Yoga Retreats: What are they and how do they work?

Yoga Retreats: What are they and how do they work?

May 5, 2019

We all deserve a little R&R. Yoga retreats have become all the hype right now. Here’s why…

Whether you’re brand new to the concept of yoga or an experienced yogi, there’s a retreat out there for you. If you’re wondering what a yoga retreat is all about and how you can benefit from one, then read this handy guide to find out what to expect, what will happen on your retreat, and how to prepare yourself for getting the most out of your experience. ?‍♀️

What are yoga retreats?

A yoga retreat is a temporary escape from daily life so that you can focus on yoga, meditation and clean eating. They often involve holistic sessions that teach you to reconnect with nature, spirituality and your inner self. Whilst some wellness centres will spend more time focusing on the practice of yoga, others will provide one or two daily yoga sessions combined with other activities, such as spas and therapeutic massage, cooking classes, nature walks or sightseeing.

READ: 4 Stunning Yoga Retreats Worth Visiting This Year

These retreats are geared more towards providing you with the overall experience. It is similar to an all-inclusive vacation, which can be a great option for beginners or for those wanting to spend their downtime away from the mat.

Yoga retreats offer a chance to find like-minded individuals and work together on finding mindfulness.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What happens at a yoga retreat?

Whether it’s as an individual or part of a group, you’ll be guided through your retreat program. You can expect to see experienced yoga teachers and often other professionals such as wellness coaches, therapists and chefs. Their job is to ensure you are comfortable and that you’re meeting any objectives or goals you may have come to the retreat with.

You will, of course, take part in daily yoga sessions, as well as any other core activities you have signed up for. But you’ll also have plenty of downtimes to relax from what can sometimes be intense and strenuous practice. Most retreats provide organic, vegetarian or vegan meals throughout the day to help with your overall detox and cleanse.

Biggest take away for me was coming face to face with the perils of striving for perfection and facing the reality when that vision inevitably starts to fall flat in one way or another. ??‍♀️There are so many lessons to be learnt in that downfall and it made space for plenty of other positive things to crop up for me. Which would have otherwise gone completely unnoticed ?‍♀️I am so grateful to have had the freedom and opportunity to sit and just be aware; all made even better by the people working and learning at a retreat.

Recent visitor to a yoga retreat in Thailand

What to expect and how to prepare for your yoga retreat

When booking your retreat, make sure you’ve taken the time to research in depth what will be on offer. Try to find out who your teachers will be, to confirm the fit is right for you. Some retreats offer unstructured days or the option to personalize your program to your specific needs. Others will follow a set structure, and activities will be listed in advance, so you can see exactly how many sessions per day you’ll attend.

READ: Our Picks of South African Yoga Retreats

Some retreats provide more recreational activities, whereas others focus solely on the traditional practices of yoga and meditation.

A weekend of yoga, nutritious eating, and exploring how unique and awesome you really are. A yoga retreat vacation is a chance to take time off to return renewed, enthusiastic, and full of energy.
Photo by Kaylee Garrett on Unsplash

You can prepare by reading the guidelines of what to bring. Most retreats provide all the yoga equipment needed but expect you to have your own comfortable clothing – and confirm in advance whether your transportation and catering is covered by your retreat costs. Likewise, the types of accommodation, from shared to private rooms, will be available to view when booking, so that you know whether you’ll be sharing with other like-minded yogis or not. Most retreats offer a chance to disconnect from your phone or laptop. It’s also a good idea to bring some reading material during periods between your daily sessions.

Are you planning to go on a yoga retreat? Or can recommend a yoga retreat? Leave your comments in the thread below.
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    May 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    That’s a good point, to make sure that transportation and catering are covered at the retreats! Not all retreats handle that, and you don’t want to get caught unprepared when you’re supposed to be unwinding!

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