When looking for a yoga retreat, it seems like there are endless options to choose from. Men’s Nude Yoga in Hawaii (..really!), Writing and Reflection in the Woods, Burlesque and Bliss on the Beach, Women and Wine in the Pines (my personal favorite) and pretty much anything you could imagine in between.
The Perfect Retreat…for You
The thought of a perfect retreat, you know where you come home transformed physically, mentally and emotionally with clearer skin and shinier hair on top of being free from all negative thoughts in your mind, aches in your body and fears in your heart…might seem over reaching (and it is)…but there is a retreat that’s relevant for where you are in your yoga practice, in your life and in your energy. It’s just a matter of ruling out the choices that aren’t right…until you’re left with the opportunity to go on a retreat that will take you to exactly the place you need to be.
Considerations when Choosing
A few things to consider as you think through finding the retreat that is right for you:
Budget – Yes I know, reality check, but don’t look at the $5000 international option when your budget only allows for the $500 retreat. Nothing is more stressful than amassing credit card debt to go on a yoga retreat; you’ll come home feeling like you need another retreat just to deal with the financial stress! Remember, take into account ALL costs and do your research-while some retreats are all inclusive, others aren’t. Keep in mind things like: transportation to and from the location (air fare, gas, shuttle, rental car, etc.), meals and/or accommodations (if not included) and additional materials you may need (this may include a cute new yoga outfit).
Length of Retreat – Do you need a couple of days to find clarity or are things so wound up that a week or longer is needed to actually unwind? If you’re just dipping your toe in the waters of retreats, a weekend is a good place to start.
Retreat Location – Do you love the beach or the mountains? While practicing yoga in the sand or the snow may not be ideal, a yoga studio overlooking the beach or the mountains may be a perfect fit. Consider ease of travel, as it will make some locations more attractive over others.
Accommodations – Maybe you need your own space with a private room and bath, or maybe you’re interested in sharing space with sleepover style bunk accommodations. Or maybe you’re craving alone time, while enjoying community with others; look for properties that will give you both. Do what’s best for you, but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It really is true that the good stuff happens out of your comfort zone.
Food – If the thought of forgoing coffee and wine, with a strictly vegan menu and a strict “no sugar” policy is enough to make you shudder in despair, be sure to thoroughly investigate the menu options. If you have dietary restrictions make sure that the retreat center will accommodate you before reserving your spot.
The Yoga – What kind of yoga do you like or are you interested in exploring? Maybe you’re looking to try adventurous nude vinyasa, or maybe you’re not quite there yet and looking for something a little tamer like fully clothed restorative. Know that there is yoga for every body type and every level out there. The fun is finding what speaks to you.
Other Activities – There are so many choices of activities, from Exotic Dance, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Surfing and beyond. Do you want to deepen your practice? Explore new poses or new possibilities in a more yoga-centric retreat? Or maybe you’d enjoy yoga as part of a smorgasbord of activities.
Thank goodness for Google! You can search for your ideal yoga retreat while doing a pose at your desk. Use keywords like “yoga retreats,” “women’s retreats,” “wellness retreats,” etc. and include the location you’d like to visit or a key word like “affordable,” “all-inclusive,” “vegan,” etc.
Or, for one stop shopping peruse the retreats listed on RetreatPlace, the easiest to use platform for finding retreats around the world.
Another good option is to ask around at your studio. The students and instructors may have a personal recommendation, and first hand review, to share with you.
Find the Retreat for You
Finding the retreat with relevance for you right now is relatively simple, once you determine what it is you’re seeking. Sometimes it’s helpful to set a retreat intention for yourself as you search. The choices are wide and exciting, and maybe even a little overwhelming. Just know that there is a retreat out there that will change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.
Theresa is founder and owner of Retreat in the Pines. In addition to hosting retreats, Theresa is also author of the upcoming e-book, Secrets to Hosting a Successful Retreat. Theresa teaches in the Dallas area, and will again be presenting her workshop Retreat Yourself at the Texas Yoga Conference in January 2014. Contact Theresa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retreat in the Pines
Since 2004 guests from across the country have experienced the healing energy of Retreat in the Pines, a beautiful retreat center located in East Texas on 30 acres of peace, serenity and pine trees. We specialize in women’s retreats and offer several weekend retreats per month each with a unique focus. The endless woods on the property offer spots to wander away from the group, while the shared accommodations allow for relationships to be cultivated.
Retreat in the Pines is also available for instructors wishing to host their own retreat.
Some upcoming retreats at Retreat in the Pines: HERE