Travel At Home: How To Create A DIY Yoga Retreat
This post on how to create a DIY yoga retreat is by Jessie Festa and Charlotte Dow. It contains affiliate links to trusted partners.
Yoga is one of the world’s most popular wellness practices — and for good reason.
Beyond its roots as a spiritual practice, yoga has been scientifically proven to improve flexibility, relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, and ease stress and anxiety.
Yoga studios have popped up all around the world and many now offer retreats to exotic locales where fans of the practice can shut out the world and focus on their breath for a few days.
These retreats can also cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to join!
Thankfully, you can go on your own yoga staycation for a fraction of the price without ever leaving home.
You don’t have to travel to Bali or Tulum just to get the benefits of a retreat. With a little preparation and an internet connection, you can create a relaxing DIY yoga retreat that rivals those offered by some of the top yoga teachers around the world.
So where do you start?
Below is a sample yoga retreat schedule full of wellness retreat activity ideas that you can recreate.
You’ll discover more than a few ways that you can travel at home by going on a yoga retreat right in your living room!
Free Travel Journal With Prompts
Before we dive into how to create your own mini yoga retreat at home, I invite you to grab my free Inspired Storyteller Travel Journal!
This fillable/printable travel journal features writing tips as well as 56 fun travel journal prompts to help you relive your trips, ignite your creativity, and spark your curiosity.
You can use the journal during your wellness retreat!
Benefits Of A DIY Yoga Retreat
There are many reasons to add a yoga retreat to your bucket list, even if it takes place in your living room.
Taking a few days to unplug and focus on yourself can have huge benefits to your physical and mental health.
Aside from giving you the time and space to deepen your yoga and meditation practices, a yoga retreat can help you destress and reconnect with yourself.
Typical yoga retreat activities like journaling, hiking, and talks from wellness experts can be great methods of self-discovery and reflection — something we can all use in our increasingly busy lives.
Even a short yoga retreat is a great way to step back from the noise of daily life, turn off email notifications for a bit, and recenter yourself.
In terms of a DIY wellness retreat vs an in-person retreat abroad, you’ll save a lot of money creating your own and can customize the itinerary 100% to your liking.
Quite honestly, you could make this an affordable yoga retreat — or even a completely free yoga retreat if you stick to using free resources.
Plus, so many of the resources out there make it easy to create your own yoga retreat in a way that truly provides the transformation you’re looking for.
Finally, with a little imagination and some authentic decor, you can “travel” anywhere in the world, even places that may typically be difficult to get to due to time, finances, or something else.
Notes On Your At-Home Yoga Retreat Program
Below you’ll find a sample yoga retreat schedule that’s meant to help you plan your own at-home program.
Feel free to take what works for you and get rid of what doesn’t.
For instance, while the below program suggests a variety of yoga styles, you might instead choose to stick with Vinyasa yoga all weekend.
Or, perhaps you decide to incorporate a gratitude practice each day instead of just on Sunday.
This retreat is all about you getting the most out of the weekend, so make adjustments as needed.
Have any practices or rituals you think should be added to this short retreat schedule?
Please share them in the comments!
Sample Yoga Retreat Schedule: Friday Morning Itinerary
Set The Scene for Your Home Yoga Retreat
Whether you’re hosting a DIY yoga retreat or simply enjoying a relaxing staycation, you always want to put energy into creating your ideal setting.
I mean, part of the fun of traveling is getting the chance to see new things and change your environment, right?
While this is a bit difficult to do when you’re staying home, you can still get in the vacation mindset by adding a few yoga-themed decorations to your space.
To bring the outdoors in, add some green to your space by investing in a few new houseplants around your makeshift yoga studio.
This will give you the vibe of a jungle retreat — without the mosquito bites!
Some scented candles, incense, or an aromatherapy diffuser will also help heighten your senses over the weekend and transport you to your exotic location of choice.
A few great options include this Community Collection Candle from ABLE, a women empowerment brand that is also donating 10% of candle sales to the Loveland Foundation to further support Black women and girls.
Moreover, purchasing CAMPO Beauty diffusers and essentials oils from Women at the Helm means you’re also investing in female entrepreneurs.
