This entry is for anyone who may be seeking a little insider's perspective or who might be curious about considering a yoga retreat
You can find the original article here.
Yoga is the journey of the self through the self”
-The Bhagavad Gita
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to take a yoga retreat?
I don’t suppose there’s anyone who’s reading this who wouldn’t want to get away on a little vacation. Add in a little yoga, a little meditation, and you’ve got yourself a no-lose scenario. I know that when I had just started diving into my yoga practice, I was dying to get myself away to become immersed in a week of yoga… ideally somewhere tropical.
Vacations are great- especially when you have your friends with you or your significant other; but what about a yoga retreat specifically?
This became the first time I ever decided to travel solo. I do remember wishing that I was going with someone but I also knew how good this journey alone would be for my soul… a little getaway to disconnect from the daily grind and deeply reconnect with myself. No distractions.
Well, allow me to begin at the beginning:
Jaco, Costa Rica- A little paradise in and of itself.
There’s a reason the motto in CR is
(literally translated to ‘pure life’, but in Costa Rica, the meaning is much deeper than that. Think of it as an expression of eternal optimism, life as life should be lived).
Even before I arrived in Jaco, I met up with a few of the ladies who were going to be on the retreat with me at the airport in Florida on a layover. So immediately, even though I was traveling alone for the first time, I still felt a really warm and cozy sense of nOMad community.
Now that I look back on it with all of my new solo travels under my belt, I realize that this was the absolute most luxurious travel I think I’ve ever done!
Upon arriving in Costa Rica, we had a car waiting for us- and of course the friendly face of Phoebe to greet us at the airport! We were swiftly taken to sustenance, and as we had somewhat of a ‘local’ for our tour guide, we didn’t have to think about which place to eat at.
What could be better after a long day of flights and layovers than arriving, settling in and then getting up to the most beautiful studio overlooking a tropical paradise for a super yummy gentle yoga class to end the day?
Immediately following evening yoga, we were whisped away to dinner at our retreat center where the food was simply divine. I still remember most of the dishes from the time I was there; it was that good (especially notable- the coconut thai veg soup, the breakfast spread of fresh, local fruits, and their daily platters of beans and rice, seasoned to perfection.. swoon).
In the mornings we woke up and joined the group for our first yoga class of the day (or start out early and hit the outdoor restaurant of the retreat for some fresh fruit before class- my personal favorite!).
This was an invigorating practice, complete with breathwork, meditation and asana. We would head down to breakfast after it was over with our appetites.
The late morning and afternoon were ours to play with. Among some of the things that were included in our trip were a zipline tour through the jungle, a horseback ride through the forest that lead us to a volcanic mud bath, and optional stand up paddleboarding.
During the bountiful free time, we found ourselves lounging by the pool chatting, swimming, drifting off or getting lost in a cheesy airport novel.
There were tons of opportunities to go into town to hit the beach or just walk around, and since taxis were so cheap (thank you currency exchange rate), it was all really accessible to us.
Towards the end of our retreat, we had a planned trip to the rainforest a few hours south from our retreat center. The most amazing thing about this new area was the nature preserve that we were able to just walk right through, full of different types of monkeys and wildlife. It was truly paradise.
So if you’ve ever been curious in what it’s like to take a yoga retreat, here’s the bottom line:
· It’s quite like a vacation- but better
· Essentially, everything is taken care of for you. There’s no need to think about transportation, lodging, food, activities; someone else has done it all.
· You get the opportunity daily, often times twice a day, to practice yoga and meditation.
· You can immerse yourself in a new culture in it’s entirety or you can stay at the retreat center and just allow yourself to be pampered.
· It gets you to do something that puts you out of your comfort zone
· You’ll be meeting and creating new friends
· You'll likely learn something new about yourself (sometimes whether you want to or not!).
Like I mentioned above, a yoga retreat is much like taking a holiday, but it’s so, so much more.
It’s an opportunity to delve deeper into your own self while simultaneously affording yourself a luxury of time and relaxation.
I took away so much from my first retreat to Jaco. It was possibly the first time I allowed myself to disconnect; I created space to grow in my yoga practice by dedicating 2 full classes every day to it, and I learned that traveling alone doesn't have to be scary, but an experience in growth and relationships, whether that relationship is one within yourself, with others or both.
What could you discover when you allow yourself this time to reconnect with your true self?