By nature a yoga retreat is designed as an opportunity to distance yourself from the citta or distractions and fluctuations of a quotidian routine. One is able to take time away from their everyday life to engage more deeply in a spiritual journey, delve into the offerings of a different geographic location, and also to establish a bond with a group of like minded people who come from all walks of life. Certain yoga retreats are also a unique and excellent form of enhancing communion with nature and various cuisines you may not have tried before. Furthermore, whether the yoga retreat is close to your own home, in your country or even an international retreat it will enhance a deeper connection with oneself and expand your horizons. In order to glean the most out of your experience proper preparation and foresight is necessary. Here are six tips and tricks to alleviate stress and maximize your enjoyment for your next yoga retreat.
Two categories to consider for your next yoga retreat:
- Pick your retreat based on your need/intentions: Would you prefer to leave the country and travel Internationally? Would traveling to a venue within your own country or even state suit your intentions for a local and logistically easier to plan to get-away? Are there local weekend or even day retreats in your area that would accomplish the same goal of stepping outside of your everyday routine to precipitate a spiritual awakening?
- After choosing your retreat focus on the logistics: For an international retreat make sure your passport is updated. Check with your yoga retreat leader regarding the visa process and what shots, if any, may be a good idea to acquire well before departure. Contact a travel agent to book your flight so you avoid spending too much on a flight or getting stranded in an airport instead of enjoying your vacation. For local or regional retreats perhaps contact participants before the retreat to plan carpooling. Research the accommodations before each trip to prepare a potential budget, bringing sheets/pillows if needed, or any other necessities the hotel or retreat center may or may not provide. Get to know the area you will travel to for planning excursions or getting the most out of the local environment.
- Pack intelligently: Ask your retreat leader or coordinator what activities will be hosted and plan out what clothing and supplies you will need. The best way to travel is to pack light and only bring the quintessential supplies in order to ease your travel experience and to avoid being bogged down with heavy bags and excessive possessions.
- Slow down and enjoy the journey: Establish a personal yoga practice before the trip and set realistic goals for what you would like to gain or extract from your retreat. Remember, be open to whatever lessons you can learn from the retreat leader, fellow participants, or environment. Receive the gifts this opportunity and the universe provide for you.
- Explore various forms of meditation, asana and nutrition: Practice your yoga physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally to keep your mind focused and your body healthy. Eat foods that balance you to keep your body functioning to its utmost potential to remain in the present moment. This will allow you to engage with your surroundings and soak in the essence of the people you meet and experiences you have. A retreat is a means of taking a break and going within to reach new depths of peace and enlightenment.
- Begin journaling to mark your journey: Writing is an excellent means of processing new experiences and enhancing memory. Immersing yourself in a new environment with a diverse group of people on top of practicing a lot of yoga and meditation can awaken the soul or lead to spiritual growth. Journal as a means of processing your experience and gain new insights into your soul.
Be open, be here, be here now. Enjoy your yoga retreat for all it has to offer and embrace the adventure into a new place and deeper into your own beautiful soul <3
See you on the next yoga retreat!