Want to travel to some of the world’s most stunning locations around the world, guided by inspiring teachers, surrounded by a positive like-minded community while enjoying daily wholesome foods and yoga? A yoga retreat can give you all these things — and it can be a magical, transformative experience. It’s one of the best ways to self-nourish and gain perspective on life through intentional ‘time-out’.
A retreat is defined as ‘withdrawal to a quiet or secluded place’ and any integrated retreat will offer you the space to dive deeper into yourself through daily Svadhyaya (spiritual practice of self-inquiry), nature and community.
Whether you’re looking to get away on a local weekend retreat or a ten day global adventure, here are 7 reasons to consider going on a yoga retreat:
Connect with other like-minded yogis. During a retreat there is a power in the intimacy that is created with oneself, but most importantly there is a greater sense of connection and harmony felt as you share this experience with others. Everyone is encouraged to welcome one another from a place of authenticity. There are fewer ‘masks’ worn because you only know one another from a neutral and supportive space, not as the ‘busy, stressed out employee, student or parent’. You drop into a space of community that helps to guide you past your personal perspectives, struggles and ego and invites you to become more open-minded and compassionate.
Experience ambiance and healing atmosphere in the accommodations and retreat center, and access to nature. Most retreat centers are built or created on beautiful or sacred land, often in nature — near rivers, lakes or beaches. Yoga alone is empowering, but in a sacred setting your practice becomes amplified.
Open your mind and focus on yourself. — When you physically travel to new locations (even if its only hours away!) you have the ability to create more space in your mind and let go of your daily ‘identity’ and duties (parent roles, student responsibilities, work life and survival tasks of cooking, cleaning, errands, etc.) — this gives you an opportunity to intentionally focus on yourself with far less distractions.
Eat healthy, nutritious and local foods. — The food offering on a retreat normally consists of delicious, hearty options. The meals often include organic, locally sourced ingredients to keep an eye on your health. And if you’re traveling overseas, you can use a yoga retreat as an opportunity to experience unique food. Many countries around the world are renowned for their cuisine. At home, we often have to cook our own food, but on retreats we don’t have to worry about anything other than eating what’s being served!
Pleasant mix of inner discovery and outer exploration. — Along with tools and practices for self-inquiry you will have ample time for rest, play and adventure. While each retreat differs in teachings or theme, each one is designed to aid you through healthy routine in a supportive atmosphere — imagine 8 hour of deep sleep, healthy wholesome meals, fresh air and sunshine, along with daily movement/contemplation.
Become inspired. — Depending on your desire and receptivity throughout the experience, a retreat can be an awakening to unhealthy habits or addictions, and can be the exact inspiration and kickstart needed to shine light on more positive habits we can incorporate in our daily lives back at home.
An opportunity to have fun, relax and create new memories. — Again, at home we tend to fall into serious routines. We get stuck in the day-to-day habits and roles that might feel confining and hold us back. Going on a retreat is the perfect opportunity to be curious and playful with life. You will remember the light and beauty that is always present in yourself, others and that which is all around.
A yoga retreat is truly an opportunity to practice your daily living yoga — on and off the mat. It brings purification, clarity, balance, rejuvenation and inspiration into your many layers — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!