Planning on booking a retreat? What to expect:
On our retreats, great food, a laid-back atmosphere and a beautiful environment are equally important as the formal yoga or meditation classes - although, of course, practice is a key part of being on retreat! We welcome complete beginners to yoga and/or meditation, and those of all ages and backgrounds. We hope you leave feeling rejuvenated, healthy and inspired.
The prospect of going on a retreat, especially for the first time, can feel daunting. Here are a few commonly-asked questions about the retreat experience:
Can I come alone? Yes, we even recommend that you do! On most retreats, there will be a mix of people booking alone, friends, and maybe a few couples. In our experience, those who come alone often get the most out of a retreat: your own time and head space, yet there is plenty of opportunity to socialise (such as at mealtimes), if you wish. A perfect balance of yin and yang!
Are beginners welcome? Beginners to yoga and/or meditation are very welcome on our retreats, and on most retreats in general. But if you are in doubt, always contact the organisers first and ask as many questions as you need to.
Do I have to attend every class session? No – unless you're staying on an ashram, classes are optional! This is your time, and your break.
What will the schedule be like? Usually, there will be two yoga and/or meditation classes daily: usually, one before breakfast, and one before dinner. On our retreats, we intentionally leave plenty of free time. This is not always the case, however, and – as there are plenty of bootcamp-style retreats out there now – it's best to have in mind what kind of experience you are seeking, and to have an idea of the schedule, before booking.
Some retreats are more like holidays, whilst some are more 'monastic' and contemplative in flavour - perhaps with periods of silence. This will always be made clear on the main website page relating to the individual retreat.
Will alcohol be available? Again, this varies. Many retreats are alcohol-free, to promote a restful atmosphere and good health! On other occasions, such as our Hotel Tigmi retreat in Morocco, alcohol is available. If in doubt, check with the organisers. It is helpful to have a clear idea of what you are looking for: the more extrovert feel of a group where wine may be on the table, or the quieter atmosphere of an alcohol-free break.
What will the food be like? Food is one of the highlights of being on retreat: it will be freshly made, wholesome and very tasty! In line with the healthy and ethical living that yoga promotes, food will almost always be vegetarian. Some venues make an effort to source locally, grow as much of their own food as possible, or serve organic meals. Sometimes (such as at Hotel Tigmi, in Morocco), meat will be available, but the default option will always be vegetarian.
Finally...: Depending on the venue, you may be required to bring a yoga mat! Check on the description page, or with the organisers. And never be afraid to approach the retreat organisers with questions, if you are unsure of anything.