Tired of the routine, of working, cleaning and cooking? You want to go on a weekend, on vacation, to leave Paris, to make a detox stay in France or abroad, at the ocean or in the mountains? Go for a hike, a yoga class or meditate in nature? To relax, to rest and to find yourself? There are so many reasons to need to take time for yourself!
You don’t need an excuse to allow yourself to experience the yoga staysthey are made for recharge your batteries and regain your vitality ! These retreats are not just another ski trip or surfing course, they are organized in paradisiacal places and are both dynamic and relaxing but can also be introspective!
You have the possibility to choose among a large choice of stays, which will allow you to deepen your knowledge in any kind of yoga: Yin Yoga, Vinyasa, Hatha… Do you want to meet other people who are as interested in yoga as you are, but you also want to be on your own whenever you want? You want to practice morning and evening in a spiritual evolutionary logic during a week? That’s what yoga workshops and retreats are for!
So what to choose between a yoga retreat, a yoga course, or a yoga vacation? We explain the differences here!
Discover in this article the main differences between yoga stays and yoga retreats and get inspired by some of the retreats I tested to anticipate your next vacation in the form of a stay or a retreat.
What is the difference between a yoga vacation and a yoga vacation? There is no such thing!
As the name suggests, it is about going on vacation and doing yoga and meditation: a unique experience that allows you to release pressure, find your vitality while progressing in the practice of yoga: Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga …
You can book a trip with a travel agency specialized in yoga, meditation and wellness. The agency will advise you on a travel destination according to the season, your desires and your need for a change of scenery: in nature, far from France. The advantage is that an agency will offer you places where yoga classes are held every day. In general, you can attend two sessions per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
These travel agencies will offer you all-inclusive stays (accommodation, meals…) in an idyllic setting, at reasonable prices!
The benefits of a yoga stay or yoga vacation:
- There is no obligation to follow a program during the detox course: there is no pressure, you can go alone, you do not travel in a group but you have the possibility to meet some yogis on the practice place. You can choose the length of your stay: one or more weeks or only a weekend.
- Freedom to be alone or to socialize: you are free to be alone to recharge your batteries, but you have the possibility to meet some yogis, also like you, to rest, do activities, yoga or meditation.
- Possibility of doing other activities: Moreover, if you don’t want to do only yoga, you have the possibility in most of these stays to make your trip “à la carte” and to add other activities such as: a day at the beach or at the ocean, surfing, kite surfing, quad biking, mini-cruise, language courses, bike rental, hiking, cooking classes etc.
- A first step before retirement?
The disadvantages of a yoga stay or yoga vacation:
- A lighter yoga practice: in fact you will participate in classes that may take place all year round with people for whom this is the weekly class as when you go to your weekly class. It’s not the same as retirement. One does not participate in these yoga classes with the same spiritual intent or energy. And conversely, teachers do not teach the course in the same way whether it is a weekly course or a retreat. Often this type of residential course will be less spiritual and more focused on the practice of positions. But here I am caricaturing a little to make you understand the small differences that can be found between a yoga stay and a retreat.
- Solitude If you don’t want to or don’t feel ready to go alone, it is better to go on a yoga retreat with a group because on a yoga retreat you can meet other yogis but you don’t go in a group so you can still be relatively alone. And we know that being alone with oneself can be difficult but if that was the goal 😉
Where to go on a yoga vacation?
I advise you to visit Costa Rica! This is where I discovered yoga and I think it is one of the best places in the world because there is an indescribable magic in this jungle on the water… It is on the Nicoya peninsula on the Pacific coast that is located the small tourist village of Santa Teresa, and a few kilometers away the tiny village of Playa hermosa: where there awaits you a sacred encounter with yourself, a beautiful beach, a sumptuous lodge and yoga classes with a very experienced teacher in a wooden shala and open to the jungle a few steps from the beach. Birds singing and stars in the eyes guaranteed! This peaceful universe will offer you time to find yourself, to relax, to rest, to marvel, to evolve (sometimes in spite of yourself). Paradise exists, I can tell you.
What is a yoga retreat?
A yoga retreat is a great experience, both spiritually and physically! If you want to cut your routine, go far from France, change your diet, recharge your batteries, the yoga retreat is for you! The yoga retreat will allow you to practice yoga in a more intense way, in a setting conducive to relaxation and meditation. (lake, mountain, ocean…)
The practice of yoga is very often the core of the stay, but you also have the possibility to do several other activities such as meditation, hiking in the nature, cooking classes for a healthier diet, surfing…
The price of a yoga retreat includes accommodation, food, activities or treatments… The two criteria to take into account are: the destination and the duration, the price can double depending on the place where the retreat takes place and the duration of it! The price range can vary from a few hundred to several thousand euros.
