Planning Your First Yoga Retreat

Teaching yoga is a career that has many ways of scaling up. You can start small, teaching occasionally or regularly out of a local studio. You can record classes and make them available online. You can grow your classes, teaching more students at more times or in larger spaces. You can also expand your modalities – offering specialty programs like SUP Yoga, Aerial Yoga, or reaching special audiences like Chair Yoga and Prenatal Yoga. You can open your own studio or space, and you can begin to offer half-day workshops and special events like Full Moon Meditations and Puppy Yoga. Once a solid community is built, the two most impactful ways that yoga teachers can raise their income potential and create more sustainability in their business is to offer Yoga Teacher Trainings and, the focus of this article, Yoga Retreats.

There’s a lot to love about offering Yoga Retreats: You can create space for your community to come together for longer periods of time. You can forge stronger relationships with your students. You can get experimental, and bring offerings to the table that you might not offer in a studio setting. You can create a storyline that flows through each class and experience shared together, and you can co-create sacred space for the deeper conversations and connections to happen. You can also charge appropriately for a longer and richer experience, which will help bring sustainability to your yoga teaching business.

How do you know when you’re ready and where to start?
A great place to start is by offering small workshops or mini-retreats. Just like teaching yoga – start small, then scale up. Can you offer a 3-hour workshop that incorporates journaling and ceremony into a yoga practice? Then, can you double it up with another afternoon workshop, and ask participants to pack a lunch? Many of our planners tell us they knew it was time when their participants started asking them if they would be leading a retreat.

Becoming a retreat facilitator is not a calling that is for everyone. It is a wonderful step to take for those who feel they have offerings to share that go beyond what is possible in a studio setting, and for those who resonate with forming connections and creating community. You can create a retreat for just about any season, theme or special interest, and balance your yoga classes with other experiences available at the venue. When you bring a group together in a magical setting in nature, with nourishing food, rest and activity choices you may notice your own battery gets recharged as well. Our special secret is to add another layer of magic by creating room for input so you can tailor the program to the people who have joined you.

Some send out a poll to their community, host an information night or participate in an experience at the chosen venue as a scouting mission and to take lots of photos. These can help create a buzz among your supporters who love what you do and who would like to go deeper – and you can begin to build a “hot-list” of those who will sign up.

Why the Edge is the perfect retreat center to plan your first retreat:

The most frequent response we hear after a planner hosts the first yoga retreat at the Edge is, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Aside from taking care of the details, logistics, and planning, our specialty at Northern Edge Algonquin is to partner with you and help deliver the best retreat possible. We do this by providing an experienced facilitator from our team to work as your co-facilitator and provide guidance, deep listening, and offerings from their own toolbox to help round out your experience. This makes The Edge a wonderful partner for first-time retreat planners who feel ready to offer a retreat, but may be missing some pieces in bringing it all together.

As well, when it comes to administration we’ve got you covered: Guest questions, payments, deposits, accommodation arrangements, itinerary assistance, dietary details, pre-and-post communication – it’s all included. We also have an optional commissionable agreement in which we will list your retreat on our website and help sell additional spaces to retreat-goers in our ever-growing email list. Northern Edge Algonquin is a recognized tourism industry partner so there is no need for our yoga planners to work with a travel agent or obtain the expensive and time consuming Tourism Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) licence usually required.

On the other side of your retreat, our goal is for you and your community to have an epic experience so you can’t wait to come back again. Over half of our yoga retreats are hosted by returning yoga planners.

Why the Edge might NOT be the best place for your first time hosting a retreat:

We hope you are feeling inspired to set a goal to plan your first yoga retreat. There are many locations to choose from and we hope that you will consider what Northern Edge has to offer. Since we are a bespoke location, there are some reasons we might not be the best fit for your retreat.

If your community is price conscious and you’re keen to offer low rates for your first retreat, you may be better suited with a more economical option. At Northern Edge, we have a premium all-inclusive retreat offering – and it is priced accordingly. Just keep in mind it can be difficult to raise retreat prices once your community has an idea of how you’ve priced them previously.

Due to popularity and return bookings, we have a small number of openings, and we require a non-refundable deposit from groups & planners to reserve a date on our calendar. This allows us to give you the focus you need, and ensure an exclusive atmosphere for your group! If, however, you are uncertain about your ability to sell at least 10 spaces to your community members, you could be risking your deposit. We want our space to fulfill it’s mission and being used at it’s highest potential, so we are actively seeking collaborators who are confident about their ability to sign up 14-18 participants.

Interested to learn more?

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