Everything you need to know before you go
Wondering if you can join, what the group sizes are, the all inclusive part, or what to pack? Check out our frequently asked questions to learn everything you need to know before booking a yoga retreat. Still can’t find the answer to your questions?
I have never done yoga before, can I join?
Yes please! You will get the very best start you can imagine. Fact is that you learn more in one week than you probably learn in 2 years of a group class a week. I will teach different styles of yoga and meditation, in order for you to find out which style suits you best.
What if I can’t meditate, and I’m not sure I even want to, can I join?
Every class I teach will have a meditation part of some kind in it. Meditation can be more than sitting quietly with your eyes closed, waiting till your mind is empty. You could be there for a while… Instead, I will teach you different techniques and I’m quite convinced that you will find a technique that suits you. You can read more about meditation here.
I’m not flexible, can I join?
In the top 5 of questions asked 🙂 so a very good question to ask!
Yoga is not about flexibility and for sure not during the yoga holidays. All levels are welcome. Being fit or flexible is not important. It is not about the gymnastics. I have been teaching for a long time and I know how to adjust all postures so not to worry about the flexibility at all.
I’m 50+, will I feel out of place?
The average age on our retreats is around 36. Some groups are a bit ‘older’, some groups are a bit ‘younger’. Our youngest participant turned 18 during the trip, our oldest participant was 73.
What’s the average group age?
Ages can vary between 18 and 72! Most people are between 32 and 50-ish and the average age is about 36-ish. I would not worry too much about age though. We have had 70 year olds who turned out to be fitter than the youngsters… and even then, yoga is not about gymnastics during these holidays.
I’m young and/or fit and I love a good chaturanga, is this going to be boring?
Most likely, no. My style of yoga is based on traditional hatha yoga so it’s about holding the postures, and feeling what they can do. Holding might mean holding them for ten to twenty to … breaths. And, we meditate, quite a bit.
Since the start of our holidays, I had the pleasure of having one and sometimes even several yoga teachers joining, as participants. They practice asanas side by side to the less experienced yogis and sometimes they find themselves next to people who have never done yoga before. And it all works 🙂
Is there some kind of ongoing support after this week?
I love to stay in touch and hear all about your adventures! I can say this now, even without knowing you because I only have nice and cool people joining my retreats.
Is a yoga holiday my thing?
Most people that come on my retreats are there for Relaxation, Me Time, great Food in a nice environment with like minded people around. And, yoga. Even with 3 to 4 hours a day on the mat, most people do not feel that the yoga is the most important aspect of the holiday. It’s a wonderful extra to connect body and mind. But, it’s also about a new experience, about a holiday, a new culture and fun, a lot of fun.
Therefore, it’s very important to know that this is your time to Relax and Enjoy. If you want to skip a lesson or a workshop, that’s more than fine! The program was well thought of and has been fine tuned in the past 5 years but primarily we want you to have a great holiday. So you can do whatever feels good!
Who joins your yoga holidays? What kind of jobs do they have?
People who are looking for relaxation, me time, recharging and new cultures. Most people have busy jobs, lots of responsibilities and stress. Are these only the high fly powered executives, lawyers and dokters? Interesting question and yes, they are probably around but the thing is that I don’t ask about jobs. So, most of the time, I don’t know what people do in daily life and we try to even avoid that topic. Jobs are important, very important for most people. But, I believe that we are also a lot more than just our jobs and social roles. Especially during a week like this, it can be extremely liberating to not focus on these things so much.
Where do your retreat participants usually come from?
People come from all over the world to join our yoga retreats. In most groups, we have about 5-7 different nationalities. Holland, Belgium, the UK, Canada and the US are usually well represented but we also have people from Sweden, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Germany, …
Is it only women?
We have had groups where it was 60/40 but on most retreats it’s indeed mainly women and fewer men. The retreats where we focus more on asanas, like the Deep Dive Retreats and Meditation, like our Silent Retreat typically attract a lot more men.
What will we do during the day in between yoga classes?
That’s completely up to you. Most venues have a pool so that might be an option. Some venues are near the beach. On most week retreats we do at least one excursion and a guided walk in the area. There’s the included massages and even a typical hammam in Morocco. And, there’s all these books you wanted to read. Obviously, this is not club Med either so there’s usually no gym, no running track or even a village nearby. So if you want to be entertained and distracted all day, this is not your kind of holiday.
What style of yoga do you teach?
