Checklist: What to Bring on a Meditation and Yoga Retreat?

You’re headed out for a meditation and yoga retreat, excited about the possibilities and open to new experiences. You’ve been looking forward to it for months, but now that it’s almost time to leave, you have no idea what to pack.

There’s a fine line between over-packing and under-packing. You want to make sure you have what you need without lugging around stuff you have no use for while you’re away. The location and length of the retreat will be important to keep in mind when you pack your bags. This article is specifically geared towards folks coming to The Chopra Center in sunny Southern California for a retreat, so you can make sure you have everything you need to feel comfortable and prepared during your stay.

Packing Checklist

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Yoga Mat 
We do sell mats at the Chopra Center, but if you have one at home, bring it along. Yoga mats are not provided at most of our events—the exception is Perfect Health, where mats will be available to borrow.

Comfortable Clothes 
Comfortable clothes means something different to everyone. The Chopra Center is a casual environment, so bring the type of clothing you feel most comfortable in. That ranges from yoga or workout clothing, to slacks and skirts, and everything in-between. Make sure to bring yoga clothes if you intend to participate in yoga classes.

Layers, Layers, Layers 
Anyone who’s been to San Diego knows that evenings and mornings are chilly, and afternoons are warm. During our sessions indoors, we do our best to regulate the temperature, but sometimes the thermometer doesn’t always cooperate with us. Packing layers ensures you are comfortable regardless of the weather outside and inside.

Comfortable Shoes 
The Chopra Center is located on the grounds of a beautiful resort and spa. If you’re someone who is a walker and likes to explore on foot, bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes so that you can enjoy the grounds. We are also about a mile and a half from the ocean if you’re feeling adventurous.

Bathing Suit 
If you plan to enjoy the spa facilities or the six different pools and outdoor spaces at Omni La Costa before or after the retreat, you should absolutely pack your bathing suit. The sun shines in San Diego around 300 days a year, so you can soak in your vitamin D and all of the amenities the Chopra Center and Omni La Costa offer.

Hat, Sunscreen, Sunglasses 
Speaking of the sun, if you’re planning to spend some time in the sun, bring anything you may want to have on-hand to protect yourself from overexposure, such as SPF, a hat, and sunglasses.

Water Bottle 
We will provide a plastic water bottle for you, but if you prefer to use glass or your own bottle, make sure to bring it along.

Your Favorite Journal 
When you arrive at registration, you will receive a canvas Chopra bag, journal, pen, water bottle, and course material. If you have a special journal or something you often write in, bring it on your retreat so you can add your new experiences and thoughts.

A Book 
Books can be great tools for inspiration and to make notes in. The books we reference the most at our retreats are the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, so having one of those with you for the retreat would be beneficial. If you’re looking for a new book to dive into, find one in our online bookstore.

Healthy Snacks for Travel 
If you’re flying or driving a distance to the retreat, remember to stock up on healthy snacks, as it can be tough to find healthy options in airports or on the road. Fruit, nuts, granola bars, and trail mix are great options that travel well. Snacks may come in handy if you get hungry between meals during your retreat as well.

An Open Mind 
Even if you forget everything on this list, if you show up with nothing but yourself and an open mind, you’ll have truly all you need to receive all of the benefits the retreat.

What You Won’t Need on a Retreat

X - Fancy clothing or jewelry

X - Hair dryer/hairspray

X - Perfume

X - High heels

X - Your venti latte or 5-Hour Energy Drink

X - Your own agenda or schedule

X - Inhibitions

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About the Author

Gabrielle Forleo

Vedic Educator
Gabrielle has worked at the Chopra Center since 2006 and is a certified Vedic Educator, having completed teacher trainings in Primordial Sound Meditation , Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga , and Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle . Although she has practiced many styles of yoga for more than a decade, she was first certified in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga in 2008 and has been teaching yoga at the Chopra Center and...Read more