So, you’re in the grind. You’re working overload, even when you’re not at work, and your weekends are packed with fun outings with your friends from morning to night, which means you don’t sleep much or really ever stop going. Are you tired? I think most of us are, right? Some people wear it like a badge of honor – “I only slept 3 hours last night!” – and others wear it looking for sympathetic attention. Sleep is essential; prioritize it like your life depends on it… because it does. Let’s leave it at that, though, because this blog is about self-care in the form of yoga retreats!
Imagine traveling to a beautiful city, maybe in a different country, by yourself or with a friend, surrounded by nature, eating local, fresh, delicious food that’s cooked for you, laying by the pool and on the beach, doing nothing, hiking and adventuring, reading, drinking local wine, laughing with you’re your loved ones, spending time alone, and doing yoga twice a day. Imagine coming home feeling rested, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to head back into your “real life”.
That’s my dream vacation and because of yoga retreats and leaders, I’ve experienced it and will continue to do so because they’re just pure bliss. I never come home more restored from a vacation than I do from a yoga retreat.
How do you take care of yourself? Do you do things just for you? Do you take real time off work doing things you love? Do you go on vacation? Have you experienced that blissful, completely relaxing vacation? Do you want to?!
A big concern for people is the practicing yoga twice a day, or doing yoga in general. Let me first share that both classes are situated right before mealtime, breakfast and dinner, so you get a delicious meal after. (Food is first on my mind). Secondly, everything on your yoga retreat is optional. YOU are in control; it’s YOUR retreat, YOUR vacation, and YOU get to make the decision of how you want to spend it. So, you want to sleep and skip morning yoga? Whatever you want to do, do it, and power to you.
Both classes are an hour and in my experience the mornings are an all levels, more upbeat, vinyasa flow class; the evenings are very yin and restorative, slow and gentle. The balance of the two classes was perfect and countered any aches accumulated by traveling. Not to mention all the other amazing benefits yoga provides.
I went on my first yoga retreat – gifted to me by myself as a treat for completing my first ever 200-hr yoga teacher training – to Hawaii. I wanted time alone in a beautiful place filled with nature to sleep, do nothing, read, hike, write, yoga, and eat amazing food. I knew one of the leaders, the amazing Josie Kramer, but other than that I was on my own. I was also the youngest; besides the two leaders and me, everyone else was above 50, and one had never done yoga before! And trust me, if they can do the physical aspect, you can do it, too.
Since then I’ve been on three more yoga retreats – two in Greece and one in Italy – and I’ve brought my mom along on them. More perfection. The latest retreat was with the vivacious Abbi Miller in Puglia Italy, called “Relax and Realign.” And that is just what we did; relaxed and realigned. I came back home inspired to plunge back into my life, my work, and relationships, not needing a stay-cation afterwards to get myself together again before I get to my “real life”.
These retreats are essential to me as a yoga teacher. Being able to be a student for a full week, two classes a day, being led, getting adjusted, and getting savasana adjustments… it was heaven! I encourage all yoga teachers to get on a yoga retreat as a participant and to deeply enjoy yourself as a practitioner and student; put the teaching and trainings down, at least for week.
I’ll end with a plea to you: please, sweetie, take a vacation! Enjoy your life and this world. Whether or not you decide to go on a yoga retreat as your vacation is up to you, but life is always moving forward and won’t stop for anyone. You have to prioritize it, save for it, plan it, and then freaking enjoy the heck out it. That means, if possible, no work, maybe unplugging from technology, and consciously breathe so you can take in and enjoy every moment, every bite, every sip, and every sunset.
I will continue to gift yoga retreat to myself and will also be leading/co-leading yoga retreats in the near future, so stayed tuned for that announcement this year for summer ’18!
Sending you love and support on your journey,
I hope you’re reading this on vacation,