Lucky you! A Yoga Retreat is in your future. You know EXACTLY what to put in your bag to make your weekly class a success, but what do you bring with you now that you're leveling up? Retreats create a sense of community like nothing else, and they are unrivalled opportunities to deepen your practice, eat right, unplug and return to real life a better version of you. What you bring with you (and what you don't!) can make a world of difference in your experience.
After many years running Yoga Retreats all over the world, here is a checklist of the bare necessities:
1. Yoga Mat: Check in with the facility to see if they provide mats. But even if they do, it's wonderful to have your own mat that you can turn into your sanctuary in the studio. Manduka makes my favourite travel mat (and my favourite home practice mat, for that matter!)
2. Yoga Pants: Depending on the weather at your destination, and the style of Yoga you will be practicing, these can be full length, capri or even shorts! Onzie makes my favourite pants for practicing in all weather - and a bonus is that they can get wet and dry very quickly! During my recent one month training in Thailand, I wore these capris in for a swim at lunch and practiced with them in the afternoon! I don't know any other Yoga pants that can do double-duty like that.
3. Tops and Bras: These are very personal items - every Yogi has their own preference. I love the combination of a substantial sports bra and a tank top, but some love a full coverage yoga top. Danskin makes my favourite sports bra (if you don't need a lot of support) and Spiritual Gangster has the most flattering cut in tank tops, in my opinion. For those who love a full, stretchy yoga top, Lululemon is the gold standard.
4. Sweatshirt, hoodie or sweater: for lounging around the studio, going for walks, sitting in workshops and eating meals, you'll want to cover up with something cozy. Aerie is making my current favourite hoodies - so incredibly soft! Icebreaker's wrap sweater is wonderful for this purpose - wicks away moisture, lightweight, not itchy and you can wear it in so many different ways.
5. Warm Socks: for padding around the retreat venue, for Savasana, for meditation and even for sleeping, a pair of warm socks enhances the whole self-care experience. The snuggliest socks I'm wearing right now are from Esprit.
6. Water Bottle: especially if you are doing a more active type of Yoga on your retreat, but even if it's meditation and restorative all day long you will emerge from your time off more energized if you make hydration a priority. Fill one of these (not plastic) beauties from BKR, leave it by your mat and sip water all day long.
7. Reusable Mug: warm drinks (usually herbal or ginger tea) are an important part of the retreat experience. Bring your favourite metal or glass-walled reusable mug with you to cradle in your hands after practice and during workshops. My current favourite mug is this one from Nespresso. It's pricey but it's worth every penny - keeps the drink almost TOO hot, not plastic, a gorgeous shape to hold and the top is a solid black plastic that doesn't impart a bad taste to the liquid. The shape makes it easy to wash, it goes in the dishwasher and it never wears out!