“Sometimes the best way to move forward is to retreat”
I am a lover of yoga retreats, whether I am teaching or participating. A yoga retreat can be a life changing experience for many people, it certainly was for me. I attended my first retreat during my yoga teacher training. It was my first time to travel without my family and I was nervous about how I would cope without them, cue some serious separation anxiety! However this soon passed, there is something very special about a group of like-minded people getting together, you very soon become like family.
As a lover of lie-ins my first surprise was how much I embraced the early starts, rolling out my mat for meditation as sun began to rise. This is a habit I have taken with me, I love that time before dawn when the rest of the world is still sleeping. The retreat was also the foundation for my daily self-practice. I attended classes and had a sporadic home practice but during the retreat I developed the habit of rising early every day and getting on the mat. I went from doing yoga to living yoga and this completely changed my life. If you are looking to develop a daily self-practice or just to embrace yoga in your life, then a retreat is a great way to start.
A retreat is an opportunity to nourish and nurture mind, body and soul. If you need more convincing then read on:
Modern life is so busy, fast food, fast cars, fast living. Since advances in technology, mobile phones, email and social media we are contactable 24/7. Rarely do we take the time to press the pause button on life and take a moment just to breathe and simply be. Where better to escape the busyness of life than at the top of a mountain where the air is pure and clean and the only sounds are bird song and goat bells. A retreat teaches us to slow down, turn off the auto pilot from which most of us operate, and ground in our experience. It gives us a chance to switch off from the demands of modern life and after all, almost everything works again if you unplug it for a while, even yourself.
When we take the time to pause and reflect, we discover the parts of ourselves that get lost along the way. We identify so much with the roles of mother, father, sister, daughter, son, friend and boss etc. that we sometimes forget who we are as an individual. We often sacrifice our own needs and desires for our families, friends and our careers. A retreat gives you the time and space to connect with your true self and discover what it is that you love to do. This can bring about profound changes in your life.
Eating locally sourced, organic, plant based foods helps to detoxify and nourish the body. Avoiding meat, sugar and processed foods allows your digestive system to rest. Your energy improves and this diet does wonders for your skin. Best of all, this is freshly prepared for you, and no washing up to be done either. It’s not just the body that detoxifies, through the practice of yoga and meditation we can detox negative thoughts and emotions also. You will leave feeling lighter and brighter with more clarity and peace of mind.
Rest and relaxation are more than just sleep or chilling on the couch. On retreat we get to experience proper relaxation, where we allow the nervous system to really relax and recharge. With the combination of yoga, meditation, nutritious food, sunshine and pure mountain air, your stress will quickly dissipate as you move from the fight or flight to the rest and digest response.
On the retreat we offer a choice of 4 yoga classes per day, from energetic, dynamic yoga and relaxing yin to restorative. It’s important to point out that you don’t need to be “good at yoga” or indeed to have ever done yoga, to go on a yoga retreat, I have been to many where advanced practitioners and total beginners line up side by side on the mat. At Lucia Yoga retreats we cater for all levels and abilities so don’t let a lack of experience hold you back. A choice of workshops will give you the opportunity to advance your practice. Classes are not compulsory so if you feel like skipping class and snoozing by the pool or going for a hike, that’s ok too, it’s your retreat experience.
We might dream about packing up a knapsack and heading off to the foothills of the Himalayas or backpacking around India but for many of us, this adventure is scary and a step too far. A yoga retreat provides a safe environment for solo travellers where your every need is taken care of in beautiful surroundings. If you are nervous about going solo, rest assured that you will be with like-minded people in just the same situation. A retreat is a great opportunity to meet people from many different nationalities and walks of life. Good company and lots of laughter are guaranteed.
What do you love most about a yoga retreat? We’d love to hear, tell us in the comments below.
If you are ready for a life changing experience, join us on the 28th of May for a 5 night Yoga & Hiking Retreat in Grazalema Natural Park, book here
See you on the mountain,