If you do yoga, you might practice at a studio, or at home. Maybe you have a buddy system in place to get you to class or made yoga part of your morning routine. Making yoga a consistent part of your daily life will improve your physical and mental health. At some point, after the benefits of yoga are apparent to you from firsthand experience, you might consider a yoga retreat. Or maybe you’re totally new to yoga and want to dive headfirst into it by immersing yourself in yoga. If you’ve been considering a retreat, or if you are not familiar with what they are, you’ve come to the right place!
A yoga retreat can deepen our practice and give us valuable time to disconnect from our regular lives. The retreat might be a day event, or a weekend, or longer. You might go to a retreat right in your hometown, or an exotic, international destination. Whatever you choose, a yoga retreat will provide time and space to learn more about yoga and related mindfulness practices. They also offer an invaluable opportunity to unplug from technology and our daily routines. A yoga retreat is about self-care, growth, and connection.
Why go to a Yoga Retreat?
A yoga retreat offers abundant opportunity for our spiritual growth, far beyond asana, the postures of yoga. When we’re immersed in yoga, we can fully experience the reason we came to the mat in the first place. At a retreat, we can be fully present for whatever that reason is for us. Maybe we love yoga because it gives us mental clarity. Maybe it’s because yoga makes us feel connected to the Divine, or our higher selves. Or maybe yoga is the way we show love to ourselves and our body. Whatever the reason, creating space to appreciate the energy that guided us to yoga allows for growth and a deeper connection with ourselves.
Why go to a Yoga Retreat?
A yoga retreat offers abundant opportunity for our spiritual growth, far beyond asana, the postures of yoga. A retreat will encompass multiple aspects of mindfulness and give us a chance to relax at a level that might not be readily available to us in our daily lives. At a retreat we can disconnect from stressors, worries, to-do lists, and everything else that distracts us from wisdom and growth.
When we’re immersed in yoga, we can fully experience the reason we came to the mat in the first place. At a retreat, we can be fully present for whatever that reason is for us. Maybe we love yoga because it gives us mental clarity or makes us feel connected to the Divine. Maybe yoga is the way we show love to ourselves and our body. Creating space to appreciate the energy that guided us to yoga allows for growth and a deeper connection with ourselves.
At a retreat, we have a chance to experience ourselves in a unique way that is not always available to us in our daily lives. Participants of a yoga retreat are typically encouraged to ‘unplug’ and spend little to no time on electronic devices. That means ignoring some (or all!) of those work emails, detaching from how many likes our latest social media post received, and being okay with not responding to a text message. This is necessary to be fully present at the retreat and to appreciate the invaluable break from our everyday lives. At a retreat, we can detach from the outside world and experience true relaxation and present moment awareness.
What to Expect at a Yoga Retreat
You will meet cool people.
It’s fascinating to learn about what brings people to yoga, and how it has improved their lives. At a yoga retreat, you have the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and share your experiences, if you want to! The make-up of the group will vary depending on the individual retreat, but typically there is a wide age range of participants, as well as varied levels of experience. Some people may come in pairs or groups, but there will also be solo participants. People come to yoga retreats for different reasons, but the practice that brings us there forms an intimate common ground.
There will be both structure and free time.
A good yoga retreat will have a balance between structured events, classes, etc. and free time for relaxation and reflection. The schedule will of course be unique to the retreat center, and will include the obvious…yoga classes, and things like sessions for other practices, group meals, discussion, or specialized activities. If you’re looking for a retreat, check out their schedule. You want the retreat you choose to be in line with what type of pace you feel called to. You might want a yoga retreat that starts at 5am and goes until 9pm (yes, that’s a real thing!), or you might prefer a more relaxed schedule of more unstructured time. We want to learn about yoga and about ourselves, but we also want to have time to absorb and process what we’re taking in.
You will have the opportunity to try other mindfulness practices.
Asana, the physical postures, are obviously a big part of a retreat, but postures are only one part of the yogic way of life. The Eight Limb Path of Yoga outlines the steps one should take, or practices one should undertake, to reach a state of self-actualization, or enlightenment. Along the path are things like self-conduct, breath work, and meditation. A yoga retreat will likely incorporate practices like meditation, pranayama, or anything that focuses on quieting the mind and creating space for us to connect with our spiritual selves.
They will serve healthy food.
Mindfulness in daily activities is a core yogic concept, and at a retreat this is usually considered in the food that’s served. Vegetarian or vegan menus are common at a yoga retreat, and the food is usually healthy and locally sourced. Being mindful of what we eat can improve our health and rid our body of harmful toxins. A retreat might also limit the use of things like caffeine. Combining the physical postures of yoga with healthy eating will make you feel different quickly.
Do you have a yoga home? If not, give Inspiring Actions a try! Drop-ins are welcome in most of our classes, and we have a variety of special events with things like meditation, sound healing, drum circles, and much more! Just like at a yoga retreat, you will meet cool people here! Inspiring Actions is a community where you can connect with other yogis of all experience levels. We believe that everyone, from a seasoned practitioner to a total beginner, can experience the benefits of yoga at their own pace, and at a deep level. Join us for a class and thank you for reading!
If you’re local to Wisconsin, or want to visit our amazing state, here is a great resource for yoga retreats right here in the dairy state!