I want to let you in to a little secret: I absolutely love yoga but even though I’m now a yoga teacher, yoga retreats weren’t always my favourite kind of holiday. During college and the early years of my working life, I enjoyed vacations in sun-drenched resorts with my girlfriends, partying hard by night and sleeping through the day. It was a lot of fun. But on my return home, I noticed that tended to feel tired, lethargic and lacking in enthusiasm, my bank account seriously depleted.
Sometimes I felt like I needed a holiday after the holiday! It got me wondering: might there be another way of spending my precious time off that would have me coming back to my regular life feeling happier and more energised?
Something in me was yearning for an experience that would allow me to learn new things, eat healthily, and come back home feeling at my best. Curiosity led me to go on a yoga retreat and once there, I realised that it was exactly what I had been looking for.
Here is why:
One of the focuses in my yoga classes is learning techniques that you can easily take away to use in your day to day life, be that an asana that can give you an energy boost at the office or a breathing technique that you can do while sitting in traffic that will instantly relax you. But the learning doesn’t only happen in the yoga shala. The conversations you’ll have with the yoga teachers, the local staff at the retreat centre and with the other participants while out hiking, on a day trip, or while dining together each day will expose you to new life experiences and new ways of thinking. Which brings me on to the second reason…
By going on a yoga retreat, you’re opening yourself to meeting people with similar interests. My experience of it was akin to finding my “tribe”. Being surrounded other yogis with a similar mind-set and on path that resembled my own was so refreshing. I’ll always grateful to yoga for allowing me to meet some of my very best friends.
In keeping with the yoga lifestyle, most yoga retreats are vegetarian. Before my first yoga retreat, even though I liked vegetarian food, I was a little bit worried that I might go hungry. I even packed some snacks! I shouldn’t have worried. Every meal was a delight for the eye and the belly. Perfectly balanced and plentiful. With so much delicious food on offer, we even found ourselves begging the chef not too cook so much, as we felt compelled to eat it all. Believe me, you’ll feast and enjoy and learn about new ways to prepare tasty, nutritious food…what a great souvenir of your yoga holiday!
Not only that, you’ll have a renewed energy and an enthusiasm for day-to-day life that maybe you’d forgotten was possible. At least, that’s been my personal experience post yoga retreat. There’s something really special about taking time out in a completely new environment that allows our body and mind to completely reset. Maybe it’s the yoga, maybe it’s the food or the people. Maybe it’s all the fresh air and deep sleep. Personally, I think it’s the unique blend of all the elements that go into making a fabulous yoga retreat.
Perhaps you’re considering going on a yoga holiday, but you’re not sure if it’s for you. What are your top qualms? What are the things that are most important to you when choosing a yoga retreat? We’d love to hear your thoughts – just leave a comment below.
Ready to book your best holiday ever? Join me from 28th May to 5th June 2017 for a 5 night Yoga and Hiking Retreat in the stunningly beautiful Grazalema National Park in the Andalucian mountains, Spain.
For more information about the retreat and to book your place.
Looking forward to seeing you on the mat