If the occasional hot yoga class and a rush hour tube ride is the closest thing to Mediterranean temperatures you’ve experienced so far this year, and you’re spending more than 50% of your day dreaming about sun salutations (in the actual sun), then it might be time to book a Yoga retreat. Sun, sea, healthy food, yoga (twice daily!) and a group of friendly likely to stay that way for life – Maudie Johnson, founder of Loveyogabum, shares 5 reasons you may not have used yet to justify your decision.
Yoga has the ability to go much deeper with a continual practice morning and night. This is a unique experience that differs from a weekly class or weekend yoga class. The continual thread of energy and practice helps you to move deeper into your practice (you WILL notice an improvement with your asanas). However, the part which really makes me keeping coming back, is a huge sense of clarity and calm. This sense of zen is even transmitted to the pace I walk and eat!
You know that incredible feeling you get in savasana when all you really want to do it let go completely and fall into the best sleep you’ve ever had, but the next group is already entering into the room. Well, on a yoga retreat the yoga space is all yours all week and if you want to lay like a star fish for an hour after class then that is totally up to you! When your yoga retreat is run in a private location, exclusive for the retreat, it means you will not be disturbed or distracted.
Retreat are such a safe environment to let go and feel emotion freely, and a trust is built between the group over the week. Some people never want to leave this place of utter honesty! It’s something a lot of us struggle to find in the day-to-day workplace. On retreats we all spend time just sitting in a circle in the shala and communicating in a way that is quite unusual. It is a space that allows emotion to move through you and just being in this kind of space without deadlines, frees it. If it is interrupted by human kindness like a hug or advice then we are stopping the process, so we just sit and listen. This is kindness and learning this as a listener is almost more challenging than allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open up with your emotions. It’s certainly optional and a process that naturally starts to occur over the week – as you get to know the other people on your retreat.
Most holidays give you the feeling that you need another holiday, especially if you’ve crammed a lot in and are having lots of late nights. Expectations of fun usually revolve around these elements, however on retreat – early nights, quiet times, silence where you are normally expected to be up beat and chatty are part and parcel. It’s really quite a liberating feeling! We encourage peace once in the shala to allow yourself to turn inwards. No need for small chat (if it doesn’t feel right). This normally starts to transmit off the mat and we start to say only what is needed. Small chat that is used to mask awkward moments start to cease and the awkwardness also! But when we do talk the meaning and value of what we say is so much more thoughtful and powerful. This is a by-product not an obligation! I’ve observed it a lot during my 4 years of running retreats.
No agenda. No time frames. Apart from getting yourself to the shala or the dining table there really are no time constraints and this in itself is a complete relief. No diary, no agenda, no meetings, just time to do what pleases you. It usually takes around 3 days to get into this routine and start to really adapt to a slower pace of life. At first there is a need to do things and a need to know what time dinner is at, what time yoga starts, where exactly are the group is meeting … however as the week goes on you return to your intuition and start to trust that what will be will be. Yes, it does sound a little airy fairy, but it’s so much more relaxing. It’s so nice to trust that you will be in the right place at the right time and that no one will be reprimanding you if you’re late or don’t feel like going. This natural flow from within starts to move and we start to become more authentic. And these not so obvious reasons are what really keep our clients in particular, coming back every year.
Maudie Johnson is a founder of Loveyogabum, running retreats all year round from incredible European destinations. To find out more about upcoming retreats visit: www.loveyogabum.com