Keep quiet: can a silent retreat in Bali really soothe the soul?

Beautiful views, meditative walks and delicious food may create the perfect mood for a mindful break – but our writer discovers that being in the moment is hard work.

Julian Worker has written a number of travel books including

Travels through History : France

Travels through History – The Balkans: Journeys in the former Yugoslavia

Travels through History – Northern Ireland and Scotland

Gravity-assisted yoga in Andalucía, Spain

There are excellent retreats in southern Spain but this one, near Málaga, has a new shala with a yoga wall, allowing for a rare level of precision and teaching

Yoga in Sri Lanka: from here to serenity

The forests of central Sri Lanka are home to one of the world’s best yoga retreats, where the scenery and ancient sites on the doorstep are as blissful as the classes