A Beginner’s Guide to Your First Yoga Retreat

Attending a yoga retreat can be an intimidating but transformative process.. If you’re the kind of person who loves letting go of control might end up being the easiest part.The real challenge comes the day the retreat starts, as you have to let go of your expectations and surrender to the process.

Whether you are considering a yoga retreat for the first time or are just looking to learn more about what might be in store for you, here are some tips to help prepare you for a future yoga retreat.

5 Yoga Retreat Tips for Beginners

To make letting go and being in the moment during your yoga retreat easier for you when you get there, we’ve put together this guide for you, covering the basics of how to get the most out of your retreat.

1.) Set an Intention

One of the best things you can do to get the most out of your yoga retreat at Pali is to set an intention before you go. Think back to when you booked the trip. What was going through your mind? There was something in you that spent the money with a goal in mind. That goal doesn’t have to be anything deep. Sometimes it’s just to get away from it all and to have some peace and quiet. Or maybe it’s something a little more in-depth, like committing to quieting down so you can hear your inner voice again. 

Or maybe you just wanted to commit to your yoga practice and finally nail those inversion you’ve been working on for so long. Whatever the intention is, if you close your eyes and allow yourself to think without distractions, you’ll know what it is. There are no wrong intentions!

women doing yoga

2.) Leave Insecurities at Home

Yoga is supposed to be a relaxing activity. The worst thing you can do, when it comes to doing yoga in a group, is comparing yourself to other yogis. And by that, we mean comparing your practice (pose-ability), your body, or anything else you may think of.

And yes, we know that’s a lot easier to said than done, but keep this mantra in your head, “Don’t compare your chapter 10 to their chapter 30”. You never know how someone  has been practicing, or what  their internal motivation for getting those poses down isWhen Theodore Roosevelt said “comparison is the thief of joy”, he was onto something. Allow yourself to be present for you–and don’t worry about anyone else. 

If you know you have trouble with this, give yourself something positive to say when you catch yourself having judgmental thoughts. We like “I reject that thought and what it’s trying to make me feel”. Mantras are more powerful than almost anything else in the world–if you really believe.

3.) Bring Less Than You Think You Need

One of the best ways to stress yourself out before and during your retreat is by packing too much. Pali’s campus is in the middle of the woods in the San Bernandino mountains and there’s no one out here to impress with your fashion sense. Wear what you feel comfortable wearing while doing yoga. That means comfortable shoes, clothes that allow free-flowing movement and whatever else you may need in your typical yoga practice. At Pali, we have a large number of venues, some are inside, some are outside, and some are inside with outdoor airflow. You want to make sure you have a hoodie you can throw off – or on, as needed.

4.) Commit to the Experience

When you’re at your yoga retreat, do your best to really be in the moment. This is your opportunity to disconnect from the everyday stress you may have. Try not to think about all the things you have to do when you get back or what people at home are doing.

Your job and family want you to have this time for yourself, so commit to yourself so you can come back and be better for them.

5.) Connect with Other Yogis

Yoga retreats all have one thing in common–you’re surrounded by a group of people who all share at least one thing in common with you, a passion for yoga! Take advantage of being around these individuals and give yourself an opportunity to connect with others who can support and create new friendships in your yoga journey–and life!

The Most Important Tip for a Pali Yoga Retreat: Enjoy Your Practice

There are no rules to yoga, perhaps other than to use your breath as a resource. But if there is a second one, it would be to enjoy the time spent practicing.

 We don’t mean the type of fun where you’re squealing with excitement, but the kind of quiet joy that makes you smile without realizing you’re smiling. That’s the power of what taking time for yourself at Pali retreat can do–and we’re excited for you to share the experience!