Do you know that saying “Your vibe attracts your tribe”? - well that’s pretty much what you’d normally like to get when joining a yoga retreat with a group of people you don’t know, right? Or, does it have to be like that?
We might have the impression that when joining a yoga retreat everything will be perfect, all the people will be zen & all “illuminated”, but that’s not always the case in real life, with real people.
You can’t expect the picture-perfect image of the things you see on Instagram, because you might be disappointed. My first rule of thumb with any experience is to take each moment as it is, with all that it entails. To feel all as it is and be yourself authentically, without getting too attached to some illusion of how things should be or look like. If you’ve read a bit about Buddhism and zen, letting go of attachments is one important teaching.
Ok, so now that we have that cleared out, here’s how you can get a feel for whether a retreat is the one you want to join or not:
First, you want to make sure you’ve read the full description of the retreat, that the price and destination make sense for you and that you understand all the inclusions and exclusions of the offering.
I would then want to get to know the organizers of the retreat, so I would go check the ‘About’ page, their social media accounts, and online articles about them if they are available.
Contact the retreat organizer directly on their socials or by email to ask for further details about the trip. Communicating directly will also help you get a feel for that person and if it's what you’re looking for in terms of ‘vibe’. I’d suggest even going for a phone call - this makes it easier to connect on a more personal level and will 100% help in your decision-making.
Ask about the room's situation: if you’re sharing and with who potentially. In general, you will find that spots in retreats are offered in a shared bedroom. If you want single occupancy, it makes sense that the price should be around double, since the costs for 1 or 2 people are approximately the same for the retreat organizers (except food). If you’re not comfortable sharing the room with someone you don’t know, convince a friend to join and you’ll both enjoy an amazing experience together.
Do some yoga classes online with the yoga teacher of the retreat - that can help you decide if you like the style of classes/teaching; also once decided, you can have practice so that during the retreat you will feel more familiar and comfortable during the yoga classes.
That being said, I think that most of the time, going with your gut feeling is the best thing to do. Yes, it’s advisable to do all of the research suggested above, but trusting your intuition will not let you down either. You’re already on the right track just by wanting to go to a retreat.
Going back to “your vibe attracts your tribe” I think you shouldn’t have any concerns about the other retreat participants, because in general, they will be nice people, just like you, with whom you’ll share some common interests. You might not resonate 100% with everyone there, but there is a lot to learn by interacting with people that share different worldviews or come from different parts of the world. Keep your heart open, is what I’m saying, on and off the mat.
Share your opinion!
What’s the most important thing that helps you decide on a yoga retreat, besides the price?