More and more yogis are returning home after a life-changing yoga retreat in far-away places like India, Greece, Portugal and Bali. You may be at home practicing your yoga asanas and wondering if a yoga retreat would be something for you. Attending a yoga retreat shouldn’t just be something you daydream about! But, with the amount of retreats now available it can also be overwhelming to choose sometimes. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! With this Yoga Retreat Guide designed by BookYogaRetreats, you’ll find all the steps and considerations you need to know about embarking on your first yoga retreats.
Advantages of a yoga retreat
Compared to an evening yoga session at home or at your local studio, yoga retreats are designed to immerse yourself into yoga during the length of your stay. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded yogis in a new environment, be part of a program designed to improve your yoga practice, health, and wellness. For many beginner yogis, a yoga holiday is a great way to start, as yoga is one of the many elements of the holiday. It usually offers you the option to opt-in and out of classes as you wish while you explore the destination in your spare time. For others, a yoga retreat with a dedicated program and a fixed itinerary helps you to focus and improve your practice during your stay and might have less spare time for other activities. Either way, both types of retreats will give your yoga practice an immense boost while you connect with new friends and discover new places at the same time.
Choose your practice level for a retreat
With a large variety of retreats available, you can choose a retreat suitable for your own level. As many retreats cater to all levels, teachers take the different practice levels into account. If you feel more comfortable with choosing a retreat for your level only, you can expect to find a program designed around the following elements:
Beginner level: Be introduced to the fundamentals of yoga poses, learn the process of proper alignment, and develop breathing techniques.
Intermediate level: Build on the foundation of proper alignment, link poses with your breath while developing strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Advanced level: Practice mostly advanced poses without demonstration and at a vigorous pace. Suitable for those with many years of yoga experience.
Best destinations for a yoga retreat
The most popular country for teaching and practicing yoga is the motherland of yoga itself: India. With a large yoga community in Rishikesh, located at the foot of the Himalayas, (world-famous) teachers and practitioners have been coming together here for centuries. Across the country, you’ll find regions specializing in different yoga styles such as Vinyasa yoga in Chennai, Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, and Ayurveda healing in Kerala.
Other destinations are rather popular during their high-season. In the period from April to October, tropical destinations such as Bali, Thailand, and Spain are popular. In the period from October to April the best places for a yoga retreat are countries in Latin America like Costa Rica or Mexico, or other good winter destinations like Morocco, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Combine your yoga styles and holiday activities
A yoga retreat is ideal for improving your favorite type of practice, as well as experimenting with different forms of yoga. A large variety of retreats offer different styles for specific moments in the day and might start off the day with an early morning Vinyasa class and end the day with a relaxing yoga nidra or meditation session.
Besides combining different yoga styles in a retreat, many yoga packages also offer to explore new disciplines or activities, and combine yoga with hiking, local cooking classes, or special wellness elements, such as a massage or an Ayurveda treatment. The most popular combination of activities are surf and yoga retreats, often attended in Bali, Portugal, or Costa Rica. These often customize their beach yoga classes with poses for arm and body strength, needed for surfing.
Find balance in a healthy lifestyle
A yoga retreat is designed to improve your yoga practice, health, and overall wellness. Food is a huge element in this and it’s therefore important to look at the food choices a retreat offers during the program, and which meals are included. Many retreats offer fresh, local, and home-cooked meals, and are heavily investing in the fuel you’ll need to recharge your body and make you feel good. There are specific retreats offering a detox diet during the course of the stay, based on a juice detox or on intermittent fasting and most of the retreats also cater to specific diets, such as a vegetarian or vegan diet. There’s nothing more rewarding than a good shared meal after a long and intense yoga day!
Special Manduka x BookYogaRetreats Partnership Deal
Everyone embarking on a yoga retreat or teacher training in 2020 via BookYogaRetreats by Tripaneer gets access to an exclusive deal from Manduka to complete their traveling yoga essentials. Pick from Manduka premium yoga performance mats, towels, clothing, and props and get 20% off.
Written by: Charlotte Van Dijk - BookYogaRetreats
This article was written as part of the Manduka x BookYogaRetreats by Tripaneer partnership. Find more information about choosing your next retreat on www.BookYogaRetreats.com and get exclusive offers on Manduka products when booking your next retreat. This guide is a first introduction into finding your dream yoga retreat. If you need personal advice about what might be the best retreat for you, the Tripaneer customer service team is available 24/7 to help you out.