One of the benefits of the rise in popularity in yoga is that there are many options to travel the world to enjoy the practice. There’s everything from austere little ashrams to intensive trainings with top-notch teachers, to ultra-luxe spa retreats. You can go nearly anywhere for yoga retreats!
Packing lightly helps relieve travel stress and set you up for a relaxing retreat. You might want to check with the location you’ll be visiting and find out what they provide in terms of yoga equipment and amenities so you have the option of leaving some gear at home. Many yoga studios will have mats, blocks, blankets, and other props, so if you’re comfortable sharing, you can get away with packing quite lightly.
When it comes to traveling for yoga, my number one priority is comfort. Layers are good to keep off the chill when you’re sitting and relaxing before or after practice in chilly studios. I am a devoted yogini, but I am also super girly, so I try to bring nicer yoga clothes that haven’t gone threadbare, and at least one nice tunic top to pull on so I feel more put together when I’m out and about before and after class.
3 pairs of yoga pants. Take at least one pair of yoga pants that can be dressed up.
2 sports bras. One to wash, one to wear.
1 regular bra.
3 tank tops. Take at least one top that isn’t super sporty, so it can be worn while sightseeing or out on the town.
3 pairs undies, or more if you’re not up to doing some laundry in the sink.
3 pairs socks. Even if you’re wearing only flip-flops, feet can get cold in the yoga studio!
1 tunic top. Tunic tops, maybe accessorized with a belt, will dress up your yoga pants so you can head out to dinner after class.
1 dress or skirt for days off and dressing up.
1 cardigan or hoodie for layering in yoga practice or chilly evenings.
1 shawl for sitting in meditation and for dressing up.
1 swimsuit. A must if you’re attending a retreat in the tropics! Many yoga schools have hot tubs or saunas on the premises.
Flip flops or other slip on shoes. If you’re staying at an ashram or yoga school, you’ll be taking your shoes on and off constantly because you can’t wear shoes in yoga studios. Whatever your preference, make sure they’re easy to get on and off.
Comfortable walking shoes for sight seeing
Protection from the Elements
Lightweight long sleeved top if you’re headed somewhere sunny.
Lightweight rain jacket. You can layer up underneath for warmth.
Yoga mat. A travel mat and/or a mat sized yoga towel is perfect! If you don’t have one of these, you can fold up a regular yoga mat so it fits in your suitcase.
Hand towel. A microfiber towel will keep you from slipping on your mat, and can also be used to mop off sweat.
Mat wipes. I like Jo-Sha wipes, that can also be used to clean off dirty barefoot yoga feet or freshening up after class.
Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap. If you’re staying at an ashram, there is a chance that you’ll have to bring everything.
Laundry soap or Dr. Bronner’s for quick laundry in the sink.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Minimal makeup: Tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, mascara, and a favorite lipstick
Hair ties and/or headband to keep your hair out of your face while practicing yoga
Phone and charger – but try to keep it turned off during the day so as not to distract yourself or your fellow yogis.
Notebook and pen
Books. If you’re visiting a yoga school, make sure you have any study materials you need.
E-books come in handy so you’re not weighed down!