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Yoga Retreats: What to Expect

Updated on December 26, 2015

Yoga Retreats

The most common complaint that people have for their inability to practice yoga on a regular basis is the lack of time to perform it (given their hectic working schedule) and the lack of an appropriate venue, especially for those who have opted to perform yoga at home. Therefore, yoga retreats make the best opportunity for an individual to gain a deeper experience with the yoga practice while also treating yourself to a holiday.

For those who are new at joining yoga retreats, there are a lot of things to know about. Hence, informing yourself about the most basic aspects involved in a yoga retreat will enable you to be better prepared and experience the optimum benefit from the experience.

Choosing a Yoga Retreat To Join

This is the most basic consideration you have to make upon making the decision to join a yoga retreat. However, it should not be a really difficult decision. You simply have to find a specific yoga retreat program that suits the yoga philosophy you are currently practicing. This will ensure that the succeeding steps in your yoga practice goes smoothly and. In connection with choosing the specific program you want, you also have to ensure that it is led by a qualified yoga instructor for that school of yoga.

Setting of Yoga Retreats

One of the first few things that newbies to yoga retreats are most interested to know is the setting of the retreat. The aim of a yoga retreat or vacation is to help one achieve a deeper sense of tranquility and peace that performing yoga at your own home is unable to deliver. Hence, most yoga retreats are set in an area that is far from the noise of the city. Therefore, you can expect a yoga retreat to be held in a setting near the mountains, rain forests, or anywhere where it is quite and peaceful.

There is a particular emphasis given on the location of a yoga retreat as the ambiance offers much to the experience and offer great opportunities when it is time to perform your daily yoga routine.

Accommodation

Although people look at yoga retreats as an opportunity to escape from the hassle of everyday life and stressful events, you can only expect simple but comfortable accommodations. Depending on the specifics of the package you purchased and its cost, you could even end up sharing a room with someone else. This means you have your own bed and basic facilities to make your stay as comfortable (but not necessarily luxurious for most yoga retreat programs). If you want to learn whether a specific yoga retreat program offers other amenities including internet connection and other form of entertainment during your retreat, it is best to contact the facilitator or yoga teacher leading the program.

Daily Routine

Since yoga retreats extend up to a few days or weeks, people who are new to yoga retreats would want to find out how a typical day runs. While the specific set of activities on a daily basis differ from one yoga retreat program to another, it follows a general structure. You will mostly engage in yoga classes in the morning and at the evening.

Depending on the specific focus of the yoga program you have joined in, the other activities will vary. In some cases, the afternoon is focused on meditation to improve pranayama flow. There are ancillary activities that are all focused toward the major objective for practicing yoga and will offer you both enjoyment and benefits.

Guided Meditation and Practice of Yoga

The performance of yoga postures and other yoga activities will serve the bulk of your experience during yoga retreats. This is the basic structure of yoga practice in

*Asana practice – Depending on the specific style of yoga you want to gain a deep level of knowledge on, you will be asked and guided by your instructor to perform a series of poses. These poses could either be done inside a yoga studio or outside, which is why a serene location is of importance during yoga retreat.

*Chanting or mantra – Chanting often takes place before and after your yoga session. Music has been recognized as an important medium in yoga to help in creating self-awareness and gain enlightenment.

*Silence observance and meditation – Aside from performing yoga postures and techniques, one of the biggest benefit can be experienced from joining a yoga retreat is the opportunity to experience silence and reach an internal journey with yourself.

Facilities at the Yoga Retreat

Since you will be staying at the yoga retreat location for several days, it is important to look at facilities of the yoga center. You will often get to avail of necessary facilities such as bathroom and toilet. However, the kitchenette or laundry room will most likely be shared with other participants. Relaxation and yoga studios are communal as well, since you are encouraged to perform these activities with others since socialization is a part of the retreat program.

Healthy Meals

As part of your fee for joining a yoga retreat program, you will be served with a pre-set healthy meals. These meals were created in accordance with the objectives of your yoga practice, since yoga philosophy believes in the role that a balanced diet plays in nourishing both mind and body. Not only are meals served assured to be healthy but are also served in moderate portions. When it comes to dining, this will most likely take place in a central dining area that allows you to share your meal with other participants of the yoga retreat.

Ancillary Activities

Ancillary activities act as filler for your other free time during retreat, or when you are not performing basic yoga classes. These activities serve two purpose: they also help advance the goals of the retreat and allow you to share some bonding time with other participants so you can mingle with fellow yoga enthusiasts.

The kind of activities you will get to perform depend on the location and the extent of the yoga facility center. However, you are given the choice to take on the set of activities you want during your free time. If you want to relax, you can enjoy a relaxing time on the pool or have a jog at the beach. For the more adventurous type, some yoga retreat programs also offer guided bushwalks. For those who need some pampering, you can enjoy a satisfying massage and other methods of healing.

Reminder: Essentials During Yoga Retreat

To make your yoga retreat experience as beneficial as it can be, you need to check your baggage for the following items:

  • Bring your own yoga mat. Although they are available at most yoga retreat facilities, bringing one for your personal use is more sanitary.
  • Bring different kind of towels such as hand, face, bath, or beach towel. They are important since you are going to sweat profusely performing various yoga asanas.
  • Bring comfortable clothing to make it as easy as possible for you to execute postures required in yoga performance.
  • Carry several personal and utility items that you might find useful during your stay such as water bottles, mosquito repellent, sweater, swimwear, among others.

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