The 3 Week Yoga Retreat from the world-class trainers at Beachbody is a simple program that’s designed to be as easy-to-follow as possible for beginners of any age and fitness level.
The classes take half an hour or less each day, and there’s nothing “out there” about them; there’s no chanting, pretzel poses or having to attend an embarrassing class. Even so, sticking with the program can improve your flexibility and help you lose weight and shed inches from your waist.
The 3 Week Yoga Retreat also boasts of other additional benefits such as boosting confidence, increasing muscle mass, improving digestion and balance, enhancing mood, reducing stress, improving strength and posture, and increasing libido.
The course lasts for 21 days, and you may be wondering if, that time, you’ll learn and master yoga fundamentals within the comfort of your own home with 3 Week Yoga; if you can expect to have a foundation of skills needed to move on to more formal and advanced yoga classes.
These are the two questions we’ll get into – and provide answers for – in the course of our review.
What is Yoga? What are the Benefits of Yoga?
Ananda Sangha Worldwide defines yoga as meaning “Union.” They say that, from an etymological standpoint, the word is connected to the English word “yoke.” The union of yoga can be a union with God, or a union with the little, ego-self, and Divine Self, the Infinite Spirit. To put it simply, Yoga – in its original form – is a spiritual tradition built around breathing.
As well as mindful breathing exercises, Hatha Yoga includes a “system of bodily postures” that can restore and maintain flexibility and strength to the body. The American Osteopathic Association lists the following as potential benefits of practicing yoga;
Improved energy, vitality, and respiration
• Balanced metabolism
• Weight loss
• Improved cardiovascular and circulatory health
• Injury protection
• Improved athletic performance
• Stress management
• Increased body awareness
• Calmness and mental clarity
• Improved concentration
While the ADA does emphasize that “anyone can begin yoga”, the reality of the situation is that first-timers can still find the thought of doing it intimidating, especially given the financial commitment of taking classes, and the nervousness of doing these complex, often embarrassing, posers in front of complete strangers for the first time.
Now we’ll look at how the 3 Week Yoga Retreat promises to get you started and up to speed, without having to go through the financial costs and social stress.
How Does it Work?
There are a total of 72 workouts spread across the 21 days of the 3 Week Yoga Retreat, with the workouts having no music attached. They do at least have clear and detailed instructions, classes that take less than 30 minutes to do, and modifications for poses for those new to yoga or practicing fitness of any kind.
Regarding the equipment needed, Beachbody notes that you will need a yoga mat. They also recommend a yoga strap, 1-2 yoga blocks, and a towel depending on which exercise you are going for. The exercises are split up into four sections, and each week builds on the one before to slowly push you to be better.
Beginner Basic Videos
This section contains 13 basic short tutorials covering basic yoga principles. They include:
• Savasana (Corpse Pose)
• Downward Dog
• Cobra vs. Upward Dog
• Yoga Squat
• Props and Equipment
• Engaging the Core
• The Warriors
• Elongating the Spine
• Child’s Pose
• Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Week 1 – The Foundation
With some assistance from Yoga Expert Vytas, you’ll learn all of the yoga fundamentals across the Foundation phase of 3 Week Yoga Retreat. That includes basics like the Triangle and Warrior 2. You’ll gain a better understanding of the poses, as well as learn more about what makes them so important.
Day 1; Core (32 mins) – The website for the program suggests that this class is about activating, engaging, and getting a better understanding of your core muscles.
• Day 2: Stretch (31 mins) – Helps to extend and lengthen your muscles
• Day 3: Balance (28 mins) – More postures designed to engage the core, helping you to achieve physical, emotional, and mental stability
• Day 4: Flow (30 mins) – You’ll put together everything you’ve learned so far and “connect it to breathing.”
• Day 5; Flow-on-the-Go (20 mins) – A quicker variation of the Flow class
• Day 6; Relax (24 mins) – Every week there is a Relax day where the instructor helps you to relax and unwind from the previous week.
• Day 7: Take 10 (10 minutes each) – AM: Wake up properly and get your muscles energized to start the day. PM: Relax and do some de-stressing before heading to bed. Abs: A routine designed to target the abs and core. The poses you’ll learn for this include the Easy Pose and Half Lord of Fishes Pse.
Week 2 – Expansion
Yoga expert Elise Joan takes over for the second week to show you how to improve on the poses that you’ve learned thus far, as well as some new ones like the Downward and Upward Dog.
Day 1: Core (31 minutes) – The same as Week 1
• Day 2: Stretch (33 minutes) – You’ll continue to lengthen and extend the muscles of your body
• Day 3: Balance (30 minutes) – More challenging moves and postures
• Day 4: Flow (31 minutes) – The same as Week 1
• Day 5: Flow-on-the-Go – The same expedited workout as Week 1
• Day 6: Relax (29 minutes); The same session from the first week, but a little bit longer
• Day 7: Take 10 – The same quick ten-minute workouts from the first week.
Week 3 – Progression
The third and final week of the 3 Week Yoga Retreat Program is presided over by Yoga Expert Ted McDonald. Ted promises to take things to a new level and help you to see some real improvements in your yoga skills and overall understanding. It helps prepare you for more action intensive programs. You’ll learn new moves such as Twisted Triangle and the Tree Pose.
