Monday, 20 January 2014

How to Choose the Right Yoga Retreat for You.

With such a wide choice of yoga holidays available it's very hard to know which one to choose.  Sadly, like anything, there are good & bad examples out there.   

If you're thinking of going on a yoga retreat, before you pay any money, please use our checklist below to help choose the right holiday company for You.  

1.  First, consider why you want to go on a yoga retreat?

Because you want to continue practising yoga while you are on holiday

Because you´ve never gone on one before & you've always wanted to 

Because you need to just stop and get off the treadmill for a few days

Because you need a focus or activity as you are holidaying on your own

Because your friend/s always look great when they return from theirs!
Because you want to deepen your yoga knowledge & further your current practice

2.  Next, think about where you'd like to go.   

Location! Location! Location!   Maybe you want to practice a particular type of yoga such as hot Bikram with the stars of California or you want to practice with an eminent yogi, or maybe, you don't have a preference so just ask yourself what type of climate would you like & how far are you prepared to travel to get there?

Do you want somewhere remote & tranquil or within walking/biking distance of some 'life'?   Do you want to be near a beach or in the mountains.    Do you want a bespoke yoga retreat venue or are you happy staying somewhere where there will be other people present but not on your yoga holiday (ie. a hotel).

Check the accommodation is to a standard & style you are happy with.  Do you have to share bathrooms or bedrooms with others or is there a ridiculously high single supplement to have your own room?  BTW .. our single supplement is a very reasonable £60 for the week - we've seen others charge much, much more :(

Is the retreat easy to get to or does it require a complicated, long or expensive transfer?

Will you have to make your own way to the yoga venue once you've arrived in the country, are there frequent buses or train?  Or, does the yoga holiday company provide a transfer service?  If so, what's the cost of the transfers & do the transfer times marry with your flight/train times?

3.  Once you're clear on where you'd like to go, now's the time to research the various yoga holidays in your chosen area.  This is something that should not be rushed .. believe us.   Hopefully these points below will help you sort the wheat from the chaff!

First impressions last and that’s true of web sites. When searching online, if you like the look and feel of the yoga holiday web site you are likely to like the people running the holiday.    Make sure they have pictures of their yoga teachers and some personal information so you can get to know them a little before your holiday. If you contact them for help you will be able to tell how professional, personable and accommodating they are in their style & speed of their communication back to you.

Check exactly what is & what isn't included in the holiday.   It's very easy for a holiday to sound exciting by mentioning lots of different activities that will be available.  But, do you have to pay extra for those 'exciting' activities?  If so ask how much & are they available all year?  Also, check what meals & drinks are included & if they can cater for your diet if you have any special requirements.

Check there is enough yoga in the programme for you.   Check there is enough downtime for you.

Check that the instructors will be teaching the style - & level - of yoga you want to practice.  Maybe you'd like to ask if extra personal lessons are available to help you progress.

Ask about the instructors teaching qualifications & experience - where they've taught, how long they've taught, who they qualified with & do they have any 'specialties' or something you think you'd like to learn?

Super Important!   Check the instructors are insured.  If in doubt, ask for copies of their insurance & teacher's training certificates before you book .. why take the risk?   
Super Super Important!  Is the yoga holiday company legal & registered to trade? Be careful, many are not.   Do you really want to pay money to a company - or individual - that is trading illegally?   Do you think you'll have any recompense if there is a problem?  Do you think their insurance will be valid if they aren't legal?   Here in Spain, if the authorities should 'visit' the venue where your holiday takes place & find that there are people working illegally, the illegal workers are heavily fined & your holiday could well be brought to an early close.  How can you check?  Simple, ask for the details - email or website - of their accountant & then contact the accountant to verify.

4.  What do others say?

We cannot help checking out review sites especially now they have feedback on everything from restaurants and hotels to holidays.  Although you don´t want to have the holiday experience before you´ve actually been, you do want to know you´re making the right choice so we recommend you seek out any previous guest and/or press feedback.

You can check Yoga Breaks in Spain guest & press video feedback on our webpage here:   or, watch these little videos below ....

Hope this article has helped.  We wish you  a very Happy Yoga Holiday! Namaste.



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