If you’ve just booked a yoga retreat at a scrumptious setting somewhere in paradise, you probably have a hunch this will be the best gift you ever gave yourself!

Finding Your Purpose in Life Through Yoga

If this millennium is teaching us one thing, it’s that the search for meaning, or our purpose in life, is key. True happiness will never be attained by pursuing material things. One method for finding that meaning or purpose is through the practice of yoga. Meditation, Asanas (yoga poses), Pranayama (breathing exercises) – these are some of yoga’s most sacred and effective components.  Each, in turn, improves stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, and boosts vitality levels and general mood. Research shows that there are 38 Health Benefits to practicing yoga! If you’ve never been on a yoga retreat, rest assured, it will be anything but dull! You will definitely need more than your new yoga pants. Below is a list of items you should not overlook.

Recording Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Sensations

Bring a journal with you and try to make time for writing every day. Jot down some of the most important discoveries you have made about your yoga practice or about your own spirituality. Or just write down your experiences of the day. Or maybe start your day with an intention and see what transpires. Take time to express gratitude for all the good people and experiences you encounter during the day or just in life in general. List the images and experiences that have made a strong impression on you. Or maybe write prayers and then meditate on them.

Gear for Hiking and Trekking or Fun in the Sun!

Many yoga retreats make the most of the beautiful natural surroundings, combining camping, or hiking activities, or beach side retreats with your yoga practice.If your retreat lasts for around a week or more, in addition to your suitcase, bring a smaller, yet snazzy traveling bag, which is not as bulky as a conventional backpack, but will easily accommodate a water bottle, a small towel, snacks, and a change of clothes in case you decide to sleep under the stars after hiking to a particularly beautiful natural spot. Make sure you have the right shoes and clothing for hiking as well; you will need warm, snug items, since mountainside retreats can get cool at night, despite their beautiful sunny temperatures by day. In addition to your suitcase, bring a yoga/pilates back pack that not only fits under the airplane seat or folds up in your suitcase to be used later, for carrying anything from sunscreen to money or your yoga mat.  Make sure you have the right shoes and clothing for hiking as well; you will need warm, snug items, since mountainside retreats can get cool at night, despite their beautiful sunny temperatures by day.Essential Yoga Gear

In addition to bringing a few pairs of yoga pants and tank tops, bring a couple of long-sleeved tops just in case you need them for outdoor yoga. It is also a good idea to bring your own mat; even if the resort provides all the equipment you need. I like to have my own yoga mat instead of borrowing one. Just think of all the items you normally use when you practice yoga at home. If you’re going to a hot, humid place, bring some yoga gloves and socks so your feet and hands don’t slip and slide on your mat like these toe sox productsSunscreen and a Swimsuit

If you are lucky enough to head for a yoga retreat close to waterfalls, lakes or the beach, don’t forget sunscreen Click here for Arizona Sun Skin Care Products. and a hat or SPF Sun protective clothing like Coolibar. Immersing yourself in the beauty of nature will take your yoga practice to the next level, instantly revealing the powerful life force that flows through all of us.

For your next yoga retreat, make sure to bring items expected and unexpected. While your yoga practice will be your main aim during the next few days or weeks, you will also be invited to make the most of stunning natural settings by hiking, trekking, swimming or even cycling. Before leaving, ask the resort about the weather, activities, and must-see sights, so you can pack the right equipment for every adventure. But remember to pack light if you can. I always travel with one carry on item and one personal item. That way my luggage can’t get lost and I have everything I need.

Have a great time at your yoga retreat!

By Cindy Trillo