Lost in selection of a yoga retreat?
How to choose the perfect yoga retreat?
It really is important for you to know what you need during the retreat. Is it new experiences, human connections, good vibes in a group? Or is it alone time, calm within nature and peace.
Table of Contents
1 Choose a Yoga Retreat for the Practise
Yoga retreats are usually open for beginners and advanced yogis as well. Instructors love yoga beginners, their steep learning curve and happiness during a yoga retreat is very rewarding.
For a week-long yoga holiday, with daily one or two classes, I would recommend choosing a retreat with 2 yoga instructors (or more). You want to make new experiences, discover yourself and new practise, feel different energies and challenging during your journey. A yoga teacher always has his/her own way of being, even when teaching different yoga stiles. Maybe you know him/her already and are a fan, then go for this one instructor.
Yoga practise will be an important part of your holiday, therefore go sure the style and the instructor fit to your needs and desires: Don’t hesitate to call or write an e-mail to the yoga teacher, ask about yoga stile, if the yoga classes are rather dynamic or restorative, how big the part of meditation is, if philosophic talks are planned or other yogic learnings, write about your yoga experience and ask how it fits into the yoga practise plan. The answer will give you an insight into her/his personality, if she/he is responsive to individual needs or comes up with generic statements like “it will be Hatha yoga morning and evening”.
Photos are all taken during retreat for yoga teachers with Annettes Yoga in Makarska, Croatia, June 2021
2 Yoga Retreat Solo or Group?
From my experience, a small group somewhere between 4 and 10 persons is ideal for a retreat. The various backgrounds are soon flattened, as the common yoga practise levels the energies. You share meals, activities and get to know each other, also on a deeper level. You might have more affinity with certain persons, but you can be certain to make true connections and maybe friends.
Therefore, when you chose a yoga retreat, go sure if you’re part of a group or maybe alone. During your research on bookyogaretreats.com or similar sites, be careful with hotels and retreat centres offering retreats “All Year Round” and/or with a vast choice of starting dates. There’s a big chance you’re alone during your retreat. If you’re in need of alone-time, these are the places to go, of course! Again, drop an e-mail to the organizer, ask how many participants booked so far, if there’s a minimum number of participants for the retreat to take place etc.
If you are travelling solo, you also can ask if it is couples and/or singles who signed up. You might want to avoid being alone with a couple, or even with a group where they all know each other. In this case, is the host/animator with the group during meals and activities, and so with you?
3 The Accommodation Makes the Price
An important part of the money you pay for the yoga retreat goes for accommodation and food. Therefore, if you compare prices, compare the venue:
- How is the quality and size of the rooms? Are there pictures?
- Single room? Or maybe shared with others? Individual bathroom?
- Is the venue close to beach/shops/restaurants/attractions? If not, is there a shuttle service or do you need to rent a car?
- Is there a nice yoga room in case of rain? How near/far is the outdoor place?
4 Choose a Yoga Retreat and the Diet Will Choose You
During a yoga retreat, you would usually be offered (or at least have the option of) vegetarian diet, following the tradition in India. And if you’re lucky, you’ve got vegan options. Don’t wrinkle your nose, vegan can be delicious and of a very surprising creativity! I would not want to renounce on cheese, honey and eggs forever, but I grab the vegan opportunity whenever I know I’m with experienced cooks.
However, if you need your piece of meet during the week, no problem, you’re still on planet earth and nobody will feel offended.
When comparing pricing of yoga holidays, check how many meals are included. Be aware that you have breakfast after the morning yoga class, somewhere around 10 am, which makes it often rather a brunch. Therefore, the next proper meal is usually in the evening, after the last yoga class. You should not eat during at least 2 hours preceding the yoga class.
5 Choose Time and Place of the Yoga Retreat Wisely
A yoga retreat is also holidaying. You select the country/region according to your personal preferences. Yet, I would not go for a yoga retreat in the Mediterranean area during July/August. The hotter the days, the earlier you need to wake up for your morning yoga class. Practising outdoor is a great start into the day! But it can be challenging in the sun.
Some retreats clearly announce combining yoga with another activity like surfing, hiking, pottery, etc. Your days are planned and you know what to expect.
Other retreats have a lighter schedule, including maximum one common excursion. Maybe you came to the retreat for a deep relaxation, booked a nice venue and staying on spot is what you need.
