How to Pick Your Perfect Yoga Retreat: Chalkboard Magazine
September 14, 2015
As yoga retreats become the most popular mini-vacation around, Chalkboard Magazine features tips from YOGASCAPES Founder, Ben Crosky, to help travelers and yogis pick the perfect yoga retreats for them. Originally published here.
FORGET THE SPA DAY or the tech-free weekend: plunging into a yoga retreat is becoming the newest mini-break for mindful living. The beauty of retreating yourself is that you don’t need to be an experienced yogi to reap the full benefits – just like yoga itself, it’s more about the journey than what you actually do on the mat.
YOGASCAPES is a yoga retreat company aimed at creating a full-on travel experience by taking some of the most vibrant, energetic yoga and wellness teachers around and pairing them with everything you need to get a real taste of the local culture and breathtaking, off-the-beaten-path surroundings. Last month, we asked co-founderco-founder Ben Crosky to break down the ins and outs of living that retreat life. This month? He’s helping us actualy choose the perfect retreat that’s right for us:
On retreat you never know what you’re going to get even if you find the perfect one. But you’ll always get just what you need – part of being on retreat is learning how to trust your gut, remembering how to trust yourself and that journey starts by choose a retreat in similar fashion.
There are so many different types of yoga retreats out there, it’s hard to know where to start! Here are some questions to ask yourself.
BUSY VS. CHILL
Do you want to have equal parts travel and yoga? Or are you really looking for more of a retreat where you stay in one place, disconnect from everything and really go inward? Do you want to fly across the world and dive deep into another culture or would you rather stay close to home and focus on relaxation? Do you want to learn Thai Massage, AcroYoga, surfing, cooking, meditation? Yoga retreats aren’t just for yoga. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn or experience, start there and see what retreats show up. Check out the itinerary and ask the teacher or organizer about the structure of the trip!
ASHTANGA VS. VINYASA
If you are new to yoga this won’t matter as much, but if you love Vinyasa and you find yourself on an Ashtanga retreat, you might leave more stressed out than you came – or you might just open up to something new! There are now a number of companies like ours who specialize in yoga and wellness retreats and other companies who have created directories. Yoga retreats take a lot of work and planning so going with an experienced company and teacher means you’ll know you are in good hands.
RUSTIC VS. LUXURY
Yoga retreats come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Do you want to have a luxury experience or an eco-rustic-bohemian experience? Do you want to spend a weekend away or an entire week? Can you afford a plane ticket on top of the cost of the retreat or would you rather spend that money on the retreat? A lot of us seek out yoga retreats because we are looking for a healthy break from work or school. If you know when your breaks are, start there and search for your specific time periods.
ICELAND VS. COSTA RICA
A yoga retreat is an amazing way to explore a place you’ve always wanted to go while staying true to your practices. Half of our travelers on our yoga retreat in Iceland come because they’ve always dreamed of traveling there and search for “yoga retreat in Iceland!”
HARD CORE VS. LAID BACK
Research your teacher, their style of yoga, and their overall philosophy. If you have a specific teacher, or really are drawn to someone, a yoga retreat is the best way to deepen your practice with them. Most experienced teachers will have an annual yoga retreat. If not, ask them for ideas. A teacher you already love is your best resource.
GOING SOLO VS. WITH FRIENDS
More than half of our retreaters travel with us solo. A yoga retreat is the perfect way to have an individual experience while being support by community. Traveling to a new country alone can be scary and even lonely, but traveling with a group of people with similar interests, all supporting one another having a wonderful time is the best of both worlds. You get to take as much time by yourself as you want while connecting to amazing people. Part of the joy of traveling is getting to connect with people. Many of our travelers stay in touch long after the retreat is over.
Yoga retreats are also an amazing way to travel with friends and loved ones. You get to share an experience with someone you deeply care about while challenging yourselves to grow and not just fall into the same old patterns.