Yoga holidays in Austria

YOGA HOLIDAYS IN AUSTRIA


TAKE YOUR MIND & BODY TO NEW HEIGHTS

Have you ever attended a yoga class with pictures of snow-clad mountains, smooth stacked stones and clear water streams on studio walls, whilst outside all you can hear are the sounds of the city? Constant traffic, pneumatic drills, police sirens – that sort of thing. If you have then you’ll already understand just how hard it can be to relax and focus the mind, as well as the body, amidst such distractions. There’s only so far an inspirational image can take you, which is why yoga studios in Austria don’t have posters, they have windows. Windows that let in fresh mountain air; windows that frame views, not fake them; windows that open your senses to all that yoga entails and invite you to step outside and continue your spiritual journey – rather than catching the number 53 bus and sticking in your ear plugs.
Imagine waking up to an energising yoga class as you watch the sun rise from behind the mountains and your tummy begins to rumble at the thought of fresh fruit, cereal, smoothies, eggs and freshly baked Austrian bread. After that you’ve got the whole day ahead for hiking, socialising or relaxing, with afternoons just made for tea and cake before restorative yoga classes and hearty, nutritious evening meals. It’s so peaceful up in the Alps that you’ll be hard pushed not to relax, with Hohe Tauern National Park, in the shadow of Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, offering every opportunity to stop what you’re doing and soak it all in.
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What does a yoga holiday in Austria entail?


Vinyasa flow yoga classes and morning meditation sessions before breakfast are a beautiful way to start each day with the chance to undertake a more rejuvenating yoga class in the afternoon all that’s required to refocus the mind and awaken the spirit. Combining daily yoga with guided or self guided walks will further enhance wellbeing and energy levels. Healthy food on picnics and during communal evening meals also increases good vibrations, both inside and out. Most yoga holidays in Austria will be open to beginners as well as experienced practitioners; a week’s itinerary will often be tailored on the wishes of the group as a whole rather than being set in stone.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy other than just climbing every mountain. The summer opens up Alpine meadows for bike riding, river rafting or walks into a typical Tyrolean town, like Lienz, for a visit to a spa or restaurant. Just avoid (or not!) the allure of the patisserie.

Winters in Austria are, if anything, even more magical for yoga holidays, with a thick layer of snow promising pristine peace and quiet as well as lots of ways to keep warm outdoors. Snow shoeing, tobogganing and cross country skiing are all ideal for keeping the blood flowing whilst thoughts of hot chocolate and fresh cake on the sun terrace welcome you back to base.
Aside from all that clean and fresh alpine air, the Austrian Alps, and Hohe Tauern National Park, especially, feature a quintessential glimpse at life in rural Austria with the village of Huben and the larger town of Lienz, worth exploring further on an evening out or during a free day.
Part and parcel of enjoying a yoga holiday in Austria is finding an experience that suits you. Meditating, walking and a whole host of summer or winter activities, including Ayurvedic cooking workshops and detox programmes, can all be built into a week away to ensure you make the most of your time both on and off the mat.

Where will I stay?


Accommodation is another important factor to think about, with a cosy, characterful and unpretentious guesthouse adding to the peaceful ambience of life in the mountains, well away from busy alpine resorts. Each retreat usually has 10 to 18 yogis, keeping classes as personal as possible, as well as limiting the amount of noise. However, there’s something rather uplifting about communal evening meals before retiring to the lounge to continue the chat over board games and a nightcap.
The Alps are an inspirational setting to cleanse your body and relax your mind, and nothing that opening your window every morning and breathing in that mountain air to really open your eyes, ears and lungs to Austria.
Photo credits: [Top box: WearActive] [What does it entail - breakfast: Meg Lessard] [Hohe Tauern National Park: Cristian Bortes www.eyeem.com/bortescristian] [Where will I stay: WearActive]

Written by: Chris Owen
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