Whether you are a professional traveler or its your first time getting on a plane, packing might actually be one of the more stressful aspects about going on a yoga retreat. It seems that no matter how much thought goes into making a packing list, there always seems to be that inner dialogue saying, "oh maybe just one more top," or the, "I could totally see myself wearing these sandals," and the, "I might need another pair of yoga pants." Although the struggle between how many clothes, shoes, accessories and bags to bring is real, no one wants to be lugging around a bag that weighs more than them and you better believe no one wants to pay the ridiculous fees airlines charge for extra "LB's."
So, I've compiled a short list of tips to help restore some peace amidst the packing chaos. Do remember, this is for a yoga retreat after all. Let's begin with some mindfulness even before our flight takes off.
1. Less is more
I've recently been telling my students when they ask what they should bring, that if they have to think a lot about it, don't bring it. I say, "remember my voice when you're double thinking bringing that "extra" dress or what not, saying, "don't do it!" Reuse and re wear. That goes for everything, between yoga gear and going out wear. You don't need to make a fashion statement. We want to be practical!
2. How many yoga pants/ tops to bring?
Typically on a retreat there is at least one yoga class a day. I say if there are two, re use the clothes worn earlier that day. You can even do less than that and bring 3 pants and 3 tops and rotate them. I typically don't do this just because our practice is very rigorous and my clothes are drenched. I also recommend bringing some Dr. Bonner's soap that can be used in the sink or shower to rinse your clothes out!
3. Do I bring my own mat?
Depending on where you're going, your destination may have mats and a full stocked studio and bringing your own mat isn't necessary. I do always suggest bringing your own mat though because I have found that the mats at retreat centers aren't always the best quality. You can of course get away with using one of their mats as long as you bring a yoga mat towel to put over for hot classes. Otherwise, I bring my own mat and use a lululemon backpack that has a special place for the mat to sit in. I have also seen my students fold their mats up and fit them inside of their suitcases.
4. Non yoga pants attire
Unless otherwise noted, I would never bring heals or fancy dresses and clothes on a yoga retreat. Keep it casual but bring clothes to go out in that you feel comfortable yet confident in. I always say, bring a few outfits that you would wear out with your girlfriends to a local restaurant. You're getting "dressed" just not over doing it.
I normally bring the small shampoo and conditioner bottles found at Target. I will also bring my own soap, just in case the hotel doesn't provide any. I typically don't bring a blow dryer because I honestly feel like 1. it doesn't matter, we're all there to relax and feel comfortable and 2. you never know what kind of outlets you'll need depending on where you're traveling.
Here is a sample list of what to bring:
Reusable water bottle
6 yoga pants
6 yoga tops
3-6 sports bras
Active Wear: (Excursions)
Athletic shorts or yoga crops
Short sleeve/ tank
Light weight jacket or sweater
Sandals or casual shoes
2-3 bathing suites
2-3 cover ups
Small first aid kit!
Neck Pillow for long flights
a book or journal to read or write in
Visa (if needed, prep before hand)
Plenty of cash!
Make sure to tell your bank when you are traveling
Camera + Camera charger
Let's all remember to practice non-attachment and non excess while thinking about to bring on a yoga retreat. Remember that it's all about what you'll experience and discover from your travels, not about making some kind of fashion statement. Pack smart ladies and gents and have the time of your lives!
Any other questions? Feel free to ask! If you think we missed anything that you feel is essential in your packing list, send us your insight!