U.S.-based Yoga Instructors Lead Socially-Conscious Dream Retreats to the Caribbean

May 06, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Debbie Cohen, Director of Massachusetts-based Core Yoga, and a group of her students recently returned from a week-long yoga retreat at the 60-acre Balenbouche Estate located on the picturesque, southwestern coast of St. Lucia. The retreat was facilitated by Tropical Escapes Ltd., a new Caribbean-based venture committed to sustainable eco-tourism.

The Core Yoga group practiced yoga three hours per day, relaxed on the beach, hiked through the rainforest, bathed in natural hot springs and waterfalls, visited botanical gardens, sailed and enjoyed home-cooked meals prepared with fresh island ingredients.

“We provide our clients with unique experiences while ensuring that local island communities that these groups visit directly benefit from them. Tourism is a vital expanding industry in the Caribbean and we want to be sure all profits are shared,” says Patricia Perkins, Founder and Director of Tropical Escapes.

“Tropical Escapes’ main resource is our intimate knowledge of the region and all it has to offer. By becoming a part of the communities in which we operate we can create the convenience of an all-inclusive package while spreading the money among local service providers whom we know and trust. It contributes more to the economy and at the end of the day, our guests have more authentic and memorable experiences,” says Perkins.

Yoga instructors and group leaders who partner with Tropical Escapes work with a retreat coordinator to design customized packages that suit the individual groups’ needs and tastes. “Whether a rustic estate or a luxury villa, they tell me what they want as far as the type of accommodations and activities are concerned and leave the details up to me. I am then on island to meet any addition needs that the group might have once they arrive,” explains Perkins.

For the Core Yoga group, the unspoiled, natural beauty and country charm of the family-run Balenbouche Estate created a stunning atmosphere. “As an instructor who has run yoga retreats overseas on my own before, I was happy to have someone else there to take care of everything – except, of course, teaching the yoga classes, which is what I want to do. After all, I’m a teacher, not a travel agent or tour guide. The group really enjoyed at felt good about the socially conscious aspect of the retreat as well” said Cohen upon returning from her trip.

Tropical Escapes is currently planning yoga retreats and adventure tours for the upcoming fall/winter season. Yoga instructors are paid for teaching and all of their travel, lodging and meals are free.

About Tropical Escapes:
Tropical Escapes specializes in crafting customized, all-inclusive retreats and adventure travel packages for small- to medium-sized groups seeking authentic experiences that are an alternative to packaged tours.
Yoga instructors and other group leaders interested in partnering with Tropical Escapes can find information at http://www.tropicalescapes.biz by emailing trish@tropicalescapes.biz or by calling 212.731.2478.