Yoga Retreats

morocco middle east north africa yoga retreat

My yoga retreats emphasize meaningful cultural immersion & mindful travel. The practices of yoga & mindfulness provide the ground as we connect, discover and expand.

All of my yoga retreats give back to local charities that empower women and girls.

What is Mindful Travel?

Mindful travel encompasses how we engage with the places we are visiting and how well we are able to maintain composure within ourselves.

When traveling mindfully, we are curious, open-minded, and intentional with our interactions. We make sustainable choices and spend money in ways that benefit local communities and people. We also seek opportunities to meet people and have conversations so that we can deeply learn about the places we visit.

Additionally, we seek to maintain composure within ourselves while traveling outside of our comfort zone. We do this by incorporating simple mindfulness practices like breath awareness, pausing before responding, building rest into our itineraries and always considering the larger view.

“This retreat exceeded expectations for its combination of culture and yoga. Each day was constructed to accommodate a great deal of activity with yoga to complement. I hope to join Nicole someday again!”

Sondra A

Why the Middle East & North Africa?

I have lived and studied abroad in four MENA countries (Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon). Over the years, I have fallen in love with the region and have found it to be consistently hospitable, endlessly fascinating, and strikingly beautiful.

Through my nearly 15 years of travel to the MENA region, I have developed a lot of mindful travel skills and strategies. I feel a kindred connection to this corner of the world and am passionate about sharing it with others.

Why Yoga Retreats in The Middle East & North Africa?

My retreats are an opportunity to really put your yoga in action. Our daily practices serve as a container for the overall travel experience. Here, we learn skills that we can take with us off the mat, building resilience, mindfulness, and intention. Practices include breathwork, guided meditations, movement, and space to rest and integrate.

My yoga retreats are unique and special and tend to attract people who are looking for something a little different. Expect to meet a diverse range of real people, to gain an intimate understanding of history, culture, and humanity, and to leave feeling connected, grounded, and inspired.

If you are an adventurous, curious traveler, I’d love for you to check out my upcoming retreats and reach out to connect!

“The Moroccan retreat with Nicole was the experience of a lifetime. It was well thought out and guided I loved every minute and had so much fun and am so happy I took the opportunity to do it! Would love to do it again.”

Elda S
morocco yoga retreat nicole griffin wellness nzala
Nzala Embroidery Cooperative in Morocco

Women’s Empowerment in the Middle East & North Africa

My yoga retreats are designed to give back. Each retreat includes opportunities to engage with local nonprofits that are working to empower women. We might visit a local school or women’s shelter, learn about how refugees are being supported or meet women from rural areas who are pursuing a college education. In addition, at the end of each retreat, a portion of the proceeds are donated to support the nonprofits we interacted with.

Morocco Yoga & Culture Retreat: October 16-23, 2021

Immerse yourself in Morocco’s beauty and hospitality.  Enjoy daily cultural activities, yoga sessions, delicious homemade Moroccan food, and opportunities to connect and learn.

Most importantly, give yourself the gift of nourishment and inspiration on the other side of 2020!

This retreat will benefit the Amal Women’s Center and Education for All Morocco.

Turkey Yoga & Culture Retreat: May 20-28, 2022

Nicole lived in Turkey as an undergraduate while she was studying Islamic Art History and fell in love with the country. Her Turkey yoga retreat has been expertly and thoughtfully curated to showcase Turkey’s rich cultural and geographic diversity.  

Our Turkish retreat will be split between Istanbul and the stunning Turquoise Coast.

This yoga retreat will benefit Mor Cati, an organization working to combat violence against women.

FAQs

Before we depart, I will send you detailed information about what to expect and what to bring. In short, plan for warm days and cooler nights. Light layers are the best way to go. In more conservative areas, modest dress is most respectful. The only time you might want to cover your hair is if you go inside a mosque, otherwise, you do not need to.

While a basic level of yoga experience will be very helpful, all practices will be accessible and inclusive to everyone. You do not need to be a seasoned yogi to join my trips, you just have to be open-minded and willing to learn.

Our daily practices will be a fusion of yoga, mindful movement, qi gong, Ayurveda, and therapeutics. Generally speaking, the morning practices are more active and the evening practices are more restful and relaxing. As a teacher, I am more interested in mindfulness, embodiment, balance, and resilience than I am in alignment and “advanced” poses.

Curious, intrepid, easy-going travelers who are looking for a special and unique travel experience. My retreats attract all kinds of awesome, interesting people from many different backgrounds. The common ground tends to be a seeking nature, an adventurous spirit, and a desire to dive deeper and travel better with the support of a like-minded community.

Yes! I can connect you with a professional travel agent who can assist you with making your travel arrangements.

I have found Squaremouth to be very helpful for shopping for travel insurance (as well as for learning more about different coverage options). From what I have seen, there have been some limitations for travel insurance coverage due to the Covid-19. Be sure to look into Cancel for Any Reason coverage, which should cover you in the event that you feel unsafe or uncomfortable traveling and would allow you to have additional flexibility. The cost of travel insurance varies per selected feature and depends on the overall value of your trip. I would budget at least $150-$300, but definitely do some homework to see what will work best for you!

Yes! When you book, you will fill out a questionnaire that includes questions about food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Absolutely! Many people book retreats alone, it is a great opportunity to meet like-minded, new people. You can also book with a friend or partner, totally up to you.

For the most part, I lead retreats in countries that I have lived in and know well. I spend between 12-24 months planning each retreat before it launches and consider every small detail with a tremendous amount of care. I also consult friends and colleagues I have in the region throughout the planning process.

The Middle East is a diverse and dynamic part of the world. For the most part, yes, it is a safe place to visit, although, active conflict zones should be avoided. Helpful resources to consult include the US Department of State, the CDC, and Gov.UK.

It depends on what you want to see! If you Google this question, Jordan will probably be the answer you see the most. This is largely due to its political stability, tourist infrastructure, and English fluency. However, each country in the MENA region is unique and worthy of your consideration. Morocco is a great place to start as is Turkey, and from there, the world is your oyster!

At this point, unfortunately not, but I hope to be able to offer both in the future, so please do stay tuned!

Social impact travel is travel that seeks to give back and have a lighter footprint. Social impact travel asks you to be aware of how things are all connected and to make choices that have a positive impact on the people and world around you. I have linked some great articles about mindful travel and social impact travel on my Resources page.

A tourist likes to skim the surface of a place with a loud voice and an umbrella cocktail in hand. A Traveler wants to go deeper, to really learn about a place, to get off the beaten path, and to connect with local people. A traveler seeks to understand culture, is respectful, conscious, and ethical, whereas, a tourist is mostly focused on themselves and their comfort and entitlement. A traveler has greater resilience and curiosity and less prejudice and arrogance.

Oftentimes, I have been following them for a while before I decide to work with them. I also rely on insights from friends who live in the countries where the charities are based. While there are so many incredible charities out there, I choose to work with organizations that work to empower women and girls in the MENA region.

Partners

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

Anthony Bourdain

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