
Best for Yoga and Fitness: Intouch SF
Intouch SF organize several different retreats at some of Californias best-known yoga retreat destinations including The Yoga Barn Ranch in Yucca Valley and the Sagrada Wellness Center previously mentioned for their own retreats.
The retreats are lead by Jordanna Dworkin who has a varied background in Dance, Pilates, Yoga, and Chinese Medicine, which all blend together to create an interesting retreat experience.
These retreats are focused on both yoga and fitness with daily pilates classes, outdoor activities such as hiking, and healthy eating. If you want to come back feeling revitalized and ready to accomplish anything, these retreats are worth a look.
Digital Detox: SoCal Wellness Retreats
SoCal retreats are lead by long-time retreat organizer John Quirk who knows a lot about creating the ultimate experience and helping people feel better.
They usually take place at Serenity Mountain Estate which is a sanctuary in the mountains with a private villa and access to stunning hiking and biking trails, mountains, world-famous Julian and apple pie shops, boutique wineries, and for the more adventurous there’s even helicopter rides and horseback riding.
There are a few different retreats from 4 days up to 7 days. I like the sound of the digital detox retreat which takes place each month. This is a great opportunity to unplug and live in the moment rather than being distracted by technology all the time.