When I signed up for my first yoga retreat, I didn’t know what a sun salutation was. Not only was I new to yoga, but I didn’t realize that the retreat teacher was a well-known guru, famous for her innovations in yoga style. Fast forward 8 years later, and I’m getting ready to lead my own yoga retreat, my 5th, in Micronesia this December. It’s an opportunity for me to share my gifts and teachings with others in an environment that’s set up to support personal growth. So why try a yoga retreat? Yoga retreats are appealing for a number of reasons:
- Retreats offer a holiday, while allowing you to deepen your practice or understanding of yoga, or learn something new. See what happens when you commit to your practice.
- You can immerse yourself in nature and feel the healing capacities of the ocean, beach, forest, walking path, or garden.
- You don’t need to be an expert yogi to attend a retreat. In fact, it is a great opportunity for beginners to get a good introduction to yoga and connect with the teacher. During a retreat, you have more time to reflect, absorb, and integrate the information that’s taught. You also have more chances to discuss your new learnings with the instructor or fellow retreaters, ask questions, and get one-on-one help.
- Most yoga retreats have optional activities so you can plan as much or as little into your day as you want. Bring a journal and inspiring book. Want to just chill and relax? You can! Want organized tours or activities? You can!
- The food. Seriously, yoga retreat food is to die for. Think locally grown and harvested fruit, veggies, and your favourite teas. Be inspired by the healthy, nutritious local and organic meals served daily (and ask for a copy of the recipes to take home with you).
- Exercise won’t feel like a punishment. Honestly, I was worried that my first yoga retreat would be too difficult. I looked at the retreat schedule and couldn’t fathom doing 3 hours of yoga each day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pace was gentle and lessons were designed to allow us to relax, de-stress, and challenge ourselves.
- You’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in travel, fun, fitness, and personal wellbeing. I often attend yoga retreats solo and always leave with new friends. Because you’re spending close, quality time with a small group of people (basically living together for a few days), great friendships and alliances are sure to develop.
- And most importantly, a retreat is a heart-centered experience. When you retreat from everyday life, you’re able to think in a different way and really take time to go inward and check in with yourself.
If you’ve been considering joining a yoga retreat, I’d love for you to join me on an OMbiance Yoga retreat (or am happy to recommend another retreat for you). These retreats combine sun, yoga, healthy meals, cultural excursions, optional activities (diving, surfing, island tours) and plenty of time to relax by the sea.