While yoga retreats are awesome, they can be expensive! Depending on where the retreat is located, you might even have to buy a plane ticket to get there. If you are on a budget, no matter where you live, an organized yoga retreat might not be in the cards for you. But we have come up with a clever way to get your yoga retreat fix without spending a ton of cash on an actual retreat. Get ready for our DO IT YOURSELF guide to a yoga holiday.
1. Pick a destination.
Maybe it's international, maybe it's domestic. It doesn't matter! If you have the money for a plane ticket, awesome! If not, you can probably even find somewhere within driving distance. Anywhere that interests you is a great start! Some international ideas are Costa Rica at the Nosara Yoga Institute; The Yoga Barn in Bali; just about anywhere in Thailand--Grounded on Koh Tao, Wild Rose in Chiang Mai, The Sanctuary on Koh Phangan and so many other destinations have great studios in amazing atmospheres! Some great studios in the States include Exhale: Center for Sacred Movement in LA, Yoga Tree in San Francisco, The Floating Lotus in Phoenix, Miami Life Center in (you may have guessed) Miami, The Yoga Bar in Cincinnati just to name a few. The list is honestly endless!
2. Find a studio.
Find a great yoga studio that has a variety of classes throughout the day and buy a pass for 10, 15 or 20 classes depending on how long you plan on being on your yoga holiday. The studio links above all have multiple classes during the day. Wake up for an early morning class, grab breakfast and wander around town. Go to a mid-morning class. Have lunch with your fellow yogis and explore the city, island or area in which you are visiting. Return to the studio for an evening or late afternoon class. This is the beauty of picking a studio with a variety of different classes scheduled throughout the day. Some days you might be up for 3 classes a day and other days, one class might be just enough. You’re on your own schedule and this ‘retreat’ can be tailored to fit your exact needs. Hey, maybe there is even a workshop going on over the weekend! Go ahead and join in.
3. Find inexpensive accommodation near the studio.
Make sure you get your own room because you will more than likely be in bed early and up early to meditate on your own or to take an early class or workshop. We like Airbnb.com for finding great rooms for a good price! Some studios, especially internationally, will offer deals on nearby accommodation as well, so explore your options to find the best deal.
4. Fuel up with quality food.
Make sure you get your own room because you will more than likely be in bed early and up early to meditate on your own or to take an early class or workshop. We love Airbnb.com for finding great rooms for a good price! Some studios, especially internationally, will offer deals on nearby accommodation as well, so explore your options to find the best deal.
5. Bring reading material.
Try reading something out of the ordinary. This is a great time to dive deeper into your spirituality, Ayurvedic practices, learn more about the chakras and how they balance your life or anything that inspires you. Focus on learning something new. It doesn't even need to be yoga-related, but it does help to get yourself in the yoga mindset. Check out this great site for the Top 50 Books for Mind, Body & Spirit.
6. Bring your own mat.
We know that sometimes it can feel like a hassle to get your mat on an airplane, but you’ll be so glad you brought it along. This way, you aren’t sharing mats that have been used by dozens of other yogis and you can practice in the privacy of your room, the beach or wherever feels best when you need some time alone. Manduka has a great travel mat, and yoga towel that are much less bulky than traditional mats.
7. Write in a journal.
There are lots of great sites out there dedicated to spiritual writing and yoga journaling. The Yoga Journal has a few great journaling topics for self-reflection. You might not be the journaling type, but when you are doing serious self-reflecting, you might find yourself wanting to write a letter to someone, or maybe even yourself! Journaling for 5-30 minutes a day about your experiences, how you're feeling and goals for the future is great for reflecting later on, and holding yourself accountable once you return home.
8. Get out there and meet people.
Don't just stay cooped up in your room. Go out into the city or town that you are visiting and meet the locals and other travelers. Put yourself in new and exciting situations. Go explore. Take yourself on an adventure. You'll never regret stepping outside of your comfort zone.
9. Be open to change.
Notice the little shifts in yourself throughout your week or weekend of self-reflection. See how those shifts make you feel and learn from them. There's nothing like spending a relaxing week on your own, away from peer expectations to remind you who you really are and who you aspire to be.