“Every yoga class should end this way,” was all I could think. It was the end of my yoga retreat in Mexico.
Laying at the end of the pier in final Shavasana during my custom yoga retreat, energy was radiating from my heart. I was completely surrounded by the turquoise Caribbean Sea, and engulfed by the sound of the waves.
This was my final yoga class following a week of yoga, sand and sun on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. I had created my own yoga retreat in Mexico and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.
Here are a few tips to help you plan your perfect yoga vacation too.
As I started planning I knew I wanted to do lots of yoga but didn’t want to do a group yoga retreat. As a busy mom, I could only get away from the family for a few days. I also wanted to explore different places, and experiment with different styles of yoga and practice with different teachers along the way.
But perhaps most importantly, I wanted to enjoy a few days on the beach. But instead of returning home having had too much to eat and drink and feeling gross, I wanted to return strong, fit and with a calm mind. I wanted to balance health and well being with rest and relaxation.
And I did just that by following these 5 steps.
Plan from the start with the intention to do yoga. From the beginning of the planning process, I knew that I wanted to do a lot of yoga but on my own terms. As a result I consciously chose to travel solo. The trip came together around yoga, not the other way around.
But, if you decide to travel with a companion, make sure they understand and support your plan (even if they don’t want to participate).
Book hotels that offer yoga. This just makes it easier. Plenty of hotels, especially in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico offer amazing yoga classes taught by amazing local teachers – and from time to time even visiting guest instructors.
As a result, I didn’t have to go out of my way to find, schedule and join classes and I didn’t need everything planned ahead of time. I organize a few things in advance, but mostly played it by ear and join classes once I arrived. Tulum’s Papaya Playa Project was a fun, rustic boutique hotel which offers daily group yoga as well as private yoga classes.
Keep an open mind. I was exposed to a lot of Kundalini Yoga on this trip for the first time. This style of yoga is very different from what I usually practice at home.
My natural response to this was of course a bit of nervousness at the start of each class. While there were elements I enjoyed and some I didn’t as much, I loved experimenting with this new style of yoga.
In doing so, I asked my body to go further than it had before, and it did.
Expanding your practice and pushing beyond your comfort zone with an open mind is super important for your yoga vacation. Samm, my teacher while at the Viceroy Riviera Maya (he teaches classes there daily at 10am, except Saturday), was an excellent guide who pushed me to deepen my practice.
Think about your intention ahead of time. When practicing yoga on vacation (as opposed to before work or on my lunch break at home), I found myself having MUCH more time for meditation, setting intentions and just pure mindfulness.
I gave a lot of thought to my intention and dedication before my yoga retreat in Mexico. I spent a lot of time thinking about transition, and how my life is in transition in so many ways right now.
Giving some thought to this dedication and intention ahead of time gave me the opportunity to get to work mentally and emotionally from the start, and at the end of the trip left me feeling accomplished emotionally as well as physically.
Have fun. As always when practicing yoga, don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re on vacation after all! Lighten up, have fun and expand your yoga practice!
A yoga teacher recently said to me, “Treat yourself with grace and support when you get there.”
Have you been on a yoga retreat in Mexico before? Are you thinking about planning your own yoga retreat? I’d love to hear about it, leave me a comment below!