It’s easy to go down the yoga retreat rabbit hole on the internet. So many gorgeous pictures of destinations can leave you feeling overwhelmed and frozen when it comes to choosing the perfect retreat. Don’t despair! We’ve created a way for you to discover your retreat style so you can select your next mindful getaway with confidence.
Answer the below questions and you’re sure to feel great the next time you hit ‘Book’.
1. What’s your yoga practice like?
Are you experienced or new to yoga? Are you looking for a particular style to be more immersed in, or are you hoping to be able to bring your best friend or partner who is less experienced than you? Look for the following phrases ‘all levels friendly’ or ‘beginner friendly’ if you’re new to yoga or only practice occasionally. The level of practice described in the retreat will give you an idea of what to expect in class and will attract other travelers looking for the same level of practice.
2. Who are the teacher(s)?
Do you already know them? If not, read their bio’s to find out their training, experience in leading retreats, and styles of yoga they teach. If there is more than one teacher, this might be great as their styles often complement each other and you get double the wisdom! Also consider the yoga style – are you looking for Vinyasa, Kundalini, meditation? Make sure the teacher(s) leading the retreat offers a practice you love or are interested in exploring further.
3. Do you want a lot of yoga, or a more relaxed schedule?
Find out if the yoga retreat has an itinerary of 2-3 classes a day that everyone is expected to participate in, or if showing up to class is optional.
4. Destination: What features excite you?
Are you more of a Costa Rica tropical jungle, Iceland adventure or sunny beach destination type? What environment and features inspire you – cool mountains, snorkeling in the Caribbean, or zip lining through the jungle?
*HOT RETREAT TRAVEL TIP* Consider the weather patterns of the destination. You might find a lower price in a desirable destination, but you may also be unknowingly going in rainy season or hotter season.
5. Do you want a quick getaway or a longer retreat?
Seven nights is standard for an international retreat. Longer can be 9-14 days. Be cautious of the 5 night international retreats. When you add travel time, and the fact that the arrival and departure days are considered retreat days, you only have 3 full days and this is a pretty short retreat unless you are adding time on your own before or after.
6. How far do you want to travel?
Consider the travel required to get to the destination. Is it one flight, or 3 flights; 8 hours or 26? How far is the retreat center from the international airport? Does the retreat include group transportation from the airport to the center and back?
7. Do you want to primarily focus on yoga during your retreat OR would you like to enjoy other experiences that the destination offers such as culture, spa and adventures?
Some retreats are more of a yoga intensive in a great contained environment, others are more like yoga “vacations” or yoga “adventures” where a good part of your time / package is exploring the surroundings and culture. For example: Sailing and hiking in Greece, Tuscany vineyards, medieval villages and thermal spas, or Peru with visits to markets and sacred sites like Machu Picchu.
8. What’s your budget?
Local retreats aren’t necessarily more affordable. You can often find roundtrip airfares to Mexico and Central America super cheap compared to flying to another state. Check if ALL meals are included, if only breakfast and a couple dinners are included, and what group activities or tours are included. You might find higher or lower prices to similar destinations and then realize that in the lower priced one you have to pay extra for meals and activities which negates the savings you look like you’re receiving.
9. When do you want to go?
Many international yoga retreats and adventures book months in advance depending on the popularity of the retreat and how far away the location for the retreat is. For example, you are more likely to find a last minute spot in a yoga retreat headed for Mexico from the states versus one headed to The Galapagos Islands. Plan ahead and look for early bird pricing specials.