Then the weekend comes around and you swear you’re going to make it to that new core class they just added for Saturday morning!
But alas... children, extracurriculars, family stuff, dinners, more work?! You’re exhausted. Forget waking up on Saturday morning to make it to that 8:30am. You’re having a total lie-in weekend (and actually... good for you).
So you say you do yoga…
You wake up at 6am Monday through Friday, get ready, go to work, bust your butt all day, rush over to your favorite studio by 6pm (of course it’s when you know your favorite teacher is going to be guiding the class). This happens about 2-3 times a week- if you’re lucky!
There are a lot of kudos to be given for finagling everyday life. We’re all busy, sometimes overworked and often a bit tired at the end of it. Yoga is our saving grace- trust me, I know! It kept me sane during my long period of working 3 jobs, barely making it through the most stressful of them.
My practice couldn’t be taken to another level until I slowed myself down (just a little!). It’s one of those things that you'll look back on with 20:20 vision -I'll explain later- because in the moment, all of the effort you put into squeezing those 60 minutes in when you can is enough- more than enough to be honest. You’re doing something AMAZING for yourself.
But take a step back. BREATHE. Escape.
Take a yoga retreat.
Maybe it’s a long weekend in some outskirty town upstate. Maybe it’s 11 days in a tropical paradise. Maybe it’s somewhere in-between. Whatever it is, it’s worth it. Promise.
This doesn’t just have to do with food and body. Detox your mind. Disconnect. (did someone say, digital detox?! Way harder than it sounds!)
Signing up for a retreat allows you some time to turn off your phone (and sometimes they recommend or even require it)- even if it’s just for a few hours a day. Stop checking those emails. Set up auto-reply. The world can wait for your return.
If you’re looking for a way to reset your body (i.e. : take a break from your daily croissant), retreat centres are perfect for all around healthy living- and eating!
Typically vegetarian, the food is spectacular and usually local, so on top of clean, healthy eating, you get to experience some typical fare of the region you’re in! Win-win! There’s likely no better way to jump start a whole body detox.
As my first retreat in Costa Rica showed me, there is something absolutely incredible about surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. Sure you might be putting yourself in a little bubble for a week or so, but it’s totally the best bubble out there! These people you practice with can become lasting friends. You’re going to be sharing a lot of time and energy with them- maybe even space. Breakthroughs as well as emotions can come up in retreat settings. Knowing that you’re surrounded by this community of yogis who are there for the same purpose as you can be an incredibly bonding experience. And not to be boastful, but its hard to disagree with me that our yogi brothers and sisters are the absolute best types of people… amiright?
On top of a plethora of reasons yoga retreats have been a saving grace for me, de-stressing is probably right at the top. Give yourself time, space, rejuvenation so that you can give to others (they say you can’t give from an empty cup, right? Fill it up!).
Importantly, immersing yourself in a few days to a few weeks of yoga and meditation is going to allow you to take your practice to the next level. Here’s where that 20:20 thing I mentioned above comes in. You can get out of your comfort zone and totally sink into a daily practice- hopefully one that becomes habitual even after the retreat is over. After however-many-days of doing this, you’ll look back on your old practice and notice how many skills and techniques you’ve been able to accumulate to grow your own practice, even when you may have thought you’ve taken your practice as far as it could have gone. Surprise :)