What’s the difference? How do I choose between the two?
If you are a retreat leader and are planning your next retreat, often the first step is deciding what type of retreat you would like to offer. Here at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat in Panama, we want to make sure we understand your vision for the retreat to make sure we support you with exactly what you need to make your retreat an unforgettable experience.
Meditation vs Margaritas
Yoga Retreats often fall on a spectrum. On the right, you have Yoga Retreats where the main focus for your participants is to participate with you and/or your team to gain knowledge and practice from direct contact with you and/or your team. Often these retreats have multiple sessions throughout the day, do not allow alcohol, and prefer a strict vegetarian or vegan menu. A yoga teacher’s training often falls on this end of the spectrum.
The other end of the spectrum is yoga vacations. These are often more about enjoying what the location has to offer with a yoga class or two thrown in to heighten the experience. These retreats at Istmo might include a surfing class, a Standup Paddleboard tour through the mangroves, a visit to a local indigenous village, whale watching, visiting the Panama Canal, hiking in the cloud forest, visiting a local market, a cooking demonstration, a massage, or a lot of relaxation time at the beach or in a hammock. The menu often includes seafood with the option of a glass of wine, pina colada, or local beer.
Most retreats fall somewhere between the two. Even the teacher training that we have hosted offers a free day or two to take a tour or relax at the beach. The good news is, retreats anywhere on the spectrum are valid and can be amazing experiences.
The important thing for Retreat Leaders is to be clear with potential participants on where on the spectrum your retreat will fall and exactly what is/ is not included. This will avoid any “on location” uncomfortable conversations ie- “What do you mean I have to share a room with 2 other people?” or as the food is coming out, “Oh I forgot to mention I’m gluten-free”, etc.
Organizing your retreat is a process. We look forward to supporting you throughout, so all expectations are clear and you and your participants will leave with the satisfaction of having experienced a retreat of a lifetime.