Imagine waking up to the view of a beautiful a tropical jungle, knowing that on the agenda is a blissful morning yoga practice followed by an organic Ayurvedic breakfast and a silent hike to the close by waterfalls. This could be your morning on a yoga retreat!
There’s nothing that really compares to the opportunity of escaping the stress and hustle of life to experience a yoga retreat.
These days, yoga retreats are all the hype.
Yoga teachers and studios are putting together exotic yoga and travel experiences all over the world where you get to immerse yourself in asana and meditation while you eat healthful food and explore nature and culture.
There are retreats where you get to fly across the world to India and dive into the yoga philosophy while you stay in a historic 500-year-old Ashram. Other retreats are focused on giving you a luxury wellness experience where you get all the comforts of a beautiful boutique retreat center, pampered with organic gourmet foods and spa treatments.
Some yoga retreats are all about nature and adventure as you travel with other like-minded yogis and yoginis to do climbing or hiking, or maybe you get to learn how to surf or stand up paddleboard (SUP).
There are also yoga retreats that focus on Seva, giving you the opportunity to take your yoga practice “off the mat” and volunteer your time to help others.
There are yoga retreats that fit every single travel yogi’s style, taste and personality.
But how do you know what retreat is best for you and gives you all the elements you are truly looking for?
Here are 5 “T’s” to consider when you are ready to choose the best yoga retreat for YOU.
#1 The Teacher
When choosing a yoga retreat, the first thing to think about is who is leading it. Who will be guiding you through the retreat experience? Do you resonate with the teacher and do you love their teaching style? The teacher sets the vibe for the entire experience and it’s crucial that you connect with him/her.
You’ll be spending quite a bit
of time with the teacher and the rest of the group, so knowing and trusting the yoga teacher is very important. If you don’t know the teacher, ask others who regularly practice with that specific teacher. You can also do some research online, check out the teacher’s website for testimonials and look at what other retreats they have led in the past. Do they have any experience leading retreats, workshops, and events beyond the studio? Before you decide on joining a retreat, I recommend taking time to chat with the teac
her, either after class over tea/coffee or a quick phone chat to make sure your retreat expectations will be met.
#2 The Type
The next thing to think about is the type of retreat that suits your personality, preference, and style. How do you like to unwind and relax? Are you looking for a luxury retreat or do you want something more rustic or rugged? Does an eco-minded boutique hotel matter to you or does a big resort resonate? Would you rather go camping or Glamping? When you consider the type of retreat, you are thinking about what you will get out of your investment. Some retreats range from USD 500-1500 and other can go as high as USD 5,000-7,000. What price range are you looking for and what value would you like to get in exchange for th
#3 The Theme
The theme of the retreat is crucial when you decide on your next yoga vacay. Do you want to dive deeper into advanced asana or are you looking for a more restorative practice? Are you looking to connect with other like-minded yogis or do you prefer a silent meditation retreat where you get to completely drop into yourself? Do you want lots of opportunity for adventure or do you want to relax and restore? Many yoga retreats these days have a clear theme or focus such as, surfing on an exotic beach, horseback riding, snowboarding, climbing, camping, or yogic themes like Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Aerial, Ayurveda or restorative yoga.
Think about what it is that you want to get out of the retreat? What will fill your cup? What are you in need of right now?
You also need to carefully consider the timing and length of your retreat. When are you able to get away and for how long can you take time off from your work and life commitments? There are retreats that range from one night to 2-3 weeks long. The benefits will vary depending on the length, since that will determine the activities, the schedule and the travel time. Many people also consider staying longer after the retreat is over to get some extra vacation time on their own and explore the rest of the country or region.
#5 The Travel
Last but not least you want to think about the travel. Where do you want to go? Do you want to visit a specific country or region? Do you want to travel far and away? Visiting a new exotic country or new culture with a guided group can be very comforting rather than adventuring off on your own. A retreat can be a great opportunity to visit a region accompanied by people you trust.
On the other hand, some people don’t care to visit another country but just yearn to get away for the weekend to de-stress only. Many people don’t care about the hassle of long flights and travel.
The decision is yours! What retreat are you going to pick after carefully considering the 5 Ts I just shared with you?
Paloma Barron Neuman
Paloma is a plant-based yoga-momma, who loves twists and Ted Talks. She lives in sunny San Diego with her hubby and beautiful science-loving son. She runs an online businesses called Rock Your Yoga Retreat (rockyouryogaretreat.com). She is passionate about helping yoga instructors plan their dream retreats and grow thriving yoga businesses through her business mentorship and online courses.
You can connect with Paloma on her website: rockyouryogaretreat.com
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