You can choose which scents to use based on what feelings you want to create in the body or what ailments you’re trying to heal. For instance, lavender is relaxing and can also ease headaches.
Want to take your home decor even further?
Check out some of the gorgeous handcrafted items on NOVICA, an online marketplace featuring the work of artisans from around the world. Their hand-carved yogi sculptures will help transform your home into the retreat space of your dreams.
And of course, you can’t forget your gear. A yoga mat as well as props like blocks, bolsters, and straps are musts for any at-home yoga practice.
Shop Manduka for high-quality yoga gear that will fit into any budget.
Plus, through their project:OM initiative, 1% of online sales get donated to charities focused on empowerment, like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Prepare Some Detoxifying Yogi Tea
Tea, particularly homemade tea with fresh ingredients, can have incredible wellness benefits.
Along with healing ailments, these teas can detoxify the body and help prevent future health issues.
Here are two yogi tea recipes to get you started.
Both are relatively simple to make right in your kitchen with a few grocery store items:
Once you have your recipe down, make sure you have the necessary ingredients to brew fresh batches all weekend long.
Set Your At-Home Yoga Retreat Intention
Setting an intention for your DIY yoga retreat has a number of benefits.
First of all, it allows you to choose how you’d like to feel and what you’d like to happen in your life to more easily manifest it.
When you spend time on your intention, it can affect how you carry yourself in the world and the actions you take to bring more of what you’d like to have into your life.
Additionally, setting an intention in yoga allows you to deepen your practice, as you take the session beyond movements.
Not sure where to start?
Consider why you decided to create a DIY yoga retreat in the first place, or what pushed you to carve out time to do yoga. What is it that you are hoping to get out of the experience?
A few possible intentions might be:
- manifesting inner peace
- creating a life of ease
- letting go of what you can’t control
- loving unconditionally
- feeling strong and capable
Of course, you can set a new intention during each yoga session, though also consider sticking with the same one all weekend to really bring what you want more of into your life.
Looking for more guidance on setting intentions?
This video by Kamini Desai for the Amrit Yoga Institute shares an ancient yogic technique that can help you actualize your intentions:
Use Chanting To Get In Balance
Chanting is a powerful tool used in yoga for healing as well as to connect more deeply with yourself.
It can also quiet the mind and raise your vibrations.
If you’d like to start simple, opt for the sacred “om” sound — which really sounds like “aum.” This is the basic sound of the universe that connects all living things and is a common chant to do before and after a yoga practice.
Personally, I love the way chanting “om” in unison with others feels, so you can use a YouTube video like this one if you’d like to chant along with others. Or simply have this playing in your space to truly immerse yourself in the sacred feeling:
For a truly transformative experience, opt for a chakra chanting meditation.
If you’re unfamiliar with the chakras, they’re derived from Eastern spiritual and healing traditions. The chakras refer to the seven main energy centers of our body that move from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.
Keeping these spinning wheels of energy unblocked is important for living a healthy and vibrant life.
The chakras include:
- Root chakra (red). It’s located at the base of the spine and is associated with trust, grounding, and stability.
- Sacral chakra (orange). It’s located just below the navel and is associated with sensuality, creativity, and emotions.
- Solar Plexus chakra (yellow). It’s located in the stomach area and is associated with wisdom, personal power, and self-esteem.
- Heart chakra (green). It’s located in the center of the chest and is associated with love, trust, and openness.
- Throat chakra (blue). It’s located at the base of the throat and is associated with communication and self-expression.
- Third Eye chakra (indigo). It’s located between and behind the eyes on the forehead and is associated with awareness, connections to a higher self, and visions.
- Crown chakra (violet). It’s located at the top of the head and is associated with spirituality, connection to the universe, and transcending limitations.
Along with having associated colors, locations on the body, and focuses, they each also have an associated sound. Chanting the associated sound can help vibrate and unblock that chakra.
To help guide you through this, here is a video:
These are just a few options when it comes to the healing practice of chanting, so feel free to explore other opportunities.
Have A Restorative Yoga Session
Start your weekend off right with a restorative yoga session that will get you off the couch and feeling loose and limber.
