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How to Plan & Run a Successful Yoga Retreat

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If you want to know how to run a yoga retreat, our step by step guide will give you everything you need to know to be a success!

In this article we'll cover:

Not qualified yet? OriGym’s Level 3 yoga qualification has plenty of business advice and post course support that will help with how to organise a yoga retreat.

You can also download and browse our free course prospectus for more information about all of the different yoga teacher training courses we offer!

 

Do You Need to Be Qualified Before You Run a Yoga Retreat?

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If you want to know how to run a yoga retreat, one of the first things to do is make sure you have a yoga teacher training qualification.

A Level 3 diploma in yoga like ours will give you all of the practical skills you need to set up classes and gain industry experience. 

All of our yoga teacher training is blended learning. This means you’ll have access to our e-learning platform whilst also getting a chance to develop your teaching skills in our practical workshops.

 

Enquire now to develop your yoga career

Become an advanced yoga teacher with OriGym today!

 

Our Level 4 yoga teacher training course will help with how to run a yoga retreat around a particular style or offer variety in the classes you include.

You can specialise in one of the following as part of our training:

You’ll also learn more about the history of yoga and its philosophy. If you want to know how to sell a yoga retreat to people, this knowledge will deepen your practice and make your yoga retreat more well-rounded for people. 

Both of our yoga courses have free business consultations after you finish too, helping to prepare you for becoming a successful yoga teacher and planning a retreat. 

Step 1: How to Plan a Yoga Retreat

You may already have plenty of yoga retreat ideas but you’ll need some tips and structure for when you come to execute them.

Let's discuss how to plan a yoga retreat so you know exactly what to include and how to prepare!

Choose the Kind of Classes You’ll Run 

One of the most important things to remember if you want to know how to start a yoga retreat business is having a niche or particular style.

Most people who host a yoga retreat include a variety of styles and intensities of practice over the few days.

If you already specialise in one or two particular styles of yoga then these should be the primary focus of your retreat.

If you’ve developed expertise in a particular style, and can teach a variety, you’ll be equipped to teach all of the classes over the days of the retreat, saving yourself the cost of paying other instructors.

For example, if you want to run a successful yoga retreat, you can focus on your niche like Ashtanga Yoga Leeds have done:

ashtanga how to plan a yoga retreat image 

If you want to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher you too could have the whole retreat around this style to deepen your practice and attract a more specific clientele:

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Being aware of which classes you want to teach will help later when you come to design your own itinerary.

We’ll touch on this in more detail in our section ‘how to plan a yoga retreat itinerary’.

Decide on the Right Location To Host a Yoga Retreat

We’ll now run through some of the best places to host a yoga retreat to show you what you need to consider when choosing a location.

This can be influenced by some of the factors we’ve already touched on including:

  • Focus of your practice
  • Personal preference
  • Accessibility

If you want to know how to host a yoga retreat this is one of the most important focuses. This is because where you host your retreat will dictate:

  • Activities
  • Focus of the retreat
  • How many people can go
  • Cost of the retreat 

There’s plenty of retreats on offer abroad but these are usually in dedicated centres and so competition is high here. 

Whilst you’re starting out, and learning how to run a yoga retreat, the best thing to do is stay local and find an ideal spot in the UK.

Make sure you find somewhere with good transport links because you don’t want to limit people’s attendance based on whether they drive or not.

You should also choose somewhere with beautiful surroundings so that you’re offering an immersive experience beyond just the classes you teach at home but with added food! 

Some of the best yoga retreats in the UK incorporate the setting into the experience. For example, ‘Our Retreat’ promotes the surroundings as part of their luxury retreat:

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As you can see below, some of the additional activities make the most of the setting giving a more well-rounded experience for visitors:

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So, if you want to know how to plan a successful yoga retreat you should follow these examples, choosing somewhere you can utilise for further experiences!

