You’ve made the decision. You’re ready for a retreat; so you start searching the Internet for your perfect yoga trip.

But there are so many out there, offering such a variety of practices and experiences and extras — how do you know which one is right for you?

Take a deep breath, and read on.

Here’s our guide on how to choose a yoga retreat. With everything you need to think about; from location and budget, to whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an intensive learning experience.

Where To Book Your Yoga Retreat? 

If you’re looking to book your yoga retreat, you want to browse and compare various retreats and know that they are all legit.

Breathing Travel recommends two reliable and trustworthy websites:

  1. BookYogaRetreats, the world’s largest yoga site to book any retreat from beginners to yoga teacher trainings in every destination imaginable.
  2. Book Retreats, where you can compare handpicked retreats and book instantly and they also have great customer support.

#1 Know your budget

I hear you; none of us want to talk about money when we’re planning a life changing, transformative trip.

But your budget has to be at the top of the list because all yoga retreats cost money — and to find the right one, you need to be clear on how much you want to spend.

It’s possible to book yoga retreats for as little as $250 for a weekend, or as much as $4,000 for an all-inclusive week or two.

Figure out your budget first and write it down. It will help to narrow your search right from the start.

#2 Consider where you’d like to go

You might want to enjoy a retreat in one of the world’s popular yoga destinations — like Thailand, India, or Bali.

Perhaps you’re keen to explore a less visited part of the world… how about Albania? Or maybe you’d rather stay close to home and look for a yoga retreat near you.

Make a location shortlist and keep it by your side while you compare yoga retreats.

One thing is certain: you’ll be able to find a retreat (almost) anywhere in the world.

#3 How long you want to go for

How much time you can (and want) to take out of your everyday life is an important thing to consider.

Do you need a relaxing weekend away, or are you after a long immersion into the yogic lifestyle? You can go as long as a 3-week yoga retreat or a month or choose a brief retreat.

Which leads to the next point…

#4 Do the dates fit your life?

It’d be nice, if we could look for our dream retreat with the knowledge that as soon as we stumble across it, we can hit that ‘book’ button and be on our way.

But reality bites: before you book, you’ve got to make sure the timing actually works for you.

This is much easier if you plan in advance. So, instead of looking for a retreat that starts tomorrow, think ahead and find one a few months — or even a year — in the future.

I know you’re impatient, but the anticipation can feel good too. Plus, planning it all is half the fun!

#5 What style of yoga do you want to practice or perfect?

Are you a committed Ashtanghi or do you have a creative Vinyasa Flow vibe?

Do you crave the detail and precision of Iyengar; or are you looking to deepen and open up with Yin? Have you just had a really tough year and need a super chilled week of Restorative Yoga bliss?

Having an idea of what form of yoga you want to practice will help you choose a retreat to suit you.

And if you’re not really sure yet which style is which, consider this instead…

#6 How experienced are you?

If you’re a beginner, you can look for a retreat specifically geared towards people like you. An immersion into yoga practice is a wonderful way to ground yourself in the basics with the support of a teacher, and retreats with a beginner focus will start from… well, the beginning.

On the other hand, if you have more yoga experience, check whether a retreat caters for that, or whether the teacher(s) will offer variations and progressions for different levels.

It wouldn’t feel great to be the only beginner on a retreat packed with experienced yogis — and vice versa.

#7 Choose the right teacher (for you)

Different students connect with different teachers. The simplest way to work out if you click with a teacher is to go along to a couple of their regular classes or watch YouTube videos of them teaching (if they are overseas), before you book a retreat with them.

This isn’t always possible but could definitely help your choice!

If you’re interested in a retreat with teachers who don’t live and work near your home, give them a call or contact them on social media, I have found many teachers have an Instagram profile or Facebook page. Have a chat about the retreat and about yourself.

A good teacher will be honest if they don’t think their retreat is right for you; because they want everyone to have a positive experience.

An unsatisfied person on a retreat can bring everyone else down, even the teacher.

#8 Intensive practice or lots of downtime?

Perhaps you’re ready to deepen your practice and you want an intensive learning experience; in which case, a retreat with a packed timetable of classes and lectures would be great.

Or maybe you want to reconnect with yourself and feel a refreshed sense of energy and purpose; then guiding you towards a peaceful, spiritual yoga retreat with plenty of time for self reflection is perfect.