In restorative yoga, you move through just a few poses, holding them for up to five minutes at a time for maximum release.
This practice also helps to set you up for success for the rest of your weekend as you explore different styles of yoga.
Not sure where to start when it comes to your yoga practice?
YogaDownload has you covered.
With a subscription to YogaDownload, you can stream over 1,600 yoga, fitness, and meditation videos online.
You can even download your favorite classes for offline use if you really want to unplug.
YogaDownload’s library features a whole host of restorative yoga classes — with more classes added every day.
Feel good knowing the brand donates a portion of their earnings to charities like the Give Back Yoga Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and World Bicycle Relief, just to name a few.
Another resource for virtual yoga experiences:
While they offer thousands of yoga trips around the world, you can also click here to browse their online offerings, which range from yoga teacher training programs to immersive yoga and meditation retreats to workshops on topics like Yoga Nidra and unbinding the heart.
Yoga Staycation: Friday Afternoon Activities
Dive Into Breathwork During Your Mini Yoga Retreat
Whether you’re looking for some unique Netflix & Chill alternatives or want to take your yoga staycation to the next level, breathwork may be your answer.
Breathwork is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of techniques that manipulate the breath in a way that can be therapeutic.
There are many different types of breathwork, like these, that you might try, though one suggestion during an at-home yoga retreat is Pranayama.
Pranayama is the practice of breath control in yoga.
It has the power to release toxins, improve awareness, reduce stress, increase energy, create a sense of balance, and potentially even help cure certain ailments.
Here is a class to get you started:
Now, there are many different forms of breathwork that you can try.
However, a quick warning:
Some forms of breathwork are quite intense!
For instance, in this video, I share my experience trying Transformational Breathwork:
It involved hallucinations — talk about traveling from home!
These more intense forms of breathwork can be incredibly therapeutic and transformative, though I think it’s important to know beforehand what you’re getting yourself into so you can be mentally prepared.
A few resources that can help you get started with breathwork include:
Wim Hof’s YouTube channel. Wim Hof is the creator of the Wim Hof Method, a breathing technique that can assist you in experiencing increased energy and lower stress levels.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. This life-changing book looks at the power of nasal breathing and uses a ton of science and research to look at the correlations between breathing and health, as well as how our bodies and abilities to breath properly have changed over time.
One practice I learned from the book was that spending about 5-to-10 minutes per day inhaling through your nose for 5.5 seconds and then exhaling through your nose for 5.5 seconds can reap incredible wellness rewards for the body.
Take Some Time To Journal
Journaling is a fantastic method for self-reflection and discovery. Just getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a page can be incredibly therapeutic and can help you tap into your creativity.
This morning, set aside some time to sit in your favorite spot in your home — this can totally be your bed, no judgment — and just write whatever comes to mind; your hopes, your fears, that weird dream you had the night before.
And you don’t have to worry about writing the next great American novel. This session is just for you.
If the sight of the blank page terrifies you, Silk + Sonder’s journals can help.
Their monthly planners have prompts and trackers to help you reflect on your experiences while organizing your life.
And with their monthly subscription, you don’t have to worry about going out to get a new journal as soon as you’ve filled one up. Silk + Sonder will send you a new journal every month with new prompts and trackers.
Looking for a free travel-themed journal?
Remember, you can also grab the Jessie on a Journey 75-page Inspired Storyteller Travel Journal.
It’s printable and fillable, and comes with 56 different travel journal prompts for those missing travel who want to relive their trips.
DIY Retreat: Friday Evening Program
Prep A Healthy Dinner
This weekend is all about wellness, from your activities down to what you eat.
In fact, you might consider making it a vegetarian or vegan yoga retreat, as this healing “getaway” offers a great opportunity to try out some new plant-based meals that will make you feel like you’re at a spa.
Colorful, nutrient-rich dishes will help you get into the wellness mood for your weekend.
Love vegan yoga retreats? For your first meal, try something simple like a hearty Buddha bowl with chickpeas, greens, and sweet potatoes.
Another delicious option that’s a bit more hearty:
Tunisian baked eggs, also known as shakshuka.
