My first time still feels like it was yesterday. And you know what they say, it's true that you never forget your first time. It changed my life. Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long before experiencing the pleasure, the freedom and the transformation going on a yoga retreat provided me. I strongly encourage you to consider these 5 reasons that you should go on retreat, too.
1. YOU ARE LOST.
It’s hard to figure out where you want to go in your life if you stay on the merry-go-round just going through the motions. Dizziness sets in as anxiety and worry leading to overall mental confusion. We all need time to step back and ask ourselves “where am I going with my life” from time to time. Get the internal GPS system rebooted and you’re energy will return as will a peaceful inner focus. Otherwise, it’s hard to get where you’re going if you dont’ know where that is.
2. YOU ARE EXHAUSTED. (WIRED AND TIRED)
As Americans we spend a lot of time thinking about physical digestion (what we eat, when we eat, what we’re not going to eat, how many calories stuff has) but what about mental digestion. When we have poor mental digestion we experience stuff like poor sleep, obsessive worry, lethargy, impatience, fatigue, anger and an annoying degree of anxiety. How does this happen? Our mental digestion is relieved by using the breath led poses in vinyasa yoga to help us circulate our energies, both physically and mentally. Otherwise our minds feel both WIRED and TIRED. We have this need to burn off excess energy that’s pent up from sitting too much and we also need to breath and refresh our brains. Remember as John Doulillard, Director of LifeSpa School of Ayurveda in Boulder, Colorado says, “everyone thinkgs that when you can’t sleep, you have too much energy, but usually people have too little energy: they are TOO exhausted to get to sleep.” Going on a retreat helps you renew your commitment to yoga to help you mentally digest your way towards optimal health whether you are wired or tired.
3. YOU ARE MAD OR SAD.
The practice of yoga poses and breath brings about an awareness of what we are feeling. We can get really good at avoiding what we are feeling. As a result, denial or argument with our feelings can become a way of life. But it is also a formula for suffering.
Tantric practice encourages us to embrace all of who we are. The sadness and the joy, the anger and the patience, the fear and the love. This is a nondualistic approach to see that there is not a winner/loser or bad/good that we don’t have to battle our emotions, thoughts or feelings any longer. Running away from what we feel will only prolong it. And all of our feelings can be put into 3 buckets: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. So as hard as it might be to heal it is a far better alternative than staying in a state of suffering. Going on a retreat is where we can really be with what we feel and then leave the past the past and move forward. It is an opportunity for letting go.
4. YOU ARE BORED.
Are you doing things because you love to do them or because you feel like you have to do them. What percentage of the time would you say? Well if you are spending more of your time doing stuff because you feel like you have to instead of wanting to then this is a formula for misery. You will get bored. And worse yet, you will lose your PASSION for life! Passion is a powerful and necessary aspect of our lives. This is the ultimate definition of yoga: anything that wakes you up to who you really are, that makes you more aware of your life. Going on retreat and surrounding ourselves with like minded folks that are living the path only helps us grow our passion. Why? Because PASSION IS CONTAGIOUS! Or in the words of Philosopher Hebbel, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
5. YOU JUST WANT TO.
And one of the best reasons to go on a yoga retreat is no reason at all. So just do it! Heed the sage advice of Shel Silverstein:
“All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ ’bout the things
They woulda coulda shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little Did.”