Whenever possible, we use hotel and retreat providers who are committed to sustainable practices such as eliminating single use plastic and paper products, using produce from their own gardens, and utilizing water recycling systems.
One example: Our retreat partner in the South of France is luxury, yet “off-the-grid” and a self-sustaining property. Through the retreat’s use of solar panels, thermodynamic heating, local and seasonal food with minimal food waste, and an on-site perma-culture vegetable garden, our guests quickly realize luxury does not need to equate to waste!
Another example: Our retreat partner in Ireland serves guests vegetarian cuisine grown on-site in their organic garden domes and has planted more than 5,000 trees on property, all native species. They also compost all food waste for use back in their on-site gardens.
Whenever possible we utilize retreat properties that are owned or staffed by locals and who support their own communities by paying a living wage. We also contract with local transportation companies and independent tour guides for excursions so more of our guests’ money stays in our host community.
One example: Our retreat partner in Cambodia supports the local economy by providing 25 ethical jobs to residents of Siem Reap and surrounding villages. They also provide education and professional development opportunities, competitive salaries, free nutritious meals at work, savings plans and a bonuses for their staff members.
Another example: We use local, responsible tourism providers such as on of our partners, Ocean Friendly, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Their oceanologists have been documenting and supporting the local migratory whale populations for more than 20 years.
When appropriate and once properly vetted, we strive to partner with local charities or NGOs to give back to our host communities through time, financial resources and continued support and partnership.
One example: Our retreat partner in Marrakech, Morocco supports a local NGOcalled Project Soar whose mission is to empower teenage girls to stay in school. Project Soar was featured in Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2016 documentary “We Will Rise” after she visited with the girls in Morocco as part of the Let Girls Learn global campaign for female education.
Another example: Our Cambodia local tour guide’s family has an NGO school program called the Peacock Learning Centre/ Spen Chreav Organization.
Another example: The local community needs in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico were higher than ever given the lack of money coming in from tourism during COVID. We donated more than $500 on behalf of our retreat participants to the Vallarta Food Bank, a well-respected and critical supplier of food and meals kits to the area's most disadvantaged residents.
Where some of our contributions have gone:
These donations have mainly been soured through Above Yoga's retreat proceeds. Additional efforts to fundraise for certain causes have been made from our guests and online yoga class students.
*Total contributions are as of Nov 2022
Some of our retreats have an opportunity to interact with local NGOs and community members (in a mutually-beneficial way) and will have a portion of the proceeds donated to local causes. Explore these retreats below.