How I Learnt the Hard Way About Over-Packing For a Retreat

Yoga retreats are simple holidays: you really don't need much in the way of clothing. Some yoga gear (the RIGHT type, I'll get to that in a moment), a swimsuit or two, and a couple of floaty dresses. Plus some sandals.

Swimsuit and skirt from Kelsey Genna - see her full range here.

Swimsuit and skirt from Kelsey Genna - see her full range here.

It's even easier for blokes: some shorts, some yoga gear, a t-shirt or two and maybe a collared shirt for night times.

I'm a light packer - I travel everywhere with carry-on sized luggage. And yet, the first time I went on retreat to Bali, I STILL managed to overpack. How, you ask?

Well, I thought I needed a bunch of stuff that I really didn't:

  • Shoes. It's too hot and humid in Bali for closed shoes to be a good idea. You probably don't need more than a pair of Havainas. But, since they play havoc with your foot mechanics, a pair of sandals that attaches properly around your ankle. Just the one pair. Not the three pairs of shoes I thought I needed. Do you know how much more shopping I could've done if I didn't have those shoes in my case?
  • Full-length nylon yoga pants. Oh, so much too hot. Full-lenth is okay, but go for cotton, or you will cook yourself. Or, shorts. If you can't face shorty shorts (and who can, past a certain age) try these cute bike shorts, still long enough for modesty.
Yoga pants to wear on a retreat. Full details for all garments here

Yoga pants to wear on a retreat. Full details for all garments here

  • Multiple changes of outfit. If you are going to be spending your days doing yoga, lounging around a pool, and getting massages (with a bit of touristing thrown in), you really don't need 12 dresses and 5 pairs of non-yoga pants. I promise! 
  • Jeans. See above: full-length pants + tropical humidity = par-boiled yogi.

You know the worst of it? Because of the over-packing, I ended up with no space to stash any shopping. And Ubud is known for its shopping. What? Did I mention my shopping regret already? Oops...

Don't do like I did: be smart & take these suggestions from Yoga Journal:

Ps: Only two weeks left of early-bird pricing for this year's retreat, so book soon! Also, Retreat. Yoga. Love.