If you’d prefer a virtual cooking class, The Chef & The Dish pairs you with chefs from around the world.
Along with their set cooking classes focused on meals like pho, sushi, and paella, you can book a custom class with a personalized menu to plant-ify your experience.
Opt For An Evening Meditation
Relax into the evening with a meditation session before bed.
Light some candles and incense, turn down the lights, and focus on your intentions for the rest of the weekend.
We can learn incredible things about ourselves when we quiet our minds and focus on our breath, even for a short period of time.
If you’re new to meditation or just need some assistance, you can find plenty of guided meditation videos on YogaDownload.
Additionally, the free Insight Timer app showcases over 45,000 guided meditations, which you can browse by intention and other filters.
Saturday Morning Healing Yoga Retreat Rituals
Manifest Through Meditation
Weekends are always a great time to slow down and reflect on our lives, and meditation can help you do just that.
Scroll through YogaDownload’s guided meditation offerings to find classes specifically suited to the AM time, like Morning Manifestation Meditation.
Alternatively, an Insight Timer suggestion is the six-minute Manifest Your Deepest Desires meditation.
A little stillness will leave you feeling balanced and ready for the day ahead.
Spend Time With Your Journal
Break out your journal and start the day with another writing session over some coffee or tea.
Try to fill up three pages of whatever comes to mind, including what came up for you during your meditation.
This practice of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, dubbed “Morning Pages” by The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron, is a great strategy for clarifying your mind and getting in touch with your consciousness.
If the practice resonates with you, try to incorporate it into your mindful morning routine after your retreat weekend ends.
Enjoy A Morning Yoga Session
Start your day with some movement!
To get your blood flowing, body moving and heart pumping, try a Vinyasa session — like one from this virtual yoga class library.
In Vinyasa, you flow seamlessly from pose to pose, moving with your breath.
This is a more typical style of yoga practice and has more of a cardio element, making it a great way to begin your day.
Who needs coffee when you have Vinyasa?
Yoga Retreat At Home: Saturday Afternoon Itinerary
Reconnect With Nature On A Walk Or Hike
Whether you embark on a hiking yoga retreat or a more standard itinerary, these trips usually include some kind of outdoor activity, whether it’s a beachside horseback ride, a kayak trip on an alpine lake, or a hike to a waterfall.
You can recreate this by taking a ride out to a local trail and going for a hike.
Here is a short video of my favorite local hiking trails in Manhattan, proving that even urban settings can offer excellent nature experiences:
Take this time to reconnect with nature, notice your surroundings, and breathe in the fresh air.
Yoga adventures and outdoor physical activities like hiking can help improve your mood and lower stress while offering a much-needed change of scenery.
Download the previously-mentioned Insight Timer App to do a meditation in the woods, which can be a therapeutic experience.
Curious what type of hiker you are?
Take Jessie on a Journey’s fun hiker personality quiz. Your results come with trail suggestions, too!
Unwind With Evening Hatha Yoga
In the evening, try a new type of yoga, Hatha.
While traditionally Hatha yoga is an umbrella term for any style of yoga that incorporates postures and breathing, in the West, it’s come to be known as a style of yoga where postures are held for longer periods of time.
For a great at-home program, check out this Hatha Yoga To Unwind class by Kylie Larson.
The 35-minute relaxing flow helps you loosen tight muscles while winding down for the day.
DIY Wellness Retreat: Saturday Evening Rituals
Travel At Home And Try A New Restaurant
After a long day of yoga and hiking, you deserve a good meal.
One of the best things about traveling is trying new foods, and you can still have new culinary experiences at home.
Here’s an idea:
Order dinner from a local restaurant you’ve never tried before, ideally with a wellness-forward menu.
Once it arrives, set the table and light some candles to recreate the restaurant experience at home.
Keep in mind, being present is a big part of yoga, and that extends to beyond the mat. Enjoy your meal slowly, using all five senses to really savor every bite. This is also a healthy practice for your digestion.
Remember, too, that this is your retreat to enjoy as you please. If you enjoy unwinding with a beverage, don’t be afraid to pour a glass of vino with your meal and turn the experience into a yoga and wine retreat.
