In the millions of listings on the internet, finding out which yoga retreat (or yoga retreats) that are right for you, might seem daunting. While the internet is definitely a good way to go, there are ways to narrow your search, as well as to find retreats without using the internet.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about yoga retreats that can help narrow down your search AND help you attend the right yoga retreat for you!
- What do the words inspire and restore mean to you? Do you want the inspiration to come from the teacher, the location or a topic offered or all of these?
- What do you want to get out of the retreat to inspire you? Do you need quiet introspective time or do you want to go an adventure that pushes you into new territory? That can happen by climbing a mountain, taking a yoga and writing course, learning to surf, or meditating, all options out there today. Sewall House offers a popular yoga and writing weekend each season, as well as the opportunity to climb Mount Katahdin, no simple feat but a beautiful thing to conquer, each July 4 holiday.
- Is there something specific you are working on in your life that a yoga retreat might help address or process? Maybe you want to switch careers, have recently had a breakup or want to improve your health, physically and/or mentally/emotionally. If you are looking for specific course related to these things you would search the web for centers that offer workshops that would help you address these things or maybe just being on retreat will help you step back and sort them out. At Sewall House, we have found over the years, since we started in 1997, that people often come to our small boutique retreat in need of processing a life change or next step in their life.
- If you already go to a studio or gym, ask a teacher your respect for recommendations. He and she may have a retreat they like to go to or maybe offering retreats themselves.
- If there is a specific place or country you want to visit, search specifically with that place in your search. People often come to retreat with us in Maine because they have never been there, love Maine or because they do not want to reach outside the borders of home to explore foreign lands, which is a great option to others.
- If there is a teacher or technique you know you like, search that type of yoga or that teacher to see when and where they are offering retreats. Fellow students may also give you a great word of mouth recommendations. Yoga systems vary. If you want restoration a power yoga or ashtanga yoga retreat might not be what you need. (if you are looking at getting back into fitness or improving these practices, maybe yes). Something emphasizing Hatha, restorative, meditation, Nidra (or at least offering these options) might be preferred if you really want to chill. Type A’s can dislike these calming yoga forms but slowing down may be just what is needed.
- Finally, the time frame may be an important determining factor to go on a retreat to inspire you. If you need to use vacation time from work see if you can choose a time that inspires you. Do you love to snowshoe, do SUP or walk in the woods during foliage time? At Sewall House you can arrive and depart on days that work for you, which is a bonus for schedule flexibility. Other retreats are specific dates that the teacher has set aside in their own schedule so they can meet you in some chosen destination.
Keep in mind all these things to create an inspiring yoga retreat worth your investment in time, money and travel. Take the time to ask if these things will inspire and restore you.
One more thing, do you need added spa treatments?
At Sewall House we offer massage, sauna and nature outings as part of your healing inspiration and restoration. Make your choice around yoga retreats and which ones are for you will help you have the best time you can. Weigh these questions out. Then, go with enthusiasm but leave the expectations behind, once you have made your choice. Unexpected benefits often arise so go with the flow and smile!
Donna Amrita Davidge has been teaching yoga retreats and meditation in New York City since the mid-1980’s. She owns and operates www.sewallhouse.com yoga retreat in Island Falls, Maine since 1997 (May to Oct) which fits many of the criteria in Pinterest’s recent research on trends in travel– solo, small town, vegetarian. Check out which yoga retreats at Sewall House are available for you to attend.