Why you should partner up to host your next yoga retreat
While a skilled yoga teacher indeed makes it look easy, hosting a retreat is not all glamour, pool-side classes. and tropical drinks at sunset. An immense amount of behind-the-scenes work goes into preparing a multi-day yoga retreat. This work, while rewarding, can take its toll on body, mind, and soul, especially if you’re trying to raise your yoga retreat baby all on your own.
The old adage, “it takes a village” rings true. Yoga retreats are more easily executed, and perhaps better enjoyed when you free yourself from going it alone.
Here’s a look at how hosting your yoga retreat with a partner can make everything more joyful. From planning, to marketing, teaching, and rejoicing, yoga retreats are better when responsibility is shared.
Planning your yoga retreat
Doubling up to plan your yoga retreat puts two minds on one task, and can foster creativity through discussion and debate. While you bring your own particular ideas and dreams to the retreat, your co-teacher does too, and settling on how to combine the two can often make your retreat stand out as unique.
Choose a retreat partner whose skills complement yours to give your guests a wide range of experiences and to offer expertise in more than one area. If alignment in asana is your favorite thing to teach, you might want to emphasize this by working with a co-teacher who specializes in anatomy, or balance this detailed focus with a co-teacher who focuses on intuitive movement instead.
Either way you go, double the planning power means double the ideas. Do an assessment of what each of you brings to the table and how to best integrate it into your yoga retreat schedule.
Financing your yoga retreat
Once the theme and classes are decided upon, it’s time to choose a location. Whether you land on a yoga retreat center, boutique hotel, vacation home rental, or glamping paradise, you must lock in the venue with a reservation and a deposit.
Having a partner to share expenses with makes the risk of booking rooms in advance much less stressful. Even if you and your co-teacher decide to put one person in charge of expenses and collecting income, you can still arrange to split the wins (or in the worst case scenario, losses) in whatever way you choose.
Either way, have a plan that you both agree upon well in advance and make it clear. While clarifying how to split net-profit, clarify how you’ll split the retreat-related tasks. Create a budget for advertising, unexpected on-site expenses, and the known ones. Divvy up not just the classes, but the planning and prep-work as well.
Remember that time is just as valuable as money, and be fair about who gets reimbursed and compensated for what.
Marketing your yoga retreat
After settling upon a retreat theme, location, and schedule, you need to sell those spots! Your current students and those who already know you are those who are most likely to come on your retreat. By partnering with someone who has their own students, separate from yours, your retreat has potential to reach a wider audience.
When it comes to online marketing, two websites, two personal Facebook pages, and two Instagram accounts are better than one. You and your co-leader can maximize the number of eyes who will see your retreat by each posting information and updates to your personal social media sites, your individual professional sites, or a shared site that’s specific to your upcoming retreat.
While some of your followers may overlap, there’s greater potential to reach more people when co-hosting your yoga retreat with a friend.
During your yoga retreat
A co-leader comes in handy as someone to turn to when everything is going wrong, and equally when all is going right.
Any time travel is involved, the unplanned happens. When flights are delayed for one of you or for the guests, who will take the reins on teaching or return to the airport to pick up a late-comer? Who will cover the classes when one teacher’s feeling lousy due to food poisoning? When a guest hurts their leg doing something silly, like stepping off a curb, who will stay behind with her, and who will lead the group?
Buddying up makes everything roll more smoothly when simple mishaps like the above occur. Having a partner can also make life easier when you realize that the group spans a wider range of yoga knowledge than you thought, when you need someone to brainstorm an on-the-spot idea with, or whenever you just wish you could be in more than one place at the same time.
Even when all is running smoothly, who doesn’t love an extra set of hands offering asana assists? Who will take photos or video while you’re teaching? And who will let you enjoy a moment of rest?
Sharing the duties on retreat means that while your co-teacher is teaching, you get to attend to any issues, take the class yourself, or just sit back and rest. On retreat, with endless tasks to keep you busy, it’s nice to have some downtime. When it’s your turn to teach, the favor is returned.
Partnering up lets both you and your co-leader be on when you’re on. Present, prepared, and well rested.
After your yoga retreat
While it’s always a great idea to reach out to your guests for feedback after your retreat, your co-teacher will have a reliable, educated perspective on the week’s events as well. Put your heads together to discuss what went perfectly, what could be improved upon, and what the ideal retreat might look like the second time around.
Never underestimate the benefit of a buddy that’s there for the high five when all is packed up and the guests are on their way home. Sharing a yoga retreat with a co-leader means you’re not only better prepared to handle the hardships, but you’re able to share in the successes and joys.
If the partnership was strong and the guests delighted, enjoy a celebration with your co-teacher and start the planning for next year!