Congratulations, you’ve gifted yourself an amazing experience… you’re going on a yoga retreat!!
Whether this is your first retreat or you’re a seasoned yoga traveler, yoga retreats are unlike any other vacation or travel experience you’ve had. Retreats are a beautiful opportunity to take really intentional time and space away from your daily routines and life. With guided daily movement, mindfulness practices, usually healthy and nourishing meals in beautiful places with a like-minded community, they really are an amazing opportunity to reset and restore.
As a retreat leader, facilitator and host who has been on and led retreats from the countryside in Upstate New York to the farmlands of Portugal to the countryside in France, I get asked often — what do I pack?
Selena’s Packing Guide for Your Yoga Retreat
As always, adjust this based on the length of time and temperatures.
Yoga clothes (obviously) but don’t go overboard… for a 7 day yoga retreat, I recommend my students bring:
2-3 pants or shorts
2 tops and a coverup (sweatshirt or sweater) that matches all of the above.
Tres chic is an oversized button up that can be loosely thrown over your yoga clothes (think boyfriend’s closet, Zara has some great ones). This also can be thrown over denim shorts or a dress. Like I said, tres chic.
Confirm that the retreat will be providing yoga mats. Most retreats will, but it’s worth double checking! If you need to bring your own mat, I recommend this travel mat.
It’s light weight so won’t bog you down in an airport or train.
Pack strategically, but don’t over pack. Part of the beauty of a retreat is clearing clutter in your mental space… and I highly recommend starting with physically decluttering your suitcase! A few tips …
- Think easy, simple, lightweight and versatile. Pack pieces that can be interchangeable with outfit options
- Accessories – like a neck scarf, sunglasses or hat – can change up an outfit and take up very little room in your suitcase… aka you can wear the same outfit but switch out a fun accessory and voila, you have a new lewk !
- Shop your own closet first. I know it’s so tempting to shout “I have nothing to wear!” And go on a shopping spree, but start to practice mindfulness even in your preparation for the trip … you’re perfect just the way you are with exactly all that you have now. And remember, you’ll probably want to buy a few things from wherever you’re going.
If it’s a summer retreat:
- A few lightweight summer dresses. I always bring a silk slip dress whenever I travel. They take up zero room and look effortless and refined with anything. They can go from the beach to dinner, and can hand-wash in the sink to keep fresh. My favorite is John Patrick Organics. I’ve had mine for 5+ years
- 1 pair of shorts. 1 pair of pants. I recommend linen as it’s lightweight and doesn’t wrinkle
- A few tops
- An outfit for a nice dinner out
- 2 pairs of sandals – I bring a casual sandal for the beach (love Havianas) and a dressier sandal for dinner or roaming around town
- Sneakers if there’s any hiking / biking
- Colorful neck / hair scarf to spruce up any outfit, from on a boat to out at dinner
- Fun sunglasses (because why not)
- 2 bags: one that’s a basket or small tote that can go with you to the beach and market.
- Swimsuit! While I’d love to say “only pack one” I would be absolutely lying to you that I don’t bring 3-5…. 🙂 If you have a one piece bring it, you can throw shorts or a skirt over for a day-outfit
- Turkish towel – this is a travel must-bring, it’s lightweight and doubles as a beach towel and swimsuit cover up
If it’s a winter retreat:
Winter retreats are usually shorter weekends away and mostly spent indoors, but check your activities list to advise for what to pack. Think cozy lounge vibes by a fire.
- Choose 2-3 favorite sweaters
- Warm, comfortable and cozy pants. Personally, I detest lounging in jeans… but choose your own adventure
- Slip dress … (I told you I bring this everywhere). And throw a sweater over it.
- Cozy wool socks and hey, maybe even slippers!
I’m going to invite you to keep this super simple. Pair down. This is a yoga retreat, not a bachelorette party. Lean in to less, natural, YOU. Here are a few essentials:
- Sunscreen. Face and body, every day.
- A hair brush, but do you really need a blow dryer?
- If you wear make up, bring only the essentials. Pick your 1 item that makes you feel put together. For me that is lipstick… I also love a multipurpose blush/eyeshadow/lip from RMS Beauty. All natural and hydrating. (link)
- Travel sized : shampoo / conditioner / toothbrush / toothpaste / deodorant if that’s your thing
- *I use these travel containers and refill
The Personal Development
- Journal and pen, always ! I can’t imagine traveling without it
- 2 books – one novel (more if you’re a big reader) and one spiritual / self help book. Here’s my list of favorites. Let your intuition guide you on which one to bring … I’ve always found the one I choose ends up giving me the exact message or insight I needed on this trip!
- Electronics converter if you’re traveling outside of the USA
- Passport and other essential documents if you’re going international !
- Probiotic … especially if you’re prone to digestive issues while traveling. Start taking a probiotic (if you don’t already) weeks before your trip, and I highly recommend bringing with you.
- Another great supplement is Magnesium powder – also good for digestion and sleep
- A face mask… a little treat to have after a flight and helps me settle in on that first nigh
- And finally, bring open mind and open heart. Consider why you signed up for this retreat in the first place. Set an intention for how you’d like to feel during this experience. Be open to meeting and connecting with new people, to learning something new about yourself and others.
Sign up to the weekly newsletter to stay tuned for upcoming retreats with (selena) here! Selena’s retreats are powerful containers that leave guests feeling deeply relaxed, centered and restored. She braids her two specialities – movement and mindset – to create powerful, life-changing shifts in her guests.