Choose a Venue for Your Retreat

Once you’ve chosen one of the best places to host a yoga retreat you need to choose a specific venue.

 There’s several things you’ll need to consider when choosing a venue including:

  • Food on offer/kitchen facilities
  • The spaces available for yoga practice
  • Accessibility by transport
  • The friendliness of staff

Some venues will offer food as part of the price of booking, whilst for others you may have to provide this service yourself.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, for example, has an in-house option for food that caters for everyone:

alladale how to run a yoga retreat image 

Whether you choose a venue that incorporates food depends on weighing up cost with convenience.

You’ll need to calculate whether it would cost more to choose a venue with catering or to pay to source and prepare your own food. We'll cover this in more detail in our section 'Decide How Much to Charge for your Yoga Retreat'.

You may want to incorporate food into the ethos of your retreat and include the benefits of a vegan diet or yogic diet into your teaching.

Most venues with integrated catering will offer vegan and vegetarian options so this is an increasingly accessible option!

It’s worth visiting the facility first, before booking, so that you can check the suitability of it in person and ask any questions you may have.

Decide When you Want to Host a Yoga Retreat 

When coming up with your yoga retreat ideas you’ll need to decide what time of year is best in terms of the activities you want to offer.

There’s a few options depending on where you are in your career and where you decide to host a yoga retreat.

The different options include:

  • Having a permanent residence to run retreats out of 
  • Several different dates over a period of months
  • Once a year 

The best time to host a retreat in the UK, if you’re having one a year, is in summer. This is because the weather will be better and you can offer other activities such as walks and hikes as a result.

The time will also depend on the availability of accommodation but most retreats run between June and September.

Though bank holidays will be in high demand, choosing these dates will mean that more people can attend.

Once you’ve become a successful yoga teacher and have plenty of experience, you can look into running a consistent retreat, in a permanent residence, as a career progression.

Somercecil is a great example of this. As you can see below they offer a yoga retreat with additional activities consistently throughout the year:

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Consider the Length of the Retreat

The next thing for how to run a yoga retreat is deciding how long it will be. Retreats usually range between two and seven days, which will obviously affect the price as well as who can attend.

How to run a successful yoga retreat will mean, at least whilst you’re developing your reputation, choosing a shorter amount of time when the most people can make it.

Usually planning one over the course of a weekend, from Friday - Sunday, is the ideal time as most people won’t be working.

 

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This will also cut down costs for both you and your attendees as there will only be two nights accommodation.

Having one full day on the Saturday, you can fit two yoga classes in, as well as any other activities you’ve planned.

This will allow for variety whilst not pushing yourself or people attending too hard. You want your retreat to be accessible for beginners as well as seasoned yogis!

Once you’ve advanced as a yoga studio manager, you can look into running longer retreats like the ones below from NevYogaMassage:

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We’ll look a little deeper into how this will affect the cost in Step 3.

How to Plan a Yoga Retreat Itinerary

Finally you’ll want to sort out your itinerary for the weekend so that you know exactly what you’re going to be doing and when.

You’ll need to know how many classes you’ll be including as this will affect the price as well as how you market your retreat.

You need to consider:

  • The style of yoga you’ll be teaching
  • How many classes you want to offer in the day
  • Making the most of the scenery/setting
  • Including down time and personal time for attendees

The average yoga retreat will have two classes in a full day. One of the benefits of doing yoga in the morning with attendees is that it’s a great way to set up everyone’s bodies for the day!

You can pick a gentler style here, building up to more intense and dynamic flows in the afternoon. 

Looking at Eleven Eleven yoga studio’s yoga retreat timetable, you can see how this might look:

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Here Eleven Eleven have split the yoga up into different styles with a variety including Ashtanga and Yin.

Instead you may want to bookend a full day with two gentler flows, like below:

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Ultimately this will just depend on your personal preference. You don’t want to have more than three classes per day though as this will be pushing people too hard!

