With all the choices you have in yoga retreats, how do you know you're booking a quality one? How can you ensure that your next trip exceeds your expectations?
Below are 10 key qualities to look for. When booking your yoga vacation, be sure to do your homework and ask plenty of questions.
1. It's organized.
Prior to arrival you should have your detailed itinerary and knowledge of your retreat location and geographic place in the world. Up-front organization should create a safe space for you to be grounded and feel prepared upon arrival. The transition from home to retreat should in all ways be prearranged. The greater the attention to detail, the more nurtured you will feel. When your guides take care of logistics, you have more time to nourish yourself. (Examples include a preparatory email campaign educating you on the location and activities. Even your dietary needs should be asked after so proper meals can be planned for your stay.)
2. Your retreat leaders seem warm and knowledgeable.
After all, they hold the space for growth throughout your journey. Those leading the retreat should be familiar with the retreat center and local area so they can expertly guide you throughout the week. They should be your first point of contact.
3. It's not too big and not too small.
The size of the retreat should not be overly large, allowing for a healthy guide to guest ratio. You should never feel lost or invisible. Every single person matters. You’ve paid money and committed your time to be there and you deserve personal attention.
4. You should find a balance between your relationship with yourself and others on retreat.
You should find a balance between your relationship with yourself and others on retreat. Don’t be surprised if lifelong friendships blossom from the tribe you form together, we see this all the time. In the words of Jane Howard, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
5. Expect a quality retreat to focus a lot of attention on activities.
Things like group meals, classes, excursions, hiking, surfing, horseback riding, and cooking classes often become highlights of the week. You should get lots of practice getting along with others and also honoring your needs within the group. Remember, though: this is your vacation. On a quality retreat everything is optional—even the yoga—so you decide how much or how little you want to participate.
6. It's relaxing.
You’ll have time to let go of busyness and really feel what you want to feel: Playful, tired, adventurous, courageous, inquisitive, quiet. Retreating away from the day to day details of your life gives you an opportunity to learn “how to relax.”
7. You'll get some life coaching.
Quality retreats offer formal guidance and instruction to help you gain clarity on your intentions. You will have many opportunities to talk about how you want to design your life. With professional coaching, you can take that quantum leap to manifest what you want more of in your life.
8. You'll learn.
You will have plenty of opportunities to grow, expand and try new things, eat new foods, practice new poses, and deepen into your aspirational poses. Get ready to learn!
9. You'll feel safe.
The retreat setting should give you a calm, stable place to live so you can feel more present to your most authentic self. Above all you should feel safe.
10. You'll have some me-time.
You should have some down time and personal space to yourself.
My partner and I have over 16 years of combined experience designing and guiding spiritual adventures, cycling trips and yoga retreats. We always include these 10 key components in our Alchemy Tours and you’ll find these with any quality retreat.
This list will ensure you get exactly what you want from your yoga holiday. Most importantly, do not settle – your time is valuable.
Remember: The insights gained on retreat last a lifetime!
Love yourself, love your day, love your life!