There are a ton of reasons why yoga teachers decide to host a yoga retreat: to switch up locales, to offer students the opportunity to deepen their practice, to have a little more creative control… the list goes on. But taking the leap to host an exotic, weeklong retreat on a beach in Bali or in a small Tuscan village can seem daunting—not to mention expensive!
Hosting a local yoga retreat offers a happy middle ground. A staycation-style retreat is easier to coordinate, more accessible for students, and less expensive to manage. Whether you’re looking to host an intensive daylong yoga retreat or one spread over the course of a long weekend, here’s how to budget to pull it off.
A peaceful venue
The perfect venue will set the tone for your entire retreat, so put in the legwork to find a place that’s just right.
Traditional venues for events—hotels, banquet halls, conference centers—don’t have quite the right vibe for a yoga retreat, and hosting the retreat in a regular yoga studio isn’t super-exciting, so you’ll need to think outside the box. Scour local vacation rental websites to scout out that roomy cabin in the woods, the cozy cottage by the beach, or the modern treehouse in the forest that fits with your vision (just double check the rental agreement to make sure they allow commercial usage). You could also consider alternative venues, like an art gallery, aquarium, or planetarium.
Don’t forget that the venue you choose will likely determine the number of guests you’ll be able to host. Consider how many yoga mats can be set up in the main area, and how many beds are available (if you plan to host an overnight retreat).
You’re going to need some bodies to fill those yoga mats, so don’t forget to budget for marketing expenses.
Start with free marketing initiatives: announcing your retreat at the beginning or end of classes you teach; posting about it on your social media; sharing details with your yogi friends; etc.
Next, focus on low-cost but high-impact advertisements. A well-designed professional poster can go a long way. Ask to post it at local studios, on bulletin boards at health stores, and at shops that sell yoga clothing and gear.
Finally, if you still have a few spaces open, consider investing in a targeted Facebook ad or on a popular yoga blog. You can gear your advertisement toward locals who are interested in yoga—this is a great way to expand your customer base beyond your immediate network.
Most of your participants will already have their own yoga mats, but some people might not—and there’s a good chance that at least one person will forget their mat at home.
Having a few extra mats on standby will keep everything running smoothly. There are a few options here: purchase extra mats (which you can keep for future workshops, retreats, and events); borrow a few mats from the studio you teach at; or work out a deal with a local yoga shop where you have its mats available for purchase at your retreat.
You’re going to need to feed attendees plenty of nutritious foods to keep them alert, focused, and motivated about their practice throughout the retreat. Limit your shopping list to healthy, whole foods that are filling but not too heavy on the stomach.
Breakfast might include smoothies, fruit salad, toast, and oatmeal; wraps, Buddha bowls, and salads will serve as the perfect lunch; and veggie burgers with grilled veggies and salad make for a hearty but healthy dinner.
Be sure to verify any dietary restrictions or allergies with students as they register for the retreat.
It’s a good idea to pick up a few yoga props that will allow students to modify poses and expand their practice throughout classes. Depending on the type of yoga you will be teaching, consider providing blocks and straps, at a minimum. Bolsters are another good option to provide, and you can add in pillows and cozy blankets to supplement a blissful restorative session.
Between classes and workshops, consider offering a few non-yoga activities that stick with the general theme of your retreat.
Inexpensive activity ideas might include a hike, a trail run, or setting up a slackline to play with. For quiet-time activities, pick up adult coloring books and pencil crayons, craft supplies to make vision boards, and a few good books and magazines for those who just want to curl up on the couch and read.
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