Grow Through Learning
Occasionally, yoga retreats feature workshops and talks from wellness experts that inspire participants to go after their best lives.
While you may not be able to physically bring these experts into your home, you can expand your mind with the help of the internet.
Tune into inspiring talks from people like Glennon Doyle, Maysoon Zayid, and Abria Joseph on YouTube — which are totally free; no email address login required!
You can also check out Brene Brown’s hour-long talk The Call to Courage on Netflix, or take a yoga-themed online class like an Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
You’re sure to leave feeling inspired and ready to take on the world!
Sunday Morning DIY Retreat Schedule
No yoga retreat would be complete without a gratitude practice.
Along with helping to improve your mindset, it assists you in raising your vibrations and going about your day — and, with regular practice, your life — from a place of abundance instead of lack.
Keep in mind, too, that your reactions become your reality — including your muscle memory. Therefore, the more you approach challenges and situations from a place of gratitude, the more that will become your natural reaction.
Now, there are many ways to practice gratitude. The point is that you’re taking time to feel into what you are grateful for in your life.
For your at-home yoga retreat, combine a mixture of gratitude-focused journaling, meditation, and yoga to create an in-depth gratitude session.
Here are a few resources and ideas to help you do this:
There are numerous ways to incorporate gratitude journaling into your DIY retreat.
First of all, you might use an app like Gratitude Happiness Journal to create your journal. Apps like this are great as they can help guide you in your gratitude practice.
Additionally, you might choose to use gratitude journaling prompts, like “What is a challenge you’re experiencing in your life right now that you can be grateful for?” or “What is something that happened to you this week that you’re grateful for?”
Moreover, you might simply choose three things that you’re grateful for, and flesh out why that is next to each entry.
Personally, I think gratitude is an important part of any meditation, though some definitely make gratitude the focal point more than others.
You can start by browsing Insight Timer’s library of gratitude-focused meditations here. You’ll find a variety of audio file lengths, too.
Gratitude Yoga Class
When it comes to practicing gratitude during yoga, I’m a big fan of YogaDownload’s Yoga For Gratitude program, which also includes meditations.
Additionally, they have a 7-day Heart Opening program, which is excellent for practicing gratitude as heart-opening poses also open you up to receiving love and abundance.
On YouTube, you can check out this class, a 10-minute gentle Vinyasa flow focused on gratitude. In fact, the yoga teacher, Brett Larkin, continuously reminds you to focus on being thankful throughout the session.
Create Your Own Yoga Retreat: Sunday Afternoon Activities
Make It A Luxury Yoga Retreat With An At-Home Spa Day
After all that movement yesterday, it’s time to treat yourself to a little pampering.
No retreat is complete without a spa day; and you can recreate some of your favorite treatments at home for a fraction of the cost.
From DIY facials to luxurious baths to essential oil-infused pedicures, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself from the comfort of your own bedroom or bathroom.
A few little treatments will ensure that you’ll “return” to the real world post-retreat feeling and looking rejuvenated.
DIY Yoga Retreat: Sunday Evening Experiences
Take A Sound Bath
After your bubble bath, it’s time for a sound bath.
If you’ve never heard of a sound bath before, it’s an immersive technique using sound waves to bring balance, relaxation, and a slew of other benefits to the body.
To help get you started, here is a sound bath playlist on Spotify.
Additionally, you can check out this YouTube video sharing a sound bath for healing.
Note that you can search YouTube for sound bath videos with other focuses, like alignment, calming, mental clarity, migraine relief, nausea relief, and more.
Keep in mind:
There are numerous sound therapies that exist that can be incorporated into your DIY at-home yoga retreat.
A few options include sonic acupuncture, binaural beats, and singing bowl healing.
Take Part In A Sunset Yoga Session
End your retreat weekend with a gentle yoga session as the sun goes down.
If you have access to a backyard, deck or roof, move your practice outside for a little fresh air, or simply put your mat down in front of your window for a nice view.
Either way, this evening practice will help you close out your weekend, focus on gratitude, and relax into the evening.
Can’t enjoy your own sunset?
