12 helpful benefits of a yoga retreat

benefits of a yoga retreat

Do you struggle to make time for yourself and juggle work and family commitments?

I know exactly how you feel.

I’m always busy with something whether it’s my family or my two blogs, and somewhere along the way I began to think about what kind of life I wanted for myself. So, that’s why I went on a yoga retreat in Bali – to reflect. I had been busy prior to this trip so I felt like I needed to unwind and sort of find myself again.

On that journey, I discovered the many benefits of a yoga retreat. The fact that I went there as a solo traveler was probably the reason why I got so much out of it. It forced me out of my comfort zone and gave me all the time in the world to reflect on everything, which intensified the whole experience.

Are you wondering if joining a yoga retreat is worth it? In this post, I’ll share the benefits and reasons why it’s a unique experience.

Let’s take a look.

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First, what is a yoga retreat?

A yoga retreat is a group of people who are practicing yoga together.

A yoga retreat can last from one day to one month. Typically, it’s a 5-7 day trip, led by one or two yoga teachers along with 10-20 students.

Yoga retreats include classes, sometimes meditation, workshops, meals, accommodation as well as time to relax.

You can find the best spiritual retreats in Bali here.

How much does a yoga retreat cost?

The price of a yoga retreat depends on the duration, location and level of comfort. You can for instance find luxury yoga retreats in exclusive, beautiful places, which obviously comes at a higher price.

However, a yoga retreat doesn’t need to break the bank. There are many great offers out there!

For instance, you can take a look at one of these amazing retreats at very affordable prices:

8 Days Yoga and Meditation RetreatKo Pha Ngan, Thailand$470 ($67 per night)
6 Days Surf & Yoga RetreatSri Lanka$268 ($54 per night)
7 Days Surf and Yoga RetreatCanary Islands, Spain$487 ($81 per night)

Where to book your yoga retreat

To find the perfect yoga retreat, you first need to know your budget, how long you want to go for, what style of yoga you want to practice and your level of experience and knowledge of yoga.

Below, I’ve listed the two best sites for finding yoga retreats.

You can find yoga retreat centers and wellness retreat in many countries around the world, but the most renowned places are Bali, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, India and Spain.

BookYogaRetreats is the world’s leading yoga travel site where you can book retreats for beginners and advanced yogis.

BookRetreats lets you book the best handpicked retreats all over the world.

The best benefits of a yoga retreat

One thing is doing yoga sessions at home. Another is doing yoga intensively for a week with likeminded yogis.

If you have difficulty sticking to a yoga routine, then a yoga retreat could be a great way to take it to the next level. During a yoga retreat, you’ll get specific instructions twice a day, which lets your body and mind reap the benefits of a deeper practice.

The best thing, though, is that you’ll feel restored, relaxed and rejuvenated. Together with the techniques and knowledge, you can return to your daily routine, which will enhance your mental and physical wellbeing.

And on that note, let’s dive into the benefits of a yoga retreat:

1. Deepen your yoga practice

Whether you’re an advanced yogi or it’s your first time, a yoga holiday can be a life-changing decision. It was for me.

As a beginner, you’ll be met with open arms because yoga truly is for everyone. You will learn the foundation of yoga, the different postures and breathing techniques. During a yoga retreat, the teacher will have more time to provide personal and hands-on assistance.

That said, you should always double-check with the retreat leader to make sure the type and level of yoga practiced during the stay will match your needs.

Experienced yogis will get the opportunity to deepen their practice, take it next level and fully focus on the classes.

benefits of a yoga retreat
benefits of a yoga retreat

2. Learn to breathe more deeply

During yoga, you’ll learn yogic breathing techniques like pranayama.

Pranayama exercises can help you get into your postures more easily, but they can also work to soothe the nervous system and bring an inner tranquil and sense of ease.

Most people typically breathe by inhaling through their nose or mouth, trapping the air in their chest instead of letting the air fully reach their diaphragm. This is called shallow breathing, and it can induce stress because of a lack of healthy flow of oxygen in the body.

In yoga and meditation, you’ll learn how to take deep breaths that reach the belly and fill the lungs.

3. Discover your inner strength

When I joined a yoga retreat in Bali, I was besides myself. As some of you know, it was my first solo trip and I had a tough time adjusting. Frankly, I was a mess the first few days and I was convinced that I’d end up changing my ticket and go home earlier. I didn’t think I could be alone and have a good time on my own.

But… Attending daily yoga classes in a natural environment and giving myself time to reflect made me realise that I was stronger than that.

We all have different circumstances, of course. I struggled with anxiety, maybe you’re dealing with something else or maybe nothing at all. Either way, giving yourself time to reconnect with yourself will make you realise just how strong and confident you are – especially when combined with meditation!

Meditation practices really allows you to reflect on life and feel everything much deeper. It’s also a strong tool to control the mind with.

