I went on my first yoga retreat in the south of India. I stayed in a bright pink Ashram and after each night of sweltering heat and a broken ceiling fan, we were woken up at 4am to begin the morning ritual of chanting, chai, meditation, chai, yoga and…more chai. Despite the early wake up I really loved that retreat. I remember sitting on the beach among the coconut trees each morning, being led in meditation in a different style each day and feeling so connected with myself, the earth under me, and the people around me.
That was after a year of traveling and volunteering and digital detox when I actually enjoyed the challenge of no AC. Now ,after settling back into life with working, teaching, and social media, the yoga retreats I go on are a way to re-connect with myself and my health. And to relax, de-stress, and get a bit more sleep. Which usually involves sleeping in past 4am. I’ve loved exploring various yoga retreats over the last few years in beautiful retreat centers all over the world.
You may know from reading this blog, or knowing me personally, that I love yoga and love to travel, so it comes as no surprise that I am finally going to be running my first yoga retreat in Spain in May ! I wanted to share with you why I love going on yoga retreats (as a participant and I’m sure as a leader as well) and what I hope to bring to my retreat in May!
You can deepen your practice
Taking a whole week to focus on your yoga and meditation practice can really help you get deeper into that practice. When you don’t have your phone buzzing, tv on in the background, or the other distractions of day to day life you’ll find that looking internally comes a lot easier. You’ll be able to bring that back into your life when it’s time to go home and practice being a little mindful each day.
Meet other like-minded people
There’s a special connection you form with others on a similar journey to you. People I’ve met on yoga retreats have become friends, accountability partners, or you might even find an annual retreat buddy!
Experience a new part of the world
A week of yoga and meditation are enough to draw me to a retreat, but it doesn’t hurt that yoga retreats are in stunning locations around the world. Take a hike after yoga class, head to the pool or beach, connect with nature and explore. Most retreats will have excursions as part of the retreat, so you’ll even get your own local guides!
Full focus on your health
It can be hard to take the time and make the commitment to really focus on your health and yourself. Especially if you have other people in your life who are dependent on you. How often do you get a whole week just to focus on you and your health? What could you achieve with that full focus? If you’re living with a chronic illness, or have a lot of stress in life, taking this time to commit to making your health a priority is a wonderful thing to do. As someone who makes health a priority (it’s my job, after all!) I can still fall off track. Going on a retreat is like hitting the ‘reset’ button on your health.
Delicious and healthy food made for you
One of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is diet. Learning about healthy eating, taking the time to shop for ingredients, cook, and find new healthy recipes. When you join a retreat you’ll get three healthy (often locally sourced) meals cooked for you each day! Doesn’t get much better than that!
Relax, de-stress, and treat yo-self
(Any other Parks and Rec fans in the house?)
There are a lot of physical and mental benefits to going on a yoga retreat. At the least, it’s a great way to de-stress and relax. And we could all use a bit more of that in our lives 🙂
It’s worth the investment in yourself and your health to go on a yoga retreat. It can help you line up your health goals, and bring back what you learn back into your everyday life. After going on that first yoga retreat in India, I realised I wanted to be a yoga instructor, and have been on that path ever since. It also helped me think about the importance of my own health, and how things that seem important at times (like work, or house chores) don’t mean anything without health. A yoga retreat might help you change your life.
If you’re interested in joining me on my yoga retreat in Spain, there are some big discounts on until the end of the month!
Have you been on a yoga retreat? What was your experience? Would you consider joining one?