Go on a Yoga Retreat

A yoga retreat can be a rejuvenating and blissful experience for the mind, body and spirit for you and your yoga students. This aspect of teaching yoga appeals to many prospective yoga instructors. Leading yoga retreats provides teachers the opportunity to travel to exotic locations while devoting time to taking students deeper into the practice than is possible in a one hour class timeframe. To be successful, however, yoga teachers must carefully plan retreats far in advance.

Location, Location, Location

The first important aspect of leading a successful yoga retreat is, not surprisingly, the location. It is crucial for yoga teachers to personally scope out their potential retreat locations. Examine the space available to teach yoga in. Though a thatched roof yoga pavilion, for example, can sound exquisite, you have to think about what might happen if it rains. See whether the temperature is controlled in the place you want to teach in.

Determine if you will have to share the location with other groups of people. Having to share your space with, for example, a singles group, can spell out a recipe for distraction as your students mind have to meditate with beer drinking competitions in the background.

The only way yoga teachers should hold retreats in places they have not personally visited is by selecting locations that specialize in yoga, or if someone whom you trust has had a retreat there and recommends the site. Some hotels, such as those in Telum, Mexico, cater to yoga teachers by helping out with meals and providing yoga mats, straps and blocks.

Making a Profit

Yoga retreats take a lot of time to plan and are not always profitable due to the amount of overhead required. When planning retreats, most yoga teachers determine the base cost of the hotel space and meals and then add on an additional $400 to $1,000 per student for yoga lessons, local excursions and miscellaneous expenses that arise.

Even if not enough students register and you only break even, many yoga teachers enjoy the experience of leading retreats. Teachers often supplement their retreat earnings in these situations by providing private yoga session to students during the retreat time.

Planning Ahead

It is a good idea to plan for unforeseen situations, like a microphone not working or getting sick. It is helpful to bring a cordless microphone to be able to speak and demonstrate poses simultaneously. Having an assistant teacher come along on your retreat is beneficial in case you become sick.

Decide ahead of time how structured you want your retreat to be and advertise it accordingly. Some yoga teachers host combined retreats that offer yoga with cooking, skiing, surfing or hiking. Others simply offer yoga classes and meals and allow their students to do what they wish with their free time.

Depending on how interested and experienced your yoga retreat participants are, it is helpful to have a great deal of material to choose from when leading a retreat. If your yoga retreat location offers many extracurricular activities (like hikes, beach walks or surfing lessons), make sure your yoga classes do not conflict with too many of these opportunities.

It is important for yoga teachers to try the food that will be served at the retreat location. Decide whether you would like the food to be vegetarian, organic or contain more variety. Be aware of how much what your students eat will affect their ability to practice.

Advertising Retreats

Most retreat locations require that you provide a deposit (ranging from several hundred to even thousands of dollars) to hold the space. You must enroll enough students to be able to cover your investment when planning a retreat. Yoga teachers usually advertise yoga retreats to their own student base, as retreat participants generally attend as an opportunity to spend more time with teachers they feel inspired by.

To advertise, yoga teachers typically create posters and hand out fliers in their yoga studios. They broaden retreat invitations through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Some even advertise in newsletters or magazines. Word of mouth is one of the best ways of advertising yoga retreats.
Though they require a lot of planning and work to organize, yoga teachers usually find leading retreats to be a rewarding and worthwhile experience both financially and emotionally.

Sign up for our newsletter!