I have a very active fantasy world.
Not exactly Ally McBeal level — but pretty substantial nonetheless. One of my favorite daydreams includes yoga at the beach. By the beach. Damn, even a view of the beach would do! Sadly, I live nowhere near the cliffy shores, thundering waves, and salty air… but a girl can dream, you know?
After I’d get my yoga on listening to the waves hit the shore, I’d go back to my gorgeous little beach house (naturally…), have a cup of coffee with breakfast and a good book. I’d spend the rest of the day eating my favorite foods and doing things that I love. Simple things! Things that make me feel completely relaxed, at peace, and free from all stress and anxiety.
Luckily, we all can have that little piece of yoga retreat-like bliss — at home! Whether it’s for a weekend, two weeks, or just one day, retreating (tee hee) from the real life, spending time with yourself and your yoga mat will do your heart, body, and mind the world of good. Here’s the complete guide for building a kick-ass home yoga retreat!
1 | Schedule your home yoga retreat
I happen to be very big on planning, schedules, and lists. And it turns out that the things you put down in writing are the ones that tend to actually happen! So take your retreating and relaxation seriously. It’s an important meeting between you and your yoga mat!
Pick a day or a weekend that’s accessible to you and allows you to get your yoga on retreat style. If possible, pick a time when nobody needs anything from you. A time that you can dedicate completely to yourself. Make sure you’re not battling any deadlines or events, send the kids to their dad, get the wife or the boyfriend out of the house if possible. Try to make your environment as clutter free, quiet, and stressless as possible.
And yes, yes you can do it. Yes, you deserve it. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, partner, daughter, friend, or employee if you take a couple of days off for yourself. You need you too.
2 | Pick a theme for your home yoga retreat
Sure, you can just go for your usual 90min Vinyasa sessions if you want to! If you know what you want, girl, go for it. But if you want to change it up for your special home yoga retreat weekend — the options are endless, my friend.
Let’s get real about ‘detoxing’ your body
I have a no-nonsense approach to the ‘yoga culture’ if you will. So here’s my unpopular opinion.
Yeah, ‘detox’, cleansing and weight loss yoga programs are insanely popular… even though they’re completely unnecessary. You know, since your liver and kidneys and other organs make a pretty good job detoxing your body by themselves. It’s their job. They don’t need ‘detox’ yoga or teas or juices to do their thing. It’s actually quite rude to assume otherwise. They work really fucking hard for your body, okay?
If you want to ‘detox’ your body, okay, that’s cool! Just eat plenty of foods that are gentle for your digestion and give your organs a break. Fruit, veggies, whole foods, plenty of water. Ditch the meat, processed foods, sugar, junk. Get plenty of rest and do some yoga to keep your heart happy!
Some ideas for your home yoga retreat theme
Maybe you’ve been feeling a little down lately. For me, it’s depression and the occasional, overwhelming bout of anxiety. For you, it could be grief, chronic illness, monumental changes in your life that you’re still trying to comprehend.
If that’s you, your home yoga retreat could consist of happy, heart-opening, depression and stress-relieving yoga. Your favorite food. Dinner with a friend. That tv show or movie that always makes you laugh and forget yourself just for a little while. A walk or a hike in nature.
Your theme could also be something that you want to focus on, yoga-wise. Maybe you’ll spend the weekend working on your backbends or arm balances. Or you’ll have a Yin yoga retreat! Maybe you just pick one specific pose that you’ll practice every single day after your yoga session. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
3 | Make sure your yoga space is peaceful and cozy
You can decorate your yoga space easily AND without hurting your bank account. You can create a playlist of all your favorite, calming songs. Maybe find some meditation music or chanting on Spotify to mix it up a little! Throw some pillows and blankets in your space, a few candles here and here. Utilize wax melts, scented candles or incense. Whip out the essential oil diffuser if that’s more your thing!
The goal is YOUR ultimate relaxation for the weekend. So figure out what that is for you.
4 | Plan your meals and stock up on nutritious foods
Plan out your menu and do your grocery shopping ahead of time. If you want to get the full yoga-experience, try out the vegetarian or vegan diet for your home yoga retreat! Stock up on fruit, veggies, and deliciously filling whole foods.
