Have you been thinking about having a break from the busy-ness of life? Does the idea of spending a whole week in a beautiful environment appeal to you? Have you considered going on a yoga retreat?
I have been teaching yoga retreats all over the world for the past 5 years. During this time I have met many hundreds of yoga students, possibly closer to a thousand; many of them yoga retreat newbies and some of them seasoned yogis and retreat attendees. These latter guys, I can spot them from a mile away. They have a glint in their eye; they know that magical things are about to unfold.
During this time of teaching, I have noticed that there are many reasons why people may choose to come on a yoga retreat. Today I wanted to highlight 3 main reasons why people might consider taking a week out of their lives, often travel to another country to come to a yoga retreat. In this article I outline these reasons and I hope that this helps you decide if attending a yoga retreat is the right thing for you to do this year...
The first reason is create a new perspective.
Maybe you are someone who feels an inner calling to do something different with your life. Maybe you are in the midst of making a life changing decision or choice that will affect yourself, as well as others around you that you love and care about.
Attending a yoga retreat at this time can help you get new perspective because ‘being on the retreat’ breaks the groove of your everyday life.
For most people they are stuck in a familiar routine. This is usually some version of get up, commute to work, work, commute home, eat dinner, do dishes, socialize or do chores such as washing, cleaning, mowing the lawns, shopping and then go to sleep. Get up the next day and repeat.
Yoga retreats help you break free of familiar routines. They move you out of your comfort zone and into a space of growth, new people and new places. Yoga retreats help you to deepen your yoga practice, finding new space in your body allowing new possibilities and new thoughts into your life. Your self-talk shifts from “I can’t….” to “I wonder if I could?”
At a yoga retreat you will have the luxury of time and space to do things just for you. You can focus on yourself and your needs. You will have time to indulge in long yoga sessions and deep relaxation. You will be able to contemplate what makes you happy and the time to do it! You can read books just for pleasure while you lazily swing the morning away in a hammock, eat yummy local foods, go for long walks or just sit peacefully in the sunshine.
In short, yoga retreats encourage being-ness, not busy-ness.
The second reason is to support a transition period in your life.
Life is all about change.
Change is one of the only constants in life and yet for many of us, it can be one of the hardest things to deal with. When our lives change, everything and everyone we know changes too. Retreats help us cope positively with change.
On yoga retreats, people regularly make life-long friends. Deep bonds and connections form during every yoga retreat. Former retreat participants frequently tell me that by the end of the week, the other people on the retreat know more about the ‘real’ them then many of their friends and colleagues at home. Many of my yoga participants stay in touch via email and facebook and meet up to continue supporting each other, months and even years after the retreat has ended.
If you are reassessing your life in any way; going through a divorce, thinking of leaving your job or changing careers, then attending a yoga retreat is a beautiful and peaceful place to gain insight, support and space so that you can connect deeply with yourself and make these choices with clarity.
Kathy, a lovely lady from England, attended one of my yoga retreats in Italy. She had just recently divorced her husband and they had made the decision to sell their house. She realized that everything in her life was about to change. She was wondering what her new life would or could look like. When I first met her, she told me she felt a mixture of both fear and excitement, at the same time. She explained that the fear and doubts she was feeling was because she was wondering if she had done the right thing and how everything would work out in the future. Also, within her, she felt the tingles of excitement about who she was in the process of becoming. She quietly wondered what new things would she discover about herself? Who was she? What was she really capable of achieving?
The third reason is that yoga retreats facilitate deep healing and total transformation.
Doing yoga regularly helps people heal and transform their lives.
Stress disconnects us from our true selves and relaxation allows the space for us to reconnect. As we reconnect with inner self we get clear on our values, passions and desires. This clarity facilitates the healing process. As you heal, you can transform anything in your life; your body, your thoughts, your career, our relationships, your pain, your health, your bank account and even your waistline.
Dominic, a man who is recovering and healing from his cancer treatment, attended a retreat last year. He came with his wife and found the energy of eating, living and being in nature was a perfect place to unwind, relax and heal.
Jennifer, a young lady from the US travelled to one of my yoga retreats in the Greek Islands. She wanted to lose weight. She knew that being in the yoga retreat environment would be the kick-start she needed to reset her internal compass to lose weight and help her establish new, supportive and healthy habits.
Yoga retreats are a brilliant way to break free of old patterns, release limitations, let go of fear and step into the space of courage and new possibilities. They allow you to go deeper into your yoga practice so that you can find space in your body that will allow you to connect with new opportunities in your life.
If you feel the desire to want to get away from it all or to take some time to relax or to find the inner strength and courage to do something different with your life, then I highly recommend you book yourself on to a yoga retreat today!