Updated: Jun 17, 2021
5 Life-Changing Takeaways From Attending Your First Yoga Retreat
Happiness is not something ready-made.
It comes from your own actions.
- The Dalai Lama
When was the last time you took a well deserved holiday?
If you are anything like me, it’s been far too long!
We work hard the entire year only to have a few weeks of a yearly holiday which we usually take at the busiest time of year, the dreaded Christmas Season!
We eagerly scour the internet looking for the best and most affordable place to go, making sure everyone’s schedules align, booking accommodation, planning meals and mapping out the road that will lead us there, making list upon lists of things we need to buy and take with us.
All this work in the hopes for a little rest and relaxation, returning to our daily lives refreshed!
Are you exhausted yet?
I attended my first yoga retreat in 2018 and it changed my life forever!
I want to share those takeaways with you here and show you why I think a Yoga Retreat is the best thing you could do for yourself this year.
I was lucky enough to experience my first 2 yoga retreats within the same month.
Completely different experiences to one another, one on a picturesque farm surrounded by mountains, beautiful greenery and bodies of water, and the other set in a forest, shrouded by huge trees, the air smelling of fresh pine.
Both are so beautiful and both gave me amazing experiences.
Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.
What is a Yoga Retreat
Yoga retreats are like mini holidays that are planned for you, you only need to show up!
Retreats in essence are an opportunity to withdraw from your daily routine and experience something more. To truly disconnect and slow down, learn something new, meet new people all while breathing in fresh beautiful air surrounded by nature.
Generally, a yoga retreat will have various yoga classes to join (some you know and perhaps some you have never experienced), workshops related to meditation, journaling, healthy eating practices like Ayurveda and other well-being practices on offer.
Some retreats are silent and some are like little festivals full of dancing music and laughter.
Here are a few questions I found helpful when deciding if I should go on the retreat
Has it been more than a year since my last proper vacation?
What am I really needing right now? More meditation, more focus on my yoga practice, feeling the need to explore?
Financially, does it make more sense for me to attend a retreat than splurge on a big vacation?
Do I need a break?
Do I feel depleted of energy and just exhausted?
Here are a few reasons I think you definitely need to book your next retreat right away!
The time will come.
When with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
- Derek Walcott
1. It’s Better Than a Holiday
You heard me right!
Typically retreats can be anywhere from a simple day getaway or weekend event, right up to a week and are created in a way all the planning components like venue, accommodation, food and itinerary are all taken care of.
Here’s the thing, the folks that create, plan and prepare the retreat know why you need it and are hoping to get out of it. They create the retreat with all these things in mind and give you an amazing mindfully thought out plan!
Financially it’s also easier on your pocket than a full-blown holiday.
Plus you really will return more refreshed, restored and reinvigorated than before!
2. An Opportunity to Treat Yourself
Slowing down and treating ourselves always feels like something we need to be coaxed into or convinced we deserve. When we attend a retreat we offer ourselves an opportunity to prioritize relaxation and open ourselves to a wonderful new experience.
3. Unplug and Recharge in Nature
I have never known a retreat to be held inside an enclosed space.
Conduct a short google search and have a look at the most common settings for retreats.
They are always held outside in nature whether forests, farms, near lakes or mountains. There is something about spending time in nature that sparks energy in us.
A little part of paradise and we can't help but be captured by it.
Take it all in.
Feel the sun on your face or the wind through your hair, take in all the smells and breathe in fresh new air. Listen to the birds and the sound of rushing water around you.
All the things you miss when you are stuck in an office back home.
4. Explore New Experiences and Meet New People
Workshops, seminars, meditations and yoga classes aplenty! Who wouldn’t love that??
Even if you are a naturally introverted person (like me), take your time whilst on your retreat to do and see as much as you can.
Attend yoga classes and workshops you’ve never before experienced and don’t be shy to speak to the folks that are on the retreat with you. Chances are they are probably there for some of the same reasons you are and you never know, you might just make a long term friend!
5. Return Refreshed and Renewed
This is the number one reason we find ourselves attending retreats in the first place.
In the hopes that we will return feeling reinvigorated and revived.
To replace and restore that which is lost little by little as we make our way through our days.
Even if you are a small forest
surviving off the light of the moon alone.
Your light is extraordinary.
- reminder by Nayyirah Waheed
Change is as good as a holiday!
If a break is what you're after and you aren’t able to take the usual holiday I urge you to take a few days off and attend a yoga retreat.
You have an opportunity to learn and experience so much in just a few days, change up your routine and give yourself a break.
Recharge and reset yourself and best of all, you can fit it in over a weekend if you need, making retreats a getaway you can do regularly throughout the year!
What did you think of this blog?
Have you ever gone on a yoga retreat?
What were your best takeaways?
Can you think of any other reason to join a yoga retreat that we didn't think of?