Have you decided to discover the benefits of a week or more filled with self-reflection and good health, but you’re a little nervous about what to expect?
Yoga is an excellent panacea for stress and a tonic for overall good health. People have recognized it as such for over 3,000 years.
In this light, yoga retreat vacations should be a relaxing and joyful experience, not fraught with fear of the unknown.
So, if you’re heading off to your first yoga retreat, here are some facts to put your mind at ease.
It’s Not All Yoga All Day
If you aren’t a regular at your local yoga school, you’ll probably be wondering how you’re going to keep up.
Have no fear, as you’ll only be attending a few classes a day tailored to your level of experience and ability. In between, you’ll have plenty of time to rest, get to know your companions, and munch on healthy delicious eats too.
You can expect to get a lot of practice in mindfulness and self-discovery sprinkled with loads of laughter and enjoyment during your yoga getaway.
What to Pack for Your Yoga Retreat
You don’t need all the latest yoga fashions to feel at home during yoga vacations. The emphasis is on comfort, not style!
This is what you’ll need to pack:
- Light, layering clothing – think yoga pants
- A journal
- A warm pullover or jacket
- A reusable water bottle
- A backpack
- Your own set of mala beads
- A good book that you’ve been dying to read
You can bring your own yoga mat or towel, but most yoga resorts will have these items for hire.
What you don’t need is technology. So, leave your cell phone, laptop, and iPad at home.
The Daily Routine
Every yoga retreat is unique but most of them follow the same general format.
Expect to rise early and enjoy a morning yoga class, followed by a yummy yet healthy breakfast. After your morning meal, you’ll have free time until lunch and then get to enjoy a pre-arranged afternoon activity.
Your last class of the day takes place in the early evening, followed by dinner and an early night. Sometimes a third yoga session takes place during the day, depending on the nature of your retreat.
Getting to know yourself and enjoying the company of like-minded people is one of the main focusses on a yoga escape. In this light, you’ll enjoy your meals in a social group setting.
Meals consist of fresh, organic ingredients and usually include healthy shakes, raw food, and superfoods. Energizing supplements are often included.
Activities and Add-Ons
You’ll find the best yoga retreats located in pristine natural locations surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful seascapes.
Every morning you’ll awaken to the restful sounds of birdsong, the ocean and even the sound of monkeys celebrating a new day.
You’ll get to explore these lovely surroundings during your free time, which allows for restful reflection or active adventures according to your preference.
You can walk, hike and sightsee to your heart’s content, swim or take part in water sports, or explore local village markets. Anything goes as long as it makes your spirit soar.
Most yoga resorts will be within walking distance of several attractions and activities, which makes getting there so much more fun.
Extra pampering offered onsite could include:
- Detox treatments
- Ear candling
- Chinese cupping sessions
- Oil massages
- Full body massage
- Foot reflexology treatments
- Teeth whitening
- Body scrubs
You should book these in advance unless they’re included in your package. That way you can plan ahead to make the most of every minute of your stay.
What Will You Learn During Your Time Out?
Apart from exploring a new place and trying out novel activities, the best part of a yoga retreat is discovering yourself.
You’ll find a new sense of enlightenment that you can’t achieve in your normal day-to-day setting. It’s all about getting away from your usual habits and routines and exploring your inner self in a natural setting.
While you’re on a retreat, there are no limits to the depths of self-discovery you can explore. There’s no pressure, no expectations, and no judgment involved.
That’s why it’s often best to go solo when you venture on a yoga break, although it can be fun to travel with a close friend or two.
Make no mistake, a retreat can be a challenging and exhausting experience and you’re likely to go through a huge range of emotions. However, you’ll get an abundance of support from caring teachers and fellow participants.
It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of this small community of people going through the same emotions. Connections with this band of strangers form fast in these isolated, peaceful situations.
When you have a dedicated and experienced teacher focussed on you for an extended time, your yoga skills improve much quicker too. You’ll return to your regular yoga sessions with renewed vigor and understanding.
To reap the maximum benefits of your escape, be sure to hold onto everything you’ve learned when you return home. You can avoid your old anxieties trying to creep up on you by making your newfound skills a part of daily life.
Get Away From It All
People from all over the world are discovering the benefits of time for self-discovery.
Some seek out these retreats as a healing space, others want to explore new lands in a safe, supportive environment. Some people want a break from the daily grind, and a few just feel a calling to try it out.
Whatever your reasons, you have so much to gain from these experiences both physically and mentally. Why not cast off your misgivings and dive right in?
Get in touch to experience the ultimate yoga retreat at our beautiful Koh Samui retreat.