During the week retreats, I teach a variety of yoga styles. We start very gentle with hatha yoga and we build things up during the week. In the evenings, there’s usually yin yoga. At least one Kundalini lesson and one lesson that focusses on alignment is given. The other lessons depend on what I see in the group and what I believe is necessary.
Will you teach in English on all retreats?
As our participants are flying in from all over the world, all lessons will be given in English to have a common language. During our weekends in Belgium, we can switch to Dutch if everybody is comfortable with this.
Where did you get your training?
I started my yogic journey with Ashtanga and traditional hatha yoga in India. Along the years, I got very inspired by Iyengar trained teachers. These days, I follow retreats and trainings with Sarah Powers, Bernie Clark and Alan Wallace. Shopping in yoga land is fun and I have been following many workshops and teacher trainings all over the world in the past years.
What’s the difference between a yoga holiday and a yoga retreat?
On a yoga holiday, the emphasis is on having a relaxing time, and do yoga and meditation. This means that there will be excursions, for example to Marrakech, Essaouira or Milan, and guided walks. On a yoga retreat, the yoga and meditation become more important and there might be more lessons and less other activities.
What is a silent retreat?
A week long yoga retreat, with three full days of silence. This year, our silent retreat is in Portugal in a beautiful authentic venue near the beach. The first day, we have to arrive and figure out where everything is. The second day, we introduce the noble silence for three days. In the morning and evening, there’s meditation and yoga lessons.
Meditation and yoga philosophy, the yamas and niyamas, have more importance on this trip than the yoga asanas. Our meals will be incredibly good, all prepared by Hayley North and what we eat will be in perfect harmony with our lessons and silence practice.
This is not vipassana and not a meditation boot camp either.
Our silent retreats are ideal to simply recharge and reset in the very best way possible, under professional guidance.
Will we be eating rabbit food?
Meals take up an extremely important role on all Revealing Vajra yoga holidays. On the majority of the retreats, we bring our own rockstar retreat chefs as we know what the impact can be of clean, light and delicious food on your overall retreat experience. Beth Al Rikabi and Hayley North both have their specialities but they have one thing in common: Delicious meals.
On most retreats we will be eating 95% vegan, mostly gluten and dairy free. Processed sugar is left out completely. If you have any kind of allergy, these chefs will even be happy, they like a good challenge!
In venues, where we don’t bring our own chefs, the staff was probably trained by them in the past. Or, we tried and trust the local cuisine.
What does All Inclusive mean?
I want you to have a worry free holiday so this means that you don’t have to even think about what’s included and what’s not, as probably everything will be included. From the minute you arrive on the start date of the retreat, till the time we end the retreat, everything you can think of will be included. All meals, non alcoholic drinks, all lessons, excursions, at least one treatment, and even more. My main idea is that you can leave your wallet at home. If you don’t opt for extra’s like souvenirs and all that, you know exactly how much this holiday will cost you.
Our weekend retreats have a slightly different formula (e.g. most people drive to the location).
What’s not included?
Flights, travel insurance, transfers on other days than the mentioned retreat dates, alcoholic drinks, extra treatments, tips.
Can you book my flights?
No, we can assist you but you will have to book your own flights.
Is there a minimum number of guests? Could the whole retreat be cancelled?
No, in the 6 years that I have been hosting and organising retreats, I have never cancelled a retreat. Consequently, some retreats had 5 or 6 participants, which was super nice actually. I will not cancel a retreat because we don’t reach a certain number of participants.
What’s your cancellation policy?
There are no partial refunds for late arrivals or if you need to leave the retreat early.
Refunds depend on the timing of your cancellation:
A 70% refund will be provided on cancellations, up to 60 days prior to the start date of the booked retreat.
A 50% refund will be provided on cancellations between 30-59 days prior to the start date of the booked retreat.
No refunds will be provided on cancellation between 29-0 days prior to the start date of the booked retreat.
Where do you do retreats?
In 2017, the Revealing Vajra week long yoga holidays will be in Morocco, Mallorca and Portugal. The yoga weekends will be in Marrakech and Belgium. I’m scouting out new locations in Italy and Greece as we speak.
Is Morocco safe?
The latest travel advice for Morocco is to be cautious, as there is ‘a threat from terrorism’, (as there is in most countries in the world right now). Protective security measures are in place on most sites popular with tourists. Our venue in Marrakech is located 35 minutes outside of the medina, away from the main road and we have security on site. If at any point, more security measures would be necessary, the owner will act immediately, no doubt about that. I trust that we are not any less safe in Morocco than anywhere else in the world at this point.
