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Six Tricks For Getting Into Yoga Retreats For Next To Nothing

By Ash Stevens - 
Whether you do yoga at home or at a studio, the location is irrelevant when one puts their heart into their practice. But as much as we love to yoga wherever and whenever our heart desires, home yoga can’t compete with a soulful yoga retreat. Running off to a special location with a wonderful teacher is a magical and soul-shifting experience. Every yoga admirer needs to experience it!


Unfortunately, the yoga retreats of the modern world come with a price tag that’s considerably heavier than the retreats of ancient India. Just paying for the retreat can drain your bank account. And after you make that buy, you still have to fund the jet fuel or gasoline to make it over there. You practically have to sell your soul!        


But don’t be deterred by dear tight-budgeted yogis. There are ways of getting into a retreat which won’t require you to make a pact with the devil. Actually, you can do it for almost nothing, AND you can score incredible new experiences and connections in the process. So, stock up on your self-confidence and determination and evaluate your skills and know-how. Then try these tricks out for size...




I discovered Workaway through my wild and wonderful friend Sammy. Thanks to Workaway, she got hooked with up with lodging and amenities so she could spend a month in Costa Rica. Even better, she stayed at a wildlife refuge. Apparently, Workaway works just as well for landing a stay at quaint retreats and down-to-earth yoga centers as it does for scoring free room and board.


Be aware that hosts are always changing: some post offers weeks or months in advance while others do so at the last minute, so don’t expect your ideal retreat or location to be three clicks away.  However, you’re sure to discover new and enticing opportunities every time you browse Workaway hosts.  




One cool feature of this site is that many hosts are regulars. The site allows people to review and rate their experience too, so you have a solid idea of what you can expect and how it will align with your needs. And whether you want to pull off a retreat in Iceland, or you want to spend your summer down South — you’ll find all these options on Workaway, and then some.


Caretaking (AKA Volunteer Work)


There’s a number of retreat centers that will take work in exchange for cash. Blue Osa is one example. In exchange for volunteer work (for specific positions they need filled), Blue Osa offers volunteers meals, lodging, and retreat classes. At the time of this article, they had volunteer positions available for kitchen helpers, spa therapists, gardeners, writers, and marketers.


Whatever your interests or skill set may be, volunteers have to remember that they’re coming to their retreat with a job to do. The free lodging, food, and yoga classes come with a list of duties to complete and work hours to log. Pick the right retreat, and you can still expect a totally awesome time that’s totally worth it. Check out the yoga volunteering experience from Jeannie of Nomadic Chick to get a feel for the potential pros and cons.


Typing For Retreating


If you have yourself established as an online writer, then you have may be able to negotiate retreat stays in exchange for your connections or know-how. Bloggers who have a blog with good SEO metrics, considerable following, or blog in a niche that’s hyper-relevant to yoga or retreats will have valuable potential to yoga centers. Writing reviews or posts which spotlight the yoga center and link to their site are a great (and likely very inexpensive) way to help businesses raise their Google rankings, and to increase web exposure and interest. Online writers who presently contribute to sites are equally intriguing when writers have the ability to use their web relationships to write about yoga and share info on the center or retreat.


Coders and other IT savvy folk also have skills that yoga centers could use. Having access to someone who’s experienced in website development, blogging, and writing for multiple platforms can save a yoga center big bucks that would be spent on sponsored posts, advertising, SEO writing, and website updates. Don’t be afraid to ask! But do be ready to prove that you’ve got the skills to do it, and be ready to deliver 110 percent. It’s safe to assume that people try to get freebies all the time, so you should walk into your proposition with a solid plan and complete confidence that you can do it.    


Volunteer For An Event


If you’ve got your heart set on making it to a specific retreat, then take a peek at their events calendar. If any of their events align with your skills and interests, send an email and seize the opportunity! A wedding could be the perfect way for cooks, bakers, servers, and photographers to land a retreat spot. Public events like fundraisers or paid lectures warrant help with marketing and sales. Business changes and program updates may welcome experience from writers and site developers.


Whatever your skills and strengths may be, there’s surely a retreat event which could use your help. So, throw your wish out to the universe, send some emails, and then sit back and see what unfolds.


Sign Up As A Mystery Shopper


Mystery shoppers go to malls and stores, but they can also score gigs at hotels and resorts. Actually, people are using mystery shopping to fund summer vacations. If there’s a retreat happening around your area, then you may be able to make money back on expenses like gas, lodging, food, and even spa treatments.


There are a number of reputable mystery shopping companies like MarketForce, IntelliShop, and BestMark. Spend some time researching the industries they serve, their survey standards, the time it takes for reimbursement, and the testimonials from fellow mystery shoppers. If it looks like a mystery shopping company fits your needs, then get signed up asap. The sooner you start, the quicker you can build a reputation as a shopper and start landing better gigs.


Find The Best Price On Retreats And Travel


Can’t pull off volunteering or work exchange? That’s okay! You can shave dollars off of your trip in a number of ways. For starters, check out Book Retreats list of affordable yoga retreats. If you’ll be needing to book a flight, transportation, or lodging, then read Nomadic Matt’s post on travelling without money. That guy really knows what he’s talking about. While you’re at it, read the expert advice from professional traveller Nora Dunn in her list of cheap travel tips for I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and Huffington Post’s tricks for saving on U.S. trips.     


Get The Best Deal On Travel Essentials

The moment you decide you’re ready to pursue a retreat, jot down your packing list of travel essentials so that you have plenty of time to score good deals on the things you need to buy. A few trips through your local thrift stores may have all your shoes and clothing scratched off your list.


If you’re in need of new items like camera or weather gear, check out Nerd Wallet for their guides on store sales and events, discounts, and what you should buy (or should hold out on) for the month. When it’s time to shift the items on your wish list to your shopping cart, save money with online shopping hacks like discount gift cards, price matching, or purposely leave items in your shopping cart (you may find you get an email with a coupon code).  


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That sums up my list of retreat tricks! Have you or your yoga pals had success with the above? Do you have anything more you’d add to the list? Be sure to share with everyone in the comments down below!

This post is published on September 7th, 2017 12:35

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Six Tricks For Getting Into Yoga Retreats For Next To Nothing

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