Considering joining a yoga retreat but a little nervous because you’re not sure what what it’s really like? I’ve been asked by most of my friends thinking about going on a yoga retreat “What do you do at a yoga retreat?” So here is a description of a typical day on a yoga retreat.
There’s two ways you can go on a yoga retreat: you can go to a resort that caters to the yoga crowd and offers daily yoga classes or you can join a structured retreat with a specific teacher (or multiple teachers). I’ve done both, and they’re both great.
Going to a yoga resort
This option – just going to a resort and creating your own retreat – is really low-key and can be really relaxing. I’ve done it on my own and enjoyed it, and have met groups of friends who have gone together to a resort like this and created their own getaway. There’s no pressure to attend yoga classes – no one but you really knows if you’ve gone or not – and you can add in more activities based on your location.
PROS: low-key, more freedom to do your own thing without feeling like you’re missing something, can fit it to your schedule (date and length of time).
CONS: More difficult to meet new people, no built-in community or activities, have to design it yourself.
Going on retreat with a teacher
These retreats are organized by one or more teachers, who often create a theme or experience for their retreats. I’ve been on a couple of these, and really love them. It’s a great way to meet new people (I’ve always gone alone and met great friends) and there’s a built-in social experience.
A fairly typical day on one of these retreats looks like:
- Early morning tea or coffee
- Morning yoga class
- Free time to relax, go to the beach, get a spa treatment, etc.
- Free time
- Afternoon yoga class
- Evening yoga nidra, meditation, or relaxing activity, or free time
You have two yoga classes per day, but the second one tends to be more relaxing and restorative. The food is always amazing at these retreats and you can go to some pretty amazing locations. It’s a great way to work deeper and build a relationship with a teacher that you respect. Often, the classes build upon each other, so that you’re working with a particular theme and continually going deeper each day. The effects of these kinds of retreats stay with you for a long time, and you can form some very deep friendships.
PROS: Go deeper with a teacher/topic, built in community, pushes you to do more yoga, a more comprehensive experience.
CONS: Less free time, have to go when/where the teacher is.
Have questions about going on a yoga retreat? Ask in the comments below.