You've done it! You've booked your first yoga retreat and now get the opportunity to spend a few days or a week if you're lucky getting deeper into your practice and learning with like-minded people.
But how do you know what to bring along? We've compiled this list to help you with what essentials you’ll need to pack to make the most out of your yoga retreat.
1. Yoga Clothes
A no-brainer you may think, but packing a few of your favourite vests and leggings is key. Just try to keep your yoga essentials to the bare necessities and add a few layers. Consider the length of your stay, as well as the weather. Even though you might be attending a yoga retreat in a tropical location, evening hours and ocean breezes will make a long-sleeve top essential. Instead of packing for every eventuality, pack items that you can mix and match.
2. Yoga Mat
Bringing along a lightweight mat is essential. While some resorts might offer their own, they’re likely used and worn (not to mention possibly sweaty and germy). Bringing along your own mat will add a sense of comfort from the start. You may even want to bring along your favourite mat cleaner, we make ours ourself, and you can find the recipe here.
3. Yoga Towel
Nothing’s worse than the feeling of your feet slipping in your Warrior III pose because you’re dripping in sweat. Another top tip is a smear of vaseline on your eyebrows which stops the sweat running through them!
Don't forget to protect your skin from dangerous ultraviolet rays. Slather on some sweat-resistant sunscreen before you start your day and ensure you pop some in your tote bag so you can re-apply throughout the day. With all the sequences and flows you’ll be moving through, remember to hit tricky spots like your underarms and the tops of your feet if you'll be practicing outdoors.
Stay squint-free by packing a pair of polarized sunglasses for when you're looking up and focussing on your middle finger in triangle pose.
6. Water Bottle
We all know it, hydration is key. Packing a reusable water bottle will do both your body and the environment some good.
7. Yoga Props
If you regularly use blocks or straps in class to get into those tricky poses, it might be wise to pack them to get the most out of each and every movement. You might also consider gloves/socks with treads on them so your hands/feet don't slip on the mat, as well as a blanket to keep you warm during savasana in that end of day yin class.
Any retreat worth its salt is likely to have some downtime in which you can head off to the beach for a welcome swim in the sea.
9. Positive Energy
Regardless of your destination, one must-have for any yoga retreat is a positive attitude and open mind. Set daily intentions to help you stay present and patient. Try not to get caught up in your phone or think about work. Set yourself up for success in both body and mind—not only will you have the physical energy to take on the day’s challenges, but you’ll also feel more vibrant, open-hearted, and ready to experience the adventure to come.