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Yoga Retreats: Why A Yoga Retreat Is So Much More Than Just Yoga

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Why go on a yoga retreat?

If you are anything like me, you have either been or plan on going on a yoga retreat at some point. Perhaps it is a friend coaxing you to go on a retreat as a wing woman for her post breakup solution.  Or maybe you recently experienced a life changing event and feel like a mindful vacation will help you get centered for the next phase of life. Whatever you reasons are for going on your first or tenth retreat, the experience of a yoga retreat is so much more than learning to do a warrior pose, or perfecting your downward facing dog.

So, if it’s not just for the yoga, then why? Why do so many men and women choose a yoga retreat as their vacation of choice? Here are some of the benefits, in addition to doing a lot of yoga, that a yoga retreat can offer.

Yoga Retreat: The Details

Who goes and Where?

A yoga retreat is a great excuse to take a vacation, either alone or with a friend or partner. The word “retreat” has meaning, as most yoga retreats take place in a serene, quiet destination setting. (Think Costa Rica, or one of the Greek Islands). Because it is meant to be a mindful experience, the location is strongly taken into consideration. So the more remote, the better.

Do I have to be good at yoga?

Unless the retreat suggests advanced practitioners only, all yoga retreats are fair game for beginning to advanced levels. Remember, a yoga retreat is meant to be a safe place. A place where you can accept who you are, move your body and be mindful of the connection between your mind and body.

How long do yoga retreats last?

A yoga retreat can be over a three day weekend or can last seven to ten days on average.

What do you pack and bring?

What you take with you really depends on the destination of the yoga retreat. For example, if the retreat takes place on a seaside setting, bathing suits and snorkel gear maybe suggested. Remember, you won’t be doing yoga twenty four seven on a yoga retreat. Usually, there are two times of daily practice so that means a lot of free time. So plan on bringing seasonal attire, a good book, a journal, and laptop (if you must).

Do both men and women go?

I have been on numerous yoga retreats and the majority of the attendees have been women. That said, there are plenty of woke men that attend who generally care about their wellbeing, both mental and spiritual. For them, having matcha tea with a bunch of women is more appealing at this point in their lives than doing shots with their boys in Cabo. Cheers to woke men! Often times, couples will go on retreats together. That way, they have each other to spend time with during that downtime I mentioned. So romantic!

What are the accommodations usually like?

While new age talk is all yurts and pup tents, being one with nature does not actually mean you have to sleep without some of your domestic usuals. Because most yoga teachers who attend these retreats desire the same creature comforts. And perhaps they have already had a retreat at that location and liked the hotel vibe or have received positive feedback from other yoga instructors about a hotel or unique set up. Moreover, the last thing anyone wants during a mindful retreat is discomfort. That said, if its a five star hotel set up, you could be missing the point. Completely! So think somewhere in between yurt and five star accommodation.

How much does a yoga retreat usually cost?

A short weekend trip will usually cost about $500-1000.00 Which usually includes daily meals and accommodations. And a longer trip from seven to ten days can run about two to three thousand which includes meals and accommodations.

For meals, a healthy cook is usually hired to prepare delicious meals. Unless there is a restaurant at the hotel or space you are staying. Be sure to bring extra money for outings in case you want snacks and extras.

What do you do besides yoga on a yoga retreat?

And this is where it gets interesting. Since these locales are usually exotic and serene, nature beckons activities in between daily yoga practice times. Whether you choose to surf, paddle board,  snorkel or hike up a beautiful mountain, the majestic scenery will heighten your senses. Often times, meditation is incorporated within the daily practice. And with all the beauty that nature will offer on your retreat, you are bound to go deeper within your meditative practice.

The yoga organizer will schedule activities

Activities such as visiting an essential oil distillery or going to a culture heavy restaurant. Or maybe scheduling wine tasting at a local winery, or visiting a favorite local shop. Whether you explore the shops and restaurants or find the most touristy thing to do, the retreat in many ways, reminds us to be mindful that we are just visiting.

Sometimes, there are activities right on site of the yoga location. During a recent retreat to Nova Scotia we tie dyed items we brought with us or bought during our stay.

How do I find my perfect yoga retreat?

Going on a yoga retreat is a mindful getaway. It is a time to recenter yourself and to meet like minded people. It is a vacation that prepares you for when you get back to reality. Not by reminding you what you have to do when you get back, but that your reality depends on your perspective more than your circumstances.

You can find your next yoga retreat by checking in with your local yoga studio and community. Or check out these suggestions and book your yoga retreat for 2020.


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