5 Things You Should Know Before Attending Your First Yoga Retreat!
OOOOOKKKKKK…..so I have been on a few pretty epic yoga retreats. And whilst I am in the deep throws of organizing 3 of my own, I really gave some thought to what it was that I loved about these retreats and what I took home from them. And from that brainstorm came 5 things I feel like everyone attending their first yoga retreat should know!
SOOOO!! Without further ado my I present 5 things I believe everyone should know before attending their first yoga retreat……
1. Throw out any expectations you have. Just go with the flow of the retreat. There is nothing worse than having an expectation of something and feeling let down-especially when you pay big bucks to attend. Go into your retreat with an open mind, ready to experience all that has been planned for you. Rest assured that your retreat host has likely put TONS OF THOUGHT AND TIME into planning an amazing time for you. I have been to both a very laid back retreat where there were 2 yoga classes a day and the remainder of your day was leisure time and to another that had jam packed learning with only an hour or two a day of free time. You’re likely going to get an itinerary a few weeks before your trip, take a peek at it, and get a good feel for what your days will look like.
2. Pack LIGHT!!!! It’s not a fashion show guys!!! I know what you’re thinking here….but I mean it ladies!! Usually you will have a morning and an evening yoga session. And if you’re gone for 7 days….come on….14 yoga outfits PLUS lounging wear???? Forget that!!!! I like to backpack when I travel, that way I don’t have to worry about losing luggage. So I HAVE to scale shit back…BIG TIME!!! I tend to pack 1 full yoga outfit/day and use that outfit for both the morning and the evening sessions then for leisure clothing I bring loose maxi’s, shorts and 1 “dress up” outfit. Malas and small dangling earrings that I wear there are all I bring for accessories as well. I also do the roll-up method to pack clothing, I find clothing fits soooo much easier into my backpack. I also ensure all of my liquids are in the top pocket, ready to be pulled out when I get searched….becasue I ALWAYS get searched (URGH). 9 times out of 10 you’re in a hot and humid climate, dress for comfort-bring clothing you’ll be comfortable in!!!! OMG and shoes!!! I literally bring my birenstocks and a pair of running shoes THAT’S IT!!!
3. Book your flight AS SOON as you book your retreat. Flight prices go up the closer to your date that you get, so as soon as you know your date and destination, start paying attention to flight prices and book ASAP. I’ve travelled A LOT, and recently have started using Skyscanner with great success. I’ve used Flighthub in the past as well. Don’t be afraid to book legs of your trip at different times as well! For example, my Bali flight was cheaper to book Toronto to Taipei then book Taipei to Denpsar than to book it all in one go. Another travel tip that I’ve learned-if you have a long layover (greater than 10 hours), get out your phone and search long layover tour. One of my girlfriends had a long layover in China and went to THE Great Wall while she waited!!!! A lot of the time the tour company comes to get you at the airport, shuttles you to the excursion and watches your baggage for you while you enjoy your time! ALMOST makes me look forward to a layover…..ALMOST!!!
4. If there is a private FB group, JOIN!! Get to know your fellow retreaters before spending a week with them! Trust me on this-it’s really nice to see a friendly face hop onto your transport bus after you’ve just flown alone for some time. There’s something really amazing about bonding with someone online and then meeting them in person, a closeness. I experienced this BIG TIME when I went on the Live Your Journey Retreat in Costa Rica. Most of the people that attended were very active in the online community that was set up for us. Because of that, we learned a lot about each other ahead of time and became very comfortable together. It made for a really special retreat, and face to face bonding.
5. Take extra cash with you. When travelling in foreign countries, try to always have some cash on you for little things like snacks or drinks on the way to the retreat and tips. Most Caribbean countries will accept USD and if you’re travelling to a more exotic location, look around in the airport for an ATM to get out some local $$.
Above everything else guys……Relax!!!
Take in the moments. Yoga retreats are amazing vacations, take time to appreciate your surroundings, and that you actually got yourself there. Take time to acknowledge this!! Sit quietly, journal extra long, meditate in the beauty that surrounds you. Suck up every single second that you’re there. Make friends-you are all there because you are like minded. Chat it up with your new friends, get some different perspectives on things. Soak it all up, because before you know it your back home dreaming of your next one!!
Have you been on a retreat and have some tips? LET ME NOW:)