I have been leading Vinyasa Flow with Hang music retreats for about 3 years now and hosting retreats of guest yoga teachers at my home studio in Montezuma Costa Rica since 13 years, so I would love to share with you the common mistakes to avoid when you plan to take a group to an exotic destination for your next yoga retreat.
When I first started leading retreats I didn’t put so much thought into the “right” date, I just chose a week that was available and sounded good to me, like “Full Moon Yoga Retreat”. I am blessed to have a pretty independent lifestyle and I had to learn that of course most of my guests don’t necessarily have that freedom….. They might depend on national holidays and school vacations and if you remember this when planning your retreat it will be much more easy to fill the available spots 🙂
Also consider the weather back home (most people like to escape their winter) as well as the climate of your destination (not a good idea to host a retreat in the Caribbean during Hurricane season 🙂
Even though I have been living in Costa Rica for long and I am accustomed to some jungle living it doesn’t mean my clients are too…..a destination might sound very exotic (think Zanzibar), but how easy and safe is it to get there? Will your students make the extra effort of traveling for 2 days to join you in a country that might also require vaccinations or visa’s etc.?
If your retreat is aimed at being a fun, easy vacation, and not a study abroad, I recommend highly choosing a place that you can easily get to, which will leave your students with less travel preparations and time. How about Costa Rica?
What is your intention for the retreat? Do you want to take your students into a quiet retreat, maybe with nature hikes and silent meditation? Then choose a place that is a bit more far from any big touristic town and offers peace and tranquility like The Sanctuary At Two Rivers.
Or do you want them to have fun, have lots of activities available, get to experience the local community and some local nightlife? How easy is it to get to the retreat place for your students if they want to explore the town on their own?
There are places like Montezuma Yoga at Los Mangos Hotel, conveniently located in a quiet part of town, yet within walking distance to all beaches, town and attractions, which will give you as a group leader a lot more freedom than a place where you are so secluded, that you always need to organize a group transport for your excursions, which is fine, but takes more of your own personal time for organization. If you like some space for yourself, this is an important point!!!
Yes, of course you want to make it as comfortable and easy as possible for your students and ideally they just need to sign up and everything is taken care off….but I highly recommend you let everyone organize their own travel and domestic transportation. People tend to change plans and schedules and you don’t want to be the one dealing with cancellations of flights, reimbursements and schedules….
Choose a destination like Ibiza that has many daily flights, great deals and not to many airport transfers, so it’s easy for everybody to get there on their own.
Offer some good advise about the options that exist to get to the destination and then have them take care of it on their own. They know when the retreat starts and some retreat places like us will love to help you with the coordination of domestic arrivals and transport, so ask if you can send them a list of your students arrival times and have them take care of it.
This is probably the most uncomfortable, yet important point of leading a yoga retreat…
Yes, we are yoga teachers and don’t like the whole “business” aspect of it all, but money is a way of exchanging energy and you as the teacher will give your commitment and financial investment to the hotel and in exchange the students will give deposits as their energy and investment to you, to make sure everybody will have the most amazing experience. Commitment is a challenge for many, yet it gives us character and grace, clarity and trust, so be comfortable to ask your students to sign a waiver and to give a non-refundable deposit as an investment they make ultimately into their own peace and transformation on a retreat with you.
Comments? Questions? What is your favorite Retreat Place so far? Please send us your feedback; we love to hear from you!