The beginning of spring can be an exciting time–but we can also feel harried if we’ve spent the winter working on self-improvement and career goals. Now is an excellent time to check in with yourself and reflect on how balanced you feel. If you’re feeling frazzled, yoga may be the best tool to help you recalibrate. Indeed, most of us could probably benefit from a yoga retreat, but an all-inclusive getaway may not be in the budget. If so, here’s how to design your own thrifty yoga retreat–either at home–or abroad in just six simple steps.
How To Plan a Budget-Friendly DIY Yoga Retreat
Clear your schedule. Whether your retreat is three days, five days or ten days, make this time for yourself and commit yourself to a daily (or twice daily) practice without interruption or distraction.
Set Goals. Do you want to recommit to a current practice? Immerse yourself in a new one? Or just make some R&R time for yourself? I used my yoga retreat as an opportunity to try Ashtanga, a practice that I had been curious about, but too intimidated by to do a daily drop-in. A five-day immersion allowed me to really get a feel for it, to evolve with it – and also notice the differences on my mat each day.
Find your “retreat” studio. Many studios offer new students unlimited yoga for a week for a minimal fee.* This is not only a great opportunity to save lots of money, but to meet new people in a new part of your neighborhood – or the world.
I choose Soham Yoga because it is an intimate studio that offers both Ashtanga/Mysore and other types of yoga, which allowed me to create a more holistic daily routine. Their 15-euro unlimited yoga plan also worked for my budget.
Prep for a week of healthful eating. Consider shopping in advance for simple-to-prepare meals, such as one of my favorites: the Peaceful Dumpling Spring Buddha Bowl. If you are visiting a new area out of town, or a new part of the world, do some research about local restaurants that are in the confines of your eating and budget requirements. I discovered Café Lima, which is located right next to Soham and offers a three-course vegan meal for six euros — a bargain price for delicious daily sustenance.
Book simple indulges off the mat. Just because you are not spending oodles at an all-inclusive resort, doesn’t mean you can’t luxuriate in some budget-conscious kindness to yourself. Think about booking a facial, manicure or massage – or maybe something that you’ve been putting off simply because you have not had the time. I took some long meditative walks, booked an uplifting facial and also a guitar lesson at Shine Music School – that also, by the way, allows you to rent instruments for the day – or week.
Consider a social media cleanse. Commit yourself permission to be where you are, instead of worrying about what’s going on in the rest of the world. Taking a break from social media can help you quiet the “noise” of the bustling world, allowing you to hear your inner voice, loud and clear.
All in, for my retreat which included a twice daily yoga practice, a regular three-course vegan meal, an uplifting facial and a guitar lesson – came in under 150 euros. I was feeling revived and refreshed – and my bank account didn’t suffer as a result.
* Note: make sure you understand the fine print as some carry the caveat that you are also a resident.
Are you ready for a yoga retreat? What would you include in a DIY yoga retreat?
Also by Kirsten: What I Learned from Doing Yoga in a Foreign Language
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