A Yoga retreat allows you to step into a place – mentally, emotionally, spiritually – where you are fully present with yourself. It is important to identify first what it is you would be retreating from. You would be retreating from your daily routine, your work, and all your other commitments and obligations. For a few days (could also be weeks), you would be in a secluded location, one that allows you to be in direct commune with nature and/or culture.
7 Tips to Follow Before Choosing a Yoga Retreat
When choosing a yoga retreat you need to consider your needs and intentions and do your research beforehand to avoid ending up on a retreat that doesn’t match your experience level, requirements, or expectations.
Reason Behind Opting for a Retreat
To know how to choose a yoga retreat that is perfect for you, first, you must consider your reason for going on the retreat. If you don’t know your “why” you might book the first retreat you come across, which might not be actually what you want or need.
For example, there may be better choices than a jam-packed adventure retreat if you seek a peaceful break where you have lots of time to self-reflect.
Look for answers to questions for example, what is calling you to go on a yoga retreat? Do you want to connect to nature or your spiritual side? Do you want to deepen your yoga practice and learn more about it? Or do you want a pampering escape where you can relax without being hassled?
Your Dream Location
Aside from having a specific intention, many people go on a yoga retreat to combine their love of yoga and travel. Retreats are often held in beautiful or spiritual locations.
Bear in mind that your intention might determine your location. For example, if you’re seeking a silent retreat, choosing a remote, secluded place in the mountains is a natural choice.
Also, remember to check the weather for the destination you plan to visit to make sure you don’t accidentally end up on a tropical island in the middle of the monsoon!
Ask yourself if you are more of a beach person or a mountain person. If you like to enjoy the culture, arts, and nature then a place like Rishikesh is the best for you. If you are a beach person then someplace like Goa is the best suited for you. It depends on what you prefer and a place that will suit your body in the best way possible.
Check The kind of Yoga Taught
There are so many different types of yoga, some of which differ significantly from one another. Thus, be sure to confirm the style of yoga taught with the retreat organizer before booking.
While trying new yoga styles is always great, a retreat may not be the best place to start. That being said, many retreats offer a combination of different styles. This is an excellent way to practice your favourite one while testing out others. This way, if you decide Kundalini Yoga isn’t for you, you can just attend the Ashtanga classes without feeling like you are missing out.
Suited to Your Level Of Experience
Although the majority of yoga retreats cater to all levels, you can find some that are designed for beginners, experienced practitioners, or even yoga teachers.
Be honest with yourself about your level of experience, you’ll have a better time on a beginner’s yoga retreat if you’re relatively new to yoga. If it’s your first time, check out our tips for going on your first yoga retreat.
How Sociable You Want To Be
Some people think of yoga retreats as a way to spend time alone and connect with their inner selves. Others see it as a fun way to meet like-minded people or a safer, more social way to travel solo. Because these two visions are drastically different, ensure your chosen retreat matches how sociable you want to be if you’re heading to the retreat solo.
For example, if being in big groups makes you anxious, you might feel more comfortable at a small group retreat without pressure to join additional activities or excursions. On the other hand, if you’re an extrovert, you may struggle at a silent retreat or one that doesn’t focus on cultivating a social atmosphere.
Check The Retreat Facilities & Activities
You can find yoga retreats of all budget and intensity levels. So understanding what is important to you regarding the facilities and activities offered is an essential aspect when it comes to knowing how to choose a yoga retreat.
Are you looking for an all-inclusive luxury wellness retreat where you stay on-site with all meals included and use various facilities like a swimming pool and spa? Do you prefer to attend daily yoga and meditation sessions only and have the rest of the day to use at your leisure?
If choosing an all-inclusive retreat where food and accommodation are included, make sure you know what to expect. Some budget yoga retreats may only offer shared dormitory accommodation, which might not be suitable if a private room is important to you. Some retreat centres may give guests access to a kitchen which can be very handy if you want to save money on eating out.
In addition, many yoga retreats offer a vegetarian or vegan menu only, and some may not serve alcohol. In general, retreat catering is geared towards nutritious, clean eating. If you want to use this time to indulge and check out the local cuisine, you might prefer a retreat that offers more meal-time freedom.
Check Reviews before booking
Finally, if you’re wondering how to find a good yoga retreat, checking the retreat reviews is a must!
The best way to get a sense of what a retreat is really like is from what past attendees have said about it.