Teaching yoga retreats will undoubtedly elevate your teaching. Not only are holding space well beyond the confines of a 1 hour drop in class, but you’re also providing experiences off of the mat, as well.
Expanding your teaching career into the world of retreats can also be incredibly financially rewarding, too. Which, let’s be honest, is great if you’re used to living off of studio salaries and teaching 20+ classes a week.
In order to choose the best venue, and to create the most memorable experience for your students, there are a few key components to consider before you book:
What is the overall vibe of the retreat you want to teach? Are you feeling beachy, tropical vibes? Or cozy mountains? Do you want remote stillness, or a vibrant city?
If you’re not sure, I suggest actually closing your eyes and noticing what you see when you picture your dream retreat. Follow that.
This might sound like a given, but truly, I’ve met teachers who think they’ve booked the perfect venue (usually a giant villa on Airbnb), and then remember: Oh yeah, this is a YOGA retreat. Where are we going to practice our classes?
If you book an actual yoga retreat center (like us!), then the property will definitely come with a dedicated yoga space. In this case, make sure to ask about the size of the yoga space, as some centers have a higher capacity in rooms than the yoga area.
On the other hand, if you do go with that beautiful villa, or VRBO mansion, ensure there’s a room that can be cleared out for yoga. I’d strongly suggest avoiding fully outdoor classes on grass or sand, in order to provide the best experience possible.
Manager, Host, or Organizer
This is important! Whether you’re renting a yoga retreat center, or an Airbnb, you’ll want to ask if there’s someone on site who will be helping to run the property itself. Because, guess what, if there’s not- then that person will likely be YOU.
Maybe you’re wondering what the heck even needs to be managed. Let me tell you: menu, time for food coming out, cleaning, laundry, transport, questions for local exploration, etc.
Unless you know the area VERY well, and you’re comfortable taking on the role of a manager in ADDITION to teaching the retreat, I’d suggest finding a place that provides you on-site support (not to toot our own horn or anything, but we always provide not just one, but two managers on site).
Alright, so this one isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. BUT, it is important to ask about beforehand, so that you can inform your students in advance.
Back to the Airbnb rental, typically (not always, but typically) those spaces do not have yoga mats. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t book, it just means you’ll definitely want to include it on a suggested packing list for your students, AND explicitly tell them in an email when they book. You’ll also want to do a quick trial and error of yoga prop substitutes (check out our blog for tips), knowing that you won’t have any for your classes.
If you’re booking a retreat center, they will certainly have yoga mats. However, you’ll want to ask about their stock of blocks, straps, and bolsters. Plus, you’ll want to ask about the quality of the mats they have, because- at least in my experience- even if a place has mats, it doesn’t mean they’re very enjoyable to practice on.
Again, just make sure to tell your students beforehand! I usually write something like this prior to the retreat: The venue does have mats, but I’m not sure if the quality will be up to your standards. If you have a yoga mat that you enjoy practicing on, I suggest bringing it in order to have the best experience possible in our classes.
This isn’t last, because it’s not important. Of course price is one of the first things to consider. What I will say on this point is that you’ll notice the price will vary depending on the above.
If there’s no yoga space, no manager, and no yoga gear- you will likely find a lower nightly rate than a fully stocked retreat center (I mean, do I even need to plug us again? Okay, fine I will).
What you need to decide with price is not only how much you can spend, and how much you want to make. But also how much some of these inclusions are worth to you. Meaning, how much is your energy worth to you during this experience if you know you have to be a manager AND a teacher? Is it worth spending an extra few hundred dollars, or not? Only you can decide that! And sometimes it takes teaching your first few in different ways in order to figure out the best fit for you.