The health benefits of practising yoga have long been established, and recently there’s been a surge in popularity for taking those weekly sessions one step further; by getting away from the stresses of everyday life by embarking on a longer-term yoga retreat.
Yoga retreats happen all over the world, so you can make sure to pick out the one that really suits you, your schedule, and your budget. If you’re looking for a longer break to really delve deep into your meditative practice, consider travelling to Africa or Thailand. Or if you’re on a tight schedule and you need a quick fix, there are also options closer to home, with a long weekend spent in the British countryside.
If you’re a seasoned practitioner looking to expand your skills and knowledge, a retreat could be the perfect opportunity to focus your energies and learning without the distractions of your busy home life. You’ll practice yoga every day under the supervision of a supportive and knowledgeable instructor, learning new positions, surrounding yourself with positive energy, and providing you with a deep sense of peace and wellbeing. No doubt you will return home feeling completely refreshed and reinvigorated. The benefits of yoga retreats are truly remarkable.
Improving physical and mental health
he NHS promotes yoga as a treatment for a range of symptoms, both physical and mental. It has been shown to lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression, stabilise moods, improve sleep, and reduce stress. Some practitioners claim it has increased their self-confidence as they form a better connection between body and mind, improving their posture and alignment. It is also often prescribed as part of a course of physical therapy, as it helps to build muscle strength, tone, and flexibility, and has been shown to reduce joint paint and prevent back pain.
Developing a greater understanding of your yoga practice
Even if you’ve been practising yoga for many years, you can still gain additional benefit from joining a retreat. Working with a different instructor, having the opportunity to spend time with them one-on-one, and discussing your practice with them in depth, could reap extraordinary rewards for moving forward with a deeper understanding of your mind-body-soul connection. You may also be interested in trying out a different type of yoga practice to focus your energy in a different area. A retreat also gives you the opportunity to practice deeper meditation and mindfulness exercises, working through fears, letting go of worries, and embracing positivity and calm.
Making new friends
Whilst on retreat, you’ll be surrounded with like-minded people from all walks of life, and long-lasting friendships can blossom. You may discover new perspectives on the world, experience different cultures, or just meet someone who inspires you or teaches you something new. There’s also time to be alone and focus on yourself; you may learn new self-care exercises, meditations to help you relax and re-evaluate, and concentrate on your own personal wellness. However you decide to spend your time, you can rest assured you will be supported in a safe and positive environment.
Getting away from it all
Sometimes a change of scenery can help reduce stress and worries, and really help you to centre yourself, as you shift your focus away from your everyday life. Some people choose to go completely “off-grid” when embarking on a yoga retreat, disconnecting from all their digital devices, and ensuring they can focus fully on their own wellbeing for the duration of their stay. A retreat is unlike any other holiday, in that it brings the focus right down to the individual, and takes away the need for any additional holiday-planning or itinerary-making, leaving you free to enjoy the beautiful surroundings at your own pace.
Transforming your outlook
Transformational travel is the next step from experiential travel, and is about learning something from your experiences that you can continue to use and develop in your home life when you return. A yoga retreat is a typical way to achieve the three core aspects of transformational travel – the opportunity for mindfulness, a physical, cultural, or spiritual experience, and a chance to reflect and focus on personal growth. You may return with new perspectives on your work-life balance, your approach to healthy eating, or simply with the resolve to incorporate more exercise, meditation, or self-care into your daily life.
This is a collaborative post.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.