#1 Mistake Yoga Teachers Make When Planning a Retreat

So it’s Sunday night and you’re cookin’ dinner with no idea what to make.. Hmm… What’s in the fridge?

A little kale, some quinoa, leftover beans. Sounds simple enough, right?

So you start cooking, throwing in some spices, not quite sure where this going, but trusting it will be delicious.

There’s a few ways this could go:

1) It could all work out beautifully- Yay!  

2) Halfway through you have to run to store to get some super important ingredient and end up having dinner ready an hour later than planned, or

3) You accidentally put in a little too much curry, then add something else to try and balance it out, but end with some funky concoction that you wouldn’t want to recreate.

Well, this kind of experimentation is totally fine if you are cooking for yourself or your family.

Cooking is a creative process, and it’s ok to be spontaneous and take risks sometimes. But if you were getting paid to cook a fancy dinner for 20 people,  you wouldn’t want to risk the dinner being a flop!

That’s the case when planning a yoga retreat.

When we first started planning retreats we totally flew by the seat of our pants.

We’d take off running with inspiration, then try to figure out the rest as we went along. Like in cooking, sometimes things magically turned out.

But other times, we ended up having to put out fires, change direction, or even starting over half way through the process.

Trust us. This is NOT the most efficient or economical way to go. And it definitely does not guaranty a successful and profitable yoga retreat.

So the #1 MISTAKE we made was not having a clear roadmap of HOW TO plan our retreats.

Yes, we learned MANY lessons doing things by trial and error. And the good thing is we don’t forget the things we learn the hard way, right?!

However, we could have saved ourselves many headaches, as well as dollars, and so much time  if we had clearly mapped out our retreat plans from the beginning.

Over the years we learned that we were not the only ones making this mistake. Many of our peers and students have done so too.

So after years of refining our retreat planning we created a step-by-step process called the Retreat Design Map. And now we are SO DARN excited to share with you an overview of this process in our 60 DAY RETREAT PLANNER.

It's all YOURS and you can download for by clicking below:


In addition to this planner we also want to share with you  7 tips on how to BEST map out your retreat planning process and stay on track  (we know this is so helpful!):

1. Give yourself enough time to plan

We always encourage folks to take at least 6-9 months to plan a short day or weekend retreat, and 9-12 months to plan a longer and/or international retreat. Yes, it’s possible to organize a retreat in less time, but with less time to market and plan out all the details, you run the risk of a less successful retreat. Not to mention feeling stressed trying to get everything done in time. Do yourself a favor and give yourself some breathing room in your retreat planning process.

2. Use your calendar

Whether it’s iCal, Google Calendar or an old fashioned paper calendar, be sure to write down your plan. As wisely stated by Tony Robbins,  “If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you schedule it, it's real.” Write down on your calendar when you plan to launch your sales page, when you plan to announce the end of your early bird pricing, and when you plan email your potential retreat students, etc. Put it on your calendar to make sure it happens!

3. Break down your to-do list

You wanna break down your tasks into bite sized chunks, otherwise it can feel overwhelming trying to get everything done at once. So instead of having a list of 10 things that you need to do in a week, break down your list and schedule out a few things for each day. Then you can feel like you are really making progress instead of always trying to catch up.

4. Honor your commitment to yourself

When you schedule in your office time to write emails, work on your website, etc, honor that commitment to yourself. Just because you aren’t clocking into work at an office doesn’t mean this isn’t REAL work that needs to get done. Treat this appointment with yourself as you would an appointment you’d make with someone else. Also think of the domino effect of not doing what you plan. The more you slack off on your to-do list, the longer the list grows. So honoring your office time is an awesome time to stay on track.

5. Cross things off the list

This feels so good! So if you are using the old fashioned pen and paper, this is easy to do. On the computer, you can use “strike-through” to check things off. Let yourself indulge in the satisfaction that you are getting things done! It gives a boost of confidence and helps with your momentum, both of which are essential to moving forward in your planning process.

6. Keep a copy of your schedule + Retreat PLan

Make a copy of your retreat planning strategy so you can recreate this timeline for future retreats- This will save you SO MUCH time later on. If you plan to do a similar retreat in the future, you will already have this marketing strategy as a template. You can then make changes and fine tune it after you see what works and what doesn’t work. So, create a document that you can save somewhere (We LOVE Google Docs!) with your marketing strategy time-frame.

7. Stay connected to your WHY

We can’t emphasize this enough. Always reflect back to the bigger purpose behind why you are doing your retreat. Sometimes we get so caught up in the smaller details of retreat planning that we start to lose sight of WHY we are doing this in the first place. When continue to remind ourselves of the real reason behind the retreat, we will be more inspired and productive.

We truly hope this planner will help you get your retreat mapped out in two months or even less. It's totally possible when you have a clear roadmap with the steps you need to take.

Ok, now it's your turn:

In the blog comments below let us know what you think of the 60 Day Retreat Planner and please share what you struggle with the most when planning your retreat.

Happy Planning!

Paloma and Renee