Yoga retreats are one of the best ways to combine your passion for the practice and your need for a rejuvenating vacation. If you’ve looked into your first yoga retreat you’ve no doubt discovered just how many retreats there are out there! With all the different options, you may find yourself questioning how to choose the right one.
The good news is that there are tons of amazing retreats, and just as many ways to narrow down the field and find the right one for you! If you google “Yoga Retreats” you’ll find lots of services to help you pick out the perfect retreat for you; you can search by dates, activities, themes, location, or any number of other options. Plenty of studios, teachers, and programs offer retreats that might interest you as well. Don’t feel daunted by all the options; here are some ideas that will help you pick the retreat that will give you the most memorable experience.
Follow these tips to find the best retreat for you!
Select by Teacher
Tons of yoga instructors offer or lead retreats, so chances are you may already know someone leading one in the next year. If you have a positive relationship with one of these instructors, this allows you to feel a sense of comfort in knowing what to expect, which can help facilitate a positive experience. Even if your teacher is co-leading with someone you don’t know as well, you will feel more confident knowing something about one of the instructors.
Select by Date or Location
If you’re tied to a particular date range, that will automatically help you narrow down the options. This holds true for location as well, if you want to go somewhere specific, like Greece, Peru, or Bali, you’ll focus on retreats in those specific locales. Since these spots are tourist locations as well, going with someone with experience in those countries or regions is incredibly helpful. If your instructor has led multiple retreats in the area, they’ll have ideas activities off the beaten path, hidden waterfalls, distant islands, or a combination of “must-sees” and local haunts. Many retreats will be all-inclusive; the retreat center will provide all the meals, facilitate activities, and will be your base of operations and home away from home.
Select by Style or Theme
There is almost an infinite variety of retreats to choose from; If you want a meditation retreat, a silent retreat, a yoga and adventure retreat, or something with cooking, chanting, or even continuing education hours, these all exist! Do you want to do a yoga intensive where you practice three times a day? Are you looking for a vegan or vegetarian retreat? Do you want to spend as much time on the beach as you do in your sequences? Is it important that you can do cliff dives as well as Sun Salutations? The good news is someone is offering this retreat. Someone is offering all of these retreats! Deciding what’s most important to you is the best way to narrow down your options so you don’t feel overwhelmed by all the offerings out there.
No matter how you decide on a retreat, keep the following tips in mind as well.
Do some research on the teachers; look up their websites, Facebook pages, or Instagram profiles. You only want to attend a retreat led by skilled and knowledgeable teachers. Imagine spending a week or a long weekend with them and think about how you might connect or not connect with them. It’s wonderful that there are so many teachers, teaching styles and retreats because there is an experience for everyone!
If education and certifications are important to you, you can find a well-educated, veteran teacher who has had several years of experience. If it’s a teacher you know as a group class instructor make a point to get to know them. I recommend setting up a private session to find out how they teach outside of a group setting.
Traveling brings its own share of of surprises anyway, so doing some homework in the beginning is a good way to avoid problems down the road. Research the retreat center, read reviews, check out the travel regulations or commentary on the country/city where you’ll be. If you need any vaccinations or a special visa make sure you’re on top of that as well. The retreat will likely include this in the information on their website, but it’s good to be informed and know yourself.
Going on a yoga retreat is a powerful experience and is incredibly rewarding for you and your practice. Taking time away from your day-to-day to immerse yourself in your practice, in meditation, in nature, and the world at large is a powerful way to reignite that spark within you and fire up your spirit! I hope you find the right retreat for you and your practice, and that it helps you continue to grow as a yogi and as a person.
About the Author
Clarissa is a 500 hour RYT teaching weekly classes in the Quad Cities IL/IA since 2014. She also travels extensively presenting workshops around the country and leading international retreats. She teaches what might be considered Vinyasa style classes mostly but loves instructing beginners and teaching new innovative flows. After a decade as a student Clarissa enjoys sharing what she has learned and helping her students shape their future through yoga and movement. Clarissa and her co-creator Erin lead yearly Yoga & Adventure retreats (domestic and international) more info can be found https://lightthesparkwithin.weebly.com/. And she loves being a YogaClub Tribe leader and the favorite brands she’s received are, Teeki, Nux, and Free People, though she can’t wait to try all the other brands!