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    How To Choose A Yoga Retreat Or Holiday: The Ultimate Guide

    So you’ve decided to go on a yoga retreat huh?

    Great choice!

    There’s nothing better in the world for hitting that reset button on life.

    For such a wonderful occasion, you want to make sure you are getting the perfect retreat for yourself. After all…this is your vacation.

    We’d love to help you out in that process, so here are 10 surefire ways to choose the perfect yoga retreat.

    1. Your Vacation Destination

    If you’re going on vacation, the first thing you want to think about is…where do you want to go?

    Do you want to be by the beach, near the mountains, in hot weather, cool weather, on an island, in the city, etc?

    Ask yourself this question: what surrounding area would help my yoga practice thrive? 

    You want the conditions to be as conducive as possible for you to truly go deep within yourself.

    You want the surrounding location to be the rich soil that allows you to blossom naturally.

    If you want to bask on the beach in your off time, you might consider places like Bali, Thailand, Mexico, or Hawaii (just be prepared to be ok with bugs).

    Are you ok being in a place where English isn’t the main language?

    If that would disrupt your relaxation, then consider finding a retreat in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia.

    2. The Teacher

    Remember back in school when you had that teacher who was so inspiring that it totally changed the way you interacted with a certain subject?

    That’s the power a teacher has.

    A great teacher can inspire you to heights beyond which you didn’t think possible.

    A crappy teacher can sour you on a subject (unfortunately).

    Make sure you get a good feeling about your yoga teacher.

    Check out reviews if they have any. If you’ve taken classes with them already, do you want to go deeper with them into yoga?

    In the end, it’s best to make a decision with your intuition on this one. You’re probably a good judge of people.

    3. Theme of Retreat

    What do you want in your retreat?

    It’s a good idea to truly ask yourself this question. What am I looking to get out of this retreat? 

    If you want to just relax by the beach, you definitely don’t want to choose a weight loss retreat or one that includes hiking in the mountains.

    You might want to go deeper into your practice, unplug from the craziness, recharge your batteries, be inspired to start a daily routine, lose weight, learn more about a certain yoga style, or just chill out.

    Whatever it is you want, make sure the retreat is in alignment with that.

    You’ll be spending real quality time with people who resonate with the same things, and true friendships can come out of a retreat.

    4. Price

    We pay for the things we value most.

    When we truly want something, we always find a way to make it happen. If you’re working so hard, you deserve a vacation that will truly bring you back to center.

    It’s not always advisable to go for a cheap yoga retreat just because it seems more affordable. It’s best to choose exactly what you want and find a way to make that happen.

    That being said, it’s important to double-check whether the retreat price includes lodging and food. Most do, but you never want to assume…

    Remember the cost of your flight ticket as well.

    Here’s a nice tip: some retreats can be cheaper in the low season when not so many tourists are in the area.

    Another money-saving tip: some retreats offer camping options for lodging, which can give a nice price saving. If you’re the outdoorsy type, this might be a nice option for you.

    5. Timing

    Do you just want to get away for a weekend retreat?  

    Or do you want to take a week and really go deep into your practice?

    There’s no doubt that you can touch places within yourself on longer retreats that are often not touched in a short break retreat. But you might simply be needing a weekend to touch base.

    Only you know.

    The wonderful thing is that you have a ton of options.

    6. Level of Comfort

    Are you the high-flying kind with impeccable taste and a disdain for anything that crawls in the night?

    I wouldn’t choose a camping option for your lodging.

    Do you need a room by yourself? Or would you love the company of another person to make the journey with?

    Will you starve without Wi-Fi or is an unplug the exact thing you’re looking for? 

    Do you want a pool nearby, with massage therapists on staff at the retreat? Or do you just want to do some yoga and can care less about the rest?

    7. Style or Type of Yoga

    If you do a week-long retreat you’ll be spending a LOT of time with other people, and a significant amount of time doing a certain yoga style.

    Make sure it’s the right style for you.

    If you want a stronger, more powerful style of yoga then you might want something like Ashtanga or power yoga.

    If you are wanting a more gentle, fluid class then Yin yogavinyasa flow, or maybe Yoga Nidra might suit you better. 

    If you’re new to yoga, you’ll want to ensure that the retreat serves beginners. It sucks to fear being THAT person in a retreat who is a fish out of water.

    Thankfully, most retreats cater to people of all skill levels. But it’s a common fear about not being flexible enough. The best way to calm that fear is simply to contact the retreat and ask.

    8. The Program

    Do you want an early morning yoga class, then have the rest of the day for yourself?

    Or two yoga classes a day, with detox and spa in between?

    Ask yourself how important is it to have meditation included. Do you want to learn more through lectures? Is chanting and singing kirtan a must for you?

    Evaluate the actual program of the retreat to see if it matches what you’d like your schedule to be.

    9. Food

    One of the best things about yoga retreats can be the delicious (usually) vegetarian food. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, you can check the proposed menu of the retreat.

    A yoga retreat or detox can be a great way to start new eating habits, and lose some unneeded weight in the process.

    Having a week of exercise, nurturing, and healthy eating can do wonders for the natural health of the system. It can be an opportunity to step into a healthier interaction with food…

    Or just a delicious week of tasting local cuisine that you can’t wait to eat (because you’ve been thinking about it for the entire practice).

    10. Size of Retreat (people)

    If you want a lot of personal attention from the teachers, it’s better to go for a retreat with smaller numbers of people.

    If you want to make friends and aren’t bothered by a large group, then you don’t really have to concern yourself with the size.

    Some people are troubled by larger groups and yoga retreats can have anywhere from 3 - 50+ people in them. 10-25 is often a nice sweet spot that brings a variety of people, without being too overwhelming.

    11. Cancellation Policy

    Most retreat centers differ in their cancelation policies.

    It’s standard to require a deposit of at least 15%, and often up to 50%. Because retreat centers want to fill their retreats, they will often put a cut off date for when they will give a refund.

    This can be anywhere from 0 days to 3 months, so make sure to read the cancelation policy of your desired retreat very carefully.

    It’s no fun for anyone if this is skimmed over and misunderstandings occur.

    Double and triple check to make sure you understand it correctly.

    12. Have Fun!

    Can’t forget this one right??

    You’re planning an absolutely awesome time in your life and the planning process can be super fun too.

    Dreaming of all the wonderful times you’ll have, the people you’ll meet, the inner relief you’ll feel.

    Go ahead and imagine it all...

    ..and now go make it happen.