No matter how committed you are to your yoga practice, after a while, sun salutations to a wall of your studio can begin to feel routine. But down-dogging it after, say, fire dancing in the wilds of Costa Rica? It’s hard to feel “blah” about that.
That was the inspiration for SolYoga, a yoga adventures outfit that runs trips all over the world. Ben Crosky, its swashbuckling 26-year-old New York City-based founder, came up with the idea after ditching his architecture degree in favor of bouncing (and back-bending) around Central America and Europe.
What’s so cool about Crosky’s two-year-old business—aside from the obvious appeal of learning to tango in Buenos Aires or surfing in Panama while on a yoga retreat, for example—is its reasonable price. Most yoga-adventure trips to SolYoga’s far-flung destinations cost $1,300–$1,500 (plus airfare) for a week—a per day rate in the ballpark of a stay at Kripalu.
How does that even work? There seem to be two standard ways to price yoga retreats, Crosky says. “What you can charge and what you should charge. We chose the latter, because if we’re being honest, what this is about is sharing these experiences with as many people as possible.”
Which is partly why Crosky partners with yoga teachers who are experienced and adventurous—but also, as he puts it, “crazy about learning.” They’re pros, for sure, but not necessarily superstar instructors you have to pay through the nose for. Yet.
Crosky co-leads most of the programs, too, and of all the places he’s gone, he says his most memorable moment was on an Iceland trip last summer. The group had hiked a dramatic glacier and soaked in steamy thermal springs, but the pinnacle was a quiet moment on the way back from a farm.
“After crossing a couple of chilly rivers, we decided to lie down in the warmth of the sun, on the softest bed of Icelandic grass,” Crosky says. “It wasn’t planned and it wasn’t expected, but the sense of peace that was inspired in that moment is still with me today.” —Catherine Pearson
Enter to win a week-long yoga retreat to Iceland this summer with Aarona Pichinson now through March 22, 2011.
For other trips, check out solyogatrips.com