People mostly take vacation to get away from hard work and no play, filled with stress in day to day life, but students are increasingly using their hard-earned holidays to deepen their yoga practices by combining travel to exotic places with intensive yoga programs.
If you are considering going on a yoga retreat, these tips will help you know what to expect and ensure that you will have a great, relaxing trip.
How to Pick a Yoga Retreat
Go With What You Know:
The best ways to go on a yoga retreat is to sign up for one, led by a local studio or regular certified teacher. Running these retreats in tropical locales, has become big business for studios and independent teachers. They go out of their way to make sure that everything goes smoothly and one gets a good yoga instructor.
Reach for the Best:
Signing up with the best for a retreat with one of yoga’s leading teachers or well-known studios means, you will definitely be treated well. Again, these teachers have their vested interest (their reputations) in ensuring that you have a good time and get the value for money. In addition, many yoga studios run their retreats as yoga teacher training programs. If you have reached a level where you have mastered 1 or more styles of yoga, then it can be a great way to earn as a registered yoga teacher (RYT) certification while on vacation.
Got money, get fancied:
If you have got big bucks, many luxury spas have yoga on the menu.
This is a great way to relax, get pampered, and do some yoga on the side. Going for a luxury spa with yoga may result in a sacrifice in the quality of yoga lessons, so this option is only for those who just want a little yoga with their mud baths, seaweed wraps, and hot stone massages.
There are many excellent retreat options in India, the majority of which are in Rishikesh in North India and Kerala in South India.
What to Expect at Yoga Retreats
You Get What You Pay For:
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you go the bargain route, expect rustic accommodations. If you are OK with living conditions that are closer to camping facilities than a hotel, this can be a good way to save some money. Some retreats will offer shared or dormitory-style rooms at a discount. Food is almost always included in the price of the retreat, and usually features healthy, fresh, local cuisine. Airfare and transportation costs are NOT included, so make sure to consider them while budgeting.
Yoga classes will usually be offered in the wee hours of morning and in the evening. Other activities may differ according to the focus of the retreat, but often include meditation. Some retreats organize a lot of extra activities, depending on their locations and may include things like hiking, camping, native dancing, musical evenings or even cooking classes for ayurvedic food. It will be a good idea to consider and clarify whether these activities will be part of the yoga retreat package or will they come at an added price.