How to Make the Most of Your Yoga Retreat Experience


Are you thinking about attending a yoga retreat (like our Signature Yoga Vacation) for the first time, but are feeling a little intimidated? Or maybe you’ve eagerly signed up for one and just want to be sure you make the most of it? In either case, these tips will help you get the maximum benefits and have the best experience possible. Consider these suggestions before you join us at Vikasa or go on any yoga retreat.

Know what you hope to get out of it.

Before your retreat starts, think about what you want to get from it. Are you looking for a way to relax and unwind? Do you want to improve your diet, fitness, and overall health? Are there particular yoga practices or other things you’re hoping to learn? Do you want to meet like-minded people? Getting clear on your motivation for doing a retreat will help you find the experience you’re looking for.

Choose the best retreat for you.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for a great experience is to choose the right retreat for you. Don’t go on a kundalini retreat if you’ve never tried kundalini before, and don’t choose a retreat that’s more like an intensive course if you’re really looking for a vacation. Before you register, learn what you can about the location, schedule, philosophy, and leaders to make sure it’s a good fit.

Approach everything with an open mind.

Yoga retreats might include practices and ideas that you aren’t used to, like breathwork, chakras, or sharing circles. You don’t have to love everything that’s offered, but try to approach each component of the retreat with an open mind. If you don’t, you’ll never know what might end up changing your life.

Don’t push yourself too hard.

Some retreats have a full schedule of activities, but this is not the place to feel like you have to do it all. Especially if you’re not used to doing tons of yoga or being around people all the time, retreats can be really tiring. So make sure you listen to your body, and don’t feel compelled to do every single thing that’s offered.

Limit your use of devices.

A yoga retreat is a precious opportunity to disconnect from society, dive into yourself, and live in the moment. Constantly checking your email, reading the news, and snapping selfies will really take away from the experience – and it’ll take up a lot of time you could be using on something more fulfilling. Some retreats have digital detox policies, but if you attend one that doesn’t, consider imposing your own.

Plan for lasting changes.

Many retreat-goers have an incredible week and leave feeling replenished, grounded, and inspired. And within a few days, life has gotten in the way, and the retreat feels like a faraway dream. So before you leave the retreat, think about how you can carry some of the practices or teachings with you. Spend time reflecting on what you’ve learned, what’s shifted for you, and what you want to incorporate into your life.

About the Author


Jennifer Ambrose

Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, and yoga teacher who left her office job in Boston to travel the world with her husband. She previously worked in international development and academic research, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Some of her biggest passions include promoting responsible and mindful travel and helping her students develop their personal yoga practice.