The last thing you want to do before heading off on a retreat is stress about what to pack. So, we here at Me Time Away have put together the ultimate packing list for any retreat so you can wash away your worries and focus on taking the steps towards creating inner personal transformation.
While many of our retreats have all you need in terms of equipment, you might want to bring along a few things from home to ensure you feel safe and at ease and that you have a little slice of sacred serenity with you wherever you go.
Read on to figure out what to pack for your next retreat…
What To Pack For A Retreat?
Comfy clothes are number one on pretty much every retreat packing list as it’s going to be impossible to still your mind and focus on the present moment if you’re constantly thinking about being uncomfortable. Retreats are not a fashion show so you don’t need to worry about having the latest brands or Insta-worthy activewear. Instead, you, and everyone else is there to centre, grow, connect and show loving-kindness, so what you wear is of no consequence. Make sure you pack yoga leggings, loose trousers and T-shirts and a well-fitting sports bra for any more vigorous vinyasa classes!
Other items of clothing to pack for your retreat are layers. While every retreat is different, it can sometimes be hard to find a temperature to suit all clients, so taking a number of layers is always a good idea. Whether it be socks and a jumper for Savasana or a lightweight, long-sleeved layer to keep any insects at bay during a Vipassana meditation, you won’t regret having options available.
You might also want to bring along a blanket if you know you’re sensitive to the cold, although many retreats will have these available.
Retreats can be truly transformational and you might be surprised at what feelings and emotions come to light during your time away. It is always useful to have a journal and a pen to hand throughout your retreat so you can jot down notes and questions the moment they arise. Journaling often allows us to dig deeper within, giving ourselves space to express what may otherwise be difficult to vocalise.
Looking back at your retreat journal later down the line can also be a beautiful reminder of how much you have grown.
A Water Bottle
Staying hydrated during a retreat is key as the processes and activities involved can be thirsty work! Yoga, energy work and the potential tears that come with uncovering the past can dehydrate you quickly, so having your own water bottle to hand will encourage you to keep up the fluids and stay feeling fresh and hydrated throughout.
Your Favourite Tea
Most retreats offer up a fantastic selection of fresh produce, delicious smoothies and soothing herbal teas, but if you have a favourite that you know you can’t live without, why not bring it along? Sitting down with a steaming cup of your favourite chai can be a meditative process and if it helps you unwind and feel relaxed then it’s a must for the packing list.
While much of your time will be taken up by workshops, classes, journaling and socialising, there are periods of downtime during a retreat when you might just want to pop your headphones in a float away to a space of stillness. Whether you want to listen to some meditative music or want an inspirational podcast to get your internal fire started, you’ll be glad to have packed your headphones.
Bringing along items to create a sacred space can be a wonderful way to remind yourself to stay in the present moment, even at times when you feel a million miles from home. Whether it’s a scented candle, an incense burner, your mala beads or a framed quote from home, these items allow you to remain centred and channel your inner Goddess who you are connecting with during your retreat.
In addition to these general things to pack for a retreat, you might need some ideas about what to pack for specific getaways such as a yoga, nature or mindfulness retreat. Below are our top packing tips for specific retreats so you make sure you don’t forget anything:
What To Pack For A Yoga Retreat?
While most retreats have yoga equipment available you might want to bring along your own block, bolster, cushion, strap or mat if you know that it is the perfect size for you or if you’d just rather not use the communal equipment.
Having a yoga towel or sarong to hand during your retreat is great for wiping the sweat from your brow, allowing you to dry your hands and feet for added grip during asanas and even as a tissue if you need to mop up some tears.
As you will be practising yoga barefoot, it’s useful to pack some shoes that you can easily slip on and off so you don’t have to faff around with shoe laces every time you enter the shala. Flip-flops are best for this as they are small and lightweight which makes them easy to pack.
What To Pack For A Nature Retreat?
If you’re heading off on a nature retreat you’ll want to ensure you have a decent pair of trainers or walking boots with you so that you are comfortable at all times. There’s nothing worse than setting out on a hike only to find out your shoes aren’t waterproof, so make sure you check that they are dry and comfortable before you travel.
You don’t want bugs to become a nuisance when you’re trying to be mindful in nature, so packing a natural insect repellent is an absolute must. While repellents with DEET in them are good at keeping mosquitoes at bay, they aren’t great for the environment, so something natural with citronella in works as a good happy medium.
It’s important not to get hungry during a nature retreat, and while most retreats will offer plenty of meals and snack breaks, there’s no harm in taking a few packets of nuts or energy bars for while you’re out on a hike.
What To Pack For A Mindfulness Retreat?
An Open Mind
Basically, the only thing you need to pack for a meditation retreat, aside from comfortable clothes, is an open mind. This is all that is required to stand you in good stead for surviving a mindfulness retreat as all you need is already within.
Now you are equipped with the ultimate retreat packing list you can start planning your next getaway without the stress of thinking about what to pack! What type of retreat is next on your list?