I was invited to my first yoga retreat by my yoga instructor, but prior to being invited, I assumed that a yoga retreat had to take place at a fancy resort in a faraway location and it would probably be full of people who were way better at yoga than I was. I was never really interested because I assumed that a yoga retreat would be expensive and long, and there was no real way I was going to be able to fit it into my family and work schedule.
That’s why I was surprised when my yoga instructor told me that she ran monthly retreats in a conference room at a local hotel. It was a pretty affordable deal! Each retreat that she ran would focus on a different aspect of health, and many of the participants were people I already knew from other classes. So, if you’re looking for yoga retreat ideas, I’ve come up with some solutions to get the ball rolling.
1. Pick An Interesting Location
You don’t have to fly to an exotic location for a yoga retreat, but it does help to go somewhere outside the norm. Think about local hotels that can offer large and small conference spaces (oftentimes for a discount during their off-season). You can also reserve pavilions at local parks or utilize the facilities at a state or national park.
Even a pretty backyard or garden can be a great spot to host a retreat.
2. Think About Your Group Size
If you’re not limited by the constraints of your location, then you can have as many or as few people as you want. Large groups are often a good way for new people to try out yoga, making them ideal for beginner sessions.
Choose a smaller group if your retreat is going to focus on more advanced skills. This allows the instructor time to work with each participant individually, allowing everyone to feel as if they walked away from the retreat having learned something new. You might also be wondering should you practice meditation before yoga.
3. Pick A Theme
A good retreat will focus on a specific aspect of health or yoga. This gives people a reason to attend outside of their normal yoga classes; they’re getting to learn something new or different. If you’re looking for theme ideas, try out some of these:
Building Your Own Yoga Routine
This type of retreat has a large focus on introducing students to multiple movements and helping them to develop a routine that they can do on their own. It’s a great idea for people who do not have a regular yoga instructor or just have a schedule that makes it difficult for them to attend a regular class.
The word “detox” seems to be a popular theme in just about every fitness magazine, but there is a lot of interest in the concept. Detox can be more than just not eating solid food. It can also be the removal of negative thoughts and emotions.
Using yoga to cleanse the mind can be a good focus for a short retreat, or it could be combined with seminars on proper eating, exercise, and even home organization for a much larger retreat.
Combine a yoga class with a hike through an exotic park, mountain, or beach. While this type of retreat goes best with a trip to a new location, it can also be done locally in a park or nature preserve. The focus should be on trying something new, so think about incorporating new movements or styles of yoga.
You may also want to add new foods or other activities.
A yoga retreat is a good way to bring a team of athletes closer together while also focusing on the skills they need to grow in their sport. Choose movements that will help to develop strength and flexibility in areas that they need. Also, be sure to include a variety of fun team-building exercises.
This can be a great idea for a short retreat. The focus is on a single pose or just a small handful of poses, typically ones that a small group of people is having trouble mastering. This type of retreat can also be a good choice for introducing a new style of yoga to students who are already used to doing a particular style of yoga.
Nutrition has a huge effect on an individual’s health, but most nutrition classes tend to focus on weight loss. Having a class or retreat that focuses on the foods needed to increase muscle tone and flexibility can be a huge draw. It’s possible to run this as a small retreat for just a short nutrition class or as a several-day event with chefs and other experts to teach everything from recipes to grocery shopping.
All too often, yoga students are focused on the physical parts of yoga without really thinking about the spiritual and mental benefits. A meditation-focused retreat can help to connect students with these aspects of yoga. Retreats that are organized around this theme can include classes from experts in meditation and other spiritual aspects of yoga, or they can just be a peaceful place to practice what has already been learned in a class.
Just about everyone has been under an incredible amount of stress in recent years, so a yoga retreat with a focus on stress relief could have a lot of popularity. Focus on yoga styles that help with mental focus, meditation classes, and even experts on managing stress. This type of retreat can be designed as a short class or as an all-week event.
Before you go, check out our guide on how to prevent a sore back after yoga.