I am all for organized yoga retreats (I would love to lead one at some point) and think they are so beneficial and worthwhile, the only drawback being the expense. Though yoga retreats are often all-inclusive, so you get great value, they are still a lot of money, especially for my budget right now.
So I decided I was going to create my own, a DIY Yoga Retreat. I figured I could purchase a class pass for several days, find cheap (but nice) accommodation, do some fun activities, eat delicious and nourishing food and have FUN!
I travelled to Ubud, Bali, the cultural, art and yoga hot spot in Bali. There are several yoga studios in town, all of which offer great class-pass deals or drop in rates, so you can find a studio that you love or hop around and try them all. The quality of yoga instructors in Ubud are top notch, they are knowledgeable, loving and genuine yogis.
I found lovely accommodation for $23/night via Airbnb (referral link), staying for 4 nights, purchased a 5 class pass for $22 (I got a discount with my Indonesian permanency card), giving myself the flexibility to attend classes at other studios if I wanted. I generally ate out two meals a day, averaging $5/meal, including drink. All other activities I did were free, I walked around and hiked a lot. I ended up spending approximately $170 (give or take a few dollars) for a 5 day DIY yoga retreat, very well worth it, in my opinion.
You may be thinking at this point, but Cara, I’m not in Bali, how can this work for me? I still think it can! Maybe you will not have the hot climate and beaches (or maybe you do, you lucky person!), but you can still create your own retreat vibes. Even if it’s just for a long weekend, many yoga studios offer free unlimited trial periods, for example $35 for 30 days unlimited, so you can easily do a couple classes a day, for a few days and get great bang for your buck. Then you just need to take care of accommodation and food. My recommendation would be to do this with some of your friends or family, rent a little space on Airbnb (referral link), cook some meals at the rental and enjoy some out, making it an affordable yogi getaway. – Sidenote to my beautiful Mom and sister, this is what I propose we do as our next outing together- Also, whether you doing your DIY yoga retreat in a big city or small town, there are always free activities you can do, apart from the yoga, such as visiting museums, art galleries, taking hikes, live music, picnics etc. Let me know if you need some more ideas, I am always willing to help!
Now back to my own yoga retreat…
Most of my days were fairly similar, here is a snapshot of my little routine:
Wakeup around 6:30am and eat breakfast
Walk to yoga studio for 9:00am vinyasa flow class
1.5 hour yoga class
Drink a fresh coconut or have a snack (or both)
Walk back home, shower and find a lunch destination
12:30 eat lunch and drink fresh juice
1:30-4:00 Walk around town or go for a hike
4:30 yoga class (some days I did a 6:00pm class instead). Would usually do a vinyasa flow in the morning and a yin yoga or restorative class in the evening.
Walk home to refresh
7:00 Eat dinner
Relax at home, have some gelato or chocolate, unwind
I had such a fun time doing this. It was super beneficial for me to learn from a variety of experienced instructors; their teaching styles, sequences and various types of yoga. A DIY yoga retreat is great because you can customize it to whatever you like, I can’t wait to do this again, now I just need to pick my next destination.
I think this concept could work for anything fitness or hobby related, the options are endless!
What are your thoughts? Would you ever try a DIY Yoga Retreat?