Choosing the best meditation retreat for you depends on the type of experience you want. To get the best bang for your buck and have a great experience, you’ll have to decide on factors such as location, what your intentions are, and what expectations you have.
Traveling for a meditation retreat is the perfect way to mix adventure and spirituality. Retreats will have you connecting with your destination a little deeper, getting to know yourself a little better, and experiencing a whole new type of travel.
There are endless types of meditation retreats out there, and picking the best one for you requires a little soul searching. Here are our best tips for how to choose the best meditation retreat for you!
How to Choose the Best Meditation Retreat For You
Consider the Location
There are meditation retreats available all over the world; so narrowing down the pool to a specific area is a great way to kick-start your search. Decide whether you want to take part in a local retreat, or if you prefer jetting off to another country.
If you have never done a meditation retreat before, then I recommend signing up for a smaller one close to home. This will give you a good idea of what to expect at a retreat without spending a lot of money or committing to another country.
If you’re not able to travel, taking a virtual meditation retreat can be just as beneficial — if not more since you will be in the comfort of your own home.
I have put together a virtual meditation retreat for those of you who want to dip your toes into guided meditation — as well as breathwork and a whole lot of other goodies to help you relieve stress and change your mindset!
You can find out more at The Unfolding Retreat.
Understand Your Expectations
Before you book a retreat, understand exactly what your expectations for a meditation retreat are. Do you prioritize a certain amount of meditation per day? Are there spiritual aspects that you’d like to have as a part of the retreat?
Knowing exactly what your expectations are will help you narrow down which meditation retreats are best for you.
At the same time, keep your expectations minimal. While it’s great to know what you’re looking for in a meditation retreat, approaching the experience with as little expectations as possible will keep your mind open for anything that comes your way.
Whether the retreat is a single day or a month-long endeavor, look into the space in which the retreat will be held. Retreat accommodations range from anything to in-house work exchanges and basic bunk beds to full luxury villas.
Generally, the better the accommodations, the heftier the price tag, but just because you’ll have a comfy bed to sleep in doesn’t mean you’ll have the best experience. When choosing your retreat accommodations, follow your heart. Sometimes even the most uncomfortable places will yield the most personal growth.
Consider the Food
Retreat meals vary greatly from everything from plain rice and beans to full gourmet affairs.
Due to the culture, there are almost always vegetarian or vegan food options at meditation retreats but, if you have a specific food allergy, it’s best to check and see if the retreat center can accommodate it before you book.
Learn About the Meditation Retreat Planners
Every retreat has a retreat planner behind it, and to truly know if a meditation retreat is right for you, do as much research as possible into the planners to make sure you’re on the same page.
Read about how the retreat planners got into the business, what their intention is in planning retreats, what kinds of meditation they’re passionate about, and how many retreats they’ve planned in the past.
If you find a retreat that has been planned by like-minded people, chances are you’ll have a fulfilling experience.
Know Your Intention
Before you book a meditation retreat, do some introspective work and understand exactly what your intention for the retreat is. Do you want to work through a specific issue in your life? Do you want to expand your spirituality or meditation practice? Do you want to go on a meditation retreat to strengthen your mind and willpower?
Researching meditation retreats with an intention in mind will lead you to the type of experiences you’ll get the most out of.
Consider Your Meditation Experience Level
Where you’re at on your meditation journey will greatly influence the type of retreat you book. If you’re new to meditation, then I recommend signing up for a short, introductory-style retreat to get your feet wet. On the flip side, if you’ve been doing meditation for a while, then you should have no qualms about diving right into a larger, more intense, retreat.
Also, take into account what kind of meditation your chosen retreat practices. Some of the more popular meditations are transcendental, mantra, movement, focused, zen, and breath awareness.
If you’re new, dabble in a few kinds of meditation and find out what you’re most interested in.
Read Some Reviews (and Then Read Some More)
Before you book, read all the reviews you can. Take time to see what previous participants have said about the retreat, and take note of what they liked and disliked about the experience.
More than the retreat descriptions, reviews will give you great insight into what you can expect at a meditation retreat.
Ask for Recommendations
If you’re not sure where to start in choosing a meditation retreat, then reach out to your personal network. You might be surprised at how many people you know are interested in meditation and wellness travel.
However, if asking your network turns up dry, then reach out to your local meditation, breathwork, or yoga studio. Guaranteed there will be people in your community who can help you in your search.