Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Pack for a Yoga Retreat

Today's guest post comes to us from Rebecca O'Brien, a yoga retreat veteran. That's her on a yoga retreat last summer--she's third from the right.

Packing for any trip can be an agonizing task. You’re there the night before you leave trying to anticipate day and night clothing scenarios, climate, if you’re going to need shoes for walking or dancing, and even how to squeeze in a workout - but packing for a yoga retreat is a whole other process! I discovered this last year when I attended the Ki Power Vinyasa yoga retreat with Isauro Fernandez in Rioja, Spain. I’m a pretty easy going packer with a tendency to pack more than I need (only to end up wearing the same three outfits!) – I realized I could not allow myself that luxury or the idea that I’ll bring those fun few pieces to experiment with a new look. Oh no, I had to factor in yoga pants, sports bras, yoga tops as well as casual clothing for touring vineyards throughout Rioja and dresses for evening dinners. Not to mention squeezing in my yoga mat – which was not as portable as I had imagined!

In the end, I was pleased to discover that by factoring in so many of these workout outfits – I was forced to only pack what I knew I would wear and also suck it up and accept I may end up having to repeat an outfit (gasp!). With extra luggage fees even on overseas flights I wasn’t going to spend more to bring an extra bag just so I could be the yoga fashionista! Therefore I ended up with the following:

• 5 yoga pants and tops
• Comfortable day dresses for touring around the area
• One cardigan in case it was chilly on the bus or in the wineries
• Two fancier frocks for the welcome and farewell dinner
• Two pairs of flat sandals for easy walking and only one pair of nice heels (the hardest thing to do!)
• Bathing suit
• Nightgown and robe
• A pair of jeans and two t-shirts
• And of course my yoga mat!

For this year’s Ki Power Vinyasa yoga retreat to Penedes, Spain – I will most likely follow the same formula, adding few more bathing suits since this retreat is near the beach on the Costa Dorada. And, maybe, just maybe, I’ll sneak one more pair of heels into my boyfriend’s bag without him knowing…don’t tell!

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