How to guide on hosting an international yoga retreat in Nicaragua
10 Tips for planning a yoga retreat abroad
Planning a yoga retreat is exciting and a big undertaking. From visas to unexpected travel plans, there’s a lot to consider when planning out an international yoga retreat. Planning, doing research beforehand, and choosing all-inclusive hotels and resorts for lodging purposes can help. These expert tips will help you plan a yoga retreat abroad like a seasoned professional.
There are a lot of details that go into planning a yoga retreat, so be sure to keep this guide close when the time comes for you to create yours. Our first tip is pretty basic, but you’d be surprised to know it’s often overlooked.
Research the Weather
When you’re picking a location for your yoga retreat, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the weather. If you’re choosing somewhere tropical, you probably want to avoid the rainy season as it could ruin the experience for your guests.
Consider partnering with a professional retreat center
Part of planning an international yoga retreat is choosing a location for your guests, working out travel logistics, and planning excursions or other activities. A professional retreat center, such as Room to Roam, can provide you with amenities, food, beverages, travel logistics planning (like booking flights and getting transportation to and from the airport) and can plan activities for you. They also have more experience running retreats in foreign countries and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may pop up. They will also have advice on travel insurance, local activities in the area, and safe transportation options. You will save time, money, and energy by partnering with them.
Consider the following when picking a location:
Plan ahead of time
Be sure to give yourself enough time to plan out the retreat and contact the retreat center or hotel to discuss your yoga schedule, itinerary, lodging, and more. Set yourself up for success by being proactive about any potential issues that may arise. You might also want to create a welcome packet for your guests with information on what they can expect when they arrive.
Here is some important information you will want to collect from your guests before they arrive:
- Contact details
- Emergency contact details
- Arrival information
- Transfer information
- Dietary requirements
- Injuries / health conditions / allergies
- Room preferences
Create a theme or a focus
What’s the theme or focus of your retreat? Will it be Vinyasa yoga, meditation, or feminine embodiment coaching? Determine what the focus of your yoga retreat will be to provide clarity on what you’re offering. Being clear lets people know what to expect and helps you appeal to your ideal audience. It also makes organizing your schedule so much easier.
The best yoga retreats take you on a journey and combines a few activities that complement one another.
Hot Tip: Create a goodie bag to give your guests that’s in alignment with your theme, so they have something beautiful to open upon arrival.
Create a schedule
We recommend putting together a schedule for your retreat and sending this to your retreat venue as soon as possible – that way there will be no surprises when you arrive. Even better if you can send this to guests in advance so they know what to expect, and you can answer any questions beforehand. Here’s an example of a yoga retreat schedule:
- 7:30am – Yoga
- 9:30am – Breakfast
- *Free time
- 1pm – Lunch
- *Free time or optional Cacao ceremony
- 4:30pm – workshops / meditation / restorative yoga
- 7pm – Dinner
Be prepared to adjust your teaching in real time
You may have to adjust your teaching schedule if something unexpected comes up. It would be helpful to have another yoga teacher or yoga teacher assistant that’s certified to step in in the event you get injured or sick.
Also, if you were supposed to teach yoga on the beach at 10 a.m. but it starts raining, you will need to pivot and have a backup plan.
While it can be difficult to need to be so flexible while abroad, remind yourself that this is a lesson on yoga and life and try to release and go with the flow.
Bring a team with you
There are a lot of moving parts to making a yoga retreat work. Assigning someone to help with various areas of the retreat will be beneficial in the long run and help you avoid burning out. We suggest having a logistics leader, a yoga teacher, and a backup yoga teacher/helper. Your logistics leader can help with last-minute emergencies, excursions, cancellations, personal matters, and more. This allows you as the yoga teacher to be present and focus on teaching classes, and your yoga teacher assistant is there to help with any additional tasks and back you up in the event you need help.
Determine if there’s anything specific you need to know about the country you’re hosting your retreat in, such as if you need to get a certain vaccine, should avoid tap water, or need to get a visa beforehand. Room to Roam hosts yoga retreats in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua and Playa Grande, Costa Rica, which are very tourist friendly locales. Here are a few destination specific tips about both areas:
- English is spoken although not everywhere
- The weather is tropical
- Try to avoid tap water (it’s safe to drink in Costa Rica in more touristy places)
- The CDC recommends travelers that visit certain areas to take prescription medicine to prevent malaria (this is in remote areas and is often not applicable to tourists)
Determine activities and excursions
You will have plenty of time on a retreat to explore other activities such as hiking, surfing, cooking classes, you name it. While most retreat centers offer a wide variety of activities, we suggest sticking to one day trip and maybe a half-day activity if your retreat is anywhere from 7 to 10 days long. Be aware that your guests will also want some down time in between activities as well, so be sure to factor that into your schedule.
Contact the retreat center for their recommendations, referrals, and ideas. They will be able to get you in touch with the right company or people to help you organize a trip.
Don’t forget to have un
Be sure to remember to take it all in and have a good time. While unexpected events may happen and you might have to freestyle and not go with your set schedule all the time, trust your intuition. Focus on being fully present for your yoga sessions, be yourself, and enjoy the experience.
Room to Roam welcomes teachers and leaders
If you’re a yoga teacher, energy healer, or meditation leader, be sure to check out our retreat space at Room to Roam. We offer an all-inclusive, concierge-like experience in beautiful tropical places like Nicaragua and Costa Rica.