There are so many yoga retreats available now which is great but it makes it much more difficult to choose which retreat is right for you! So I have asked my friends at Yoga Breaks in Spain for their advice on what is the best way to find the very best retreat for YOU!
Yoga Breaks have been organising inspiring yoga retreats & holidays in Spain for 16 years and so they have a clear idea on what ingredients make the perfect retreat. I’ve had the pleasure of going on one of their retreats myself and so feel confident in their guidance.
Here are some top tips from Nicole Stone, Founder of Yoga Breaks in Spain please feel free to contact her with your questions too!
Hi there! I’m Nicole and I’m delighted to help you find the perfect yoga retreat for you. I know it can be overwhelming when you first begin researching your options & so I hope you find my tips below useful. Very simply, your search falls down to 4 questions …
Why Where What & Who?
1. WHY do you want to go on a yoga retreat?
Do you want to begin (or deepen?) your yoga practice or do you just want a healthy holiday where yoga is one of the activities available?
If you’re keen to progress your yoga practice then look for a retreat with seasoned teacher/s where the classes will progress in depth & strength during your stay and where there may be additional workshops or option for 1:1 sessions.
Or, if you’re looking for a relaxing break then choose a yoga holiday where all levels of yogi are welcome, where there are other activities available & where everything in the programme is optional.
In general, yoga retreats offer a deeper yoga immersion hence more suited to those with experience. Yoga holidays tend to be more relaxed and ideal for all levels of yogi.
2. WHERE do you want to go?
How much do you want to spend?, What type of climate do you want and how many days can you spare? Once you narrow down the ‘where’, ask yourself do you want a remote & tranquil spot or somewhere within walking distance of 'life'? Do you want to be near a beach or the mountains? If flying, do you need a visa & vaccinations? How long is (& how much is) the transfer from the airport to the retreat? Do you have to make your own way from the airport or is there a guest transfer service?
3. WHAT type of experience do you want?
Yoga retreats are either held in retreat centres or private houses where everyone on site is either a guest or working at the retreat. Or there are retreats held in a small hotel where you are part of a bespoke retreat programme but where there may be other non retreat guests at the venue. Whilst a retreat centre may seem the obvious choice, bear in mind that centres often have various groups/retreats running at the same time with guests arriving & leaving daily & so the classes, mealtimes, activities & poolside may be busy & noisy plus, there’ll be constant movement as guests ‘come & go’ all of which makes it difficult to relax. A bespoke retreat held at a small hotel or private house where you & your fellow retreaters are the only retreat onsite can be far more rewarding & relaxing.
4. Once you're clear on your why’s, where & what type of experience you want, now's the time to hone in on the WHO.
Make a list of companies/retreats you like in your chosen destination/s with a retreat on the dates you can make at a price you can afford & and then contact them …
· See how quickly they respond & are their responses personable & friendly or a bit cool and incomplete? First impressions count!
· Ask for a retreat itinerary so you can see how much yoga is in the programme, what other activities/therapies are available & how much free time there is.
· Check what’s included. It’s easy for a holiday to appear exciting & great value but check what is & what isn’t included?
· Can you have your own room with private bathroom or will you be expected to share? If you can have own room how much is the single supplement?
· Ask for details on the teachers you’ll meet, ask for their qualifications & teaching experience. Are they insured & what type of yoga do they teach and is the yoga suitable for you?
· Read/watch reviews from past guests
· What are the payment terms? Do you have to pay in full or can you pay in instalments?
Hopefully by now you’ve got a short list of preferred retreats but there’s one more thing we’d suggest you check ….
Super Important! Is the company/retreat organiser a registered business. Why? Because many retreat organisers are not legal. Are you happy to pay money to a company - or individual – that is trading illegally? Will their insurance will be valid if they aren't legal .. do they even have insurance?!, How do you check if they are legal? .. Simple, ask for the name, email or website of their accountant & contact the accountant to verify.
Hope this helps you begin your search for the perfect yoga retreat for you. We’d be DELIGHTED to see you on one of our Yoga Breaks in Spain one day so do get in touch if we can help! Happy retreating!