#9 Be clear about what you’d like to get out of the experience

Is your intention to go on a retreat to find yourself? Or would you like to enjoy daily practices in a comfortable yoga hotel with on-site spa facilities?

Maybe you want to get fit or increase your flexibility, detox or lose some weight.

There’s no right or wrong reason to go on retreat.

But knowing why you’re drawn to the idea, and what you hope it will add to your life, will help you choose an experience that’s right for you.

#10 What group size would suit you?

The number of spaces on a retreat is often overlooked as a deciding factor for retreat attendees.

But different retreat holidays cater for different group sizes and that will affect the overall experience. If you’re very sociable or feel uplifted by the energy of a big group practicing together, you can choose a yoga retreat that hosts a group of 15, or even up to 30 people.

However, if you’d like lots of personal attention from your teachers and a sense of quiet and intimate community, a small retreat of 5-12 students might be better.

#11 Simplicity or luxury? Make sure the venue meets your needs

This ties into the very first point about budgets, because the venue is a huge determining factor when it comes to the cost of a retreat.

If you want a cheap yoga retreat you probably already know that you’re looking at a simple setup; seek out clean, basic accommodation, which offers you the peace and quiet to feel steady and calm.

Alternatively, and if you have a bigger budget, you might look for luxury yoga retreats; some are even held at dedicated yoga resorts complete with spa facilities, heated swimming pools, and staff to wait on your every need.

But budget isn’t the only factor involved in choosing between simplicity or luxury.

Even if your budget is limitless, you might prefer the clarity and perspective that can arise when you settle into your practice in a simple setting, away from the distractions of daily life.

How to find a yoga retreat

#12 Check the excursions list

Some retreat holidays involve lots of day trips to see local landmarks, walk in nature, or even indulge in a little shopping. Others don’t and you’ll settle into the retreat venue and then stay there for the duration.

Consider whether you’d like to be still in one place, or if you’re interested in getting out and exploring the area and factor that into your choice of retreat.

Also take note of whether any excursions are included within the base price of the retreat. Often, day trips and extra adventures are at an additional cost.

#13 Just yoga or… yoga and more?

Do you want classes that only cover yoga asana, or are you looking to explore other areas of yoga philosophy, history, and meditative practices?

Would you like to enjoy massage or Ayurvedic treatments too?

You’ll be able to find a retreat experience that offers all of the above, and more; but equally, there are plenty of retreats, which stick to the basics.

#14 The food menu is important

Let’s talk about food. Because the food menu is a really important part of any retreat.

Are you vegan or do you want to enjoy clean vegan food, or even raw food, on retreat? Or on the contrary, do you want to indulge in treats while you’re away?

If you’re aiming to lose weight then you’ll want the menu to support that. And if you have any dietary requirements, check that the chef can accommodate your needs.

#15 Do you want to be sociable or… not so much?

This last one is a little trickier, because the social vibe of a retreat depends on your fellow attendees as much as other factors.

When you choose a yoga retreat, think about whether you want to share a glass of wine (or tea) in the evenings, or if you’d like the space to sit quietly with yourself.

Don’t be afraid to ask the retreat provider what kind of space they like to hold, and how much social time usually happens.

Where can you book your next yoga retreat?

Now that you’ve got your head around how to find a yoga retreat, it’s time to talk about how you actually book retreats.

Lots of independent retreat providers will allow you to book directly through their websites, or even over the phone or by email.

There are also sites that help to streamline yoga retreat booking — making your life a little easier.

Breathing Travel recommends two reliable and trustworthy yoga retreat websites that are listed below.


BookYogaRetreats lists over 17,000 retreats and yoga holidays worldwide. That’s a pretty huge selection; so you will almost definitely find your dream retreat here, if you’re ready to browse through the experiences on offer!

As well as keywords, yoga styles, themes and more, you can search for retreats by duration and/or date to find the right one for you.

Book Yoga Retreats


This booking site handpicks all its retreats. Anyone can technically add a retreat, however, it will be screened by the BookRetreats team before it goes live on the website, which gives some extra piece of mind.

The search tool allows you to find a retreat that suits you (if you already have an idea of what you’re looking for), or you can browse through the listings across all the different destinations.

Book Retreats

That’s it for now…

I hope this has given you plenty to think about so you’re well on your way to finding and booking your next yoga retreat.

I’ll leave you with one last tip: work through this article with paper and pen in hand, and note down your thoughts on each point. By the time you get to the end you’ll have a clear picture of your perfect retreat and are pretty much ready to book!

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