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Stop, Breath and Renew: Top Tips for Picking Your Perfect Yoga Retreat Experience

You know that watching what you eat is good for you.  And exercising is beneficial too.  Likewise, you know that yoga is great for the mind, body, and soul, and going on a yoga retreat would introduce plenty of benefit.  However, those statements, though true, are vague.  When and how much should you eat?  What exercise is best for you?  And, what type of yoga retreat would is optimal for you?  Stop, breath, and take a fresh look at how to choose the right retreat and get the experience you want.

Activity Level

Of course, yoga is a form of exercise but it also involves balancing the mind and reflection.  Some retreats will focus more time on being active, which may involve advanced poses, double or triple sessions in one day, and a mix of other types of stretching and muscle building.  Another retreat may focus more on being reflective, meditation, and how to balance one’s body and mind.  Depending on your interest and level of experience, you may choose one over the other.

Location of Site

Do you equate the word retreat with vacation?  If so, you may want to invest in a retreat in another area of the country or within another continent?  Of course, the farther you go from home the more you may have to pay for airfare in addition to the cost of the retreat.  Some places may give you a great deal on the retreat, which could open more options regarding the distance from home.  However, look into the details.  Does the retreat include food and board?  Will you have to arrange transportation from an airport or rent a car?  Yoga holidays are available in an array of locations.  Choose a spot that sounds interesting to you.

Experience Required

A yoga retreat is an investment.  It would be a shame to attend a retreat that you feel was too elementary or too advanced.  Read about the daily activities intended for members of the retreat and gain a sense as to whether it’s more befitting for a beginner, one with some experience, or those who have been doing yoga for years.  It’s unlikely that teachers will tailor the class for those who ‘don’t fit in,’ so be sure that you’re attending a retreat that fits your level of experience.

Size of Class

Depending on how the retreat is organized there may be one class or several classes of students being taught at the same time.  What size class is most beneficial to you?  A larger class may call for less intimacy with the teacher, yet you can make more connections and friends with students.  Alternatively, a small class provides an instructor with the possibility of giving more attention to each attendant, which for some, adds more value to the retreat.

Daily Regimen

Find out about the daily regimen.  For example, if you’re not an ‘early bird,’ you may not want to spend a week at a retreat that starts each day at 5 o’clock in the morning.  Also, if you’re making the retreat into a vacation, be sure that the site has the kind of amenities you desire, such as a pool, spa, and nightlife on the premises or nearby.  Do you desire a balance of meditation with intense yoga?  If so, be sure to choose a retreat that focuses on both.  Also, since different instructors teach several types of yoga, be sure that you’ll be engaged in the style of yoga you prefer.

Personality of Instructors

Read about the on-site instructors at the retreat.  Will you be learning from one instructor or several?  Does one instructor like to practice one style of yoga or several?  Will you have the opportunity to choose the instructor you want as well as the time of the class or does the retreat have an unwavering agenda set in place?  In addition, you may want to read up on the instructors before you attend the retreat.  The personality of the instructor helps to shape the experience of attendants.  Regularly, if you didn’t like or ‘click with’ an instructor, you can just choose a different gym or time when another instructor is teaching class.  You won’t have that opportunity at the retreat.

Reviews of Others

Read reviews of others who have attended the retreat.  Of course, each yoga retreat’s website is going to make services and experiences sounds incredible.  However, it’s more practical to read what those who have attended have to say.  To return the favor, consider leaving a helpful review after your stay so others can have an easy time finding exactly what they want.

Sarah is an avid artist and lover of classical music. A mother of 2 young boys, Sarah is passionate about the therapeutic aspects of yoga to heal the body/mind and frequently discourses on the benefits of integrating the wisdom of yoga with the modern medical model for a holistic approach to health and well-being.

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