9 Tenting Tips at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

Whether you’re preparing to experience tent life for a month in your Yoga Teachers Training Course or are committing to several months as a karma yogi, you can prepare for a freeing and worthwhile experience in your new minimalist home.

Sleeping in a tent can make for one of the most peaceful sleeps of your life—when you tent properly. You’ll enjoy the wind nestling through the palm trees, the crisp ocean breeze, and the sounds of the lapping water singing you to sleep. You’ll have only the necessities around you, so you’ll experience freedom from physical and mental clutter in your life.

Three veteran ashram karma yogis offer you their favorite tips and tricks for making the most of your tent time—for both the sunshiney days and the breezy Bahamas nights.

Jennie Hastings, who tented for a total of 8 months at the ashram recommends:

  1. “A shower caddy is a handy item for keeping all your toiletries neat in your tent. Because it’s plastic with a handle and holes for water to drain, I keep all my toiletries in this one place. I also love having a terry cloth robe because it dries easily and I can wear it to the shower instead of carrying all my clothes.”
  2. “It’s a good idea to have a headlamp for reading at night and finding your clothes when it’s dark out. Last year I had a cool inflatable solar-powered lantern. But a flashlight works too.”

Sam Maluchenko, who also spent a total of 8 months in a tent over the course of three ashram visits, says:

  1. “Be ready for rain. I have a rain poncho with a hood and clothes that dry quickly. If you’re staying in a tent, bring shoes that can be left outside, like flip flops. If you have a tent that is sectioned into two parts, that is ideal for storage of items like luggage that you don’t want to get wet.”
  2. “I have a small dustpan and broom for a weekly tent sweep. There’s a lot of sand
    on the beach, but that doesn’t mean it needs to fill your tent!”
  3. “Dress warm, but pack light. Bring some options for warm clothes for those cool nights. I bring very little and fold them into small piles to keep my tent tidy. Some other items I like to bring are earplugs, a water bottle, and a tupperware to keep food for me, but not for ants!”

Katie Papo, a karma yogi who tented for six seasons in the Bahamas, says:

  1. “Invest in an air bed. If you know you’re going to spend several months at the ashram with few traditional ‘luxuries’ set up an ideal sleeping space to get proper rest. Bring an air mattress with you, or plan to buy one in the Bahamas. Check the dimensions before you buy to make sure it will fit in your tent. At minimum, bring a sleeping mat. If you’re not sure if you’ll need one, bring one anyway. You’ll be happy to have it.”
  2. “Height matters to some people when it comes to choosing a tent. Keep in mind you’ll be getting dressed there, unless you go to the restroom each time you change your clothes. If you have a tent that you can stand up in, you won’t have to lie down to put on your pants.”
  3. “Get a tarp. While all quality tents are waterproof and come with a rainfly, bringing a tarp or two will protect you and your belongings from rain. When it is windy, the rain can blow inside the tent, so a tarp gives you the extra security to keep you dry all night.”
  4. “Focus on the best parts of tent living. You get to be a minimalist, which few people get to experience. Bring only the necessary items, like clothes, a water bottle, and toiletries. You won’t need jeans, hair appliances, or makeup. Pack light, and you’ll feel even lighter, which is one of the best parts of living at the ashram in the Bahamas.”

One thought on “9 Tenting Tips at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

  1. Nina

    Je suis intéressée à une retraite
    J’ai 62 et comment pour l’avion, directement à Nassau? Et de la, y a t’il
    Un transport?Pour la tente, j’aimerais me la procurer sur place, est-ce facile?
    Les repas et tout sont-ils inclus dans le prix?
    Merci de m’aider

  2. Anne

    Hi there,
    I am preparing to stay for Karma yoga this April and May. My concern is comfortable sleep in my tent, as i am a bit older, than most karma yogis. Does anyone have good suggestion for mattress, what kind to use, thickness.
    Thank you for your suggestions

    • Douglas Morse

      Don’t get one so thick that it puts you up too high in the tent. Also make sure you get one designed for camping, not indoor use only. Read reviews on-line and make your best guess.

  3. Destiny agulanna

    Like what life or impact,do we get their, I haven’t been in ashram or Bahamas before.

  4. Naomi

    I’ve never been to the Ashram or to The Bahamas – is camping on the beach very windy? Is it very rainy in mid-April?

  5. Nikki

    Should I buy the camping gear from the states to pack and transport or are there places in the Bahamas to buy everything I may need?

  6. joanna campbell

    Are there camping supply shops on the main island Nassau?
    Are there any tents for sell by people leaving or left ?

  7. Theresa Caputo

    I would like to take my daughter on the vacation yoga and stay in the ocean view rooms. The date is flexible. 7/25-7/29. What is the total cost

  8. liv

    I may have to bring my luggage from 2 years living abroad which is really just one suitcase with a broken laptop and my favorite makeup that I wear in work settings. I worry about the heat and sun baking my stuff in a tent. Any ideas? Or low-cost luggage storage places in Nassau? Thanks

  9. Diane

    Wondering how you got your tenting gear onsite? Did you ship in advance, take it in the plane and was there assistance transporting it from the airport to your tenting site?

    • Tracey

      Go to a second hand store to buy used large suitcase or bag, shove all your tenting gear in it and pay the extra baggage fees. Taxi and boatman will help you. People in Bahamas are super nice.

    • Destiny agulanna

      Like what life or impact,do we get their, I haven’t been in ashram or Bahamas before.

  10. Sarah

    Hi there! Any tips on the brand/model of tent? I have a small 2 person REI tent I love, but might be too snug for spending a month in it. Any suggestions are appreciated!

  11. eric sutliff

    Night 1: I’m blissfully asleep when I feel something furry against my leg. Resisting the urge to completely panic, I slowly open one eye to assess my escape options before going completely berserk inside my tent.. That’s when I saw my new best kitty friend snuggling close to me. Not sure how it squeezed in, but, after that, we were best buds.

    • elisa

      HILARIOUUUUUS i can just imagine the scenario !!!!! glad you got to be best buds with one of the resident kitties. they visited my tent often when i was there which i took as a sign of the goddess !!! thanks for bringing me a laugh tonight. much love 🙂

  12. Ingrid

    no tone in email so the “Not sure if that get Swami approval!!” sounds like chastisement and is not very welcoming.

    • Grace Welker

      Hello Ingrid! It sounded light to me … The important thing is that I see that it says there are drying areas already set up.

    • Amanda

      Om, wonderful points! Two additional things that helped me 1) solar light that is light weight and can be attached to top of tent if tent offers a couple strings to tie up something. It was inflatable so deflates to a compact size and offered great visibility at night. 2) a foldable, lightweight zip up IKEA(or any store) storage container. Made out of lightweight material and folded into flat compact item that didn’t take up much space in luggage. Great way to store clothes, misc or snacks while keeping tent neat.

      Good luck!

  13. Lorena Bernal

    I just came back from my TTC, I spent 1 month and a half in my tent and I have to say I loved every part of living such a simple life. You start to appreciate so much the little things, when it was raining I remember loving to see the drops falling, the sound they made. It is such a lovely experience that will definitely recommend to anyone. Another good tip is to have a rope with you, so you can put some wet clothes to get dry under the sun. Om namah sivaya! Stay safe and dry 😉

    • Add-Om

      Not sure that rope tip gets Swami approval Lorena!!.. There are hanging areas near to tenting areas for drying clothes anyway..

      • Nicole

        If she was not admonished by staff or the Ashram director, she did indeed have approval.
        It is very important to allow authority figures to enforce rules of conduct in any setting and allow those with experience to offer guidance.

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