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Can You Go on a Yoga Retreat if You’re a Beginner?

by Alberto G. Güitrón

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It’s easy to fall in love with yoga at first sight. Just one session can give you butterflies. You feel rejuvenated, less stressed, stronger, more flexible and happier in general.

You might even be so excited that you want to go all the way after the first few classes and go on a yoga retreat. But is it worth taking that step so quickly when you’re just a newbie? You better believe it is! Not only is it worth going as a novice practitioner, but it might be the best approach to get started on this life-changing journey.

A yoga retreat for beginners is the perfect introduction to yoga and it has many advantages over starting in your local studio.

Unlike the sporadic classes where you don’t have as many hours and the teacher might not have enough time to go beyond the asanas, a retreat offers endless opportunities to truly take the plunge and hit the ground running. You’ll learn faster, better and more holistically, immersing yourself in all aspects of yoga in a more comprehensive way.

Setting a strong foundation

yoga retreat for beginners in tree pose

The good news is you can even go to a yoga retreat without ever having set foot on a mat. Indeed, it’s probably better to start building from zero since there would be existing errors to fix. 

One of the main advantages of having this initial approach on a retreat is that you’ll notice a huge improvement from one day to the next. And don’t be worried about feeling overwhelmed with all the new information. A program for beginners is designed to clearly explain everything as it if was the first time for those who need it. The instructor(s) presents the fundamentals of all basic yoga poses, the steps for correct alignment, and encourage you to develop proper breathing techniques.

Got any questions after a session? Ask your teacher or sometimes your more experienced peers could also help. There’ll be plenty of time to solve any doubts that may arise during the retreat. The instructor has already put you on schedule for several days.

You should know that there are certain aspects of yoga that could take some time to understand and put into practice. For instance, you might not be familiar with the Sanskrit names of the yoga poses (or even with the English names). Hearing the instructor at a yoga retreat, constantly repeating these words every day, will help you get used to them and perform the right asana as if it was second nature.

Living the yoga lifestyle

yoga teacher on a retreat for beginners

Some new practitioners think of yoga as an exercise to stretch out, sculpt your body and do circus-like poses on the mat. However, by going on a retreat, you’ll soon realize that yoga is much more than that.

There’s a philosophy behind all that we do on the mat. There’s a lifestyle which yogis tend to adapt to be in synchrony with the five yamas and niyamas. There are different breathing techniques you can use depending on your intentions and meditation should never be left out of the equation. Some might even wonder if yoga is a religion, and, while it isn’t exactly true, there are some connections with eastern spiritual beliefs.

The program of a yoga retreat will help you discover all these other aspects and transform your life. The raw-food meals and vegan/vegetarian treats will taste so good that you might want to reset to a healthier diet once you go back home. The daily classes will build the discipline that you’ll require to stick to yoga when your daily routine gets in the middle. The meditation sessions will remind you to always keep calm and start living more consciously even when there’s chaos around you.

Making yogi friends

yoga retreat meals

Last but not least, there’s no better chance to get to know fellow yogis than on a retreat. You’ll be spending quite some time with more people who have also fallen in love with yoga. They’ll practice with you, learn new poses with you, wobble in Warrior II just as you, eat all meals with you, share their stories and maybe even sleep in the same room with you (depending on the type of accommodation you choose).

This is just perfect to gain extra motivation and develop nice new friendships with like-minded individuals. You can keep in touch and share your progress every now and then. Having someone who started at the same level as you is a good incentive to keep up with the practice.  

Could a yoga holiday be a better option?

If you don’t really want an intense experience where you’ll build a stronger foundation, there’s a more laidback alternative to a retreat. You could go on a yoga holiday and get a smaller sample of all its benefits.

Check out what are the differences between a yoga holiday and a yoga retreat and make your choice. Just be certain that both are excellent to take the first few steps on this journey.

Want to start doing yoga but you’re on a tight budget? Go on an affordable yoga retreat and embrace its benefits without breaking the bank!

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