There’s never been a more appropriate time to step back from the daily grind, rejuvenate and strengthen the body and mind. When it’s time to unwind, I try to head straight for Agonda.
Yoga Desa presents a holistic little escape from the mad, mad world we live in. Perched at the tranquil end of Agonda beach – a peaceful space in itself, the retreat combines the serenity of the location with comfortable seaside accommodation, wholesome and healthy dining, and customisable yoga schedules.
It is all about yoga here. The programme schedule focuses on practice with two different styles of strength yoga and meditation sessions each day, along with regular fitness classes such as pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), mindfulness, breathwork and a whole variety of workshops. Guests can pick whichever they like and formulate their own yoga holiday.
Where other places are likely to send you off with a spot of meditation and a short sunrise class, at Yoga Desa, you will be so tempted with the various offerings, you’d want to do it all. The shala commands a prominent spot overlooking the soft sand and thundering waves, the perfect spot for ideal energy vibes. The classes are based on Vinyasa flow, suitable for all levels, with variations for beginners and more advanced practitioners. However, there are also sessions for Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar and others.
The yoga teacher, Hans, has more than 15 years of experience and imparts what he calls ‘accessible yoga’. He keeps his instructions simple and easy to follow, is very warm, and adjusts classes to teach according to the overall ability in the room. For each asana, he offers easy and advanced options and also tries to push guests out of their comfort zone once in a while so they make progress at their own pace.
Other instructors are also around, including my friend Faye, whose HIIT yoga is high energy and a lot of fun.
The cottages at Yoga Desa are very pretty, comfortable and have open-to-sky bathrooms that bring you closer to nature in your private space. The surroundings are well-maintained and you’ll often find yourself one of the very few on the beach when you wake in time for the sunrise session.
The package for the rooms typically includes the full yoga schedule and breakfast, served at their delightful little in-house restaurant. The menu is vegetarian and vegan, and features nutritious, healthy and wholesome food made with fresh, local ingredients. Even the vegan cheeses, milks and yogurts are made in-house. It is quite varied and you might find it difficult to choose from the tantalising options – all hearty, rich in nutrients and perfect for your healthy holiday.