I practiced the ability to recognise when the mind wanders, then stop it, return to the task at hand, and doing all of that without any emotional reaction what-so-ever. It takes a long time to learn, but I’m improving!

Being in control of my mind and emotions made me feel much stronger mentally. I realised that I can do whatever I set my mind to, which is one of the best benefits of yoga retreats I can think of!

benefits of yoga retreats

4. Solitude is healthy

Many people see yoga retreats as an opportunity to work on their body and mind. For that reason, they often go alone.

The way I see it, there’s a distinction between being alone and being lonely. A retreat is a great way to check in with yourself and reflect. I dined alone every day, I went on trips alone, I did everything alone, but I never felt lonely.

Taking time off to be in your own company and learning to trust your own instincts is very fulfilling. I believe we should all do that once in a while.

Read next: Traveling alone for the first time? Here’s how to do it.

benefits of a yoga retreat

5. Gain new perspective

Taking a trip away from your everyday life can help provide new perspectives on your life and clear some of the fog from the day-to-day grind.

There’s something truly special about taking a yoga retreat – with daily practices to nourish and elevate the soul, as well as the fact that it puts you in an entirely different environment for a bit.

6. Detox your body

Detoxing is a way to eliminate toxins from the body. Yoga is an excellent way to practice detoxing because the postures and movements help to decompress internal organs, stimulate digestion, and eliminate toxins, which leads to better overall physical health.

Some yoga retreats also offer detoxing and healthy food, which is good for the body.

10 things I learned from my yoga retreat
10 things I learned from my yoga retreat

7. Time for self reflection

A yoga retreat is an amazing opportunity to take a step back and do a little soul searching. To consider whether your actions are beneficial and taking you down the path you want.

Even though it can be scary to look inside yourself and face your emotions or vulnerabilities, it’s important to stay present with whatever comes up, both good or bad, without judgement.

Maybe you’ll find out that you need to be more compassionate to others or yourself. Maybe you’ll find answers to struggles you’ve been dealing with.

benefits of a yoga retreat

8. Disconnect from technology

Most retreats will recommend leaving behind or switching off your laptop and cellphone to avoid digital distractions. Other places have limited or simply no internet connection because the yoga retreat is tucked away in isolated, beautiful places such as the mountains, the woods or near the sea.

Not only does this give you an opportunity to bond more deeply with the other people during yoga classes, but it also provides a much-needed break from the disturbances of electromagnetic radiation and social media to which we are so often subjected.

Taking a digital detox can allow you to reset you health, wellbeing and overall outlook. Plus, it will give you deep relaxation.

9. Learn to let go and heal

There are many rewarding benefits of a yoga retreat.

But even without anticipating it, you might find yourself experiencing true healing in this environment. When you allow yourself to focus and breathe, meditate, and connect with understanding and like-minded people, there’s often room to open up and progress.

This process can be tough, so be gentle with yourself, and in time you will heal. The positive energy and new connections that surround you will no doubt affect your mental health, healing and wellbeing.

benefits of a yoga retreat

10. De-stress from your hectic life

Most people join their first yoga retreat to de-stress, escape from their busy schedule, and simply give themselves a much needed break.

Stress affects our thinking, judgment and even physical health, so a yoga retreat experience not only offers us the chance to relax physically and mentally. It also allows us to turn inwards in the present moment and focus more on what truly matters: our wellbeing.

11. Connect with your spirituality

Although yoga has roots in Hinduism, you’re not required to be religious to practice. Only open-minded.

I’ve always had a non-spiritual approach to yoga and meditation. To me, meditation is about strengthening the mind and this doesn’t necessarily have to do with religion. Spirituality is another matter, though.

Whereas religion is a set of organised beliefs and practices, spirituality is more of an individual practice and has to do with having a sense of purpose and finding your true self.

Spiritual yoga goes beyond the psychical benefits and focuses on spiritual well-being and intelligence. It can give you a more positive outlook on life and happiness within.

Yoga retreat, Bali

12. Find new friends

Signing up for a yoga retreat can come with unexpected surprises, such as meeting new people and making new friendships, even for the most seasoned yoga practitioner.

The bond formed in such an environment is often strong and connects everyone together like an extended family.

benefits of a yoga retreat

Got questions about these yoga retreat benefits? Let me know in the comments!

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    1. We should have more focus on vegetarian food here in Denmark. The possibilities and knowledge is so limited and I think that’s why many Danes (like me) has no idea how tasteful it actually is.

  1. I love the honesty in this post Miriam, it sounds like you got so much out of your experience in Bali. I’ve never really tried yoga or meditation but a retreat like this really sounds like a great way to de-clutter your mind and body. I think it’s great that you did this on your own and learnt a lot in the process.

    1. Thank you so much, Amy. That means a lot to hear! I think we could all use a retreat once in a while, and if it’s not possible to go to Bali, a weekend at home without phone and Internet dedicated to yoga and meditation could do wonders, too. I will definitely try to incorporate it in my schedule.

