Top 9 Surf and Yoga Retreats in Sri Lanka
Sitting with a big mug of the customary post-Yoga coconut water on my teakwood table, which I now call my home office. One of the many tabs that are open on my Macbook is YouTube, playing Chill LoFi Beats music the background (Which has a meditative quality of its own). But I am not alone, as I am accompanied by 2 chirping birds right outside the window. I think the birds to get the appeal of my building. Although my building is located in one of the busiest localities in Mumbai, the environment that surrounds it is surprisingly calm and serene as it is fortified by buildings all around. One could my building is one of the many birds that are in a giant residential nest of its own. I think that the two birds outside my window are in a relationship and puzzled and wondering “What happened to the humans, and why does this boy never leave his nest?!”
It has been a little over two months since any outdoor activity. Every now and then, I get greeted with flashbacks of outdoor activity of the past. The heart yearns and longs for the doors to the outer world to be open again. The stress and anxiety of the same is kept under check thanks to my daily Vinyasa Flow Yoga practice, but even then my mind wonders about form and ways to correct it, while simultaneously wanting to gain a deeper sense of understanding.
For the past few weeks, I have been making the best of my streaming service subscriptions by binge-watching every piece of content that is even remotely connected with surfing. Be it the documentaries that feature the irreplaceable Bethany Hamilton in Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable to Baywatch to even the animated film Surf’s Up, which actually an inspirational story that talks about beating all odds and challenging the bigwigs and believing in yourself enough to know that if you are dedicated to your cause, the odds can turn in your favour. Now I dream of being on a surfboard and riding the waves with perfect form.
This binge-watching spree has awakened new desires in me. I want to get on the next international flight and learn the two things that have been at the back of the mind for nearly 7 years, which is surfing and Yoga.
“Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.” - Paul Walker
Keeping my own needs and constraints in mind, I have been scouring the virtual realm for all of the cost-effective Yoga and Surfing retreat places I could go. After hours and days of incessant meticulous and data-driven research, I think I have found the country that is known for its exotic surfing locations and Yoga Retreats and can give me my money’s worth, and that is Sri Lanka.
“The pearl of the Indian Ocean” ---Sri Lanka
Why Sri Lanka? That is an interesting question. For one, it is a small island country with low population density, scenic and a beautiful concoction of four major cultural influences; Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British. If you’re thinking about the kind of foods that a mixture of these cultures and traditions can produce, let me answer that question for you right away: It is nothing short of mouth-watering.
Here’s a list of Sri Lankan food you should try out on your next surfing trip Foods You Should Try In Sri Lanka
It also goes without saying that it is imperative for a surfing destination to have, well, places where you can surf. It is an activity that you can carry out in Sri Lanka all year long as the Island country is encircled with beaches. If you check out Google Earth, you can see that Sri Lanka is essentially outlined in white. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Another factor that makes the island country a great destination for surfing is the rains that affect different parts of Sri Lanka differently at different times of the year. The main surfing season for the south is from November to May – that’s when the waves are utter perfection. The best season on the east coast is from April to October when the waves are longer. Long story short: there will always be waves somewhere. A place like Sri Lanka could cater to surfers at all levels of proficiency whether you are someone who is an amateur or have been riding the waves for years.
Check out the list of all the beginner surfing spots around the country 10 Best Beginner Surf Spots In Sri Lanka a good read.
Hours of research at length has revealed that Sri Lanka has the ideal conditions for an experienced/intermediate or an aspiring Yogi and even for a traveller with limited resources.
One of the many things that makes Sri Lanka a Yogi’s dreamland is the fact that it is calm and ripe with positive energy, and what a Yogi needs the most is a sense of calmness and serenity, which is something that is provided on a platter to whosoever travels to Sri Lanka. It is also noteworthy that an astonishing 70.2 % of people are Buddhists. If this doesn’t say that Sri Lanka is a calm and peaceful place to be in, I don’t know what will.
Given that ever since the Island country has been touted as one of the top destinations to visit in the world, it has seen an exponential surge in the number of Yoga & Surf Retreats in almost every part of the scenic landscape.
But no amount of research up until this point had accurately shone light upon the beauty of the Sri Lankan surf spots. It is entirely possible that what you will read in the passages below will make you want to pack your bags and hit the Sri Lankan waves almost instantaneously.
First comes first, the well known Weligama Beach. This place is known for being a secret hideaway for first-time surfers like you and I and even those surfing experts who just want to ride the silky smooth waves of all grades and just take in the sheer beauty and cleanliness of the place. One look at this beautiful stretch of land and you will go like “This is the stuff of the angels!”
