How to Choose the Right Retreat For You
Trying to find the perfect yoga retreat and getting stressed by all the options available? That’s not how your wellness vacation should start!
To help you choose the right retreat for you, we’ve put together this list of what you should be asking yourself when you’re searching for your next retreat. Going on a retreat has plenty of benefits, but it’s important that you figure out exactly what is going to be the best for you, so you can gain the most from what should be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before you book your next retreat:
What sort of location do you want to visit?
The first question to ask yourself when you’re looking for the perfect retreat is where do you actually want to go? You don’t need to know an exact destination, but you should think about the kind of experience you’ve been envisioning in your mind. Does it involve copious amounts of sunshine, or would you like to try somewhere a little cooler? Have you pictured walking along the beach, through forests, or across mountainous terrain? One doesn’t have to exclude the other, there are locations like Costa Rica that offer both beaches and jungle to explore!
Once you have an idea of what sort of place you’re looking for, you can start checking out specific regions, and see if any particular location stands out to you. Although that leads us to our next point…
What price are you willing to pay for a retreat?
While we think there is a retreat for every budget, it’s up to you to set your limit. Finding the right retreat doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do need to have a budget so you know what you’re looking for and to avoid disappointment.
If you’re on a strict budget then you’ll want to check out the most affordable yoga retreat locations around the world. But even if a retreat is budget-friendly enough for you, the cost of transport to the location needs to be taken into account. It’s not just the flight fare, but any cost of transferring to where the retreat is too. You may want to consider options that aren’t too remote, where there are affordable transfers, or the transport is included in the price of the retreat.
While you’re checking out retreat locations and the price of traveling to different places, don’t forget to consider the timing of the retreat. Off-season may be more affordable, but it might not provide the retreat experience you had in mind. For example, off-season could be synonymous with the rainy season, and while you can still have an enjoyable retreat, there mightn’t be as much basking in the sunshine as you had hoped!
The timing of a retreat also needs to work for you personally. If you’re limited to certain times for taking a vacation, that could dictate the season you’ll be traveling in, and therefore the retreat location.
Do you want to be kept busy or chill out during the retreat?
Some retreat leaders a plentiful amount of optional activities, and others leave you to do what you like in your free time. Once you’ve narrowed down the location and timing, you can start to look at the different retreats that are available and what their programs are like.
Think about whether you want to spend a lot of time relaxing, or you want to be able to take part in lots of activities. But remember, just because the activities are an option it doesn’t mean you need to do them, just as you can always arrange your own things to do if there isn’t much on offer for the group.
Consider what’s in the local area of the retreat center or location. Is there a village or city you could go and explore? If you want to have a spa or massage experience, can you organize it somewhere nearby for a cheaper rate, rather than booking a more luxurious retreat?
Do you want to learn something new on your retreat?
Retreats aren’t just about yoga, and even then, yoga retreats aren’t just about yoga either! There are all sorts of retreats that can help you to learn a new skill, or to hone an existing one. If you like running, you could consider an active running retreat. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument, there are retreats for that too!
Often a yoga retreat will be combined with other activities, for example, a yoga and cooking retreat, yoga and massage, yoga and surfing, or yoga and paddleboarding retreat. When you’re searching for a retreat consider all the options available, and whether there’s something new that you want to try.
Are you looking for a rustic or luxury retreat experience?
Retreats can be held in all sorts of different locations. Some are in dedicated retreat centers, others in hotels, or even in villas, and within each of these options, you can find different levels of luxury. A retreat located near the beach could have stunning sea views from all of the rooms and luxurious accommodation, with a dedicated yoga space. Another could have small cabanas with yoga held in an open space like a garden, or be a short walk to the beach and be much more budget friendly.
When you’re trying to choose a retreat, look at the different facilities on offer, and the different types of accommodations. Which one do you want, and which one are you willing (or able) to pay for? Even more luxurious retreats can have cheaper accommodation options that usually mean sharing with other attendees. This might be a way to compromise and afford the retreat you really want but stay within budget.
Research the retreat leader
Retreat leaders run their experience in very different ways. If you’re stuck trying to decide on which retreat to book, remember to research the teacher and look for clues or reviews about what kind of retreat they run. Is it more hardcore, or laid back? If you can’t find anything specifically have a look for their teaching philosophy, or even better, connect with them through their social media or website and ask yourself!
Solo or with friends?
Attending a retreat solo is a chance to have a solo travel experience in a group environment. No one will have any expectations of how you will be and you can be however you like. It can make it easier to let go and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Traveling with a friend can also mean that your idea of a perfect retreat has to be compromised so that you can find something you both want to do.
On the other hand, going on a retreat with a friend can save you money if you share accommodation, and you can do so more comfortably as you know the person. It could help you to stay motivated after the retreat, and build a closer bond with a friend. You just need to make sure it’s the right one to share the experience with!
If you’re searching for the right retreat for you, just be sure to ask yourself the right questions. Once you know the answers, you can check out available retreats and get booking your dream experience!