What to Pack for a Yoga Retreat (and What Not to Pack)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Couple of weeks back I had an amazing opportunity to check out Banff Yoga Festival and let me tell you, I came back a changed person. Well I came back super sore physically but 3 days away from hustle and bustle did wonders for getting some clarity, finding peace and joy. Packing for the yoga festival or retreat can be challenging if you are first timer, I found I way over packed on unnecessary items. 

The essentials:

Some of these things are oblivious – like yes, we all know you need a yoga mat for a yoga retreat.  Here are few things that I think are definitely essentials if you are attending a yoga retreat:

Yoga Mat and towel– Most yoga retreat centers have mats and props available, but if you want to bring your own, or in the case that they don’t provide them, you can bring a light travel mat with you. Yoga towel would be handy if you’re going somewhere hot and humid.

Water Bottle – Instead buying water – bring a water bottle you can refill before and after yoga practices.

Oversized scarf/ sweater– Very useful and necessary to bring to cover yourself during meditation and shavasana.

Essential oils – some of my favorite yoga oils are peppermint or lavender.

Yoga clothes – For a three-day yoga retreat you would need 3 outfits to practice in. Just think in terms of sports bras, shorts or yoga pants, and tank tops with something to layer over.

Rain Coat – Research where you are going. It rained for 2/3 days in Banff. Did I pack a rain coat? NO! Be prepared.

Swim suit – again, depending on where you are going swimsuits are necessary.

Comfortable shoes - pair or runners and sandals; maybe even something waterproof. 
The other things:
Non yoga practice clothes: comfortable, loose functional clothes is what I would recommend. There is no need
Socks - I m cold all the time so I did some of the sessions in socks, especially when we were practicing on concrete. 

Snacks - while the festival I attend had snacks there and food for purchase I did find that I prob should have packed few genrola bars or something.

Tote/backpack/yoga bag - something to bring all your things with you. I used a tote but a backpack or yoga bang would be a better way to go.

Must have items: Sunblock/Bug Spray/makeup removing wipes/deodorant/hand sanitizer/chapstick/notebook and pen- if you are asking what you need to carry with you in the above mentioned bag, this is it.

Headphones/Kobo or book/portable charger - just things to have in your "off" practice times.

Toiletries / undergarments - pack as needed/normally.

Cash/items to donate - depending on where in the world you are heading, rememebr to have correct currency and some cash in case you cannot pay with cards. If you are going places where you have an opportunity to give back to communities, I recommend bring notebooks, pens, soccer balls, socks, toothbrushes/tooth paste (things that we could easily afford and get for cheap at dollar store).

Phone/Camera - I bought both but could have easily just used my phone without lugging around my DSLR

What not to pack:
Jewelry. (there is no need for your fancy jewelry on a yoga retreat).
Uncomfortable clothing (heels, skinny jeans and expensive dressed).
Heavy (lots of) make up/ heavily scented things. I didn't even bring my straightener or any make up other than mascara.

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