Wellness breaks are fast becoming the 'it' holiday and, after the end-of-year festitivities have wound down, there is no better way to cleanse your mind, body and soul than with a trip to these beautiful yoga resorts.
When it comes to yoga resorts, Bali is the place to be. The mere mention of this Indonesian island evokes thoughts of sun-kissed beaches, ancient temples and lush rice fields. What better setting, then, to practise the fine art of meditation? The Blooming Lotus Yoga retreat allows visitors to join daily Vinyasa and Hatha yoga classes, meditation and pranayama sessions and take part in various healing workshops to live out the resort's motto: 'love, serve, meditate, realise'.
Head to the Himalayan foothills, the sacred home of yoga, where the spectacular mountainous backdrop and the polished spa treatments of the Ananda Resort have drawn spiritual seekers from all over the world. Translated from Sanskrit to mean 'bliss', visitors can start the yoga day at dawn with a hike to the temple, immerse themselves in mind-expanding philosophical lectures delivered by knowledgeable swamis, or head to nearby Rishikesh, India's yoga capital, to experience the daily Hindu ritual of aarti.
Spiritualists say that Sedona is one of the world's sacred sites where vortices - special spots where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of it - are found. This is why yogis come in their thousands each year to meditate on the area's famous red sandstone formations such as Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. Sedona Mago Retreat offers lush gardens as the backdrop for a spiritual awakening, accompanied by a healing garden and lake to calm the soul.
Koh Samui, Thailand
The most tranquil of Thailand's islands is full of amazing yoga and spa resorts. Among the finest is Absolute Sanctuary, where guests can mix a range of yoga styles, from detox yoga to beginners hatha, hot flow yoga to ashtanga and yin. Classes start at dawn and resume once the heat of the midday sun has subsided at 4.30pm, so guests have plenty of time to explore the natural riches of the island in between spiritual sessions.
Ambergis Caye, Belize
Belize's idyllic Ambergis Caye is home to white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and the beautiful thatched-roof spa retreat Akbol Yoga. Ak'bol means "heart of the village" in the Mayan language, and this Maya-inspired eco-resort boasts thoroughly modern accommodation. The retreat also encourages visitors to experience unbeatable underwater adventures by snorkelling and scuba diving in the nearby Mesoamerican reef just a few hundred feet off shore.