Yoga

Go With the Flow: How to Plan and Book the Best Yoga Vacation

Whether you’re a complete novice to the world of yoga or you’ve been practicing for decades, a yoga vacation might provide the perfect setting for you to simultaneously unwind and deepen your practice. In order to make sure that you end up at the right yoga retreat for you, you’ll need to do some serious research and planning. Because yoga vacations are so popular, you’ll find a wide variety to choose from.

What You Need to Know Before You Go

  1. Skill level – If you just attended your first yoga class, you aren’t ready to sign up for a three week retreat to become a certified teacher. If you’ve been practicing for ten years, you won’t get what you need from a weekend retreat geared towards novices. When planning your vacation, make sure you have all of the necessary information about the recommended skill levels and what will be practiced.
  2. Type of yoga – Kripalu? Ashtanga? Hatha? Whatever your preferred flavor, you can find a retreat geared to your practice. If you’re a newer practitioner and aren’t sure what this means, read up on all of the different types of yoga and what they entail before you start planning your retreat.
  3. Beach YogaType of retreat – There are retreats that focus on physical benefits, spiritual practice, teacher training and certification, rest and relaxation, spa treatments, and just about everything else you can imagine. Find out how much of your days will be devoted to yoga and what the other activities are like. What is included in the package and what costs extra? Are your days structured for you or are you on your own most of the time? These are all important questions to ask in order to make sure that you’re getting what you want.
  4. Location – Is it more appealing to you to be in a sparse, serene cabin in the woods or a luxury resort by the sea? Do you want to stay somewhat close to home or would you prefer to travel to India or Indonesia for yogic cultural immersion?
  5. Budget – When it comes to budgeting, be sure to include the cost of airfare, the cost of the retreat, and anything you’ll need to purchase outside of what is included in the retreat price.

Yogis are a diverse bunch, and your practice is a very personal matter. When you are planning your yoga retreat, be honest with yourself about your skill level, your dedication, and your motivation for taking the trip. There are no right or wrong answers; it isn’t a nobler act to force yourself to attend a retreat where you’ll be engaged in hardcore practice for several hours a day if you’d really rather have a morning and evening class and spend the rest of your day lounging by the pool or shopping. If hardcore practice is what you desire, that’s beautiful. Make sure that’s what you’re getting so you won’t feel like you didn’t get what you were hoping for. Yoga practitioners of every ilk can have a physically and spiritually uplifting vacation that is just their pace.


photo credit: BrittneyBush / ElDave

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