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5 Things to Bring on a Yoga Retreat

October 25, 2016

Over the past decade I have been lucky enough to travel the world, adventure the wild unknown, and both attend and lead multiple yoga retreats. My adventures have taught me many lessons and skills, one being how to pack light! Trust me, you do not need to pack a lot on your yoga retreat, I promise you that you most likely will end up wearing and rotating the same outfits. And besides, who wants heavy baggage anyway? Yoga is about clearing space and becoming energetically lighter on all levels, and our packing for a yoga retreat can mirror that too! However, there are a few items that are crucial to take along as to ensure that you have the most meaningful and inspiring experience possible.

Your favorite yoga mat.

Because you’ll most likely be practicing twice a day, it is important to bring a mat that is in good condition and that dries quickly. A travel mat is a great choice so your luggage won’t be over the weight limit and so that you have more space in your suitcase for any local treasures that you pick up along the way! I love our Indigo Skies Yoga Mat because it is lightweight but durable and cushioned enough to support me through multiple daily practices. And the colors are so bright and vibrant that just looking at the yoga mat makes me happy!

A Journal and a Pen.

One of the most beautiful aspects of traveling on a retreat is that just like our yoga practice itself, travel allows you to view the world from a different perspective. Be sure to bring a journal and a pen to document and reflect upon whatever comes up for you during your time away as you dive deeper into your practice, both on and off the yoga mat. My favorite way to journal is to light a candle, put on some soulful music, and just feely write without a plan. Give yourself the space and freedom to explore, then witness the magic and insight that starts to be revealed through your very own writing.

Special crystals, mala beads, or photos of loved ones.

Whenever I travel, I enjoy taking a little bit of home with me on the road. This may be a healing stone or crystal that serves a certain purpose, like grounding while being on the road. I like to travel with a  meaningful piece of jewelry, or a photo of my family, or my pup Bailey, who I wish I could take with me on every adventure! These sacred trinkets can help you create a sacred space where you are sleeping, and help you to feel comfortable even when you are thousands of miles away from home.

A sense of adventure.

Outside of the physical items in your bag, you will absolutely need to bring with you an appetite for adventure. No matter where you’re journeying, you are sure to encounter people from different walks of life and activities that you may never have experienced before. Be willing to try something new, do as the locals do, and get your hands dirty in order to soak up the full cultural experience. And if something during your travel does go awry – which it always does! – look at it all as a wonderful adventure, and a great learning experience about yourself and the world at large. Go with the flow, have a sense of adventure,  and know that it will all make an awesome story to tell later.

Willingness to step outside your comfort zone.

Above all, come prepared to step outside your comfort zone on your retreat. It is only in venturing past the boundaries you have set for yourself that you will truly grow. Sometimes, stepping outside of your comfort zone can bring a sense of fear of the unknown, and it is important to recognize that this is all apart of the journey! Stepping outside of your comfort zone, embracing your fears and the wild unknown are where the magic happens! This year, I am personally choosing to focus my energy on trusting in the magic of new beginnings. I count on those traveling with me on my retreats to challenge me to continue to step outside my own comfort zone so I, too, can grow from each of my journeys.

What is your #1 must-have when you travel on a retreat? Share with us below in the comments below.

I hope to see you on my upcoming trip to Maderas Village or on another upcoming w i l d adventure.  


Rachelle Tratt

Rachelle Tratt is a Los Angeles based yoga instructor, community leader, and Soulful entrepreneur who created The Neshama Project, a yoga inspired, socially conscious jewelry company that gives back. Rachelle teaches from a very intentional place and truly offers her students an opportunity to fall back in love with their body and their life though her unique style of teaching yoga. Rachelle is also known for her thoughtfully curated playlists with rhythm and beats to help transform her classes into truly a musical experience. With a constant appetite for travel and meaningful experiences, Rachelle leads workshops and international yoga retreats & adventures around the world. Please visit for more information on Rachelle and The Neshama Project.