A yoga vacation is a great opportunity to practice your yoga skills, pamper yourself and drink unimaginable amounts of herbal teas. But before you can settle into the water’s edge in the lotus position, there are several things to consider: What kind of yoga trip do you want to go on? Who should join? What does it have to cost? What to put […]
A yoga vacation is a great opportunity to practice your yoga skills, pamper yourself and drink unimaginable amounts of herbal teas. But before you can settle into the water’s edge in the lotus position, there are several things to consider:
- what kind of yoga trip do you want to go on?
- who should join you?
- how much would it cost?
- what should you pack in your suitcase?
Here is the ultimate guide for you who dream of going on a yoga vacation.
WHO HAVE WE TALKED TO?
Cecilie Bjørk is a yoga instructor with the highest international degree of certification in yoga, and teaches Hatha, Vinyasa and hot yoga. She shares her experience with us.
FIND OUT WHAT YOU ARE FOR
Make yourself clear what your overall purpose of the trip is and put together a vacation that suits you. Start by asking yourself what kind of yoga journey you want on, because yes, there are many. Which one you are for, depends on what you want to achieve with your trip. Is it about practicing yoga and yourself, or should there also be time for sightseeing and sunbathing?
Cecilie says: It’s worth researching what kind of yoga practice you would like to spend your vacation on. Would you like to learn more about gentle yoga, flow yoga or maybe try your hand at a combination? And how much focus should there be on mindfulness and meditation, if any at all? Research the descriptions of the stays and match them to your expectations before making your choice.
HARDCORE OR LUXURY?
A yoga stay does not necessarily equate to modest conditions in a very authentic Buddhist ashram – but maybe that is exactly what you dream of? Many modern spa hotels now also offer yoga classes, so if it’s self-pampering and luxury that you have in mind, this is the way to go. Also, consider how much time you want to spend on yoga while on vacation. Some yoga retreats offer only one hour of instruction per day, while others hold more and supplement with workshops and courses.
Cecilie says: Destination is also important. If you are into heat, the possibilities are many; Goa in India and Ubud in Bali are classic destinations for yogis. You can also go on a yoga retreat in Iceland, which is a very special experience in the middle of the beautiful nature, and with the colder temperatures.
FOR BEGINNERS OR PRACTICERS?
You do not have to be a yoga guru to go on a yoga holiday, because no matter what level you are at and what you want to achieve with your journey, there is a yoga stay that suits you. Yoga is not a competitive sport, but it is only natural to compare it with the neighboring mat. Whichever stay you choose, try to stay focused on your own body and learning. If there are specific things about the teaching that you are nervous about, contact the teacher through the organizer in advance.
Cecilie’s tip: Find out if it is possible to ‘test’ the primary yoga teacher on the journey from home, in order to better assess whether this is the teaching you want.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
At several yoga retreats, diet is an essential part of the stay, and matches a lifestyle with a focus on yoga. Especially if the retreat is at the serious end of the scale, the food will most likely be vegetarian or vegan. For vegetarians and vegans, it will be a relief to know that everything on the menu is allowed, and for you who are curious about the lifestyle, it can be an inspiring introduction.
Cecilie says: Many retreats only serve raw food or vegan diets. In this way, the week becomes more holistic and holistic, but be aware that the special diet often makes the stay more expensive.
DO YOU HAVE TO DRINK ALCOHOL?
Some resorts take it for granted that no alcohol is enjoyed during the stay – at all, so keep that in mind if an umbrella drink by the pool is part of your idea of a delicious stay, and possibly ask the organizer in advance.
PRICE AND BUDGET
You can basically assume that the stay includes everything except flights, unless otherwise stated. It has the advantage that you know exactly what your trip is going to cost. When you do not have to worry about exceeding your budget, it is easier for you to concentrate on what you have come for, namely yoga. If the budget is tight, you can reduce travel expenses by opting for an extended weekend instead of a week. In Europe, there are plenty of resorts and hotels that offer yoga stays, so here is also the opportunity to save on airfare. A good solution is to look for cancellation trips or package tours.
WHO SHOULD JOIN?
Find out for yourself who you want to travel with. In fact, it depends on what you want out of the trip. Is it something you do for your own sake, or is it an experience you would like to share with others?
YOGA HOLIDAY WITH CHILDREN – HOT OR NOT?
Often the holiday will be about the children, but a yoga trip with the family can be an opportunity to also have time for yourself. Several places that have yoga on the program are targeted at families, and also offer entertainment and activities for children. Choose one of the more family-oriented resorts, where both food and entertainment are provided. Agree in advance with your family what days you are going to do yoga classes and how many teams you are attending so you can concentrate. If necessary, set aside a day or more that is for the family only.
YOGA HOLIDAY WITH A FRIEND
Going on holiday together can be strengthening for your friendship. Together you get some unique experiences , which can become good memories. Yoga does not necessarily have to be practiced alone, and many yoga exercises can be done in pairs. However, make sure that you get expectations matched before you book the trip, and completely agree on how much of the holiday should be about yoga.
THE ART OF BEING ALONE
Traveling solo can seem daunting, but you’re not the only one doing it. It is actually really popular to go on yoga trips alone. Cultivate yourself by going alone, and enjoy the experience with other like-minded people who, like you, have made the choice to be independent. Maybe your ideal travel partner is in fact yourself?
PACK PERFECTLY FOR YOR YOGA HOLIDAY
What can you go without on your yoga vacation? It goes without saying that you can hardly afford to bring a cast iron bucket or a dryer. But my experience tells me that there are other relevant things to bring.