Roll up your sleeves and go on an epic Pinterest adventure to find some new recipes to try. I collect healthy vegan recipes on this Pinterest board if you’d like to check it out to get some ideas. Your home yoga retreat is the time to honor your body and give it a little break. If possible, avoid all heavy, processed foods. No meat, junk food, sugar, or alcohol. Try to keep it simple, nutritious, and colorful!
5 | Plan your other retreat activities
Oh, yeah, we’re going there. We’re having activities. Here are a few ideas for you to consider!
- Have a little home spa session. Pamper time just for you! Do a face mask. Hair mask. Scrub your body. Shave your legs. Have a pedicure. Go out and get a massage! Have the most delicious, luxurious, relaxing bath you’ve ever had. If you’re one of the lucky ones that have a bath tub in their home, it would be downright criminal to not use it.
- The main focus for the weekend is yoga, but if you enjoy a walk or a hike, go for it! Spending time in the fresh air is good for your body and your brilliant brain. I find walking especially to be a great pairing for yoga.
- Read. Whip out your Goodreads challenge. How many books out of the 20 have you read this year? You still have some time left to finish as a champion! Find a book that you’ve been dying to read, something light, funny and fluffy — doctor Vivi’s orders. The Handmaid’s Tale ONLY if reading about terrifying misogynistic dystopian societies bring you happiness instead of dark thoughts and crippling anxiety.
- Deepen your yoga knowledge. I believe that you can practice yoga and not know about the philosophical elements of yoga. You don’t have to take part in meditation or any spiritual aspects either. You do you. Your yoga practice is YOUR practice. But if you would like to learn more, use your yoga retreat to study up on some yoga philosophy. Maybe learn about the 8 limbs of yoga, the Chakras, or Ayurveda. You can listen to a yoga podcast, watch videos or documentaries, or read yoga books to deepen your yoga knowledge.
During your home yoga retreat…
1 | Remember that this is your time for peace and relaxation
Let me make it clear. YOUR time. To relax and breathe and enjoy the peace and quiet. To get your yoga on. Soak up the luxury of being in your own company. The best company you could ever have, amirite?
Concentration is one of the 8 limbs of yoga, and what better time to engage in it than your home yoga retreat?
So turn off your phone. Your laptop. Your tablet. Say bye bye to your social media followers for now. They’ll survive without you. It’ll be tough, I know, but they’ll live.
Your home yoga retreat is the time for guilt-free, over-indulgent self-romancing!
2 | Dedicate time for a morning and evening yoga practice
Try to get your yoga on right after you wake up. Especially if you’re usually an evening practitioner! It’s nice to switch things up sometimes.
Do your sun salutations in the morning at the beach, on the patio, in front of the window in your tiny bedroom. Let the light in. Open the window to smell the rain and the fresh air. Embrace the beauty of the morning. No expectations. No plans. Just you and your yoga mat.
Connect your yoga practice with nature if you can. If you don’t want to even remotely entertain a thought about an evening practice outside cause you’d be eaten alive by the million+ mosquitoes hanging around, let’s move it inside! We can spice it up with candles and music instead.
3 | Include meditation or journaling into your home yoga retreat
Meditation is not for everyone. But if you’ve never tried it before, then your home retreat is the perfect time to try it out! You can also practice your Pranayama breathing techniques.
Journaling is another way to clear your mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and maybe get a better understanding of yourself. It’s better to write things down instead of letting them mull in the deep corners of your mind. A simple gratitude journal is a good way to start to include more positivity and good vibes into your life. Start your morning by writing down 5 things that you’re grateful for — and end the night doing the same.
Dare to romance yourself with a home yoga retreat.
So what if I can’t fulfill my fantasies about the yoga filled, dreamy day at the beach? There’s nothing wrong with a bit of staycation magic.
You can still get all the benefits of de-stressing your body, clearing your head, calming your breath — letting joy and freedom in your heart again. Spend the weekend doing what you love… yoga, cooking, reading, just being still in the silence. Listening to yourself and your body.
Have you ever experienced a home yoga retreat? Tell me how it went in the comments below!
Hi, I’m Vivi! I’m a transformation mentor, writer, and yoga enthusiast. My life’s purpose is empowering spiritually curious women to be and do whatever the hell they want to. I’m here to share my journey and truth with you — unapologetically, with a touch of sarcasm and a lot of heart. I want to help you grow and follow your soul’s desire, not anybody else’s rules. I write weekly about personal growth and yoga on this blog. You can join the List to receive a weekly letter of inspiration and guidance!