Until recently, travellers wishing to salute the Mauritian sun were restricted to seeking out classes at top resorts or through private instructors.
Whilst the idea of limbering up in luxury may sound appealing, the cost and logistics can quickly become an obstacle. Enter Yoga House…. a serene studio, offering an affordable and full schedule of drop-in yoga and pilates classes.
Close to Grand Baie, the popular beach resort in the north of the island, Yoga House is as zen a spot as you can find. The studio has a rural, earthy vibe, housed in old stone outhouses.
Surrounded by sugar cane fields and tucked away within the orchards of the Domaine de Lebourdonnais Estate, Yoga House is rooted in nature and history, with an immensely impressive tree dominating the grounds. Hard to imagine, but apparently before the site was renovated, the tree was actually growing inside the old building!
Yoga House offers a varied programme, ranging from their signature hatha and yin classes to more physically demanding practices, like power and aerial yoga. They also run regular yoga workshops, as well as daily pilates sessions and can provide an array of wellbeing therapies. Friendly and homely, with a tranquil courtyard to relax in, Yoga House has all the qualities of a yogi haven. With toilets, showers and a changing area on-site, it’s a comfortable space that retains a charming simplicity. The studios are breezy with open windows and doors that welcome in views of the courtyard and fields, filling the space with the energy and sounds of nature. Classes are taught in English and cater for all levels, and teachers are friendly, professional and experienced.
Being a fan of a dynamic, sweaty practice, I tried a power yoga class. It was more yoga-fitness fusion, rather than a dynamic flow, but it was an enjoyable, strong class nonetheless and with only two other people, there was a lot of hands-on attention. I would have happily based myself nearby for a full week in order to fit in daily time on the mat. If you are after a tropical yoga holiday with the freedom to create your own schedule, Yoga House is definitely one to consider.
Classes cost 500 Rs (approximately £11) per person.
Where to eat:
For post-practice sustenance and recovery there is a charming outdoor café on the estate that has traditional Mauritian dishes as well as simple salads, sandwiches, quiches and cakes. Next door is a fantastic farmhouse-style deli stocking organic produce and locally made sweet treats. They also have a Juice Bar on site!
The main attraction of the estate is the majestic Château de Labourdonnais, a beautiful colonial home that transports you to 19th Century Mauritian living. As part of the tour, visitors are invited to taste produce from the estate, including rums, jams and fruit juices. For a more formal dining experience, make a reservation at the château restaurant, an elegant and contemporary venue that serves traditional cuisine. And do also look out for special events on their Facebook page; we had just missed a gourmet evening of tastings and live music, which they are aiming to establish as a regular attraction.
Where to stay:
Despite the idyllic location, it is pretty remote, so hiring a car is a must. Also, check out Airbnb for nearby short-lets. Yoga House can help with accommodation, offering discount rates with two local hotels:
Be Cosy Apart Hotel
The Sakoa Boutik Hotel
With thanks to http://www.theyogalust.com