5 Reasons Why You Should Go on a Yoga Retreat
We all love a holiday. A bit of sun, time away from work and indulgence in our favourite activities is
always an appealing idea and we expect to come home refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on
everyday life again.
And generally, we do – for about a day. Then Monday morning comes around again, all too quickly,
and the real world reminds you that nothing changed, your tan will quickly fade and your holiday will
soon be a distant memory…so you start looking forward to the next one.
Here are five reasons why a Retreat can offer you so much more than a regular holiday:
1. Long Term Benefits
This may not come as a surprise but, more often than not, people go on holiday, have a lot of fun,
come home and pick up exactly where they left off. They have some lovely photos and they may
have seen some new things, but nothing has changed within themselves.
A Retreat is different because it has a specific intent. Everything in a Retreat is geared towards that
intent, from the carefully chosen venue, to the food and facilities. Every aspect of a Retreat is
centred around ensuring that intent becomes a reality. And it works! Simple vacations do bring
about short-term improvements in well-being, but a week on a Retreat can bring long term benefits
to your metabolism, blood pressure and stress levels – not to mention boosting your practice, which
you can take forward and run with the moment you return home.
Let’s be honest, going on holiday can be very stressful. Depending on what you’re doing, you might
spend a lot of time queuing, waiting and generally being herded around like cattle. Retreats are
aimed at providing you with the level of solitude you need. This doesn’t mean sealing yourself in a
cave for a week with no human contact at all (although that’s certainly an option is you want it). It
means solitude from your daily routine. Spending time away from the people you see on a daily
basis can give you a fresh perspective.
But that doesn’t mean they’re just for people who like to do as little as possible. You can fill your
days exactly as you wish – runners and cyclists can enjoy the stunning countryside; cultural
enthusiasts can explore what the locality has to offer. There is no shortage of adventure to be had,
but no internal feelings of obligation to ‘do as much as possible’.
3. Like Minded Company
We all love our families, but it’s probably true that not everyone in your family has the same likes
and interests. Pleasing everyone on a holiday is tricky at best.
Retreats, by their nature, attract like minded people. You are much more likely to create memorable
moments connecting with a group, or an individual, who share similar interests to you.
Yogis on a Retreat all have the same goal from the outset and that leads to a supportive and
harmonious group. People often find themselves identifying and fixing issues, with the help of the
group, that they simply couldn’t have discovered on their own. Most importantly, they let you
realise you are not alone – the feedback I get after our Retreats often highlights the surprise people
felt at the feelings of kinship they experienced!
4. Professional Guidance
It seems obvious, but when you think about it, how often do you get to spend a whole week with the
expert in your favourite activity? Aside from the organised classes, conversations around the dinner
table; moments snatched during the day to ask a question that didn’t occur to you during class; and
hearing what others in the group are working at; all come together to give you a chance of personal
development, be it physical in your practice or mentally working through something that’s bothering
you, that is very hard to achieve any other way.
5. No Planning
Okay, not no planning – you do have to book a flight and get on it, but once you’ve arrived at the
venue, you can genuinely switch off and let the organisers handle everything. There’s no scheduling
to figure out, no reservations to make, no commutes or waiting in line, no getting lost and arguing
with your beloved about whether it’s your driving or their navigation that led to you driving into a
field. It’s just all….there.
That doesn’t mean there’s no choice – depending on the type of Retreat you choose, your day
could be completely prescribed, or completely open, or something in between.
Spend the day totally on your own, or go wine tasting with the group? Both are equally valid. The point is, you just decide what you want to do, and it’s there, ready and waiting for you.
In 2019 Red Hot Yoga will be hosting two Retreats – find out more about Denise Marlow’s Retreat in Provence, France by clicking here or for details of Sarah Powell’s Italian Retreat click here. So time to take your pick and pack your case! Bon Voyage/Buon Viaggio!