Yoga and Wellness Retreats: Pros and Cons

Many of us secretly wish we had the willpower and discipline of a ‘Yogi’ but find it too difficult to find the time to book a class or follow a Youtube tutorial.

With everyone having so many priorities such as work, children, pets, home and garden maintenance etc, it is no wonder many of us only think we can fantasise about such things.

It’s little wonder then that this trend of wellness holidays is truly kicking off and there are many ways you can be your own ‘yogi’ whilst taking a break from real life.  Whether this is you making a serious life change or just taking a physical and mental break from the craziness of life, yoga and wellness retreats can help you relax, unwind and get in some much-needed exercise!

So, what are the pro’s?

Whether you keep it local or travel overseas, there is so much choice when it comes to yoga and wellness retreats – you really will be hard pressed not to find something for you.

Yoga and wellness retreats offer courses to suit all fitness levels and physical capabilities.  From complete beginner to yoga superstar, you will find something that suits your abilities.

You can often choose the length of course that suits you best.  Whether you just want a long weekend away or a month-long excursion, there are always multiple choices for how long you want to stay.

If you aren’t ready to take that leap by yourself, take someone along with you.  Do it with a friend, family member or partner.  This may give you a confidence boost to try something a little different that you may not have dared try alone.

There are also same-sex only retreats for those who need a break from the opposite sex.

If you are open minded, sharing a room with a fellow visitor may enhance your experience and offer some support when feeling like the ‘newbie’.

And finally, we give you permission to go on a spending spree and buy all new yoga gear for your upcoming trip. To play the part, you’ve got to look the part!

What are the con’s?

Some retreats take their practice very, very seriously.  To help you keep from distractions, you may be required to give up your phone during certain hours, or maybe even the entire duration of your stay.  Can you go two weeks without any contact with the outside world?

Some retreats are alcohol free.  If you are looking to keep it casual, enjoy some yoga and have a drink with dinner to celebrate your efforts, we wouldn’t recommend staying in one of these retreats.

Some courses are rigid, with classes all day, every day.  If you want the freedom to choose as you go, or pre-book some days off for sight-seeing and rest, find out if this is possible prior to booking.

If you decide half way through that you don’t actually like yoga, you’re out of luck.  As you will have already commenced the programme, it is unlikely you will get a partial refund to leave early.  As for your travel insurance, these policies generally don’t cover disinclination to travel or loss of enjoyment.

Ask yourself – are you after a sampler course where you can try different types of yoga or are you looking to focus on just one?  This is important when choosing a yoga retreat as they may not offer what you are looking for.

Don’t want to share a room with strangers?  Well you can definitely rule out some retreats straight away.  As part of the experience, you may be required to bunk up if travelling solo.

When you breakdown the costs per class, retreats are usually a lot more expensive than attending your local yoga studio.   If you are just after a taste, find a free trial at your local gym or cheap classes in a nearby park.  This way, you can find out if you like it, without having to commit to an entire holiday of it.

Do I need to disclose this activity to my travel insurer?

There are so many elements to consider and only you can decide if a yoga and wellness retreat is right for you.   Whilst most travel insurance policies provide automatic cover for yoga, this may not always be the case so best to check with your chosen provider before you go.

Most policies cover a range of sport and leisure activities as standard provided your participation is recreational or on an amateur level.  However, if you are a professional Yogi and will be participating in a professional / training capacity whilst travelling, you might need to disclose this to your insurer to make sure you’ve got the right type of cover.

In some cases, your insurer may request further information as to what activities and types of classes you are attending while at the retreat in order to cover it so, get in touch with them as soon as you organise your trip.