We’ve all felt the benefits of going on a vacation or taking a break from daily routine — you come back feeling more rested, more motivated or just plain happier!
Without the pull of deadlines, relationships or social media, a retreat can give you space to observe yourself and go deep. A yoga retreat also gives you time to yourself to rest, heal, reflect, and renew.
When I first went on a yoga retreat, I didn’t really know what to expect — from things like the difficulty of the yoga practices or how demanding would the schedule be (5AM wake up every day?), to who else would be there and even what the food would be like. These questions and uncertainties will arise with any trip or getaway and I think it’s a great way to start practicing yoga off the mat and be flexible and open to what the experience will bring.
In being flexible and open, you will get the most — both expected and unexpected — benefits from your yoga retreat.
1. You connect deeply with like-minded people.
Whether this is a friend or partner you came with, a new person or even your yoga teacher, deeper bonds are made. When you have more space and time, you have more opportunities for conversations with other yogis on retreat. These connections help foster your sense of belonging and can inspire you in your own life.
2. Your sense of rest and relaxation extends beyond the retreat itself.
Vacations can wear you down — whether from lots of travel and exploring or from over-indulging. At a yoga retreat, practicing daily (or twice per day), meditating and eating fresh, nourishing food will leave you feeling healthier and more vital. This sense of wellbeing will influence your behaviour when you go home to perhaps incorporate more movement into your day, make better food choices or take more time to yourself.
3. You grow and broaden your yoga practice.
For many of us, yoga means practicing postures in a room on a mat. On a yoga retreat, you may practice outdoors on a beach or meditate on a mountain. Your yoga practice could also be a mindful nature walk, taking a surf or scuba lesson a dip in hot springs. You may practice aspects that are not in your regular practice such as inversions or incorporating chanting. There is also more time to have longer classes or to pause and workshop a pose or series of movements. In a small group setting (which is how I run retreats!), you also have more access to your teacher to ask those burning yoga questions!
Are you interested in experiencing the magic of a yoga retreat yourself?
Join me for a local or international retreat because I would love to facilitate your experience.
My upcoming retreat to Strathmere in Ottawa is May 31 - June 2.