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Running My First Yoga Retreat

by Amy Bramble

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Just a couple of months ago, I returned home after running my first ever yoga retreat weekend in Suffolk, England.

I’ve been teaching yoga for four years now and in many ways it seemed like a natural next step to offer a weekend of yoga and relaxation to some of my lovely yoga students at some point. This is how it went:

The adventure began last spring when I tentatively posted on my Facebook page, asking my students how they felt about me offering a full weekend retreat in the deepest depths of the Suffolk countryside.

I was amazed at the positive response and thrilled that just a few days later, I had 12 people all signed up and ready to go off on our first ever yoga adventure together. Wow! Everything seemed to be falling into place and encouraging me to set off on this new path.

As it was the first weekend I was running, I was also pleased that everyone who signed up was a familiar face and a regular student.  They were all people who I both know well and I am very fond of.  Just as important perhaps was that they know my style of teaching and what they might be able to expect. 

That, however, did not mean that I didn’t experience some degree of nervousness as the months passed by and the date of the weekend grew closer. 

I’m someone who loves to plan these kind of things. In my friendship circle, I’m often the one who arranges the cottage holiday weekend breaks for us all and whenever there’s a milestone birthday or anniversary, I’m gathering all of our friends and family to share in the celebrations together.

So, in many ways, this was all stuff that completely fell in my comfort zone. Gathering like-minded people in one place to share a special experience in a beautiful space with beautiful food  —except this time with yoga— is one of things I hold most dear to my heart. It’s something I take very seriously indeed. And whilst I care deeply about each every one of the people who were joining, I was also aware of the fact that they are yoga students rather than family members or friends I had known since my childhood. I really wanted to get the weekend right for us all.

There were so many things I hoped would go well:

  • Would the weather hold and enable us to get down the country lanes without being blocked by snow?
  • How would the meat eaters amongst the group cope with a vegetarian diet for the weekend? (I knew this was a concern for at least one or two in the group).
  • Would people be pleased with the accommodation, their rooms and their roommate for the two days?
  • Had I included enough yoga practice and enough room to rest?
  • How would it all flow over the next couple of days? 
  • And what would they make of the storyteller I’d booked as a surprise on the Saturday night?

Turned out I had nothing to worry about. The venue (Potash Barns in Suffolk) was perfect and our hosts looked after us beautifully and fed us very well. The weather was cold (as to be expected at that time of the year) but dry and bright most of the time (and it didn’t snow!).  Everyone got on like a house on fire with a really special bond being created by each and every one of us as we shared our first weekend together, and everyone loved the storyteller! I was really pleased with the yoga practices I chose to teach and our theme of “Letting go of perfection” worked brilliantly. 

We all left with huge smiles and warm hearts (and full bellies) as we set off back home on the Sunday afternoon.

I can’t wait ‘til the next one...

Read more from Amy on http://amybrambleyoga.blogspot.com.

Thanks for reading this post! Longing for your first yoga retreat ever? We have holidays for all levels. Click here for the biggest offering of yoga-focused travel and training courses available on the web!

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