03/23/2012 07:17 am ET Updated May 23, 2012

5 Excellent Yoga Retreats (PHOTOS)

Few forms of escapism are as wholesome as yoga. As its millions of acolytes attest, regular yoga practice not only alleviates stress and improves strength and flexibility (recent reports even credit it for enhanced sexual health), it's also an activity that can be done just about anywhere. Just taking a smartphone-free hour to practice sun salutations can feel like a mini-vacation.

But even for the yogically inclined, more than an hourlong getaway is sometimes necessary. It's certainly alluring, especially when there are so many options for rolling up your sticky mat and dashing off to an exotic locale.

These days, there are yoga retreats that cater to every ability level and goal. Some, like the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Retreat at Shreyas Resort in Bangalore, emphasize the traditional, holistic benefits of yoga (participants receive health and dietary consultations, plus personalized ayurvedic spa treatments, along with their classes). Others, like Yada Yada Yoga's Bespoke Yoga Retreat at the St. Regis Bahia Beach, offers guests the opportunity to combine yoga with other activities like paddleboarding, kayaking and hiking, while others offer it as a double bill with music, photography and cultural study.

Whether the goal is serenity or invigoration, ancient traditions or innovative approaches, here are ten places to make your escape.

Top Yoga Retreats