For many, January - with its long, dark days and 'back to work' feeling - is the most challenging time of year.
So it's no coincidence that this is also the month when holiday plans are made.
Going on a yoga retreat is an increasingly popular way of taking a complete mental and physical break from the routine.
There's nothing more nourishing than a few days spent in beautiful surroundings, with like-minded people, practising mood-balancing yoga twice daily, eating delicious, healthy food.
In my experience of attending, and running, yoga retreats and holidays, these breaks can be especially enriching for people attending alone: meeting people at meal-times is assured, yet there's also plenty of scope for 'alone-time'.
It's a perfect balance for those wanting a little company, but who, for whatever reason, are travelling solo.
A few yoga retreats we recommend:
There are hundreds of retreats and yoga holidays out there; here are a few we heartily recommend:
Sally Parkes Yoga Retreats in the UK
Including: 11th - 13th January. UK. Relax & Restore New Year Retreat. Yoga, Pilates and Meditation. Weekend retreat at Florence House, Seaford, East Sussex.
Simon Low Yoga Holidays in the UK and abroad:
Including: January 20 - 26, 2013: Jungle Yoga, Khao Sok Lake, Thailand
Yoga-Abode's sister company, Satvada retreats, in the UK, Morocco and South-West France
Including: February 21 -26, 2013: Yoga & Activity Escape, Essaouira, Morocco (image shown above)
Highly experienced yoga teacher Fiona Agombar is well known for her work with yoga and ME.
Including: Fiona's retreats will include a new-format 'How To Be Happy with Yoga' weekend in Surrey, February 18-22.
Catherina Annis (Scaravelli) - Relax & Release
Including: Yoga retreat, Kailasam, Kerala, India, 3-16th February 2013
Kirsty Norton Yoga Retreats
Including: Yogi Weekend on an Eco Farm, Sussex - 15-18 February, 2013
Questions to ask
Before deciding on which break will suit you, we recommend asking yourself and the retreat provider a few questions first.
Do you want a small or large group retreat? Sometimes, numbers are capped at 10/12; sometimes the group is far larter.
Do you want an alcohol-free break? Will the food be vegetarian? What's the standard of accommodation,and will you be sharing with one (or more) other?
What level is the yoga suitable for, how long are the daily classes, and what 'style' of yoga will it be?
And, of course, cost! Do you have an upper budget? Is there an early booking discount? If you're travelling solo, what is the single supplement?
For a short guide to what to expect, click here and to browse Yoga Abode's directory of yoga retreats, click here.
Whether you'll be going on a yoga retreat/holiday or not this year, the YA team would like to with you a truly happy, healthy 2013.
Lucia Cockcroft, editor