How to choose a retreat? A Guideline

by Inspyria  13-08-2018

There are currently hundreds of retreats a year, with different durations ranging from a weekend to 10 days or more

Guidelines to consider when choosing a retreat

How to choose a retreat? A Guideline

Amongst the offered activities we find Yoga, any technique of massage, meditation, hiking, conscious nutrition and mindful eating, family constellations, shamanism, mindfulness, and many more. With such a wide range of possibilities we become confused and, either you want to give up, or you want to go on all of them.

Hence, since I know what you are going through, I am going to suggest a series of guidelines that you may take into account so that the retreat you decide for is the one you really need.

First step. Put pen to paper and answer this questionnaire

What do I want/need?

It is the first thing to know, what I need right now given my personal situation and circumstances. Do I need loneliness or to be accompanied? Do I want it to be silent retreat or with group activities?

Keep in mind that some retreats are so intense with so many planned activities that, in the end, no matter how spiritual it can be, you end up leaving more stressed than when you arrived.

I advise you to look for a retreat in which there is also spare time to allow you to be alone with yourself and feel, with nobody interrupting you.

Environment and accommodation

There are retreats on the beach, in the mountains, in hotel resorts, in religious monasteries, etc.

Some offer individual rooms, others shared accommodation, and also some that offer shared accomodation while offering the possibility to have your own room at an addicional price. Choose yours.


Although retreats often offer a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are also those in which you can choose. Personally, I am not a vegetarian, but I have enjoyed vegetarian flavours and recipes when in a retreat.

The cooks are very prepared in this type of food and the recipes are varied and tasty.

Obviously, if you have any food intolerance, allergies or pathologies, you should inform the organizers and make sure the food can be adapted to your needs.

Activities in a retreat

This is one of the most important points: what you want to do in a retreat. Amongst the great variety of options, we may find: yoga, pilates, meditation, family constellations, shamanism, massage practices, personal growth, hiking, meditative walks, silence retreats, detox retreats, etc. etc. etc.

It is very important that you know what you are going to do in a retreat.


As important or more than the previous section is the professional team that will lead the retreat. It is a good idea to get informed about their path, what school they have been trained in, how long their trainings have lasted, etc.
Why do I say this? Because in the world of natural therapies, since it is not regulated, one may find everything.

There are courses (especially those that are taken online) that in a month give you a Yoga Teacher degree without even knowing you, nor knowing if you are really trained to teach and direct students to the postures in a safe way.

There are also professionals who have read three books by Fritz Perls and one by Claudio Naranjo and do personal growth work, putting themselves in front of a group of people who suffer from anxiety, depression, grief, etc. maybe lacking the necessary tools, techniques, and supervision to accompany them with the love, understanding and compassion that is needed.

I do not want this section to be understood as an attack on anything or anyone, but as a valuable advice to consider when choosing a retreat. I know from experience and from acquaintances that these courses do exist and these “professionals” as well.

You already have the main data. These are your needs.

Second step. Contact the organizers and ask all the questions you have in addition to those that have arisen as a result of the previous exercise. With this you just completed the questionnaire.

Third and last step. Make up your mind. Amongst the three or four that you have selected, you have to choose one, considering that you may have to give in to something.

For instance adapting to a vegetarian meal when what you like is meat, keep in mind that it will only be for a few days. Adaptation is also an important step in the evolution of the Self.
I hope these little tips have been useful. I wish you all the luck in the world in your quest.

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