Have you been considering retreat travel? Or maybe you’ve been dabbling in yoga and are ready to up your wellness game and wonder what happens when you book a week long trip with a bunch of yogis and mindful living folks.
Just like the variety of classes available at your local studio, there’s a variety of retreat types out there. If you aren’t a #yogaeveryday type, don’t worry! The beauty of a yoga retreat is that it’ll offer yoga of course, but there’s so much more on the agenda than that. Here’s what you can truly expect to experience on a yoga retreat beyond the obvious!
I recently traveled with one of the premier yoga retreat companies out there: Yogascapes, and this post is written in partnership with them. Each retreat is designed by their team of wellness experts with a goal of connecting the participants to the local communities and culture. Their teachers are the best in the industry and the community they’ve built is full of the kindest souls. I couldn’t recommend traveling with them more!
What to Expect on a Yoga Retreat
A Chance to Detox Your Body & Mind
Retreat locations are often in beautifully remote destinations around the world, so let’s talk about a digital detox first. You won’t necessarily have wifi, and even if a good connection is available going on retreat presents the perfect opportunity to do a digital detox.
One of the guys on our Colombia retreat did a 48 hour detox on the last several days, I kinda wished I had done the same, he seemed so zen by the end of the second day being phone free!
There was a general rule that there were no phones allowed at meal time.
We all deserve an opportunity to step away from social media and the constant influx of emails and text messages, and a retreat gives you a chance to make that happen.
In regards to detoxing your body: if you’ve been considering vegetarianism or going vegan a retreat will give you an opportunity to do this - even if it’s just for a week. Or perhaps you’re considering a cleanse or a short fast: the food at retreats is so deliciously healthy and nourishing that I don’t know if I’d want to skip meals however, resetting your body to allow for more intuitive eating can definitely happen when you’re eating this clean for a week.
Community Over Competition
There’s so much fun to be had when you’re out in nature, exploring and giving yourself time for an extra dose of self-care. On the Colombia retreat there was a yogi who’d spent time training in India and another that took his very first class on the first day of the retreat. The intention is to connect to your own practice and have fun while doing so. Our teacher Lihi (pictured here!) was such a brilliant guide, and became a friend to each of us as well.
The daily excursions gave us each a chance to know each other better, yoga souls are some of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet! The evenings were like family dinner time - we indulged in playful conversations and learned so much about each others cultures and life stories.
A Deepening of Your Practice
A yoga retreat is of course, about yoga - and while you definitely won’t be doing yoga all day every day you will have an opportunity to connect deeper into your own body as you hit your mat several times a day. If it’s your first retreat or you’re not someone that does yoga daily you may have a little soreness on the first day or so - but keep in mind you’ll also have lots of downtime for relaxation and possibly spa experiences too. Your body will thank you for it!
An Escape To Nature and Culture
Most yoga retreats are set in some far away destination: in Colombia we were on the edge of Tayrona National Park at the eco-resort Gitana del Mar. Each day offered up a new excursion. From horseback riding, to tubing, waterfall climbing, and even salsa dancing and exploring mystical swimming holes - there will be no shortage of activities to chose from.
You’ll also have the option to just chill if that’s what you prefer. There will be hours upon hours of time for relaxing your body, mind, and soul as you explore the beaches or mountains of whatever destination you’ve chosen.
Before you go: Do your research - what’s the vibe that you’re interested in? The type of landscape you want to explore? Are you a water baby? Or prefer more earth centered activities? Some retreats have more classes than others - but all retreats will include laughter, human connection, sharing and an opportunity to work on your mind, body and soul.
Have you been on a yoga retreat? Tell me more about your experience in the comments below.
Interested in traveling with Yogascapes? There’s a full list of upcoming retreats here.