Yoga retreats can be incredibly transformative—they help you tune into your intuition, reconnect with your true self and become more mindful and calm in everyday life. Retreats embody everything we love about yoga and the incredible yoga community! Want to experience one for yourself? We put together a guide for finding your perfect yoga retreat, with tips from GLOW Yoga Retreats' Kayla Nielsen, so whether you're seeking the ultimate spiritual experience or just need a hard reset, you'll know exactly where to start.
Start with the teacher & location
Do you have a favorite yoga teacher? Is there a specific place you've been wanting to visit? Teacher and location are the two biggest factors in your retreat search, and they're a great way to narrow down the options. Kayla recommends asking an instructor you admire or want to dive deeper with if they're leading any retreats. If not, they can probably recommend a teacher with a similar style or ethos.
Have a dream destination in mind? Google yoga retreats in that area! Retreats are a great opportunity to scratch that travel itch, Kayla notes. "Because yoga is so widespread now, there are retreats all over the globe. Joining a retreat is a great way to experience a region, considering that most of them will include your accommodation, food, and activities beyond yoga. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet other travelers within the group."
Make a list of what's most important to you
Think about what you value most in a yoga teacher or studio and apply that to the retreat experience. Looking for something more meditative? Want to learn from multiple teachers? Want to join a retreat with a mission? Once you start finding retreats that interest you, dive a little deeper into what sets them apart. In Kayla's case, it's a passion to give back. Partial or total proceeds from every GLOW retreat support Go Light Our World, her nonprofit that creates solar solutions to combat poverty. "Our mission is about cultivating compassion for the Earth and all living beings around the world," Kayla says. "When you sign up for a GLOW retreat, not only are you investing in yourself, but you’re also creating positive change across the globe."
Work within your budget
Yoga retreats can be pricey, but they don't have to break the bank. Look at the location, length of the trip and what's included in the price. A 3-day retreat closer to home will no doubt be more affordable than a more standard weeklong retreat in a far-away country. Just remember, you've got options. "If you're eyeing a particular teacher or retreat that you can’t even come close to affording, it’s always worth reaching out to that teacher to inquire about sponsorships, discounts and/or payment plans," Kayla says.
You might even be able to snag a free or discounted ticket. Kayla's new ambassador program gives two people per retreat the opportunity to attend at no cost or a low rate, depending on how many people sign up with their discount code.
Consider going solo
If you've never traveled alone before, the idea of attending a a retreat by yourself can be really daunting. But it can also be incredibly rewarding! A yoga retreat is a deeply personal experience, and carving out the time and space to connect with yourself is important for growth and insight. "I think there’s something particularly empowering about solo travel, whether you're going on a retreat or not," says Kayla. "There have been so many first-time solo travelers who join my retreats. They’re often nervous before—some have even contemplated canceling last minute because they didn't want to fly that far alone—but after they decide to come, they're filled with a new sense of confidence and accomplishment."
Looking for more of a bonding experience? Attending a retreat with family or friends can be amazing as well, Kayla notes. "Retreats are nearly incredibly sacred experiences, so having the opportunity to share something of this caliber with the people you love is something to be cherished."
Want to do a GLOW Yoga Retreat? Check them out here! Planning your trip? Stay tuned for an upcoming post on what to know before you go.