For many people, vacations end up being just as frantic and stressful as regular day to day life. Since people have very limited vacation time each year, there is a natural desire to “make it count.” It’s easy to confuse staying busy with being successful. But the point of taking vacations is to relax and restore you, mentally and physically.

Taking time to de-stress is incredibly important for good health. In fact, heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. One of the major contributing factors to heart disease is chronically elevated stress levels. It also contributes to many other chronic illnesses and problems. If we never take the time to relax, we don’t allow our bodies time to repair the damage that stress causes.

Knowing you should take time to relax every so often, why consider a yoga retreat? Because unlike the typical vacation, a yoga retreat is specifically designed to promote both mental and physical health through relaxation and natural remedies. Yoga has many proven health benefits. According to this article from Harvard Medical School, Yoga can help with weight control, fitness, and cardiovascular health. The article also talks about how yoga has an association with a positive body image.

Most yoga retreats take place in the summer, so you have a little time to prepare if you’ve never tried yoga before. Start by signing up for a class in your area, and take a look at the list below for inspiration.

Laugarvatn, Iceland

This retreat gives you the opportunity to practice yoga under the midnight sun in southern Iceland. With a yoga regimen designed around the concept of balance, you’ll have plenty of time for excursions as well.

Iceland boasts famous volcanic hot springs known for their powers of relaxation and rejuvenation. To stay active, take a pony ride or a tour of the volcanos and glaciers in the area. Reykjavik also has several museums and points of cultural interest for those looking for a more intellectual stretch.

Almeria, Spain

The retreat offered in Almeria, Spain is a great place for beginners. The leaders of this retreat emphasize meeting people where they are at. So if you’re not very practiced or comfortable with yoga yet, this retreat provides a judgment-free place to grow and explore your relationship with yoga and yourself. With plenty of available day trips to local points of interest and activities like Spanish dance opportunities, you’ll never have to worry about having a good time.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

If you are drawn to the more mystical side of yoga, consider giving this retreat a look. During your time on the shores of the crystalline Lake Atitlan, you will be brought through several different forms of yoga. But more than just yoga, this retreat boasts several unique ceremonies designed to promote personal growth. And you won’t be bored.

In addition to these powerful experiences, there is a myriad of adventure opportunities available in the area. Everything from tours of the traditional cultures to kayaking and zip lining. Finally, one day of the retreat is spent giving back through volunteer work.

Liscannor, Ireland

The retreat offered in Liscannor, Ireland has a focus on inner healing and self-love as well as strengthening community bonds. For people struggling with self-confidence or forgiveness, this would be one powerful vacation. It doesn’t hurt that the retreat takes place in the beautiful Irish countryside. Many chances for exciting experiences exist here. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, and even surfing are possible.

Amorgos, Greece

Interested in both the restorative powers of yoga and the opportunity to experience Greek culture through local tours and activities? Well, one luxury retreat in Greece offers just that. In addition, this retreat uses a variety of helpful tools to promote increased mental wellbeing and personal growth. This is the place for you if you’re ready for a week that will change your life.

Koh Samui, Thailand

This retreat takes place in a yoga center with a private spa and views of the ocean. Thailand has a lot to offer from hikes and beaches to ziplines and temples. Whether you’re looking to adventure, or just meditate and increase self-awareness, you’ll find it here. If you’re looking for a place to truly relax and rejuvenate, look no further.

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is home to many different yoga retreats throughout the year. It’s not exactly a secret why. With plenty of sandy beaches, balmy weather, and an abundance of deliciously fresh produce, Costa Rica is a top destination for paradise seekers the world over. This local is a tropical utopia for those looking to unwind and re-energize.

There are yoga retreats held regularly all over the world. While they can be fairly expensive, they are clearly worth the cost as many retreats sell out well in advance. Don’t forget to check locations near you for running retreats. Staying in the area can save a lot of money and still allow you a restful vacation.

Alternatively, if a retreat is too far outside your price range, you can design your own retreat at home. Lots of pre-made yoga programs exist and are much more affordable than traveling to a remote retreat. Maybe try renting an Airbnb a distance from your house, hiring someone to bring you meals and spend at least a few days there. You can spend your time in the same ways you would at a retreat. Journal, meditate, practice yoga, even go exploring. Whatever it is that helps you to relax fully. After all, relaxing and reducing stress is what vacation is supposed to be about.