When the time for your retreat finally arrives, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind that will help you keep you sane and probably elevate the whole experience for your students and yourself.
Don’t over-plan everything
All the serious planning is now behind you, and it is time to enjoy the time with your students. Stick to your schedule with your Yoga classes, meals, and main components of the retreat but beyond that, remember to stay flexible and be spontaneous.
Some adjustments to your original schedule will be inevitable, and that’s OK. Allow room for changes to your classes according to the atmosphere in the group, and any physical or other limitations. It’s nice to offer additional activities, but keep them optional. Excellent choices you could offer with your retreat are Surfing, Aerials, or even Flying Trapeze, which are all available at the Yoga Loft. Remember that relaxation and fun are just as important.
Enjoy spending time with your students
It’s time to enjoy the fruit of your labors and relish the time with the people who decided to join your retreat. Spend time with them to connect and get to know them. Listen to their stories and create beautiful memories with them. Learn and grow with them and cherish the time you spend together.
Retreat ideas to consider
Welcome each student. Your students will appreciate a personal welcome from you as soon as they arrive. That really makes a difference, and it is a wonderful way to show them you value their presence. This will work nicely alongside the beautiful Welcome Gift [link back to article 5] you have prepared for them and left in their rooms. You’re off to a great start!
Opening Circle. The best way to officially kick off your retreat is with a welcoming opening circle. Sit down with all of your students. Look at them and listen to them. It’s time for the group to get to know each other, and perhaps get a little more intimate with each other. An opening circle provides the best opportunity for empowerment, understanding, and connection between you and your students. You can start by asking people to share where they came from and their reason for being there.
Retreat Buddies. You can assign each student a retreat buddy to make sure they are checking on each other. That can be useful for group activities and making sure nobody misses the bus!
Checking in. During the retreat, you can bring everyone back together as a group to check in with each other. People will appreciate the safe space to share all their feelings and thoughts about the experience, and everything else that might come up.
Closing Circle. At the end of the retreat, it’s nice for the group to come together and share what they learned, and what new thoughts and feelings they are taking back home with them. You could also talk about easing your way back into your regular routine and how to maintain those retreat feelings.
Make time for yourself!
You may not realize this now, but taking time for yourself during the retreat is essential. As a retreat leader, you have a lot to do and a lot to offer to your students. Saving some downtime for yourself will only make you a better leader. I’m sure you are thinking about how much you enjoy spending time with your students, but some alone time will help you serve better. You can go for a short walk or a short solo yoga session. You could even skip a group meal or two for the opportunity to collect your thoughts and prepare.
Enjoy your Yoga Retreat!
Yes, this is YOUR yoga retreat, and you are entitled to enjoy every minute of it. You will be offering a valuable experience and changing people’s lives. Appreciate the connections that are formed and reflect on the journey of visualizing, planning, and realizing your first retreat.
For every yoga teacher, the experience of organizing their first retreat can become a bit overwhelming at times. One way of avoiding mishaps and ensuring a smooth execution is to pair up with an experienced venue that specializes in yoga retreats. At the Yoga Loft in the Caribbean, people know their stuff and they offer a great community vibe in a fantastic location.