Another thing to consider is how you’ll fit up the rest of the time. As well as including free time for guests to explore the surroundings and relax, this is the best time to meditate with visitors or have other relaxation activities!

Step 2: Decide How Much to Charge for Your Yoga Retreat

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Arguably the most important thing for how to run a yoga retreat is deciding how much to charge, and how much money you can ultimately make.

You want to be realistic, and conservative, about your potential profits when you’re just starting out.

It’s always better to be cautious and assume fewer attendees than you would ideally like. This way you’re not banking on a large number for you to make your money back or make a profit.

We took 40 retreats based in the UK, offering between two and three days, and worked out that the average cost was £311.78 for visitors. 

This was calculated looking at retreats that prioritised yoga and utilised the surroundings without offering too many additional activities.

There are ones that range up to £1000 but these tend to be in grander or more luxury locations, or offering other spa treatments including massage and facials. 

We’ll briefly cover the most important things to consider when setting your own prices now.

Cost of the venue

Looking at one of our examples from before, Alladale Wilderness Reserve can be booked in its entirety, featuring several accommodation options. Below is a rough estimate of price.

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This price is the cost of 7 nights which is the standard without requesting a ‘bespoke offer’. A rough estimate of the cost of 3 nights would be £2,417. 

With this cost, even if only 10 people came then you could charge £300 and make the cost of the venue back, making a small profit.


Different accommodation options

If you want to know how to sell a yoga retreat to maximise attendance, you can do a tiered pricing system like Jala Flow yoga retreat:

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Most retreats will split costs at least in two depending on how many people can share the room. 

By doing this you’re making it more affordable for some people, therefore attracting more attendees, without sacrificing your profit margins!

How Many Classes Included

You also need to consider how much the yoga sessions would cost out of a studio. For example, you’ll be including at least one session of yoga every day of the retreat.

If you would normally charge £10 for each class, then using the example of 10 attendees, you want to add at least £100 to the price of the retreat to cover these costs and make a small profit.

Food Costs

As we mentioned earlier you’ll also need to decide which food situation is most cost effective: sourcing and preparing yourself/with a hired chef, or paying for a venue where this is provided.

Though it may work out cheaper for you to source the food, perhaps even cooking it yourself, you should take into consideration the added inconvenience.

If you were to cook the food yourself you’d have little to no down time and may have additional permit or insurance costs for food preparation. 

 

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If you hired a cook the added costs would bring you close to hiring a catered venue anyway!

If you’re interested in more tips for your yoga career, check out OriGym’s other articles on all things yoga:

Step 3: Using Marketing When You Host a Yoga Retreat

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Now you’ve got a better idea of how to run a yoga retreat, having worked out costs and logistics, you’ll need to work on advertising it to potential visitors!

We’ll run through some yoga marketing ideas so that you can learn how to sell a yoga retreat and promote your services and get as many attendees as possible.

#1 Build and Optimise a Landing Page for Your Yoga Retreat

The first thing to bear in mind for how to sell a yoga retreat is creating a good landing page for your retreat.

Some yoga teacher sites will include a dedicated page for this whilst they’re promoting their retreat, or be a separate generated web page altogether. 

A landing page will provide somewhere you can link to when you’re marketing your retreat. It’s also a great way to funnel enquiries into sales in a more streamlined way.

If all of your marketing is focused on guiding people to this page, you’ll have a steady stream of enquiries and you can trace your marketing strategies a little better.

There’s plenty of free services you can use to create one including:

There’s a few things you should make sure to include in your landing page so you know you’re providing enough information and being as clear as possible.

To optimise your page you should make sure you include the following features: 

  • Description of retreat - this is your opportunity to promote your yoga retreat ideas and what makes them special.
  • Call to action - if you want to know how to sell a yoga retreat you can have an enquiry box. This will mean people provide contact information to book your retreat. This will give you a chance to promote your services with email marketing going forward.
  • Itinerary - if not an exact breakdown of the days, you should give people an idea of whether you’ll be teaching restorative yoga, winding down with yoga nidra, or at least how often you’ll practice yoga during the retreat.

