Are considering a yoga retreat? You have allocated the time and money and are committed to a meaningful experience. How do you know what to expect from your upcoming retreat? A little forethought, research and proper planning can make your retreat a profound life experience a la Eat, Pray, Love.

A little online research will show that there are terrific retreats all over the globe. The abundance of differing techniques, varied locations and contrasting practices may be a bit overwhelming. Here is a checklist of considerations that might help finalize your choice.

Instruction - Just as you know there are many forms of yoga, you also know each variation has a different instructional style. Make sure the teaching style at your retreat is to your liking and within you ability.

Goals - Make sure you understand the goals of the yoga retreat you will be engaging and that their goals match well with your personal aspirations. Again, research is the key. When setting your goals, think both long-term benefit and short-term benefit. If the program does not give you a sense of these benefits, speak to a coordinator.

Facility - Get an understanding of the program's facility and how the yoga program utilizes the retreat's facilities. Practical ramifications of this information may affect how you will dress and therefore the clothes you need to pack. Are you looking for something luxurious like Miraval or would something spartan, clean and more budget-friendly like Kripalu serve your needs?

Experience - Cross-reference your own research with the first hand or word-of-mouth experiences of previous attendees. Don't be afraid to ask if they would return or what their progress has been since visiting the retreat. Do a google search for reviews of the retreat or ask if you can speak with someone who experienced the retreat.

Travel - Just as you plan your itinerary, make sure there are no holes in your travel plans. Some retreats are in outlying areas. Verify and confirm all return-trip information weeks before departing. Check the weather as well before you are traveling. Investigate the cancelation policy in case of inclement weather.

Budget - Your budget should include all costs associated with travel and the yoga retreat.. Be especially clear about meal and travel provisions. It is safe to say that every yoga retreat has its own standards. Are extras such as spa treatments, mats, blocks and other classes included or are they extra?

Experience - Many yoga retreats cater to practitioners of different levels. Some retreats are prone to accept beginning students while others prohibit the beginner. Most important is matching your experience level with the program's stated experience levels. Are you looking to do an intensive program with 6-8 hours of yoga a day or would 2-3 hours be your pace? Find our the schedule before hand if you can.

Climate - Do you want to be in the tropics so you can lay in the summer when you are not in a down dog? Do you want to be able to hike in beautiful surroundings? Do you want to be able to ski and do more winter-y activties? Make sure to look into the other non-yoga activities and what the average temperatures are (in the water as well), it’s not so fun to swim in the Pacific Ocean in the middle of winter.

Author's Bio: 

Jasmine Kaloudis, Holistic Lifestyle Expert, teaches at yoga retreats at Synergy By Jasmine in Philadelphia. For free images of yoga poses with tips on how to do them, email info at jasminepartneryoga dot com with "Request Yoga Poses and Tips" in headline.

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