YOGA MAT OR BLANKET
As you can probably imagine, sticky rubber mats and sand do not go well together, so if you want to avoid practicing yoga on sandpaper long after you have returned home, it is a good investment to find one in natural materials. Fortunately, sand is already soft, so you can advantageously choose a yoga blanket: If you are traveling to a place without a beach, you can bring a travel mat or sleeping pad, which is particularly light and compact.
PORTABLE MASSAGE BALL
For sore yoga bodies that need relaxation and pampering, a massage is a wonderful diversion from the workout. Give your body a little extra attention, but be careful – unless you are a trained masseur, you should start gently. Use a massage ball instead that does little but good. This little ball does not take up much space in the luggage, but makes a big difference for a tired body.
JUMP IN SLIPPERS
With a program packed with activities, you will be happy with a pair of lightweight yoga shoes that are ready to jump in and out of again. When you commute between hotel and beach, a pair of slip-ons is the thing, so you do not have to stand and struggle with laces and sand in the shoe. For hiking, shopping, sightseeing and everything in between, a pair of light sneakers is what keeps your feet happy, and thus you too.
This could easily be an advice for any other trip, but sunscreen is especially important for those who practice yoga or other forms of outdoor exercise on your vacation. The hours you spend under the sun are harsh on your skin, so remember a high factor. If you want to be true to the principles of yoga when you apply it, you should avoid unnecessary chemicals and choose an organic and / or allergy-friendly sunscreen.
CHECK THE WHEATHER
Just as you would pack light and loose clothing when traveling during warm wheather, your workout clothes and yoga clothes should also be packed depending on the weather. If you have to practice yoga under a cloudless sky, choose breathable and sweat-transporting yoga clothes that you can feel comfortable in. Remember that the dress code is not the same on holiday as at home, so if you have the courage, you can settle for a sports bra and shorts. In the heat, you can settle for shorts and a sports bra – yes, you can! Choose a bra in breathable materials that has no extra stitching and details that can irritate the skin.
SEVEN TIPS FOR A CHEAP YOGA JOURNEY
There is a reason why yoga travel is something close to the hottest form of vacation available; A white sandy beach beats, a sweaty gym with several lengths, and in addition to boosting your workout and becoming more proficient at yoga, you also get a fun and different vacation. But how do you get abroad with your yoga without going bankrupt? If you can be as flexible with your time and attitude in planning your yoga stay as you are with your body for yoga instruction, the possibilities are many. Be inspired by our budget-friendly tips, and put together the best yoga holiday you dream of.
1. KEEP UP WITH THE ACTIVITIES
A program packed with excursions and activities can push up the price of your stay. Also, the cost of transportation and restaurant visits is among the biggest on vacation.
Savings tip: If you do not mind taking a break on the beach with a good book when the rest of the team goes out to visit a musty monastery, consider asking the tour operator if there are tours you can skip – towards getting a discount on the price of course.
2. THINK IN QUANTITY DISCOUNTS
In planning a yoga trip, the organizers’ biggest challenge is to get as many participants registered as possible. This depends whether the trip is arranged by your own yoga instructor, a travel company or a foreign resort. You can take advantage of their eagerness to get more participants on the team, and offer a win-win solution for everyone!
Savings tip: Consider if you know someone who might be interested in taking you on the trip, because then you can ‘negotiate’ with the organizer about group discounts. Group tours often get discounts and yoga trips are not exception. Not only do you get a grateful organizer and cheaper tickets, but you also get good travel companions on holiday.
3. COSIDER LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS
Like with regular holidays, there can be big savings if you book the last minute option. The company or instructor who arranges the trip would like to have filled the last seats to cover the costs, and here you come into the picture.
Savings tip: Find your inner circle – Write or call a travel company, organizer or teacher and tell them that you have a tight budget, which makes you willing to leave with instant notice, if they have a place left at the last minute. Yoga trips are hugely popular, and are often sold out quickly, so the waiting tactic requires nerves of steel!
4. BE EARLY ON IT
Unlike previous tips, there are also benefits to being out early when booking your trip.
Savings tips: Many resorts, hotels and travel companies offer special ‘early bird’ discounts if you book your trip well in advance – sometimes a whole year in advance. Of course, this requires that you do your research, call around and make plans for the future.
5. TRIM YOU TOUR
Most yoga vacations last at least a week, but maybe you do not need that many days at all to achieve the well-being you came for? Savings tip: Ask the organizer if it is possible to shorten the holiday to a weekend, in order to shorten the bill at the same time. The closer you get to the start of the holiday, the greater the chance of getting a yes, because the desire to fill vacancies means that the organizer compromises. There are also travel companies that offer shorter yoga stays. Appoint those who offer extended weekends, or less.
6. DO YOU KNOW SOMETHING THEY CAN USE?
If you have a certificate as a masseur or acupuncturist lying in the drawer, now is the time to draw on your abilities. It could also be that you have a blog where you can promote the stay, or have many followers on social media that you can tell about your experiences. Consider whether you can contribute something special, because if you are willing to make use of your abilities when you are on vacation, there is potential for a special deal. Saving tip: The instructor will be happy to offer the extra service to the other participants, which is exactly what you can do. And you will, in turn, appreciate the discount it can trigger.
7. LOCATION MATTERS
While the stay itself often gets cheaper the further south you go, there is within Europe reasonableness money to be saved on the plane ticket, which is usually not included in the price of the stay anyway. And there is no need to peek at the Nordic namasté, because pines and freshwater lakes are actually quite zen. Savings tip: We recommend a trip across the bridge to Sweden, where Ystad Saltsjöbad, (located just outside Malmö) offers yoga and spa stays from DKK 1,100 per night. Read more about the stay here.