2014-3 26
10 Tips to Organize a Successful Yoga Retreat or Holiday
Author:Elephant  |  Browse:0

Many yoga teachers dream of taking a group of people to a beautiful destination to teach them some yoga while enjoying a relaxing and wonderful holiday. What better way to make money and have fun whilst doing what you love? If you’ve been contemplating running your first Yoga Retreat, here are 10 tips to get you started by Vidya Heisel, who’s got tons of experience:

1) Plan well ahead 

You should start to plan your retreat at least 6 months in advance, so that you’ll have plenty of time to advertise. It’s also important because most people don’t suddenly decide to go on vacation in the next few weeks – people plan their holidays many months in advance.

2) Pick a geographical region you know well

It’s best to choose a place you’re already familiar with so you can easily lead the way. While an exotic, far-away place like India might sounds appealing, you should avoid running a retreat somewhere you’ve never been before. Your familiarity with a location will help your clients relax.

Once you’ve zeroed-in on a region, you’ll need to research the different retreat centers in the area. You can easily do this on the web. Make sure that there are direct and inexpensive flights to the location you have chosen. Check the flight prices for the dates you have chosen. Certain times of year are a lot more expensive than others. Try to find a place that is within easy reach of an airport. It’s not so much fun to have to travel more than an hour to get to the location.

3) Know the venue

If possible, go visit the place ahead of time so you know how to talk the place up to your clients. Tip: Many retreat centres will offer you a free night if you are going specifically to check out the place. This allows you to be sure you have made the right choice, ask all the questions you want, check out travel options and, above all, it gives you the ability to talk from experience.

Usually retreat centres will also have their own websites that you can direct your students to. Check their website; it should be appealing and professional. If you’re able to visit the place (again, strongly recommended), take lots of great photos to help you advertise.

4) Pick your clientele

As you choose a place, it’s important to consider the profile of the people you expect to sign up; you won’t be able to attract everybody, so it’s best to focus on the needs of one group. Young, adventurous people who are on a budget may prefer to stay in tents or cabins. But if your clients are older and more affluent, they’ll prefer more luxurious accommodations.

Cheaper isn’t always better. If you’re able to find a place that offers different levels of accommodation for different budgets, things might be easier, but if not: choose your target and keep them in mind while you plan.

5) Plan for reasonable numbers

When booking with the retreat centre set your numbers lower than you hope to get. Ask what their free teacher policy is — there often is an offer of one teacher free for every 10 clients you bring. Perhaps plan on 10 so you get a free place, but dream for 20 plus. It is better and more uplifting to add, rather than to take away!

To confirm your booking, you’ll need to give a deposit to the retreat center, and it might be between 10-20% of the whole booking. Find out what their cancellation policy is to avoid nasty surprises. Be aware that you’ll probably lose some of your deposit if you cancel or don’t make your predicted numbers, so assess whether that is a risk worth taking.

6) Partner with another teacher

Consider the possibility of running the retreat with another teacher, who also has a good following. Remember that in order to get two free places, for both of you, you would probably need to get 20 clients. Look for a popular teacher to work with with, that way teaming up will be much more valuable.