Backroads Brings Yoga to Active Travel

Yoga on a Backroads TripI love developing new Backroads trips. From ocean and river cruises to eBikes to family trips for older teens and 20s, any new destinations or features are designed on the fundamental principles of quality and flexibility. I don't care how trendy or cool something seems--if we can't do it extraordinarily well or deliver it with the personalized nature of our trips, we don't do it.

Which is why when we do announce something new, it's a really big deal.

Introducing yoga to a number of our trips is an exciting development for any of our guests and fits seamlessly into our overall travel philosophy.

Yoga is already happening organically on many of our trips, and we see lots of guests stretching in preparation for an active day or unwinding well-used muscles before heading off to dinner. So, starting next year, we've enhanced some of our most popular itineraries with the option for guests to participate in a daily Backroads leader-led yoga class.

Yoga in Hawaii with Backroads

Not a yogi? No matter! These are definitely not yoga-specific trips. We're adding a one-hour daily yoga session for guests who want to participate. Anyone else is welcome to sleep in, head to the bar early, or do whatever you want with your hour. I cannot emphasize enough that we are not planning yoga retreats.

Why yoga?

So many of our guests practice yoga, and over 50 Backroads leaders also happen to be yoga instructors who excel at integrating activities into a larger experience. Since our leaders are happy to fulfill guest requests, many of them already include optional stretching into the day for anyone who feels like participating.

Backroads Yoga Class on Maui

I was on a Backroads biking trip not too long ago and the informal stretching time at the end of each day of biking quickly turned into a popular experience each day of the trip. Regardless of how flexible each of us was or how much time we had spent in a yoga studio, we all enjoyed the time to relax, stretch, and bond in a unique way outside of our regular bike rides and social settings. I've done all kinds of yoga in the past but have fallen off the wagon, even as I recognize the importance of staying flexible as the years tick by. I bet I would have kept it up had we offered yoga sooner, and I'd probably have fewer injuries now!

How will yoga be integrated into our trips?

There are plenty of companies that offer multiple yoga classes per day, typically in a single location, that don't get people out and seeing the world actively. That's not us. We consider yoga a fun, additional exercise, not an obligation nor a mindset. We are not changing our current hiking, biking, and multi-adventure offerings in any way except by adding one hour a day of yoga (always optional) on certain trips, usually in the morning before breakfast.

If you want a world-class travel experience
that also happens to offer yoga, we are it.

We selected 14 trips--including Iceland, Bali, India, Mallorca, Costa Rica, Maui, and Santa Barbara--because their itineraries and accommodations lend themselves well to this additional activity. For example, the Iceland Northern Lights trip has plenty of "awake time" when it's dark outside. Our Yucatan trip enjoys a warm tropical climate that lends itself well to a refreshing morning yoga session outside among the sounds and smells of nature. The Maui trip includes hotels with large spas and beautiful outdoor areas, which are perfect spots for an hour of yoga.

Yoga on Paddle-boards with Backroads on the Maui coast

We'll offer our yoga session at a time that makes sense relative to each day's itinerary--it will vary by trip and even by day. And we're designing the yoga itself to support each trip's unique activities with specific stretches to prepare for hours of bicycling or loosening up after a day of hiking, for example.

No, we won't charge extra for this additional activity. It's a great value for those who want to add more to each day and doesn't add costs to a trip for those who choose to skip it.

Our leaders are great yoga enthusiasts and practitioners

The most consistent feedback we get from guests is that our leaders are exceptional individuals--with the personalities and skills required to deliver remarkable experiences. Not only are they great at organizing, leading activities, and connecting with people, but they're experts when it comes to working with folks of different skill levels. We don't expect hikers or bikers on our trips to all be at the same physical level, and the same certainly applies to yoga. Whether you're an experienced yogi or someone who's simply curious to give it a try (or your partner has applied the pressure!) our leaders will excel at guiding fun yoga sessions that complement the trip and are highly appropriate to your skillset.

Yoga on the Beach in Mexico

I'll share something with you--this is one of those business changes that our leaders are embracing enthusiastically. They're out in the world with our guests every day and have profound insight into what guests want. We've got their wholehearted approval that active trips with yoga will serve to enhance the guest experience, making these Backroads trips an even greater active travel experience than they already are.

Whether or not you know what savasana means...

Backroads naturally attracts active people with an adventurous spirit--individuals who want to explore the world up close and in person, well-supported yet on their own terms. We heartily approve, and make it our mission to lead active trips that you can customize to meet your vacation goals. The option of daily yoga is simply another really natural way of adding activity and flexibility (no pun intended) into our itineraries.

I can't wait to hear what you think.

Backroads Founder Tom Hale in the Yoga Studio

1 Response

  1. Tom, kudos to bringing yoga to the mix. I spent 4 or 5 years in the early 1990’s as a Backroads tour leader. The experience and the people were fabulous. After leaving Backroads I went on to study holistic health, including massage therapy and yoga. I have taken people on exotic yoga retreats all over the world, taught at leading edge yoga conferences and written articles and books on the subject. I can only imagine how great your guests will feel with the help of a morning yoga practice before heading out on an adventure for the day. Great idea!

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