Yoga Retreats – A Beginner’s Guide!
Melanie Crowther shares her experience of going on Red Hot Yoga retreats:
1. Which retreats have you been on? I’ve been to Molino Dey Rey in Southern Spain with Clarissa for the last two years. Before that I’ve been on retreats at La Rosa dei 4 Venti in Puglia, Italy and Silver Island in Greece.
2. Why did you choose to go on a retreat? I love having the time to practise yoga daily and without any other time constraints. It’s great to be able to completely relax, read, swim, sleep and have some lovely food cooked for you. It’s great for your yoga since you have time to really hone in on your practice and see progression during the week. For me it’s always a learning opportunity, despite qualifying as a teacher in March 2017, it’s great to really spend time being a student again.
3. Can you describe a typical day? Wake up about 7.30am, grab some tea, juice and fruit. Head down to first class for 8am. The first class of the day is usually 1.5 to 2 hours. Having worked up an appetite it’s time for brunch. After that the day is your own until next class. I tend to read a lot since I don’t often have the time at home to just sit and read. There is usually a pool to be able to cool down in during the heat of the day and indulge in a treatment or two. I would then grab a cup of tea and snack about 4pm before the next class around 5pm. After class it’s time for a quick shower, change and head down for dinner. After dinner you can sit around chatting or head off to sit quietly somewhere in the grounds. The day does just disappear.
4. Is the yoga accessible for all levels? Yes, there are options for all levels and adjustments for injuries you may be nursing. It’s also a great opportunity to try out those poses that you find challenging and might normally avoid in your usual class.
5. Do you have to do all the classes? No, if you fancy a lie-in, want to spend the afternoon by the pool or hire a car and go out for the day that’s up to you – there is no judgement.
6. How sociable was the retreat – would I feel comfortable going on my own? It’s as social as you want it to be. There is always someone to chat with if you want or if you prefer your own space you can find it. Meals tend to be together.
7. How luxurious are the facilities? The rooms are clean and comfortable. The food is vegetarian and is varied and tasty and I’m not a vegetarian.
8. Can you drink alcohol or is it a compulsory detox? Yes, you can. There is usually wine with dinner and an honesty bar if you want to have more.
9. Could I bring along a non-yogi friend/partner – would there be enough for them to do? Depends how happy they are occupying themselves whilst you are in yoga. There is time during the day should you want to hire a car and go exploring together.
10. How easy was it to get to/from the retreat? Easy, depending upon flight times you might be able to share a transfer with others or arrange a private transfer. Clarissa tries to co-ordinate the transfers for those travelling on the same day.
11. Did you consider the retreat good value for money? Yes, given that once you are there you don’t really have a need to spend any money and you get about four hours yoga a day plus your meals.
Red Hot Yoga runs regular retreats suitable for all levels of practice – our next retreat is coming up on 14 September in Italy with Sarah Powell – click for details.