How to afford a yoga retreat

7 Things Every Successful Yoga Retreat Needs

Retreat Leaders

By Sonja Bolger

7 Things Every Successful Yoga Retreat Needs

If you want to run a successful yoga retreat there are several things to keep in mind during the planning phase. But what should you concentrate your best efforts on?

It can be hard to know where to start in making your retreat a success and to confirm whether you’re on the right track, so we’ve created this checklist of 7 things to help make your retreat a successful one.

In no particular order!

1. Book a top-notch retreat center

Doing your homework on a retreat location is one of the most important parts of planning a yoga retreat. The location of your retreat will represent you in the eyes of your participants, and you want to come across in the best possible light!

If you can visit the retreat center yourself, or send someone you trust in your place. Take lots of pictures and be armed with a list of questions you need answers for. Get references from past retreat leaders to help you in making a decision.

You should aim to build a relationship with the people who own the retreat space since they can shape the experience for you and your participants. A good retreat center will know their stuff and be able to help you in your planning.

2. The right pricing for your retreat

Running a successful yoga retreat starts right from the planning stage, and pricing your yoga retreat is one of the trickiest but most essential elements to get right. There’s a small sweet spot between covering expenses, managing hidden costs and compensating your time and effort, but find it and you’ll be well on the way to making it work.

7 Things Every Successful Yoga Retreat Needs

3. Targeted marketing

Attracting the group you want for your yoga retreat is all in the marketing. Think about who you’re targeting from the moment you choose the location and all the way through pricing the retreat, planning the program, and advertising. You need to make your retreat stand out from the crowd!

It’s best to focus on the needs of one group, which will also help with setting the right expectations. Make sure you get your retreat out there for people to see by using the right SEO marketing and advertising in places where your retreat will be seen.

4. Help with organization during your retreat

There’s a lot that goes on during the retreat from an administrative point of view. There’ll be forms, payments, and paperwork to be done. Consider bringing someone to help you with all of that and any other tasks you can delegate. You’ll want to be focussing on your attendees 24/7 and provide hands-on assistance, especially for yoga sessions. A second pair of hands to allow you to do that can be worth the extra cost.

Be clear with the center staff about any expectations and special activities in advance and use their help where you can.

Technology also plays an important part in helping you with your retreat organization. WeTravel has a number of tools to ease those administrative headaches right from the beginning of creating your trip, and through to accepting deposits and final payments. Make the most of what we have to offer!

5. Build a great retreat program

To run a successful yoga retreat you’ll need a great program. Don’t forget to design a retreat schedule with the people you want to attract in mind. Consider optional activities or workshops, and community building time. You want people to get excited about what you have to offer!

However, don’t overstretch yourself with too much crammed into your program. Leaving time to hang out with students or provide extra one on one instruction to anyone asking for it will be appreciated. Running a successful yoga retreat is all about that balance.

7 Things Every Successful Yoga Retreat Needs

6. Have a Plan B and some flexibility

What’s that saying about the best-laid plans going awry? Always have a Plan B for your retreat! You never know what might happen, even in the most popular and predictable yoga retreat locations. The weather might throw you a complete curve ball, so you should have a backup plan in case you need to cancel any activities or be flexible in changing days. Or maybe the group isn’t what you expected and you need to change the focus slightly to meet their needs.

Having a Plan B for your retreat includes managing the expectations of your participants. They’ve likely been dreaming of this yoga retreat for months and have certain ideas about how their vacation will go. If these aren’t met, it could lead to unhappiness. Make sure you clearly set out the agenda in marketing and confirm it again when the guests arrive. Be prepared to be flexible if you need to be, within reason of course!

7. Provide great retreat food

The food you eat on a retreat can really make a difference to the experience. People will remember it, especially if you’re offering meals inclusively as part of the retreat program. Remember to ask about the food when you’re investigating the retreat center. Do they cater for different needs? Ask your attendees about any allergies or requests, don’t assume they’ll always tell you in advance.

Planning and pulling off a successful yoga retreat is no easy feat, even for the most seasoned yoga instructor. But if you follow these 7 steps then you should have a fantastic opportunity to make it work. WeTravel is always here to help, so check out our Resources for Retreat Leaders and get started on planning your dream retreat!

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Sonja Bolger

Article by Sonja Bolger

Sonja is a perpetual expat who has finally settled in Edinburgh Scotland, after living in 5 other countries. When not exploring new places and seeking new adventures she can usually be found in a cafe, writing about her expat and travel adventures on her blog, Migrating Miss. Sonja is WeTravel's Blog Editor.