1. What Style(s) Do You Like?
If you’re not too sure it’s worth understanding the different styles via a simple google search. Look up Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini – those are the main types to have a vague understanding of.
Perhaps you would like all styles (faster, slower, spiritual, chanting) but regardless it is worth getting an understanding of what the different styles mean!
Personally I love a mid paced Vinyasa class – this involves lots of ‘vinyasas’ (the press up type move) and tends to change every class…whereas Ashtanga, another favourite of mine follows a set sequence and some people find this style a bit rigid.
2. Who Will Be My Teacher?
If there is already a teacher you like, then ask them if they run retreats. If they don’t, you could ask them if they know teachers who teach in a similar style to them who run retreats.
If you’ve found a retreat organiser you like then try and go to one of their classes. If this isn’t possible …Look them up on YouTube. If not, ask others who have been on one of their retreats if not, ask them for a description of their style and what you should expect.
What’s the vision you’re seeing when picturing your yoga retreat? A gorgeous beach? Mountains? Somewhere rural? Something quite hippy esque? Have this in mind when starting your retreat search as there are many many different options on offer.
Also consider, how long you’d be happy to travel to get there, what else is there to do in the area? Is it somewhere easy to get to?
Take a look at what you spent on your last couple of holidays…. not just the flights and accommodation but ALL the costs together. This will enable you to understand your ‘standard holiday cost’ and for every person this will be different.
For a lot of people they will be surprised at how much they spent when combining all their costs.
Now consider what your budget is for this particular trip and where you’d like to ideally go. Is your budget realistic?
If not, you may need to consider options closer to home or sacrifice luxury for a more hostel esque experience. Another option you can consider is sharing a room with a ‘stranger’ aka friend you haven’t met yet – ask the retreat organiser if this is possible or search for retreats which offer this.
5. Amount of Free Time
Personally when I’ve been on a retreat I’ve wanted quite a bit of free time. It’s a holiday after all.
I see the yoga as a beautiful start and close to my day but need the time in between for rejuvenation.
Some retreats are quite activity intense and certainly this is great for some people. Take a careful look at the itinerary and how much free time there is. I went on one retreat in Wales where we only had a couple of spare hours over the weekend. I came back more exhausted than when I’d arrived which sometimes is what you need but at other times this is the opposite!!
6. Budget V Luxury
Depending on your budget and whether you are happy to stay in average accommodation. It may also depend who you are going with and what you’re looking to get out of the holiday!
7. Length of stay
If you’re nervy about your first retreat, perhaps its a long weekend you are after. If you are looking to properly disconnect and rejuvenate, perhaps it is a full week or longer. Otherwise it could be something in between.
Fortunately there are so so many yoga holiday options available, for all lengths of time, in all kinds of locations and with quite a variety of teachers. There is something for all!
Any questions about retreats please ask! firstname.lastname@example.org xxx