However, if you would like to explore the beauty and remote places of the area, you might need to book additional organized excursions or rent a car. In both cases, the group is likely to split. Therefore, carefully check the planning/schedule before booking, and go for a retreat including several excursions, discovery of the area or other common activities. You won’t need to invest time preparing the trips, and the retreat group keeps its cohesion. In case the schedule is tough, you still can say “today I stay at home, reading my book”. Again, drop them an e-mail if the schedule is not clear.
A yoga retreat is a combination of services:
- Yoga classes, meditation, workshops
- Accommodation and food
- Other activities, excursions, discovering surroundings, transfer on arrival/depart
When choosing your yoga retreat, check how much of it is included, how much of an extra mile the organisers of the retreat go. Are the excursions outsourced, or is the host/animator with you? Is the host/animator present during the meals?
Yoga is all about human connection. In my opinion, at least one of the yoga instructors should be the host or involve himself like a host, having a view and feeling of everything that goes on during the week. She/he is the link between all participants, watching out that everyone can live this week according to his needs and energy level. This makes a retreat personalized, yet you’re within a group.
On the other hand, the yoga instructor should not be the only local person around you during the week. You should meet at least a cook (or go to a restaurant) and other professionals, introducing you to the local spirit.
That’s our belief, at Paths to Yoga, how hospitality at a yoga retreats should be. And that’s why there are always experienced yoga teachers, restaurateurs, guides and motivated locals around me, loving their job.
Watch out here for our upcoming retreats.
From Our Clients
Come back more relaxed, mindful and connected to myself
The week of yoga retreat in Fuerteventura was fantastic. Many thanks to Milica for the various daily yoga and meditation classes, for the exploration of the island (including some remote and unforgettable corners), for surrounding us of so many nice people and taking care of us all the time!
When I departed, I had some doubts mostly due to Covid-related uncertainties, however I am very happy of the decision made to join the yoga retreat and I certainly managed to achieve what I was hoping for before departing: some self-care time in order to come back more relaxed, mindful and connected to myself – on top of new friends! I highly recommend Milica’s yoga and travel plans!
It felt like meeting old friends again
It was one of the best decisions I made in the past year; a yoga retreat in Fuerteventura, that sounds fantastic! It was fantastic, even though I had no experience with yoga, it was not difficult for me to follow the exercises, as Miliza did a great job of explaining and showing everything.
We spent a wonderful week full of little adventures and new experiences. Everyone involved was passionate about what they were doing and it felt like meeting old friends again. The organisation was professional and tailored to the needs of the participants. Thank you for many unforgettable moments!
Let go and feel reconnected to oneself
The retreat in Chiang Mai was an unforgettable week, physically and emotionally intense. Real moments of exchange and sharing around yoga and meditation. This retreat not only rejuvenated me but I felt regenerated as the days went by.
I think the place was particularly well-chosen, Miliza, and the synergy of the group really allowed me to be as relaxed as ever! I also think practicing disciplines like yoga and meditation in connection with nature helps tremendously to let go and feel reconnected to oneself. A gentle well-being!
A pure moment of relaxation
Thank you, Miliza, for all your organization, I spent a very good time, met nice people, learned so many things during these few days, was eating healthy food, visiting nice places. The massage was so marvellous, I recommend to everyone to try it, the herbal hot compress is good for relaxation! The meditation in the middle of nature and with the presence of a monk was one of the highlights, a pure moment of relaxation.
It was a nice retreat, it was so fun, wonderful time spent with this group. Hope to see you again for another retreat.
Intense week with well distributed activities
We had a warm welcome and spent an intense week with well distributed activities. Yoga classes were possible even for beginners particularly as we were in a small group. We had very carefully prepared meals, met wonderful people of different nationalities and this allowed us to build up a nice energy. The outdoor meditation was a great time for a reconnection to our dear mother earth.
The teachers gave us high quality methods and practices.
lot of fun, which I will live on for a long time
“The 6 days were wonderfully organized by Miliza. Excellent morning yoga with a Thai professional, rich, varied and healthy breakfast, joint relaxation sessions, exciting conversations with people who love what they do and realize it with passion. At the top of the list for me is the regular meditation with “our” monk KK, but also how quickly and with what naturalness and openness the small international group of very different people came together. We spent a great week together with a lot of fun, which I will live on for a long time to come… thank you!”