  2. Hi Miriam, this is a great post and I am thrilled with your blog. It is a dream of mine to travel and write about my experiences. I have been to Bali but as a young girl so I do not remember much, thank you for taking me back 🙂

    Paige x

  3. There is such a difference to being alone or being lonely. I’m one of those people who love being on my own and would dread the thought of travelling with someone else. I find I discover so much more about a place on own than with someone else. Congratulations for taking the journey on your own.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Traveling solo is definitely much different from traveling with someone. I’ve taken solo trips since this one, but doing a yoga retreat on my own is by far the most rewarding of the bunch.

    1. Any kind of tampering with the mind is potentially dangerous, especially if you take it to the extreme. I’ve meditated for many years and thus I’m an advanced practitioner, but I was taking it too far with kundalini meditation. In short, the classes I went to focused on group energy and you had to let go of your emotions – half of the class was in tears, laughing out loud or screaming. It was quite scary.

      The most important thing when dealing with meditation is to listen to your intuition and to stop if you don’t feel good about it. I should have left when I started to feel uncomfortable.

      I talked to a friend afterwards who is spiritual. She helped me cope with the experience and recognize my personal boundaries. Now that it’s straightened out, I feel more comfortable meditating again, but I will never try kundalini again. That practice is not for me.

  4. Wow! Those are powerful lessons. What surprised me the most is that you’re more spiritual than you thought. Have you noticed your spirituality deepen since you’ve been back from your retreat? And I agree…Kundalini isn’t for everybody! It can be intense.

  5. Hi Miriam!
    I’ve never been on a yoga retreat and enjoyed reading your insights about it. You got so much from your experience and learned so many powerful lessons that will be with you for life!
    Although I’ve done Yoga for many years, it’s only been in the last year or so that I realize that the power of yoga goes beyond the physical. It’s helped my inner self with balance and calm, which I love!
    Thanks again for your honesty and insights about your yoga retreat…


    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Lisa. Yoga is such a powerful tool and I truly learned that on the retreat. I hope you get to experience it some day.

      Lots of love from Denmark

  6. Hi Miriam, thanks for honestly sharing your experiences. It is nice that you have wanted to seek inner peace and satisfaction in life. Most of us as we age, are finding that contentment and inner happiness seems to be diminishing by the day. So for me this article shows the importance of taking time out with ourselves with activities such as meditation. I was reading on SSRF about chanting while one is meditating. There it had mentioned some very interesting benefits about chanting the name of God during meditation. Unlike kundalini meditation there are no side effects whatsoever. I have been chanting myself and it has been very blissful What do you feel about it ? Would you like to give it a try?

    1. That’s sounds like a great idea. I did the same thing in Bali when meditating (especially when the teacher mentioned Ganesha). I think it’s important to find something positive and personal to meditate or chant over!

  7. Yes! You won’t indeed die without meat. This is something I learned a few years ago when staying at a Buddhist temple. I was full, felt super healthy and found that I didn’t really miss meat that much at all.

  8. Nice article Miriam. I do not travel much and being a tech blogger I’m in front of my system almost 24/7 and that has caused a lot of harm to my body. I have realized the healing powers of Yoga and since then I make sure that I practice it at least an hour a day!

    1. Thank you, Jitendra! Doing yoga every day is great for your body and mind. I haven’t been practicing since I got pregnant, but you just reminded me how important it is that I get back to it.

  9. Dear Miriam,

    The benefits of Yoga are infinite. It started off as a practice in ancient India but people these days here are not following much.
    Kudos for writing such a nice piece 🙂

    Dr. Manish

  10. hi again. where did you go for your meditation classes in ubud? i really want to attend some classes but dont know where to choose

  11. Nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing. Your blog posts are more interesting and informative. I think there are many people like and visit it regularly, including me.

  12. I absolutely love this Post Miriam. I love especially how you discussed how meditation can bring up our difficult emotions etc. And how you realised you are spiritual. It’s beautiful, so authentic and helpful to other.

  13. Hi Miriam, this post shows you learnt so much things from yoga and After all, Asia is the birthplace of Yoga. Even though Bali is technically Southeast Asia, you can anticipate a very authentic yoga experience in Bali. Keep Practicing

    1. I’ve always thought of Bali as the light version of India when it comes to yoga. I think Bali is the perfect place for a yoga retreat if you want a more up-scale experience.
      Thanks so much for reading.

  14. You will learn a lot from the Indian yoga retreat also give us a chance.
    Many people come to india Rishikesh. hope so we will see you Soon In India.

    1. What a great idea, Mike! There are many ways to do it – you can join a yoga retreat where you stay and do yoga after a schedule at the same place. Or you can just join classes when you want and stay somewhere else. It’s up to you what you prefer. I’m just very independent, so I like to plan my own time and schedule.

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