With the literally thousands of yoga retreat options out there you might ask yourself is a yoga retreat really worth it? First, you have to ask yourself worth WHAT? There are different things to consider when choosing a yoga retreat these days. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you book a yoga retreat.
Where do you want to go for your retreat?
Some people want to go to the beaches of Tulum, explore the jungles of Costa Rica, or experience the beauty of Bali while combining it with a little yoga. Other people may want to stay closer to home in their own country and not venture outside the border.
What do you hope to get out of this retreat?
If you want to go for fun and are not following the “typical yoga lifestyle” it might be important for you to make sure the things you enjoy socially are part of the retreat. Some people feel the need to have alcohol for example. Not all yoga retreats offer alcohol options but many do these days; the same thing goes for meat, not an option at more authentic yoga retreats but certainly an option at those that add yoga to a vacation experience.
Are you going on a yoga retreat or a yoga vacation?
There is a real difference between the two.
If you are going on yoga vacation, you definitely want to include a best friend, significant other, parent, or sibling. But if you are going on a for-real yoga retreat you may want to opt for “me” time to reflect on things going on in your life, what changes you want to make, and even choose a place where the food options are cleaner and more detoxifying than a booze and steak option.
We had a guest at the Sewall House Yoga Retreat whose life was jolted apart when her marriage unexpectedly ended because of discovered infidelity. She came on a retreat to have a week of “feeling” with a clean diet and nothing to numb her pain. She then followed her retreat week with a visit to girlfriends in Chicago, where wine would definitely be part of drowning her sorrow. Feeling first, friends and wine second.
How much do you feel comfortable spending on a yoga retreat?
The options vary from less expensive ashram style places to luxurious accommodations in fancy spa settings. Be realistic about your budget, combining that priority with your other needs for taking a yoga retreat.
Do you really have the time to go on a retreat?
Stepping away from life can be totally worth the investment of time and money as you come back with more clarity — and rest! (unless you choose a party place, which may be what you need and want).
However, if you really do not have enough time off from work, the travel and arranging seem daunting, or your budget is too tight, maybe you should try mini-retreats at home — like getting a massage or facial, going to a restorative yoga class instead of your usual slam it out vinyasa class. Even taking a day off work or off social media, devices can give us a smaller benefit similar to that of a yoga retreat.
Author Bio: Donna Amrita Davidge has been teaching yoga and meditation since the 1980s in New York City and owns and operates Sewall House Yoga Retreat Maine since 1997 in northern Maine from May to October. If you’re interested in a personalized yoga retreat that fits your lifestyle and budget, please contact Donna today for availability and event schedule.