Will you organise something in Bali, India, Costa Rica, … ?
I would not get my hopes up for Bali and India in the short term. Costa Rica however, is more likely. I have organised 4 beautiful retreat weeks there in the past years and I very much would like to return to this magical little gem at some point. Italy is always an option, so are Greece and Brazil.
What should I pack?
Passport, airplane tickets
Travel insurance is not included so, as for any other travel abroad, highly recommended
Basics like underwear, sleepwear, swimsuit, flip flops.
Toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, feminine hygiene supplies, Sunscreen
Adapter/ power converter for US/UK devices
A notebook for when you feel inspired
What you don’t need: Yoga mat, yoga props, fancy clothes, shoes with heels, jewelry
WILL THERE BE...
Yes, probably and it will probably work, a bit. By no means do we want to force anything upon you during the yoga retreats and holidays. This is your time, your holiday, your retreat. We can only recommend certain things and a Digital Detox or Diet is one of those ideas. After all, you are going on a retreat for a reason and Relaxation might be part of that reason. This is the perfect opportunity to take a journey away from your daily responsibilities and preoccupations. Unplugging from technology will only enhance your retreat experience and make it so much easier for you to unwind and relax.
Yes! Your holiday, your party, nothing is forbidden as such.
On our Deep Dive and Silent Retreat, we will encourage you to not drink coffee and give you alternatives, to try. On our Detox retreats, we will not serve coffee at breakfast, but you can ask for it afterwards.
Yes! Once again, your party, your holiday, nothing is forbidden as such.
Leaving out the alcohol is merely a suggestion and the reason why is similar to our Digital Detox suggestion. We simply want to encourage you to take out the absolute most out of this week. For many people, alcohol has become a condition to relax, to have a great time, and a lot of people underestimate the amounts of alcohol they drink, and the effect it has on their body, mind and overall health.
A clean diet, daily yoga classes, meditation, walks, likeminded people around, being outside a lot – and, a clear alcohol free mind…. You will be so very surprised of how incredibly energised you feel at the end of our trip!
On the last evening, there is the possibility to have alcohol during our closing dinner. Except for the Detox retreat, where we don’t serve alcohol at all.
Who’s behind this company?
My name is Rachel Bonkink and I’m the founder of Revealing Vajra. I have worked both as a COO of a market research company and consultant before founding Revealing Vajra. Killing stress. Awful deadlines, real deadlines, handling huge budgets-with a lot of zeros, pleasing your C-level customers, keeping your corporate tribe happy- our tribe had 100+ people on the payroll, … the works…. At a certain point, I quit, handed in all my nice company benefits and started engaging a lot more in the mind-body path, that has always been running in the background.
It is this unique combination – a deep understanding of corporate life and the corporate ladder, alongside a vast experience of mind-body trainings and many personal retreats, plus the expertise of organising over 50 of my own yoga retreats – that gives my yoga holidays and retreats a very POWERFUL edge.
What’s your mission with these holidays?
To me, these holidays are so much more than just a getaway. These retreats can be truly life changing and empower you to become a more healthy and happy person. I would like you to go home after this week or this weekend, with a mental back pack, filled with practical tools to help you maintain and cultivate Balance in your daily life.
I’m a yoga teacher and I would love to teach on your retreats. Are you hiring?
It’s absolutely brilliant to co-create beautiful retreats with like minded souls. I had the pleasure and privilege to do so many times in the past with rockstar yogis like Myrna Van Kemenade, Gustavo Ponce, Katiza Satya and others. At this point, I’m hosting all of the retreats myself but if you think we could be a match, and you have what it takes to teach at these retreats, send over your cv and we’ll talk!
I’m a retreat chef and I would like to feed you. Are you hiring?
Feel free to send your resume.
I’m a massage therapist and I would like to give treatments on your retreats? Are you hiring?
On most locations, I have a team in place for massages and treatments but feel free to send you cv.
Can we have a talk before I book?
Yip! I’m here for yeh!
Email email@example.com with questions or to set up a time to talk.
I live in Morocco so no matter where you live; we can set up a time that works for both of us.
Rather catch me by surprise? Ok, the number is +32 476 204 121 – whatsapp works best these days.
Didn’t find what you were looking for in these frequently asked questions? Feel free to shoot me an email or use this form to get in touch!
TO DO NEXT
What to do next?
Check out one of our cool retreats and make your deposit or payment. After that, find a flight et voila, your happy anticipation time can begin!