yoga retreat

Choosing where to go on a yoga retreat is a difficult process, simply because there are so many places to choose from. Do you want to meditate with a view of the Pacific Ocean, or do you want to balance in tree pose amongst the tall trees of a forest? In your spare time do you want to hike a mountain, catch a wave, or simply relax by a pool? These are just a few of the questions you’ll ask yourself when deciding where to go on a yoga retreat. To make the decision process more simple, let’s look at your options: 

Hot or Cold?

Probably the simplest decision you’ll have to face is what kind of weather you’d like on your yoga retreat. Are you trying to escape a harsh winter and go somewhere warmer? Why not try somewhere close to the Equator, like the Caribbean, Central America, or Southeast Asia. If a winter wonderland sounds like your dream, you could opt to go on a yoga retreat in the Swiss Alps, Canada’s Whistler, or Montana’s Big Sky.

Luxury or Rustic?

Do you want to sit in the lap of luxury or rough it on a no-frills retreat? There are plenty of retreat centers that cater to the yogi who just wants a break. They want to lay down on Egyptian Cotton Sheets after their hatha yoga class. Perhaps get a hot stone massage at the spa. General pampering and relaxation is the goal. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the yogi who wants to forgo all creature comforts and get back to basics. They long for a connection with nature, the more down and dirty the better. For this kind of retreat, look for the words ‘adventure,’ ‘trek,’ ‘hiking’ and ‘off the grid.’

Close to Home or Far Away?

The answer to this question will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to a yoga retreat. If you only have a weekend (or even a day!) a retreat close to home is going to be better. If, however, you have from a week to a few months to escape the daily grind and deepen your practice, why not consider traveling somewhere exotic for your yoga retreat? It’s the perfect opportunity to delve into another culture while exploring your own enlightenment. Some popular yoga retreat destinations include Bali, Costa Rica, and of course yoga’s birthplace, India.

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Health-Conscious or Hedonistic?

This may seem a strange question to ask, because isn’t the entire purpose of a yoga retreat to focus on health and wellness? Well, that really depends on what you want. If you want to spend a week abstaining from gluten, dairy, meat, etc. or even going on a water fast in complete silence, you will find plenty of retreats to cater to your desires. If, however, you wish to take a retreat from rigidity, you can also choose a yoga retreat that focuses on pleasure in many forms: food & wine, cooking or other fun activities.

Urban or Off the Beaten Path?

Most people opt for complete serenity and peace when choosing a yoga retreat location. They prefer secluded to bustling. A yoga retreat on a private island in Mexico or in a cozy cabin in the woods suits their needs just fine. These retreats offer a time out from daily life, especially if you live in an urban city. You can take a break from technology, which is immensely restorative in and of itself. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might wish to join a thriving community of yogis and go on an urban retreat. Perhaps you live in a city and don’t have the time to get away. Many top level teachers have home bases in urban centers like New York or San Francisco, so sometimes an urban retreat will be the best choice for you.

There are tons of places to go on a yoga retreat, but hopefully this article has helped you start narrowing your choices down.  Wherever you choose to go on a yoga retreat, beach or jungle or city of steel, the important part is your personal journey and growth. Taking the time for yourself to restore and renew will always be a good choice, no matter where in the world you are.

Author Bio: Eva Casey is a writer, social media marketer and performing artist who travels around the world. She is editor-in-chief for WeTravel, a free group trip planning tool. WeTravel makes planning a yoga retreat simple, and finding a yoga retreat to go on anywhere around the world a breeze.
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