Up next is Hikkaduwa beach, which is known for its bustling nightlife and is fondly known as a scuba diving and surfing paradise. The waves out here could be anywhere between 3-10 feet high, hence giving you, our reader, your money’s worth.
What's more, you can enjoy the coral reefs, a multitude of fishes and beautiful sunsets from here!
Another unmissable beach for surfers is Unawatuna Bay. This is the ideal place to fall in love with the thrilling sport. Conveniently located just around the corner from Galle, you stand a good chance of having the place to yourself, or sharing with only a few of the local surfers.
Take a look at the aerial view of this gorgeous bay, and you will be convinced that heaven does exist on earth, and its name is Unawatuna Bay.
The sheer amount of competition gives way to competitive prices and that is exactly what an Aspiring Yogi on a budget wants. The competition also gives way to diversity in terms of Yoga teachings and Gurus, and as we all know, not one size hat fits all. Hence, there’s a good chance that you can find the Yoga guru that has the potential of changing your mindset, and your overall life, in Sri Lanka itself!
“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are” — Jason Crandell
Now, let’s get to the chase. Here, in my opinion, are some of the best Yoga and Surf retreat centres that I feel must be kept in mind by you while making a Surf and Yoga retreat plan.
An ancestral Yoga Shala that can transport its guests back to the British colonial times. This boutique resort resides right next to a calm white sand beach that is blessed with pristine turquoise blue water. This particular retreat destination is especially budget-friendly as along with its formidable selection of deluxe rooms, villas and bamboo huts, it also provides dormitory rooms for those who want our finite resources to best use. But that ain’t all, as Talalla also provides a freshwater lap pool, an open-air restaurant and three custom made Yoga Pavilions. These attributes alone make Talalla one of the best and most sought after surf and yoga retreat destinations in Sri Lanka.
Talalla has an impressive roster of experienced western Yoga teachers from whom you can learn the art of self rejuvenation, finding your own centre and self-discovery. Amongst the many things that this surf and yoga retreat is known for, it is also famous for its one of a kind surf camp that the guests can get themselves enrolled into. The areas that have been mentioned above are exactly where it shines, as the quality of services that are provided at Talalla is simply world-class! This beautiful luxury restaurant is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of our regular lives, as it takes you away from your daily ordeals and puts you in a surrounding that comprises of crystal clear water at the beachfront, which are coming to surrender towards the clear white sand of the beach. What’s more, you get to enjoy such scenery while you sip on your favourite beverage, courtesy of the open beachfront open-air restaurant. As time goes by, you will develop a deep sense of affection with the place as the villas and the grand pool feel like they are inviting you from the moment you lay your eyes on them. Kudos to team Talalla for putting such an experience together! This is surely a surf and yoga retreat that one must visit even if one is out for a casual trip in Sri Lanka.
Visit Talalla Surf and Yoga Retreat, Talalla, South Sri Lanka to learn more about this retreat
The Surfer Surf Camp is basically the place you want to go to if you want to get a sense of what a mini global surfing community meet & greet feels like and want to fast-track your growth towards becoming a professional surfer. The Surfer surf and yoga retreat seems like the place where one can come out learning a whole lot about the art of riding waves from people of different ethnicities, nationalities and walks of life. The fact that the professionals at The Surfer are so invested in your personal growth that it feels like you’re attending a training that is only reserved for the top 5% of the world at the kind of rates that they do is simply commendable!
The owner and management of this Sri Lanka-based surf and yoga retreat are Lahiru, a local Sri Lankan who knows all about the local scene and a licenced qualified ISA/ISL surf instructor.
The attractive and, most importantly, cost-effective, surfing packages are varied and tailor-made in nature. If you have any specific needs, you could always let the officials know about the same, and one can be assured that they will most likely be tended to. This place is a Yoga Hotspot too for those who would like to take a time off. The Surf Camp is located on the southern side of Sri Lanka, which is at its scenic best when it's at its peak. It’s ripe with jaw-dropping sunset visuals, the visions of turquoise water coming to rest by the beachfront, which is white for as long as the eyes can see.
I think that we should thank The Surfer for the simple fact that it just exists and I truly feel that it deserves a spot in one of the best surf and yoga retreats in Sri Lanka.
Visit The Surfer Surf Camp Yoga and Surf Retreat to learn more about this retreat