It’s day one of the yoga retreat and your retreat attendees are about to arrive. Are you ready for action?
Knowing you’re ready to lead a yoga retreat is just the beginning before you take on the task of retreat planning. There’s choosing a retreat location, marketing the retreat and building your retreat program. If you’re a new retreat leader it can all seem pretty overwhelming. And then there’s the last minute pre-retreat preparations and ensuring that you’re ready for the retreat to begin!
What Are The Key Elements of Planning Successful Retreats?
Timeline planning • Selecting your venue • Itinerary & program design • Sustainability considerations • Marketing • Financials & profitability • Legal forms & liabilities • Insurance
It’s important to take some time out from retreat planning to make sure that you are your best self when the retreat is starting. Often people attend a retreat because they want to feel more relaxed and rejuvenate, and they’ll take their cue from you, the retreat leader. The last thing you want is to feel unprepared or exhausted before you’ve even said hello! So what can you do to prepare to teach a yoga retreat?
Practice yoga, but not too much
Most yoga retreats involve twice daily practice. As a yoga instructor you’re likely practicing this much or more, but be sure you don’t overdo yourself before the retreat begins. You need to prepare your body for the retreat and not overwhelm it. Think about incorporating a lot of deep, stretching asanas that will help you feel to feel rested.
Write down your intentions
You should have a good idea of who your yoga retreat attendees are from the retreat planning and marketing phase, and have thought about what you would like them to take away from the experience. However, you should also take time to think about what you want to achieve and gain from leading a yoga retreat. Write down your intentions and take them with you to the retreat to review throughout your time there.
The food we eat on retreat is so important in helping us feel energized without weighing us down, and it’s likely that you’ve spent some time planning this. If you’re not used to eating this way all the time then you should start about two weeks before the retreat to get used to it. You might find the change is worthwhile for much longer!
A successful retreat is one where the attendees leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated and like they’ve gained some valuable experience, including the yoga instructor! Start the retreat feeling as rested as possible because it’s going to be a busy week! Getting sleep before the retreat is especially important if you’re traveling close to the retreat time or crossing time zones. You want to feel rested at the beginning of the retreat so don’t skimp on sleep in the build up! If you can, arrive early at the retreat location to get into the time zone or to give yourself time to relax and feel at home before the retreat begins.
Get into your retreat routine
Getting enough sleep is key, but so is getting into a routine. Don’t sleep the mornings away in the lead up to the retreat or you’ll find it harder to wake up during the experience! Yoga retreats often mean early mornings and can mean later nights, depending on the group of attendees and any scheduled activities. You’ll be busy throughout the days teaching, leading activities or even tours, and generally being on hand whenever your attendees need you. Prepare for the yoga retreat by getting into the habit of being up early, practicing twice a day, and eating regularly at the very least.
Check all paperwork is complete
Yoga retreats can involve their fair share of administration work. Take advantage of a platform like WeTravel to help you create a trip page, take deposits and organize payments. Read up on retreat waivers to see what you need to know. Keep open lines of communication with the retreat center and your attendees throughout the planning and marketing phases.
In preparation for the yoga retreat, you should check all your paperwork is in order. Sit down at least a week before the retreat to check things over in case you spot any last minute issues and need time to sort them out!
Prepare welcome bags, goody-bags or retreat favors
None of these are a necessity on a yoga retreat, but they can be a nice touch! If it is something you want to do then advance planning will make it much less stressful. Think of things that will be useful to your attendees, not just items that you give for the sake of giving something. Cotten or canvas bags with an affirmation on them is a great idea, or if you can source small journals or notebooks for your students that they can use on retreat that might work too. You could provide some healthy snacks for during the retreat, or even just information on the plan for the retreat and any useful tips and things
Cotten or canvas bags with an affirmation on them is a great idea, or if you can source small journals or notebooks for your students that they can use on retreat that might work too. You could provide some healthy snacks for during the retreat, or even just information on the plan for the retreat and any useful tips and things about the area so that attendees can make the most of their vacation in their spare time.
Preparing for a yoga retreat shouldn’t be a stressful experience. You’re about to spend time getting to know your attendees and helping them to have an amazing yoga retreat, so it’s also time to get excited! Follow these tips to prepare yourself, and make sure the retreat is ready to go and will be as successful as it can be.
Check out our free resources for retreat leaders for more retreat planning advice!