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:
- “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.”
- “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:
- “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.”
- “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!”
- “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:
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”