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Bring some harmony to your life; try a yoga retreat centre.

From burnt out executives to busy child-minders, the stress of modern life has sent people running to spas and health centres for some pampering and R&R. But what about the spirit? If you’re one of an increasing number of folk interested in discovering your inner self through yoga and meditation, you may be interested in combining your spiritual pursuits with a change of scene.

What better place to go to than the cradle of classical yoga, India? Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram (www.sivananda.org/ndam) is set in 12 acres of tropical land in the foothills of Kerala's Western Ghats near Neyyar Dam Tiger Reserve. It is famous for its hatha yoga courses, which run for a minimum of two weeks, reports BBC Travel. Not for the fainthearted, yoga practice, meditation and chanting starts at 5.30 am and finishes at 10 pm but there are plenty of breaks between sessions and you end up feeling like new.

If you’d like to nurture your mind and soul but prefer to stay closer to home, try The Clare Island Yoga Retreat Centre (www.yogaretreats.ie) located on a 240-acre island off the west coast of Ireland, in Ballytoughey, County Mayo. After yin and ashtanga yoga and meditation classes, organic meals and hillside hiking, you’ll be ready for anything. Accommodation is in a traditional island cottage with solar panels, wood-burning stoves and spectacular views of County Clare.

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