Body, mind, soul, plus other things to pack for a yoga retreat

Aside from positive energy, here are some other essentials. Source: Shutterstock.

ACROSS THE GLOBE, yoga enthusiasts are preparing to observe the fourth International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 21, 2018.

In India, the birthplace of yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead about 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun.

“About 5,000 events will be held across the country to mark International Day for Yoga (IDY),” The Times of India quoted a senior AYUSH ministry official as saying.

IDY aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.

The first IDY was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015. 35,985 people, including Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 yoga asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.

It established two Guinness world records – one for the largest yoga class and the other for the largest number of participating nationalities.

This year, the theme is “Yoga for Peace”.

Yoga tourism and spiritual tourism, which sit under the wider umbrella of wellness tourism, has seen an exponential growth in recent years.

Of course, India is the world’s fastest growing wellness tourism destination, with other Southeast Asian countries tailing close behind.

“Wellness travel — any tourism associated with the goal of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being — is now a US$439 billion industry worldwide within the US$3.2 trillion global tourism industry, representing 14 percent of all tourism spending. It’s estimated to have a trillion dollars worth of economic impact,” HuffPost Lifestyle reported.

According to BookYogaRetreats, a handful of the world’s top yoga retreats are in Asia: Rishikesh (India), Goa (India), Bali (Indonesia), Koh Phangan (Thailand), and Koh Samui (Thailand).

Thinking of heading to any of the above wellness destinations for some quality body, mind, and soul “me time”?

Here are some essentials you need to include in your check-in luggage:

Workout gear

If you’re going somewhere particularly hot, you should probably be packing body-cooling, sweat-absorbing gear. Lightweight gym clothes will do the trick.

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For the ladies, sports bras are the way to go. Pack a couple since you’ll mostly be up and out and about in your workout clothes.

Throw in some waterproof ones while you’re at it just in case you get caught in the tropical rain or if you’re going to be doing some hiking.

Yoga props

Of course, you can’t have a proper yoga retreat without the necessary yoga props.

That includes yoga tops, yoga pants, and a yoga journal (if you don’t have one, you can start one).

Source: Shutterstock.

Bring your own yoga mat especially if you’re a germophobe and iffy about the ones that resorts offer.

Comfortable footwear

Aside from yoga sessions, some wellness retreats also offer walks or hikes. So you need to be prepared.

Explore the surrounding areas in a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes.

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If you’re hitting a retreat that’s by the beach or has a swimming pool, then don’t leave your flip flops/sandals at home.

Water bottle

This is a no-brainer since you’re on a wellness vacay.

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Hydration is key so you’d want to chug down lots of water. But you also want to be kind to the environment, not just your body.

Instead of buying bottled water, pack your own reusable water bottle and save the Earth, one refill at a time.

Summer accessories

Most Southeast Asian countries have year-long summers.

Source: Shutterstock.

To survive being in the sun and the heat, make sure that you’ve got your sunglasses, hair tie or cap, and sweat-resistant sunblock.

You may also need to slather or spray on some bug repellant as you’ll be spending a lot of time surrounded by nature.

And most important of all, remember to bring your positive energy.

Happy yoga-ing!