So, you’ve finally managed to – or about to – book yourself onto a yoga retreat & apart from feeling super excited & telling everyone – with a huge smile on your face! – you may also be wondering if there’s anything particular you need to take with you.
Nicole Stone from Yoga Breaks is offering to help you out a little here.
As a yoga retreat operator ourselves (Yoga Breaks in Spain), we’ve run a fair number of retreats ‘in our time’ and we think we’ve got it pretty much nailed as to what you might want to take with you to get the most out of your retreat stay and to arrive at your destination happy, care-free and ready for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Yoga mat & accessories
Most yoga retreats provide yoga mats – do ask before you go – and most won’t mind if you want to bring your own mat. Something you might want to consider though is that some retreat mats can become a little worn over time and may even be a little grubby so you might want to consider taking a yogamat towel to use over your retreat mat for hygiene purposes.
Whilst not essential, if you are retreating somewhere super hot or, if you’re likely to perspire, you might like to consider buying some yoga paws for your feet & hands as their extra grip could be the difference between you being able to hold your down dog or slipping into a belly flop!
You should find your retreat provides yoga blocks, blankets, belts & possibly bolsters too so you won’t need to take up valuable space in your suitcase with these but you might like to treat yourself to your own soothing eye pillow.
Comfortable clothes and shoes
A retreat shouldn’t be a fashion show & so you don’t want to pack oodles of evening wear or smart daytime wear. You want to be super comfortable on & off the yoga mat so give priority to comfortable sports type clothing.
Consider how long you’re going to be away as its unlikely you’ll have access to a washing machine during retreat. We find 3 pairs of yoga trousers and at least 4 yoga tops that you can mix & match is just about enough for a 5 night retreat. Don’t forget a long sleeve hoodie & some cosy socks too for savasana and when you’re relaxing in your room/at retreat.
Your retreat may offer activities too such as biking, hiking and trekking (we do!), so bring appropriate clothing & shoes for those. Big tip coming up! pack a rucksack as these are great for the beach, hiking, cycling & whilst out exploring.
Oh & another little tip .. you might be staying somewhere with (cold) tiled floors & so consider packing cosy slippers or non slip socks to pad around in at the retreat house
You may be retreating somewhere off the beaten track so a hand torch could prove to be really useful if you venture out in the evening to a local restaurant or to a remote spot for a spot of star & moon gazing.
Aim to be eco concious whilst on retreat & take your own re-fillable water bottle and avoid using/buying water in plastic bottles whilst you’re away. Most retreats offer guests free drinking water so take your own bottle & fill up from their supply.
Go a little step further for your health & consider taking/buying a bottle that is BPA/BPS and phlthate free.
Swimsuit, hat & sunglasses
Most yoga retreats are situated in beautiful locations which will allow you to go for a swim with your fellow yogis do don’t forget to pack your swimmers. Depending on the location and time of your retreat, it might also be a good idea to also pack a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
Your yoga retreat schedule will be mostly organized for you but there will always be time to relax too. For those times, it is always good to have a book to curl up with.
Don’t forget to take any medicines you take / may need as your retreat organizers may not be able to dispense any medicinal items to you – including tablets for headaches or plasters – and you may be staying some distance fro a pharmacy.
If you’re new to yoga you might want to pack an organic muscle rub cream to help with aching muscles and a scrub for your feet to smooth your feet & help them look gorgeous on your mat & in flip flops.
Whilst these next items are not essential, as you’ll have a little more ‘me’ time on retreat, it’s rather nice to create a little sanctuary in your retreat bedroom so why not pack some scented candles for an instant mood lifter, some herbal tea bags to ensure you keep hydrated, some gorgeous smelling incense, an organic body scrub, body cream & a hydrating hair mask too.
Hope this list has been useful but we’d love to hear what else you’d recommend retreaters take & we’ll add to this list.