by Liza Bertini
“You must retreat to remind yourself of your own truth and inner fire.” – Brie Doyle, You Should Leave Now: Going on Retreat to Find Your Way Back to Yourself
I remember taking the leap and hosting my first yoga retreat in 2006, just 3 years into my teaching career. I’m not known to take baby steps, if I’m going to take the leap I generally go for the big jump and my first retreat was no different. I co-led a retreat in Italy for a week with a fellow yoga teacher friend of mine, not really knowing what the heck I was doing.
It was amazing and challenging, and it changed everything for me. That first experience showed me that I can make it as a yoga teacher, that I can lead experiences that are transformational, and that bringing people together in community is my calling. It stoked my inner fire and inspired me to share my gifts and make a difference in others’ lives.
I learned that retreats can be truly transformational for both guests and teachers and it provided an opportunity to bring together a community of souls that doesn’t happen in an everyday class experience. It offered my students a new way to deepen their practice, time to remember who they are and take a pause from regular life, and to meet new long-lasting friends. That retreat, and many thereafter, helped me develop as a yoga teacher and facilitator, as well as an entrepreneur. Retreats became part of the fabric of my work but also my being. Creating unique and sacred experiences for people is the most fulfilling work I have ever had the pleasure to do.
And yes, it is work. Organizing a retreat has many considerations and details, from choosing an appropriate location and theme to confirming contracts and cancelation policies, creating the offer, pricing, marketing, and designing and executing a transformational experience! Over the years of hosting retreats and helping others plan retreats, I have learned a lot about how to be successful and what to avoid and be prepared for.
As an experienced retreat leader, I can confidently say that the journey is worth every ounce of effort. Yes, organizing and managing a retreat can be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. The joy of witnessing your students grow, the satisfaction of creating a space for self-discovery, and the knowledge that you've made a positive impact on their lives—these are the true gems that a yoga retreat bestows.
If you are a yoga teacher and want to grow your career and business, I highly recommend leading a retreat, and here’s more about why…
Make an Impact
As yoga teachers we help people become inspired, more mindful, find ease and wellbeing, and have the honor to be a small part of their path to self-realization. Away from the distractions of daily life, participants have the space and time to immerse themselves fully in their practice, find a new perspective, and deepen their connection to their true selves.
By slowing down, listening, and being present to what arises, one can see more clearly. This makes me think of the quote by W.B. Yeats “The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
These immersive experiences often lead to profound personal transformations that touch the lives of your students in remarkable ways. Yoga helps one be their best self and when someone is living their best, the world is a better place. By creating experiences for transformation, you are making an impact on others’ lives and ultimately the world.
Expand your teaching
Retreats offer the space for you to be creative in your teaching, to lean into what gets you inspired, and to test out what and how you teach. You get to showcase your teaching style and create a unique experience for your students. This can help you to expand your teaching skills and offer a more diverse range of classes back at your studio.
Retreats are magical for fostering deep connections among participants. I've witnessed the bonds formed among participants, the sense of community that blossoms, and the friendships that endure long after the retreat ends. On a retreat, students have the opportunity to connect with one another and with you on a deeper level and in ways that they don’t normally have the chance to do. One-off classes sometimes feel transactional—students come for class and then they leave.
During a retreat, participants get to eat meals together, share adventures, try new things, be in conversations outside the classroom, and see new places. This sense of community can be carried back to your studio and can help to foster a sense of belonging among your students. Leading a retreat allows you to nurture and strengthen these relationships, creating a support network that extends far beyond the confines of a yoga studio. This, in turn, can help to build your business as students are more likely to return to a studio where they feel this sense of community.
Create Brand Awareness
Leading a retreat can help to create brand awareness for your yoga business. By offering a unique experience, you are able to showcase what sets your business apart from others. This can be a great marketing tool as students are likely to share their experience with others, helping to spread the word about your business. And afterward, when your students are basking in the glow of your retreat, they will tell their friends all about it. This word-of-mouth marketing that follows can do wonders for your business.
Increase Your Income
A yoga retreat can also be a great way to generate revenue for your business. By creating a unique and irresistible event, and pricing it right, you could make a lot more than you would normally make in a week of teaching yoga, plus don’t forget the free trip!
Opportunity for Continued Learning
Leading a retreat provides opportunities for both you and your students to continue learning. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to develop new workshops or classes that improve your teaching and that you can bring back to your studio. For your students (and you), it can be a time to deepen their practice, learn new things, see new places, and for self-reflection and personal growth. Witnessing those "a-ha" moments and seeing your students have a life-changing experience is truly priceless.
Time for Expansive Self-Care and
If nothing else, retreats provide an opportunity for students to take time for themselves and practice self-care. This can include other activities such as journaling, meditation, or spa treatments. And don’t forget to build in time for rest and laughter!
So, fellow yoga teachers, I encourage you to take the leap and consider leading a retreat. Embrace the opportunity for personal and professional growth, nurture connections, and provide your students with an unforgettable journey of self-discovery. Trust me, the magic that unfolds on a yoga retreat is unlike anything you've experienced before. It's a beautiful adventure that will leave you and your students forever transformed.
Become Retreat Ready!
Are you a yoga teacher who dreams of leading a retreat but doesn't know where to start? Or have you led a retreat before, but want to take your skills and income to the next level? If so, the "Retreat Ready" mentoring program is perfect for you!
Join Liza and a supportive group of fellow yoga teachers and learn the ins and outs of leading a successful yoga retreat. You'll receive personalized coaching and feedback on your retreat plan, as well as practical guidance on marketing, logistics, pricing, and actually booking and planning your retreat.
During the program, you'll work through each step of the retreat planning process, from choosing the perfect location to designing your retreat schedule and marketing your retreat to potential students. You'll learn how to create a unique and transformative retreat experience that will leave your students feeling refreshed, inspired, and connected.
If you're ready to take your yoga teaching career to the next level, build community, and share your passion with others in a beautiful setting, join today and start your journey toward becoming a confident and successful retreat leader.
Retreat Ready: Group Mentoring Program with Liza Bertini
A 12-week program starting June 15, 2023
The program includes 12 weekly group sessions plus one 45-minute 1:1 session with Liza
This course is eligible for 16 contact hours and 24 non-contact hour CEUs for Yoga Alliance.
Weekly sessions will be on Thursdays, 12:15 – 1:30pm ET
6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/3, 8/10, 8/17, 8/24, 8/31