Opt for a video class that takes place in a sunset location, like this one:
End Your Retreat With Some Contemplation
Contemplation refers to quieting the mind and getting to a place where you can be receptive to intuition.
You might reflect on ideas, attitudes, behaviors — including associated implications — and other thoughts that came up over the weekend yoga retreat that you want to dive into.
If you find it helpful, you might also choose to use your journal to work out what comes up for you during this practice.
Bonus Activities To Add A DIY Wellness Retreat Schedule
Here are some additional wellness activities you might add to your weekend yoga retreat program:
Self-care is a very important part any DIY retreat.
In the video below, I share my 10 favorite self-care tips and rituals for travelers — that can also be practiced at home and added to your retreat itinerary!
Add a give back twist to your at-home yoga retreat by taking part in virtual volunteering opportunities.
You can make cards for children with cancer, sew pet beds for animals in shelters, lend your eyes (through an app) to the blind and vision impaired, and more.
Visualization is a powerful technique that involves vividly picturing a scenario that you want to happen.
For instance, if you want to write a novel, you might visualize what the process looks like.
Personally, I find visualization most powerful when I can actually place myself in the scene in the first-person; as in, instead of watching myself as if the visualization were a movie, I’m right there in the scene experiencing everything with all five senses.
Looking for an art yoga retreat?
Reaping the healing benefits of art doesn’t have to be complicated.
Simply pick up your favorite project — or, if you’re not artistic, choose an activity kit from Michael’s Stores — and schedule some time to do it.
Alternatively, you can search YouTube for art tutorial channels, like Doodles By Sarah or Emily Mackey Art.
This isn’t necessarily an activity, but a decision you can make at the beginning of your at-home yoga retreat weekend.
Do you want to incorporate a DIY silent retreat aspect to the weekend, either partially or entirely?
There are many benefits to this, like making it easier to connect with your inner self while also limiting outside distractions.
If you live with others, this can be challenging, so if you want to go the silent route just make sure to have a talk with your family/roommates to let them know it’s important that they respect your wishes.
Alternatively, you might consider renting a space to yourself for the weekend.
If you’ve never used Airbnb before, you can click my referral link here to save $35 on your first booking.
Reading can be a deeply rewarding practice, not only because it’s enjoyable, but because you can learn and grow as a person.
Since you’re doing an at-home yoga retreat, you might consider something like Meditation For The Love Of It by Sally Kempton or Fully Present by Susan L. Smalley PhD and Diana Winston.
I’m a huge fan of the Blinkist app for reading or listening to the key ideas (known as “blinks”) of nonfiction books in just 15 minutes.
Some books I’ve enjoyed recently through Blinkist include Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, and The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda.
I recently took a crystal healing course on Udemy that was absolutely fantastic.
One of the crystal healing techniques I learned was called the Seal of Solomon, which is a total bodywork procedure meant to help raise your vibrations and psyche.
It involves placing six clear quartz crystal points around the body — one at the top of the head, one at the end of each outstretched arm and leg, and one in between the outstretched feet — with the points facing outward to create a six-pointed star shape.
During the session, you’ll want to feel the light grid created by the crystals infusing with the body, as well as the body releasing all anxiety.
Booking A Mindfulness Yoga Retreat — In Person
Maybe your weekend yoga retreat at home has you itching to now book an in-person experience.
If that’s the case, it’s recommended to check out BookYogaRetreats.
They offer incredible yoga adventures around the world with a variety of themes, whether you want something holistic, a retreat that infuses adventure, a budget-friendly retreat, or something else.
Search retreats by location, duration, focus, theme, departure date, and more.
For instance, you might choose to browse their yoga and writing retreats, their yoga retreats in India, their acro-yoga retreats, or something else.
Wow, we covered a lot!
Hopefully, this guide to creating your own DIY yoga retreat will help you embark on an incredible wellness journey — while also allowing you to travel at home.
What are your favorite DIY yoga retreat activities?
Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!
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Thank you for all this valuable tips! I love yoga and used to do it very often in the past. However, now it fells a bit more challenging to create a routine for it. I’ll definitely try your tips and suggestions to hopefully get back into it!