I’ve been publishing articles in El Viajero about yoga and meditation retreats for some years now. I research, make a selection and list them and every year I try to include new ones. There are destinations that have surprised me and others that, seeming logical enclaves by orography or history, did not have so much offer.
And because of this I receive many requests through social networks to recommend retreats. “But is it good, do you recommend it? And I usually recommend only those I know… Here’s a selection of tips for finding the yoga retreat that’s right for you.
Isn’t there a guide where you can find all that are made, by location, price range? There is indeed a directory, but there is, not without reason, a certain prudence when it comes to investing time and money in an experience (usually alone and very personal) without knowing who is behind it or what to expect. Trust is the first reason to select a retirement.
It happened to me too. My first retreat was in the region of La Vera, organized by my yoga teacher in Madrid. It’s called El Cielo de la Vera and I loved the experience, the feeling of disconnection… In fact it was what inspired a topic I wrote about how interest in silent retreats (vipassana, digital detox, etc.) increases, in case anyone is interested.
Then I was in another week-long retreat in Città della Pieve (Tuscany), also organized by my teacher, who recommended me for the following year another one in the Pyrenees, in the wonderful Huesca valley of Vió, Casa Cuadrau.
For me his guide was key, so that would be my recommendation: before going, confirm with someone who has already attended or organized a retreat there to know what will be found.
It is usual to look for retreats during holidays and long weekends, free days… And they tend to have an escape format, so they are looking for an offer that fits the dates, so there is less room to select a specific type of yoga or activity.
This is why most retreats held on these dates are more general and are reserved for times during the year for more specific activities, teacher training or workshops that include, in addition to yoga, other disciplines.
It is interesting, in any case, to plan with a certain margin. The majority of retreat centres and the teachers who offer them have discounted prices if purchased in advance.
A good trick to find activities and retreats for the dates we want is to follow in social networks (Instagram and Facebook work well) sites that we like: from hotels that organize retreats, to rural houses and specific centers.
Another question I am often asked is what level of difficulty, what type of yoga is taught in these workshops, whether a beginner will be able to follow the classes and whether a person who has been practicing for longer will find it not very stimulating.
The truth is that both scenarios can occur, so it is best to ask directly to the organizers. In any case, a retreat that in addition to yoga includes other activities such as meditation, forest baths, workshops of conscious food … usually raises a proposal tailored to all audiences, as it has many activities in which to diversify. It is an interesting option.
There are yoga retreats entirely, which include a part of meditation or relaxation.
There are others that add to yoga the forest baths or conscious walks. And in almost all of them, diet plays a fundamental role. Yogis are usually vegans or vegetarians and try to have a firm commitment to the relationship with nature, so they take care that everything they ingest has a water footprint, plastic or carbon minimal or nonexistent. In addition, within the world of conscious eating there are many branches that are of tremendous interest.
Regardless of purchasing power or profession, we all claim escape spaces and have a right to them. If something good brought about a more stressful life, with more hours locked up and more pressure, it is the reaction that has been provoked in society. The extreme calls for an extreme reaction.
And when many things are lost (as in the case of the crisis) there is something that we do not want to continue losing: the health and care of the common home, nature. Hence the proliferation of silent retreats, spaces where the mobile is forbidden and changing eating habits and holidays, towards a space more connected with ourselves and others and in harmony with nature.
As this basic need touches everyone, the offer for yoga retreats is becoming more and more extensive. There are places where the experience is rounded off with more luxury at the time of accommodation but where there are also shared rooms. And sites that entirely represent one profile and another.
In this case, you can find three-day getaways for about 200€, which include accommodation, food and classes, to others who charge the same for the day, but offer much more exclusive services.