CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: YOUR EDITOR, IN A JOYOUS MORNING STRETCH, WEARING LULULEMON STUDIO RACERBACK TOP AND PRISMSPORT DAISY CAPRI LEGGINGS; POST YOGA BREAKFAST; TWO HALVES OF A WHOLE: HALLE BECKER AND LOREN BASSETT; VIEW FROM THE DECK AT AMANSALA; ROBERTA ROLLER RABBIT ETOILE PAJAMA SHIRT; BEACHFRONT ACCOMMODATIONS AND LOUNGE OPTIONS AT AMANSALA
There are not a lot of people who could convince this non-yogi to go on a yoga retreat but when Halle Becker — one of the things I wrote I did not hate in “The Six Things I Hate About Yoga”– told me she was leading one with Loren Basset in Tulum, Mexico, I booked my spot before you could say “ohm”.
Past the line-up of all-inclusive resort complexes on the Mayan Riviera is the still unspoiled stretch of beach of Tulum Mexico, an eco-chic holiday destination that has long been a mecca for yoga retreats. The resorts there are made up of beachfront thatched roofed huts and open air palapa studios that are the dream settings for any yoga class. Our retreat would be at the Amansala, a longstanding favorite and home of the “Bikini Bootcamp“. A yoga vacation would be a better description than retreat, because although the meals were filled with deliciously fresh and healthy offerings, we would not be retreating from such guilty pleasures as chips, guacamole and margaritas. And while there was a 2 hour yoga class in the morning and 1 1/2 hour class in the afternoon, I opted for my own one class a day plan, which for 5 days in a row was more yoga than I practice in a month.
Halle Becker and Loren Basset have been friends for 8 years. Halle was originally Loren’s student at a studio called “Some Like it Hot.” I know them both from Pure Yoga. On a whim, they decided to organize a retreat 4 years ago. The first year had 16 people who they begged to come and they hosted it at the remote Holbox Island resort in Mexico. Their second retreat was at Amansala, where it has been ever since, and by chance that year Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Reece Witherspoon, and Demi Moore happened to be staying. They joined Halle and Loren’s classes for fun, which you can only imagine was off the hook. The retreats have grown in size each year and been sold out ever since. Read More