Top 5 Benefits You’ll Reap from Going on a Yoga Retreat
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Been thinking of going on a yoga retreat but not convinced it’ll be worth the investment of your time and money?
Rest assured, you’re not alone – it took me some time to finally take that leap of faith too! That said, having had experienced it firsthand, I’m happy to share that it’s certainly is a worthwhile experience.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned practitioner, there’s an abundance of benefits that you can reap from going on a yoga retreat.
Curious to find out what they are? Here’s a list of the top advantages of a yoga retreat that will have you packing your bag in no time!
Disconnect & reflect
In this golden age of technology, most of us find ourselves glued to some sort of screen multiple hours a day. The hustle and bustle of modern life that comes with a full plate of tasks & responsibilities has also made it challenging for us to set aside much needed quality time for ourselves. As a result, many of us are feeling stressed and burnt out.
While you won’t be mandated to put away your gadgets during a retreat, you’ll find that it will be much easier for you to do so. During my yoga retreat in Bali, I noticed that all the participants, myself included, would only pick up their smartphones to ocassionally check messages and take photos.
The serene ambiance of the retreat made it much easier for us to stay in the moment and truly be present through out the experience.
Free time were spent taking a leisurely stroll at the beach, reading a good book, taking a restorative nap, and/or having wonderful conversations and connecting with other participants on a deeper level.
Unless you have signed up for a yoga teacher training, where you need to stick to a rigid schedule, most retreats are quite flexible so you’ll be able to opt out an activity or two for some rest and reflection instead.
Deepen your yoga practice & knowledge
This is may be a no brainer but going on a yoga retreat really will elevate your practice and knowledge to new heights.
Most yoga retreats will have at least a daily yoga session lasting from one to several hours each.
If you happen to just beginning your yoga journey, a yoga retreat can help you to instill a routine, making it easier for you to maintain your practice well after the retreat is over.
A yoga retreat also offers ample opportunities for you to ask questions to your instructor as well as get the extra support you need should there be particular asanas you’d like to tackle but have been afraid of trying it out yourself. Headstands – anyone?
Are you years into your practice but have yet to try out a retreat? For intermediate and advanced practitioners, a yoga retreat can be an opportunity to further expand your knowledge of yoga as well as its various aspects such as pranayama, ayurveda, and much more.
You may also be considering teaching yoga and wondering whether it is the right path for you. A yoga retreat provides the opportunity for you to not only discuss this possibility with your instructor, it may also show you once and for all whether a yoga teacher is what you’re really meant to be!
Step outside of your comfort zone
One of the best things about going on a yoga retreat is that it helps you to step out of your comfort zone. Are you usually shy and find it difficult to make friends? Never traveled solo before? You’d be happy to hear that while there are many who choose to go on a retreat with their significant other, sibiling, or friends, most people opt to go by themselves!
While there are various reasons behind their decision, often times, it’s because they wanted to show themselves that they can travel alone, do something new, and have an amazing time. By doing something that they’ve never done before, they empower and allow themselves to be more open to new people and more new experiences.
In addition to daily yoga sessions, your yoga retreat may include a wealth of activities to choose from including meditation, surfing, and even martial arts. On my recent retreat, we did everything from learning how to make coconut (cooking) oil from scratch to having a swing high above Bali’s lush paddy fields!
So, if there’s an activity that you’ve been aching to try, be sure to book a retreat that includes it in its package. You’ll definitely thank yourself for it.
Improve your health
Regardless of the duration the yoga retreat, you’ll have the opportunity to use it as a way to improve your physical and mental health.
If you lead a particularly sedentary lifestyle, a yoga retreat would definitely make a refreshing change as likely to be more physically active than you are back home. Having at least a yoga session each day will offer a regular dose of physical exercise that your body needs.
Moreover, it is likely that the food you’ll be consuming at a yoga retreat will be more balanced and healthier than what you would usually consume on a daily basis.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Unfortunately, many people fail to see this as mental health is not necessarily something we can see.
As a yoga retreat usually take place in a peaceful and distraction free environment, it allows you to slow down and learn to be more mindful as you go through life. It offers you time to hit ‘pause’ on your life and leave your worries and burdens behind – even for a little while.
Meditation, which often wraps up the yoga sessions, can be a powerful tool to quiet the mind and help you to handle challenges or issues in a more mindful and ‘softer’ way.
By doing so, you can help to minimize stress and anxieties that can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
Make likeminded friends
One of my most favorite things about having gone on a yoga retreat to is the people that I was able to meet and make friends with.
Though we came from all corners of the globes and were raised with different beliefs and ideologies, we were all drawn to the same thing that brought us together – the yoga retreat. It acts as a magnet in bringing likeminded minds together. In less than a week, we were able to spend quality time together and get to know each other even more than some of our friends back home!
After the retreat, we’ve kept in touch and even promised to keep each other updated of travel plans to see if our paths will cross again in the future.
If you’ve been wanting to make new friends that quite possibly be your friends for life, I can vouch that a yoga retreat is a great place to do so!
Been wanting to go on a yoga retreat but haven’t got much time? Why not sign yourself up for a weekend or short yoga retreat?