I always liked the idea of yoga more than actually doing it. I would feel a pang of jealously every time I saw someone more flexible, and would spend hours researching cheat ways to touch your toes. Hint: It takes more than 15 minutes with a good stretch and a dressing gown tie. I also tried various classes with my most memorable teacher once asking if I had been involved in a road traffic accident because I looked ‘slightly broken’. In spite of this, I decided to go on a yoga retreat in India, because if I was going to fail miserably, I might as well be on a beach.
Whilst this retreat did not make me the next great yogi by any standard, it helped in other ways, which is why I have four reasons you should also try a yoga retreat:
- It makes you appreciate the little things
Something I eventually learnt to love about yoga, is how it can force you to take in your surroundings and be thankful for them. Yes, you might be in a lot of pain whilst your ass is in downward dog, but hey, you can move your body and you have oxygen flowing into your lungs. We often take the ability to breathe and move for granted, but it is such a privilege. A yoga retreat is such a wonderful place to take the time to be grateful and to appreciate the bodies we have, and what they can allow us to do.
- It can give you space
At how many points throughout the day are you focused on just one thing? We spend our lives thinking about the next thing, but rarely stay in the moment. The best part about yoga is that your mind is completely focused. Most people feel yoga is about becoming more flexible, but it is really about breathing and creating space. This combination is a fantastic way to destress and give yourself an opportunity to relax. Try doing this for two weeks, and you will literally feel like you are floating on a cloud.
- You will be around positive people (and you might become a little more positive yourself)
I never thought a yoga retreat would make me into a more positive person, but it turns out an idyllic setting, wonderful organic food and nice people can do that! It is very rare to surround yourself with such optimistic and encouraging people, but the chances are a lot higher when you’re all taking time to take care of yourself. I was lucky enough to meet some amazing individuals, who helped to shape my trip and inspire future practice.
- You actually get to retreat
There’s something so wonderful about the prospect of a retreat, whether it is because you’re running away from a job, or a failed relationship, or you really just want to go somewhere else to do nothing. Retreating into a positive bubble of yoga, even for a short amount of time, can be a really rewarding. For me, it was one of the most relaxing things I have ever done, and I would recommend it to everyone.