Wander Women: A Yoga + Photography Retreat
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Join me for a four day yoga and photography retreat in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. This retreat is based in one of my favorite places in the world — my colorful family cottage in the historic Oak Bluffs “gingerbread houses.”
We’ll explore a variety of yoga styles from vinyasa, yin and hatha with our retreat instructor, and drop by local island studios and hotspots for special private classes in aerial yoga, SUP yoga, and sangria sip + salutations yoga!
When we aren’t on the mat, we’ll be behind the lens with quaint towns, dramatic cliffs, charming lighthouses and rugged beaches of Martha’s Vineyard as our subject. I’ll run editing workshop showing my personal photo editing techniques and systems, and we’ll do a group yoga photoshoot so everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in their favorite asanas.
With the weather still gorgeous but the summer crowds dissipated, September is a beautiful time to visit one of the East Coast’s favorite islands. The shoulder season is my favorite time to visit!
I have a Martha’s Vineyard shaped imprint on my heart and I want you to love this island as much as I do. I am so excited to meet you.
Please note that this retreat is open to all level of yogis, from fresh beginner to long-time enthusiast.
The dates of this retreat are September 27-30. The early bird cost, including just about everything, is just $850.
• Three nights shared accommodation in an exclusive Oak Bluffs gingerbread cottage
• Three breakfasts and three dinners, plus plenty of snacks and surprises
• Four yoga classes with our private instructor
• Two special yoga workshops in aerial yoga + SUP yoga
• A USB of professional photos and workshops in personal photography
• Welcome bag including surprises and a special gift handmade on Martha’s Vineyard
• All on-island transportation
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Lunch — we’ll head to some of my favorite island restaurants for lunch at own expense each day
• Alcohol, aside from our sip + salutation sangria, of course! Though a post-savasana champagne toast here or there may be be thrown in… and by maybe we mean definitely… so okay, yeah, some alcohol is in fact included
• Transport to and from Martha’s Vineyard
• Travel insurance
After a childhood spent visiting this idyllic Massachusetts island via a series of rental houses, in 2012 my mom and I returned for a nostalgic vacation and went on a walking tour of the historic Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association (MVCMA) in Oak Bluffs. On that tour, we spotted a for sale sign, and the rest is history. Our sweet yellow cottage was a bit of a fixer-upper, and my mom and her fiancé have worked tirelessly on the house for the past six years, doing the bulk of the manual labor themselves. Today, our cottage has been featured in Yankee Magazine, and will be showcased in an upcoming Small Houses publication.
The MVCMA is an incredibly unique place to live. The three hundred houses that make up the Campground, as it’s known, were built in the 1800’s and now sit on the National Historic Registry. Strict regulations on renovations and ownership ensure that the houses maintain their original charm and the community remains tight-knit.
The houses are also a popular island attraction, which means you get to wave at a lot of tourists who peek into open doors and windows. We enjoy the conversations we have with those walking by who are curious about life in the campground, though our house is off the main promenade, so we have some privacy as well.
Remember, this is an intimate retreat in a historic home! The house has three upstairs bedrooms (two with one double bed, and one with two single beds) that share a renovated full bathroom and one downstairs bedroom with a full bathroom. There’s also a cute garden, a rocking-chair covered porch, and a cozy living room to relax in. Please come prepared to trade some privacy for charm, and some personal space for sleepover vibes!
How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
The easiest way? Fly into the island’s own airport, MVY! You’ll have stunning views on the way in to what is just about the world’s cutest airport. If you chose this option, airport transfers will be included. There are direct flights to New York, Boston, and beyond.
The cheapest way? Fly into Boston. From there, you can take a $35, 3 hour Peter Pan bus directly from the airport to the Wood’s Hole ferry terminal, where you’ll get on the $8, 45 minute ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. I’ll be waiting on the other end!
The no-flying way? Of course, you can always drive to Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts, and park in the Steamship Authority lot for $13 per day per day, and take the $8, 45 minute ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Again, I’ll be waiting on the other end!
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrivals + a chilled vinyasa flow at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle. Welcome dinner at the cottage followed by a late-night ice cream and donut mission.
Day 2: Early morning yin in Ocean Park followed by brunch at the cottage. SUP Yoga class followed by lunch at a surprise scenic location. In the afternoon, a photography walk around Edgartown + a visit to a local brewery. Editing workshop in the evening.
Day 3: Morning yoga photoshoot before hitting the road for an Up Island Day. We’ll stop for an aerial yoga class at the beautiful Yoga Barn before visiting the Aquinnah Lighthouse and cliffs. We’ll have a sunset picnic on the beach in Aquinnah, and then head back to Oak Bluffs for a silly sangria sip + salutations yoga session.
Day 4: Early morning vinyasa flow at Inkwell Beach followed by free time to explore the island towns, take a bike ride, or relax in the cottage before a late Sunday brunch and departure at your leisure.
Downward Dog With Me
Hi! My name is Alexandra Baackes, and Martha’s Vineyard has been my happy place since as far back as I can remember. Every summer of my childhood, my parents threw my sister and I and a few armfuls of beach supplies in the car, and we drove to the island for our annual vacation.When my mom bought a home here in 2012 with the intention of it being in our family forever, it became an even more ingrained part of our history. My weeks in Martha’s Vineyard every year feed my soul and make me whole!
I love helping friends and readers plan trips here, and now I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing this dream weekend with what is sure to be a kick-ass group of women. At the time of this retreat I will be a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher and a regular practitioner for over a decade.
Specialty workshops in SUP yoga and aerial yoga will be taught by on-island instructors I love taking classes with!
This retreat has extremely limited space and is likely to sell out quickly. Prices will increase June 1st. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot. Payment plans are available. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. I’d love to chat!
Wander Women: A Yoga + Photography Retreat in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
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Why women only?
Guys, I love you, and I promise that future retreats I have in mind will be open to you, too. But due to the intimacy of this particular cottage, I’ve decided to make it one big girl’s sleepover party.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your retreat and I want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s so much I want you to see and experience on Martha’s Vineyard and it’s a pretty short time, so we will have a pretty full schedule. Any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, that’s totally cool.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. I want to make this happen for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it possible to have a private room?
Technically that’s possible, but it will cost extra. Contact me for more details.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. I’d be happy to make recommendations.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 21 years old or older.
What is the refund policy?
The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable. Beyond that, if you cancel at least 60 days before departure, you’ll receive 100% of your remaining retreat fee back. If you cancel between 30-90 days before departure, you’ll receive a 50% refund. Cancellation less than 30 days before departure will result in a 0% refund.
Is there a waiting list?
I will have a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email me at email@example.com and I will add you to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.