Packing for a yoga retreat is a significant step in the whole process you undertake once you make the decision to go.
A yoga retreat can be life-changing. Every time you change your perspective on life, even just a little bit, you create new neural pathways for fresh thoughts and patterns of behavior. Old bad habits that are not serving you become a little less automatic as the new stuff starts to soak in. What better place to start this process than with your suitcase?
Five things I always pack on a yoga retreat:
A journal. Take this opportunity to cultivate a habit of writing down your thoughts. Maybe just a short list of the things you are grateful for, written at the beginning or end of each day. Maybe the hopes and dreams that bubble up with free time to daydream. Make a note of interesting books, movies and places the other guests share with you. A quote your yoga teacher recited that really resonated. A new practice to explore when you return home. A journal full of blank pages to remind you of the unwritten stories before you in your life. If these thoughts spark joy in you, find a journal or a notebook to reflect that. If you see your journal as being more functional, then choose simplicity and form, a simple light notebook. Let your journal spark that sense of joy in you every time you see it.
Something brand new. A book, some music, a podcast. Plan this in advance — what have you been meaning to look into? What new things are ripe for exploring? What is intriguing? On your retreat you will be opening your mind to new thoughts, feelings, experiences, conversations and cultures. Your mind is ripe and open like the cloudless blue skies under which you will daydream. What will you feed your mind with in this new creative space you two have together?
Something that expresses YOU! Maybe it’s your Mickey Mouse T-shirt or your favorite bright red tassel earrings; don’t be afraid to shine out in all your glory. On retreat we all start out wearing our everyday faces — as we meet a group of mostly strangers with open minds and good intentions. Then…moment by moment, that everyday face starts to fade away, and the real you starts to shine through more and more. Celebrate you on retreat…the fun, happy, relaxed you!
Your favorite comfortable clothing. Comfy yoga pants, soft layers, a favorite dress or shirt or fancy shoes if they spark joy. After all, above all, you are on vacation. You are on a celebration of the relaxed life you have sought and chosen. Make every moment a small celebration and a time to simply relish being happy and comfortable in your own skin!
Something that will make you smile. Maybe a photo of a loved one or a fur-baby. Maybe an indulgent product you’ve been meaning to treat yourself to. Maybe just your favorite cozy socks or a simple essential oil. You will learn more and more, throughout this process, that you, above everyone else, deserve your love and attention. Happy packing!
Look out for our next post coming soon: 5 Things to Leave Behind When Packing for Your Yoga Retreat