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Back-to-school yoga retreats: Follow your favorite teachers this fall

Nothing beats the pleasure of body-warming vinyasa when there’s a faint chill in the air. Our favorite New York City yoga teachers are leading some seriously tempting fall retreats within driving distance of the city.

Heathen Hill yoga retreatLabor Day Weekend acts as the dramatic coda to a steaming hot summer travel season. Even though it’s time to pack away espadrilles and white linen pants, we’re relieved that the summer of Mother Nature mandated Bikram is coming to a close.

September signals the beginning of our favorite yoga retreat season. Nothing beats the pleasure of body-warming vinyasa when there’s a faint chill in the air. And our favorite New York City yoga teachers  are leading some seriously tempting retreats within driving distance of the city. So roll up your mat and invite your friend with a car.

Marisa Sako, Extend your Summer Bliss

Heathen Hill swimming hold

When: September 10-12
Where: Heathen Hill, Catskills, NY
Cost: $300-460, depending on accommodation level
Contact: 917-399-8288; [email protected]
Marisa Sako (Kula and Bend & Bloom) brings her trademark humor and clarity to a weekend line-up of four energizing vinyasa classes. Off the mat activities at country rustic Heathen Hill include swimming, hot tubbing, walking the labyrinth, admiring the gardens, and playing lawn games like horseshoes. Food is farm-fresh and as local as it comes—the Heathen Hill hens are responsible for your breakfast omelet.

Sadie Nardini, Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga Immersion

NYers can get their Sadie Nardini fix at this Omega retreat

When: September 17-19
Where: Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
Cost: $275 tuition, plus room and board (various options)
Contact: 877.944.2002; [email protected]
Now that beloved NYC yoga teacher Sadie Nardini has temporarily decamped to Austin, Texas, expect city crowds who’ve been jonesing for her lively, intense classes. Beginners are welcome, and Nardini breaks down her signature style that focuses on activating perfect core alignment throughout your practice. In your off hours, explore Omega’s full roster of R&R activities that includes a Wellness Center with amazing therapists and healers.

Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, A Weekend of Yoga with Rodney & Colleen

Yee and Saidman team teach this retreat

When: October 15-17
Where: Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
Cost: $395 tuition, plus room and board (various options)
Contact: 877.944.2002; [email protected]
Spouses, and yoga celebs, Colleen Saidman Yee (from YogaShanti) and Rodney Yee (from 30 Gaiam DVDs) team-teach  “a masculine and a feminine interpretation of yoga for all levels of yoga practitioners.” The course description about “dissolving the male and female boundary” got a little esoteric for me, but a recent class I took with Iyengar-focused Yee in Sag Harbor was refreshingly accessible.

Angela Clark and Stephanie Sandleben, Turning a new leaf Vermont retreat

Country store turned retreat center

When: October 21-24
Where: Good Commons in southern Vermont
Cost: $475-575 (including room and board)
Contact: [email protected]
Angela Clark and Stephanie Creaturo, two popular instructors from Brooklyn’s Mala Yoga, tap fall’s “natural transformative energy” by focusing on twists and backbends. Good Commons, a restored country store in the foothills of Killington, plays groovy host with WiFi, a hot tub, and food from local farms. You can even book hard-to-find treatments like raindrop essential oil therapy with local therapists.

Schuyler Grant, Autumn Bonfire: Fire, Earth, and Flow

Catch Schuyler Grant at Kripalu

When: October 22-24
Where: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
Cost: $210 tuition, plus room and board
Contact: 866.200.5203;
Schuyler Grant, the eternally youthful founder of the Kula Yoga Project, wants you to feel toasty this fall. Her super-challenging vinyasa classes are steeped in intellect applied to movement. At Kripalu she’ll focus on “linking asanas with ujjayi breathing..and [using] longer holdings and special tapas to generate even more heat.” Outside of class, indulge in Kripalu’s delicious meals (options for vegans, veggies, and meat-eaters), and the superb Healing Arts Center.
Alexia Brue