How to Know If You’re Ready to Lead Your First Yoga Retreat

June 16, 2017
Jen Corley
5 min read

The leap from weekly yoga instructor to yoga retreat leader can be substantial, but here at WeTravel, we believe in pushing for your goals and finding ways to make your dreams happen. If the idea of leading a yoga retreat has been floating through your mind but you’re not sure if you’re ready, then this list if for you.

Planning and leading your dream yoga retreat is all about finding the confidence within yourself first and then resources you need to make it happen. But if you’re unsure how to take those first steps then this list of tell-tale signs and things to do before you make the jump into full blown retreat planning mode will have you on the right track.

So how do you know if you’re ready to lead your first yoga retreat?

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You want to share a deeper yoga experience with your students

Teaching regular yoga classes is a great way to build up your own instructing skills and to guide students through learning how to do yoga. But are you searching for something more? Your students might come to your classes every week, but have little time to talk or to engage in other yoga practices like chanting or employing silence because you’re trying to help them grow through a set of yoga stances every class.

There are so many benefits to going on a yoga retreat, and one of them is a having the time to introduce students to other aspects of yoga, outside of learning new yoga poses and phases. You’ll be able to help students develop further and deepen their practice because you’ll have the intensity of many more classes close together on retreat.

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You have students who would be interested in a retreat

You might plan the perfect retreat, but will anybody come? A great place to start with finding attendees for your retreat is your already established customer base. Listen to your students and see whether any of them have been expressing a desire to go on a yoga retreat.

Communicate your ideas about leading a retreat to them and see if you can garner early interest. A huge part of leading a successful retreat is in finding the right customers, and who better than the students who already know you and love returning to your classes?

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You’re excited about travel and have a desire to see the world (and show others!)

When people think of attending a yoga retreat they often dream of an added vacation in some exotic location. As a retreat leader, you become more than a yoga instructor, you’re also a tour guide and trip organizer. If you love to travel and show other people around then leading a yoga retreat could be the right thing for you.

However, don’t panic and think that means you need to lead your first yoga retreat in some faraway exotic location that you have no idea about. Ideally, when you’re choosing a location for your retreat you should have been there first!

A great way to ease into being a retreat leader is to see what’s in your local area first, and plan a one or two day retreat. It’ll give you an opportunity to show your students what you can do if they were to travel to further retreats with you, and you can hopefully show them a new place that’s close to home, or a new way of seeing it.

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You’ve been on retreat to see what it’s all about

Going on a yoga retreat before you lead your own will help you hugely because it gives you a chance to experience what your attendees might on a retreat with you. You’ll be able to gather ideas about what will or won’t work for you and speak with both the retreat leader and other attendees to gather advice.

Remember to relax and enjoy the retreat experience though, don’t just treat it as a research opportunity!

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You’ve spoken to other retreat leaders and done your research on retreat planning

Choosing a location for your yoga retreat is a big deal, as is getting the pricing right and marketing your retreat effectively. So how do you gather information about how to deal with all of these things? We have a Retreat Leader Resources page to help you out, but speaking to other retreat leaders is invaluable too. They’ve been in your shoes!

It’s a great idea to network with your fellow yoga instructors and retreat leaders because they can help to set you on the right track for retreat planning and answer the burning questions you have in the midst of it. You can check out the WeTravel Retreat Leader Hub on Facebook as a starting point.

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You realize it’s going to be a lot of work

There’s a lot to know before leading a yoga retreat, but realizing it’s not a vacation is a priority. Hopefully, it will be enjoyable and fulfilling, but it’ll still be work! A retreat is a group trip that involves a lot of logistics. You’ll have plenty of administration work like retreat waivers, choosing how to market your retreat and how your attendees make their deposits and pay for the retreat.

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

You’ve thought about what you can offer

Leading a successful yoga retreat is as much about what you can offer the students as it is a way to do something you love and (hopefully) earn an income for it. How you’ll make your retreat stand out from the crowd should be a key point in your planning. What’s your unique selling point, is there a theme or intention for the whole retreat?

Think about your capabilities and what you want your retreat attendees to come away thinking and feeling. All of this will help in making the decision about whether you’re ready to step up to retreat leader status.

How to know you're ready to lead your first yoga retreat

Whether you’re ready to lead your first yoga retreat or not is ultimately about the passion you have to make it succeed and your ability to use your yoga skills, and the resources and networks open to you to make it happen. So if you’ve been nodding your head while reading this list, head over to our Retreat Leader Resources and get planning!