5 Reasons International Yoga Retreats are Good for you

Five Reasons International Yoga
Retreats Are Good For You

Discover How Traveling Abroad for Yoga Can Transform Your Practice and Life in Unexpected Ways - By Megan Biondi 

Reading time: 3 minutes

When searching for yoga retreats, it may be tempting to look for quick getaways close to home. Many of us may assume proximity to our residence with a familiar yoga teacher is the most inexpensive and feasible way to experience a yoga excursion.

However, once you’ve experienced international yoga retreats, you’ll realise that often, they are significantly more affordable than many unnecessarily cost-prohibitive wellness and retreat centres close to home, and they are infinitely more transformative than remaining in your immediate surroundings.

Here’s how:

1. International yoga retreats help to get you unstuck and out of your habitual surroundings and routines, breaking out of your samskara- deep grooves of habit. In so doing, they afford you the opportunity to develop new routines and habits that likely better align with your higher self and your soul’s purpose.

Along the same lines, they push you out of your comfort zone and help you grow both in your yoga practice and personally. According to Yang (2023), “stepping outside your comfort zone can leave you feeling exhilarated and energised—and foster profound personal growth.”

2. They offer a different perspective of the world and other people by placing you in a different setting, a different geographical landscape, a different culture, and with different people than you’d otherwise experience. If you adhere strictly to retreats close to home, you’ll likely end up with the same people from your home studios and from your immediate geographical area, which doesn’t enrich you the same way as international retreats, where you’re in a much different setting with people from different parts of the world.

In addition to being at the retreat with a more diverse group of people, you’ll likely also find yourself in a country where the language, culture, and customs differ drastically from your own. Rather than staying at the retreat centre when not doing yoga, the maximum personal growth can occur through venturing out, interacting with the local people, trying local food, and immersing yourself in wherever you are.

3. They offer a pause from daily life, from speaking about the same familiar topics with people from your hometown, and an opportunity for self-reflection, once more, giving you a chance to connect with your truest self. You have the opportunity to experience who you are outside of your job, home life, and daily routine. You may even be on a retreat where no one knows you, giving you an even greater opportunity to hone in on your true self, rather than an unconscious persona you may inadvertently put on for close family or friends.

This offers a level of insight and introspection that a retreat close to home probably wouldn’t, regardless of how reputable the teacher and retreat centre are. “On retreat you can remove the layers of expectation and labels and remember who the real you is, reminding yourself of the parts of you that may’ve been buried for a while” (Harvey, 2024).

4. Of course, international retreats deepen your physical yoga practice through allowing you to experience different yoga styles, yogic philosophies, and yoga teachers than you may at home. Even if your international retreat is with a teacher whose class you’ve taken at home, a retreat setting—especially internationally—will offer a deeper and more involved yoga experience than the same teacher would likely offer in a one hour studio class at home. Be prepared to connect your physical practice to yogic philosophy and to try styles of yoga that you may not have done before.

5. Finally, they will surprise you. There will be factors you cannot have planned for—some welcome, some perhaps less welcome. However, this is where our yoga practice can truly be put into practice off the mat as well as on the mat. You’ll have a chance to notice how you respond to unanticipated events, surprises, and challenges. This is the perfect opportunity to align your truer, higher yogic self with your everyday, off-the-mat self, and as Harvey (2024) states, “maybe even […] take the real you back home.”

Bonus reason for yoga teachers: If you are a yoga teacher—and especially if you lead your own retreats—when was the last time you allowed yourself to be a student in someone else’s class and to be served and taken care of instead of serving, teaching, planning, and taking care of others? Yoga teacher burnout is real, and whether you experience full burnout, or occasional lack of inspiration, a yoga retreat with another teacher is an ideal remedy that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired to take new ideas home to your own students.

Are you ready to take the leap?

Contact OM Contributor, Dr. Megan Biondi, RYT 200, megan.biondi@gmail.com for information and to pre-register for her upcoming Yin/Yang themed yoga retreat to the beautiful island of Ischia off of the Amalfi Coast, Italy in June of 2025. https://www.canva.com/design/DAGIIl-zNII/5YCkBmyEPTnOBPqVo7Q82Q/view?utm_content=DAGIIl-zNII&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=viewer


Harvey, R. (2024). This yoga retreat or that one? OM Magazine. https://www.ommagazine.com/this-yoga-retreator-that-one/

Yang, I. (2023). Why you should take a yoga retreat that scares the heck out of you. Yoga Journal. https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/balance/yoga-retreat-out-of-your-comfort-zone/


Megan Biondi

Megan Biondi, DML, RYT 200, and trauma-informed yin certified yoga instructor, teaches yin, restorative, and yin-yasa classes in Morristown and Stanhope, NJ, USA.