A yoga retreat usually lasts for a week but can also be organized over a shorter period of time: in these cases it is called a yoga workshop.
Benefits of attending a yoga retreat
- In one week learn a lot about yourself! Are you at a crossroads in your life? in a professionally challenging period? Are you going through a difficult time? You want to leave France and recharge your batteries in nature? you need and want to evolve? Want to improve your yoga practice? The magic of the retreat will allow you to free up mental space by releasing tension, calming the body and mind, which will have the immediate effect of giving you well-being and clarity of mind.
- Deepen your practice: indeed it is not always during the year that we dare to practice putting ourselves on the head. During a retreat you have time to try, you have the desire, you help yourself…
- Meet new people in the same universe as you: just because you do yoga doesn’t mean you’re dating yogis! It is therefore sometimes very pleasant to make beautiful meetings around the spirituality of yoga and to bathe the time of a week with so much benevolence and softness in human relations.
- Stay alone and clear your head if you need to: people often decide to retire to be alone and clear their heads, take stock, etc. So it’s not to spend the week with a group either! But that’s what’s so wonderful about yogis on retreat, it’s that kindness with respect to each person’s freedom. You can share, talk, laugh, isolate yourself, everything is allowed and we do not judge! Yes, it’s true!
- Discover new spiritual practices: in general during a retreat we do not only practice asanas. We chant mantras by candlelight, we meditate, we practice small exercises of contemplation and personal development.
The disadvantages of attending a yoga retreat
- Emotions sometimes difficult to face: I should not put it in the disadvantages because it is a good thing to face these demons to free oneself from them but it is better to be prepared. A yoga retreat can sometimes be hectic and confusing at first!
- We go out of our comfort zone! I’m not only talking about emotions but also intimacy, sharing, modesty. During a retreat you will be asked how you feel, what you think. You’ll be asked to look your neighbor in the eye and tell them what has been difficult for you in the past year, or simply sit on them so they can stretch their backs. Well if you are a little wild it will make you feel weird! But it will also open your heart 🙂
What level of yoga do I need to have to participate in a retreat?
No level, the less you have the level, the more you have the level! The more you go with your heart and the less you go with your ego and its urge to stand on its head, the better it will be for you! Going on a retreat is first of all having an intention to go towards oneself, and this meeting takes place on the carpet but no one said that a particular level was required. In general the level is heterogeneous, there are beginners, experts, there are even teachers sometimes. Can’t get a position? No big deal. Are you out of breath or sore from the night before? No big deal either. I don’t know how to explain it but I imagine that the teachers know how to adapt to the dynamics of a group because I have never seen a problem of level in retreats and I have seen retreats where people who had never practiced in their life and yoga teachers participate, imagine!
This stay will allow you to progress in your yoga practice while listening to your body! It’s not about overworking your body to reach a certain level as fast as possible! In addition, secondary activities will be there for you to rest and relax. So don’t hesitate to go on a nature hike or take a cooking class. The most important thing is to listen to yourself, to your body, no matter what your level, you will have a great time!
If you are looking for an extraordinary detox experience, allowing you to escape, to recharge your batteries, while progressing in your yoga practice, in a heavenly place: the yoga retreat is for you! It is a spiritual journey with many benefits for the body and mind. Whether it is in the middle of nature, in the mountains, or by the ocean, this stay will allow you to escape, to forget your daily life and to learn more about yoga and meditation, but especially about yourself!
So don’t hesitate to leave France and travel to the other side of the world with a whole group of yogis ready to welcome you! No matter what your level of yoga is: you will regain your vitality and you will be able to return to France with a light mind, untie the tension points in your body and anchor yourself in the present moment! Yogis feel the benefits after a single class, so you can imagine the results after a stay of several days and nights…
Feel free to read our article on the different types of yoga to choose the yoga vacation that best suits the practice you like!
Where to go on a yoga retreat?
Which yoga mat to take on a trip?
The ideal and most practical is the travel yoga mat It can be folded like a towel and therefore easily slipped into a backpack or a tote bag, machine washable and light (1.4 kg). It is also very resistant and you can practice with it everywhere: earth, sand, snow, water, etc.