Photo courtesy of Courtney Sunday
An image from a yoga retreat can even tempt people who don’t do yoga. The sun is shining. People blissfully glow (rather than sweat) on a beach.
Smoothies sit in all colors of the rainbow. A hammock seems to count as an actual activity (isn’t it?).
However, as many of us have discovered through travel (or online dating for that matter), what is showcased on a website can be dramatically different from what exists in real life.
As a yoga teacher who has led retreats all over the world, I would like to blow the cover and keep you in the know about taking a yoga retreat.
These five things will help you to feel like a veteran, even if a yoga retreat is virgin territory.
1) A yoga studio may not be the only thing you share.
Many retreats are pressed for space, which means your accommodations will likely not be private. If you do decide to pay for an individual room, it may be almost double the cost of a shared room.
However, there is no need to feel nervous about rooming with a stranger. I have always encountered the nicest of people on retreats. If there were to be conflict between you and your roommate (which is incredibly rare), your teacher will work on getting you alternate accommodation.
Most people spend the majority of the day outside of their rooms, so, quite honestly, your room won’t matter much except during sleep. Be sure to pack an eye mask and ear plugs just in case you find yourself with a snorer.
It is also worth nothing that in some cases, the bathrooms are also shared.
Costs and accommodations should be upfront, but if you are unsure, ask the leading instructor.
2) There is lots of time for non-yoga.
Even the most jam-packed retreats have free time, which people either love or rail against. Plan to be unplanned.
I always think of the time off of the mat as inclusive in my yoga journey. Do your best to stay off of Wi-Fi (at least some of the time) and stay connected to your purpose for being on the retreat.
Take a nap. Enjoy a mid-afternoon stroll. Read a book without being interrupted.