We all do Christmas a little differently, but beyond the quirky family traditions it often boils down to turkey with the trimmings and a glass of bubbly too many. The festive period is also one of the best times to visit many locations in South East Asia, when the weather is cooler, drier and less humid. If you’re looking for a break from the same-old festive routine, or fancy feeling lighter before you make your New Year’s resolutions, take a look at these healthy Christmas holidays around Asia.
Samahita Christmas and New Year Holidays Integrated Yoga and Fitness Retreat (Thailand)
Paul Dallaghan will lead two one-week retreats (or one two-week retreat, if you want to really indulge in a fortnight of fitness) at Samahita’s gorgeous Thai resort. The schedules include a variety of yoga, core strength work and cycle classes, alongside meditation and breath work to improve your focus. The first week focuses more on practical asana workshops, whereas the second week takes a more philosophical approach, so those opting for the two-week stay don’t need to worry about repeating material. A special Christmas Eve feast and musical performances are sure to put you in the festive spirit in time for the New Year.
Samata 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training (India)
Fancy doing something productive with your Christmas break? Samata Resort in India is hosting a one-month, 200-hour yoga teacher training. Starting on December 15, the course looks into the philosophy and methodology of yoga. The retreat includes accommodation, meals, and of course the chance to start 2018 with a fresh set of skills and new friends.
Kura Kura 7 Day New Year Yoga (Bali)
If a week by the Indian Ocean practising yoga sounds like bliss, then Kura Kura has the perfect healthy Christmas holiday for you. Led by Geri Hall and Steve Jones, the seven-day retreat offers yoga and meditation sessions, relaxing massages, and a special New Year’s Eve Fire Release experience. You’ll have a chance to explore Bali too, with a day excursion, and the option of a beach day, white water rafting or snorkelling.
8-Night Mala Dhara ‘Awakening the Chakras’ Retreat (Chiang Mai)
For those who are seeking some emotional, spiritual and physical enlightenment, Chiang Mai’s Mala Dhara Resort is hosting a yoga retreat dedicated to the seven Chakras. The seven-day programme focuses on the different chakras to help restore and fulfil you, mind, body and soul. The retreat features daily yin and hatha yoga, asanas, meditations, visualisations, stories, and other group activities.
COMO Resorts Festive Experiences (Various Locations)
With a focus on personalised experiences, COMO are here to make your festive break special with one-off Christmas experiences in nine of their resorts. From the shores of The Maldives to the lush mountains of Bhutan, there’s a retreat for everyone. Special festive experiences include starlit barbecues Christmas dinners and Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve parties.
See also: Have A Very COMO Christmas
1-Day Sri Yoga Shala Christmas Special (Sri Lanka)
If dedicating to an entire week of wellness seems like a little much over the festive period, check out Sri Yoga Shala’s one-day yoga experience at their sanctuary in Unawatuna. Have a chilled out beach holiday with surf, sea and sand, visit the colonial port town of Galle, or head north explore Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, and of course, drop into Sri Yoga Shala for a day of peace, quiet and yoga. While there’s no on-site accommodation, there are plenty of places nearby for those who want to stay in the area: check out Elysium for a luxe Christmas getaway, or Greenery Lanka for a beachy backpacker base.
5-Night One World Retreats Escape the World (Bali)
For a truly zen Christmas, head into the heart of Ubud at One World Retreats. This five-night escape combines yoga, meditation and a day of silence to allow guests to reconnect with themselves and deepen their practice. A variety of cultural excursions – including a bicycle ride and sunset yoga overlooking Mount Batur – will give you a chance to see Bali during your stay. Reset your mind before the New Year starts, and go home feeling refreshed.