A group doing yoga retreat in Siem Reap

8 Simple Ways To Prepare For Your Yoga Retreat

What is Yoga Retreat?

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. In real life, yoga helps open a door that you can act and think to be aware of and concentrate on presence. It transforms your life from its philosophy to living a life that accepts everything in its nature and in no control, and you respond accordingly in a conscious and rational manner.

On the other hand , a retreat is a transformative experience that allow you to withdraw strains of everyday life and take the time to focus on yourself, your desires and what makes you truly happy. It is part of your self-care, letting go all worries and opening up to new possibilities. There are different types of retreats with specific purposes which you can find ones that suit you best.

To gain much more benefits altogether physically, mentally and spiritually, and escape from hustle and bustle of life, it comes to yoga retreat.

A yoga retreat is a kind of a transformative experience for withdrawal to focus on the practice of yoga. Through yoga retreat, you gain physical, mental and spiritual benefits in life.

How do you prepare for a yoga retreat?

You may wonder how you could get started if you’re a newbie to yoga. And it’s also a doubt for you as an old yogi while planning on going on a yoga retreat whether you’re confident enough to attend.

If you never attend before you may feel afraid whether or not your skills in yoga are ready. You want to make sure that you’re well prepared and just feel more comfortable when you arrive at the destination. Of course, a lot of things are on your mind as a new retreater!

In fact, it’s usual for those who have little yoga practice less than 2 hours a day or 3 times a week are naturally nervous that they will not catch up with other yogis. They may also feel they will slow down the course of the retreat, and eventually feel ashamed.

However, the truth is that you don’t have to worry at all even you consider yourself as newbie and an old yogi. Everything will just be fine, and you’ll be able to explore and follow your own heart and pace. At the retreat, you will be practicing with great assistance from your yoga teacher and other fellow yogis. This will also make you more comfortable, and you can just focus and enjoy it.

On the other hand, you may still hesitate to join due to some certain reasons. Thus, helping you gain confidence and the ultimate enjoyment in your yoga retreat experience, here are some simple suggestions.

1. Carry On or Rehearse Your Yoga Practice

A group doing yoga retreat in Siem Reap
A group doing yoga retreat in Siem Reap. Photo credit: Book Yoga Retreats

First thing you need to do before your yoga retreat you have to ensure you’re physically ready for it. You should carry on your regular practice or increase practices as much as possible to ensure your body gets stronger and more flexible. Essentially, you are becoming confident about the retreat.

You can balance your skills by trying various styles. But, if you’re a newbie, a short period of time of rehearsal the before is not definitely an appropriate time to do advanced techniques – don’t try it at home to avoid injury before your real retreat. Just go slowly and learn the basics. You will absolutely learn more with proper assistance from yoga teacher during the training.

A yoga retreat gives you challenges that can lead you to the next level. There, everybody is individual at different levels so that you can embrace your pace and look forward to the change ahead. Most importantly, yoga teachers will assist with adjusting each practice to suit everyone; it doesn’t matter how good they are.

2. Trust Your Yoga Instructor

Sivananda Yoga Teacher. Photo credit: Pinterest

One of the most important disciplines in yoga is to trust the process and follow your yoga instructor whether you have some experiences. Teachings may vary a bit from one instructor to another so you may need to know well enough about them.

Research on their background and experiences to ensure you are inspired to practice with them. Also, an experienced yoga retreat instructor will provide you with detailed necessary information before you participate in.

However, you should allow yourself freedom from managing your life for just this little thing… Let your retreat instructors guide you on your journey.

3. Keep It Simple

Pack simple items for your yoga retreat
Simply packing for yoga retreat. Photo credit: Blue Osa

No need many pieces of stuff for a yoga retreat! So just bring around what necessary. You need only a few pairs of yoga leggings, a body spray and a sun protection cream for example. Just pack light with necessary items to make yourself comfortable with the luggage.

Moreover, you’ll feel comfortable and convenient with the same yoga uniforms repeatedly during practice. Most importantly, all participants are open and kind to each other without judging others’ hair, skin and clothes.

4. Set Your Personal Goals

Medidation Retreat - Cambodia Retreats

Defining your real purpose before you go for a yoga retreat is one of the key things you should be doing.

What is your intention for your retreat? Why do you want to go to a yoga retreat at all? What do you want to get out of it? As yoga provides emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits, perhaps you want to widen your yoga practice or, perhaps you want to develop your meditation skills and practice more effectively. Or maybe you’re keen to rejuvenate yourself and de-stress and get some deep relaxation or maybe you’re looking for a stronger connection with yourself

Whatever your reasons, you should make sure that you acknowledge them and honour them. Sometimes, when you’re at the retreat you should let go of your barriers and be brave, or sometimes it’s fine to skip a yoga practice so that you can take a walk or rest. You need to listen to yourself and be completely aware of yourself to get the most benefit from the experience.

5. Eat Healthy Food

Healthy food during Yoga Retreat

A yoga retreat usually offers you the chance to eat some awesome, healthy food without processed products, organic food, naturally grown vegetables, and fruits. Try to reduce processed foods in order to flush the toxins from your system a couple of weeks before you go on your retreat. Prepare yourself with vegetables, fruits, oat, cereals, and whole foods into your daily meal plan so that you can ease your way into a new healthy introduction.

6. Practice On Your Own Mat Ahead

Practice yoga on mat
Photo credit: Le Long Weekend

A yoga mat is often provided at a yoga retreat, but you can bring your own. It’s very good to practice on it in advance so that you are familiar and comfortable with it. Even better, you can also bring your yoga towel to get rid of your sweats during practice as it’s easy to have it along your journey.

7. Destination Is Key To Maximize Experience

Cambodian monks at ancient temple.

Researching to find out more details about the destination you’re going to head off to a yoga retreat excite you so much that you get much more inspired.

Visiting a new destination, you feel thrilled to explore its culture, heritage, history, locals, and sights.

Perhaps, preparaing for yoga retreat in Cambodia may be an exciting experience for you, for example.

If you can find sufficient time to plan in excursions you can really immerse yourself in the full experience of the country you’re going to. Learning more about the destination that you’re going to will also get you more excited about your retreat and will get you in the right frame of mind to maximize the experience.

8. Clarify And Compromise Your Expectations

A yoga retreat is meant to provide an amazing experience, rather than yoga postures. You may need to make sure you get clear information from your retreat instructor including retreat schedules, transportation, food, accommodation, and excursions. Then, let your journey begin with peace of mind!

However, things may be changed to adapt to the needs of creating the best experience for the participants. Perhaps the retreat host may have rearranged excursions or sometimes change the programs completely… and maybe you have free time to relax or explore nearby attractions.

All in all, a great experience is the host’s primary goal to provide for the trip. You don’t have to worry about it. Let everything counts and let it go. It will surely be fantastic.

Conclusion

When heading off to a yoga retreat, no matter wherever it is, you need to manage the expectations about what you’re going to get out of the experience.

More importantly, consulting the retreat leader anything you’re concerned about or anything you need clarified before you go is very important so that you’ll be well prepared. If it’s your first retreat you are naturally probably quite a bit nervous. However, having the reassurance of a clear idea of what you can expect will prepare you mentally and physically for what is sure to experience.

Are you ready for your first ever yoga retreat or your next one?

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