Even if you have never stepped foot onto a yoga mat before, there are lots of reasons to pack a bag and immerse yourself in the ancient practice of poses, breathing and meditation for a few days with no other distractions.
I did just that at the end of last year – I packed a weekend bag filled with stretchy sweat pants (thanks LuluLemon!), a re-usable water bottle, some body-fitting comfy tops, a yoga mat, a swimsuit for good measure and headed for Chiang Mai in Thailand. This particular yoga retreat was organised by The Yoga Room, an intimate yoga studio in Hong Kong, and taught by the gorgeous, stretchy yogini Nora Lim. It was a four day retreat held at The Pavana Resort – a holistic resort with great vegetarian food and spa (very important!)
Here are my top five reasons why everyone should find a retreat, make the time to go and indulge in yoga, meditation, pranayama and yourself :
- You practice yoga every single day – sometimes a few times a day. If you’re a newbie to Downward facing dogs, forward bends and back bends, this will give you an awesome introduction where you get to try them out and allow your body to get used to the movement. If you’ve had a taste of chair pose and cobra then a retreat is the perfect opportunity to deepen your knowledge of these poses.
- Slow and steady – when we’re in the thick of work and life and we do manage to find time for yoga , it’s usually only for an hour or 75 minutes and then it’s right back into the throws of “life as usual”. On a retreat you have the time to savour the poses, the teachings and the quiet, indulging your body and mind to absorb your hard work. You’ll have the time and space to experiment and relearn your physical abilities.
- Detox – you’ll detox your body by eating organically grown, delicious food that allows the body to rest and ‘restart’ and the yoga poses will naturally detox your digestive system and the deeper breathing will revitalise your cells. You also get a change to digitally detox. No urgent deadlines, calls, emails, messages – you have permission allow yourself to switch-off and reboot.
- New friends – you’ll meet new people with like-minded ideals and interests. There’s already a common reason to why you’ve all come to the retreat. You’ll have interesting conversations and an opportunities to share thoughts on yoga, meditation and spirituality in whatever form you’re comfortable with – retreats are designed to be inclusive and nurturing with openness and compassion being one of the main goals. You might leave with a new perspective, new habits, mindfulness, as well as a handful of new friends.
- You deserve the time-out – it’s a gift to yourself, a few days for you to pause. It’s human nature to want to be the best version of yourself, a retreat specifically with yoga allows the space you need to observe what this version is at present and how you would like it to be formed in the future. You have the chance to feel your physical body and listen to your mind.“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.” ~ by RumiA huge thanks to The Yoga Room team for the wonderful, well run and beautiful retreat with Nora – looking forward to the next one..
Leave your comments: Have you been on a retreat? Do you practise yoga? Need any more info? I’m love to hear from you.