 Adventure Yogi are a great example of this:

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As you can see there’s plenty of clarity about what to expect in terms of food, activities, and a rough itinerary.

There’s also an enquiry box and information about the different accommodation options. All the information someone would need is on the page.

#2 Use Organic Instagram Posts to Market Your Retreat

The next step for how to sell a yoga retreat is to utilise social media to promote yourself and draw people to your landing page.

Organic instagram content just means that which is free, utilising the features of the platform to engage with followers. This can include: 

  • Photo posts
  • Reels
  • Posting on your story

There’s a few important things to remember when using yoga instagram accounts to promote your yoga retreat.

Here are some ideas of the absolute musts for your Instagram posts when promoting your retreat:

  • Use Link Tree - having a link tree in your bio, with your landing page on there, will mean you can consistently refer people to the page. 
  • Utilise Captions - off the back of our last point, use your captions to direct people to enquire. Include a single sentence about the retreat at the bottom of all of your content and then remind people there’s a ‘link in bio’
  • Use Hashtags - check out our yoga hashtags article which includes yoga retreat specific hashtags. You should mix high and low volume tags so that you’re driving traffic whilst focusing on your target audience!

Yoga Soul in Manchester utilise all of these features in their own organic content: 

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As you can see there’s a call to action at the end of the post whilst the caption gives key details about the retreat.

They know exactly how to sell a yoga retreat as they’ve directed people to email them so they open up a dialogue and opportunity for future email marketing.

They’ve also got a link tree in their Instagram bio. This includes links to various schedules and events, including the landing page for their retreat:

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They’ve also got a story highlight about their retreats, which is a great way to gather all your information in one place, and include links directly to the landing page:

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#3 Use Paid Social Media Ads

If your budget can stretch to it, paying for social media ads is a great way to boost traffic to your landing page and increase digital word-of-mouth about your retreat.

You can pay for ads on Facebook and Instagram to reach a target audience in a consistent way. This will save you a lot of time as ads aren’t subjected to the algorithm in the same way that organic posts are.

You can either design an ad or promote a particular post. You’ll want to design a specific ad because this is the best way to target people for a more specific goal.

 

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Become an advanced yoga teacher with OriGym today!

 

You can also include a call to action button when you design an ad in this way. Much like we said earlier, about having a call to action on your landing page, this directs people to exactly where you want them to go.

This cuts out some of the stages of organic posts because you’re able to reach people who don’t necessarily follow your page yet but would be interested in attending your retreat!

They’re also pay-per-click meaning that you set a budget and only have to pay when people click through to the page via your ad.

BeYogaFit have done all of these things to promote their own retreat:

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They’ve included details about the retreat, included an image, and made sure to include a call to action button, as shown below:

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We use the same method with our own Facebook ads. As you can see, there’s plenty of reach. These are the impressions made from ads in a month:

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And this is the amount of leads generated from these impressions:

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So, if you want to know how to run a yoga retreat you can see how worthy it is to invest in paid advertising on social media!

Before You Go!

Hopefully by now our step-by-step guide has given you everything you need to know for how to run a yoga retreat.

Each step should give you the tools to prepare and organise a fantastic retreat, and promote in a way that boosts attendance, and gets the most out of the experience for you and your attendees!

Don’t forget to check out our yoga courses to boost your expertise and grow your niche.

You can also download our full course prospectus for more information on our yoga teacher training and other fitness courses available!



Written by Jessie Florence Jones

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Jessie has a 1st class honours degree in English Literature from University of Leeds and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Naturally Jessie has a real passion for writing especially about film, culture and wellbeing. Outside of writing she loves hiking, country walks and yoga, which she has been doing religiously over lockdown.

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