Learning and practicing yoga is a cleansing, beautiful and invigorating experience for anyone, but taking things one step further by attending a yoga retreat can be truly magical.
The buzz and excitement of finding a retreat you want to attend and booking your stay feel amazing, but as soon as you start planning your luggage, you begin to wonder what's needed and what your first experience will be like.
Yoga retreats aren't like regular vacations; there are purposes and planned events running throughout each day of your stay, so you the last thing you want is to lug around unnecessary items. Finding the balance between what you need and what you can leave behind isn't as hard as you might think. Two of the most important things you'll want to keep in mind are lightness and necessity. Do you need the item, and if so, could it be lighter?
In this article, we hope to give you an understanding of what research and preparations you can do to figure out what you should pack for your first ever yoga retreat.
It's vital you feel comfortable in your clothes while performing yoga. If you don't, you'll sabotage your experience and won't reap all the benefits of the practice. Pack simple yoga clothes so you're not worried about your appearance while learning and relaxing into the methods being taught.
Research the retreat area and weather conditions so you know what will be appropriate. Are you traveling somewhere tropical? Shorts or capris and tank tops might be all you need. If you’re going on a winter yoga retreat, then you’ll need pants and long-sleeve shirts. Wherever you go, be sure the clothes you pack are comfortable. It would be such a shame to ruin the experience through feeling uncomfortable during your first yoga retreat.
Mats and Props
Some yoga students love to use their own mats wherever they practice; however, they tend to weigh down your luggage. Yoga retreats will usually provide mats, props, blocks and other accessories needed for their particular experience. Different equipment might be needed for the conditions and environment you'll be learning in.
If you don't want to put up with heavy baggage, it's better to leave what you don't need at home, and use what's provided from the retreat. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, so ask the retreat staff or your yoga retreat service what's provided and what isn't.
There are multiple accessories you can take on your trip; however, remember you can easily overpack for these occasions, so be cautious. Cleaning wipes can be ideal for freshening up between classes and wiping over your equipment. Nonslip sweat towels are good for comfort and all-round usage.
A scarf is a good idea if evenings and mornings are chilly. If there's a beach involved in your retreat experience or that you can visit in your free time, then a blanket can be useful. Last but not least, hair bands and accessories to keep your hair out of the way are very beneficial.
Diary and Reading Material
It can be fun to document your retreat experience in a journal so you can look back on it for years to come. It's also a great idea to write down notes and methods you learn so you can take them home with you and continue practicing them. Diaries can also act as planners or calendars; this will help you keep on top of your routine and activities during your stay.
Take a book or some reading material you enjoy for your spare time at the retreat. It can be incredibly relaxing to read and stimulate your brain's imagination while in a luxurious environment.
It's important to remember what kind of trip this is when thinking about your casual wear. Remember this isn't a vacation where you'll be visiting high-class restaurants or clubs. We're packing for lightness and necessity, so comfortable and cozy casual wear is more appropriate and applicable.
Unless there's cause for you to take something dressier, there's no use in packing anything that's not going to suit the occasion. Dress for relaxation and comfort, which, again, will be aided by you researching the climate and weather conditions of the environment where you’re staying.
Since most yoga retreats are located in exotic and well-maintained areas, you shouldn't need to pack heavy-duty boots! Yoga is typically practiced barefoot, so the only time you'll need footwear is in your free time. You may require sneakers while walking trails if they're included in your experience or if there are any you plan on walking during your stay. Running shoes will be more than suitable for most active yoga retreats.
In this day and age, most of us use our mobile phones as alarm clocks. We can use them for reminders and alerts to keep us on track. However, sometimes in places such as yoga retreats that have a focus on nature and getting in contact with yourself, it's good to leave the cell phone out of reach. Pack a small alarm clock to keep you on time but not to distract you from your day-to-day activities while enjoying your stay.
Sun Protection and Swimwear
If your retreat is located in a hot environment, sun protection is essential. It'd be a shame to tarnish your experience by suffering from a sunburn, leaving you in discomfort for the rest of your trip. Yoga retreats usually have swimming pools and gyms, so pack your swimwear accordingly and take a towel.
Remember to pack only what you need, and enjoy your first yoga retreat!
Ready to go on your first yoga retreat? Book on an all-inclusive yoga holiday so you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying your time!