Attending a retreat is a great way to relax, do some self discovery, and of course take your yoga practice to a new level. But with hundreds of retreats popping up around the world, deciding which one is right for you can be a challenging task.
Whether you’re just beginning your yoga journey or already have years of experience, here are some questions you should ask to make sure you’re choosing the retreat that’s right for you.
I personally always want to commit to a yoga retreat with an instructor who has led retreats before and has a solid understanding of how to successfully manage it. From pre-departure finances and liability paperwork, to coordinating transportation for guests to and from the airport and managing the day-to-day activities at the destination, you want to be sure this person can seamlessly handle all aspects of the retreat. Afterall, it’s your vacation. The last thing you need is to be stressed about what’s supposed to provide a relaxing experience for you.
Most of the time you get what you pay for. And in some cases, you may even spend a lot of money on a vacation and still not end up getting the experience you expected. Make sure if the retreat is advertised at a “five star” resort that you do your own research to check out the amenities, guest reviews, and photos. You’ll also want to know if things like towels, soap and hair dryers are provided.
This is important to know up front, so that there aren’t any nasty surprises when you arrive.
Will someone be at the airport waiting to pick you up upon your arrival? Are meals included in the cost, and if so, how many per day? Are activities outside of the resort complimentary or does each person have to pay for those separately? Is transportation around the destination part of the package?
Does “the more the merrier” still ring true on a yoga retreat? It all depends on your preference. If you are interested in making a bunch of new friends then you may be comfortable with being one of twenty guests. However if you’re after a more “quiet” experience, I’d suggest opting for retreats with smaller, more intimate groups.
Does the schedule leave you with lots of time to relax and explore at your leisure, or is it jam packed with group adventures and workshops? I prefer an itinerary that has a balance between the two: time for me to surrender to some self reflection and self exploration, and time to socialize with other guests who are also retreating.
Most retreats typically last between 4-7 days. Make sure you accommodate for the time spent traveling to and from the destination. Depending on what side of the world you’re traveling to, this could possibly take up to 24 hours when you factor in flight layovers.
The location of the yoga retreat is always a big deal. Depending on your style of travel, you may prefer a tropical beach destination or a more rural experience nestled between mountains or a rainforest. Choose a location that most inspires you and brings you the deepest sense of calm.
With the various kinds of yoga being practiced today, make sure you select a retreat that complements your style of preference – whether that be Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin……
Whether or not you have any dietary restrictions, you’ll want to make sure the retreat will offer food that you actually can and want to eat. Do they have gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian options? Will any meat be served? Are coffee and tea available? Research what kinds of restaurants are nearby in case you want to dine outside of the resort on some days.
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