The third week involves similar exercises as the first two weeks, but with different time-frames:
Day 1: Core (31 minutes)
• Day 2: Stretch (30 minutes)
• Day 3: Balance (30 minutes)
• Day 4: Flow (31 minutes)
• Day 5: Flow-on-the-Go (20 minutes)
• Day 6: Relax (29 minutes)
• Day 7: Take 10 (10 minutes per exercise)
What We Know About the Instructors
Vytas Baskuaskas has over 15 years of experience as a yoga teacher in Los Angeles, and the website for 3 Week Retreat says that he is one of the most popular and “sought-after” yoga instructors in the world. He was originally a mathematician and has appeared on the hit NBC show “Survivor.”
Elise Joan, the coach for the second week, is a professional dancer and a ballet soloist. Her website advertises that the approach she takes to yoga combines the disciplines of ballet barre, strength training, and yoga. Beachbody themselves say that her primary passion is helping people to reach their full potential in yoga and life.
Ted McDonald is formally educated in Ashtanga, and lynegar yoga is a former Elite Adventure Racer and is among the designated yoga teachers for Tour De France participants. He has a focus on growing muscle depth and endurance and using yoga to prevent injury.
Faith Hunter is based out of Washington D.C and NYC and has studied Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, and Kundalini Yoga since the early 1990s. Faith blends the traditional practices of yoga and meditation with her own real-world experience to give students a free-spirited and passionate teaching style.
Who Will Benefit From it?
Three Week Yoga Retreat will benefit beginners who are looking to learn, understand, make progress with, and ultimate master the practice of yoga.
If you feel that chanting and doing poses in a room filled with candles and other people is a bit much, then you’ll be happy to know you won’t be expected to do that with this program; at least no lighting candles and chanting.
If you’re a long-time practitioner of yoga or have attained an intermediate to advanced fitness level, this is likely going to be a program you want to skip on.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggest that yoga is a low-impact activity considered safe for healthy people. It has a low risk of side effects and injury. With that said, they do emphasize that this small risk of injury or side effects is only when practicing correctly with the guidance of a qualified and experienced instructor.
With that said, the disclaimer to the bottom of the 3 Week Yoga Retreat website recommends consulting your practitioner and following safety instructors before starting with the their “high-intensity and physically taxing workout program and nourishment plan.”
What do you get With 3 Week Yoga Retreat?
As well as the regular 21 yoga classes, the package for Beachbody 3 Week Yoga Retreat DVD also comes with some additional extras;
This handy quickstart guide offers step-by-step instructions on getting the most out of the program.
Clean Eats Nutrition Guide Beachbody 3 Week Yoga Retreat DVD
The nutritional guide for the Yoga Retreat has tips on how to improve your health and overall appearance with some delicious and nutritious recipes.
This 21-day calendar shows you the simple way to build your yoga foundation.
The pose tracker helps to record your progress in a visual manner – such as through photos – and your achievements as you progress through the yoga program. Send your copy to Beachbody to receive a 3 Week Yoga Retreat Motivational Bracelet.
How Much Does the 3 Week Yoga Retreat Cost?
The Three Week Yoga Retreat DVD set is offered for three monthly payments of $19.95, plus $12.95 shipping and handling, or in a single payment of $72.80. Here’s what you else you can expect to get for your money:
Clean Eats Plan – filled with simple and delicious recipes
• Quickstart Guide – outlines what you can expect from the program in a step-by-step format
• Class Calendar – a 21-day calendar that helps you build a strong foundation
• Pose Tracker – keep track of your skills to see your progress
When you complete the program, you have the option of sending Beachbody a set of before-and-after photos to receive a free 3 Week Yoga Retreat motivational bracelet.
The DVDs come with free standard shipping, or you can pay an extra $9.95 to have them sent out on rush shipping.
The 3 Week Yoga Retreat program can also be streamed through the Beachbody on Demand service, which can be accessed with a $99/per year subscription plan.
Every Beachbody order is backed up with a 30-day refund policy, minus shipping and handling. If you need to request a return, you will have to contact the customer service department at Beachbody. They can be reached through email, online chat, or by calling 800-470-7870.
While we admittedly didn’t try out the program for ourselves to get some first hand feedback, the program does seem excellent for beginners of any age or fitness level; helping them to learn more about yoga and understand the practice. With 3 Week Yoga Retreat they will teach themselves all of the important basic postures, and better understand if yoga would be worth their time and money to continue practicing.
However, keep in mind the Beachbody website emphasizes that the results one can expect “depend on starting point and effort.” It will take some diet and exercise to lose weight, gain muscle definition, and maintain those results. That’s why we feel you should always go into a program like this with realistic expectations about what you can achieve within the 21 days the program takes.
With all of that said, based on the descriptions the company provides for the individual days of the program, it seems that some of these days will be duplicates. We believe that if you are someone who needs new motivation every day to stay on the right path, these repeat days could become tiresome.
On the other hand, Beachbody has lent their full support to 3 Week Yoga Retreat in the form of the 30-day refund policy. Given that the course itself only lasts 21 days, this is easily enough time to determine if the program is the right one for you. That way, you don’t have much to lose by trying it out; other than the basic shipping and handling charges if you purchased the DVDs.