Reconnect, restore and reset your life with a yoga retreat
Ever wondered if a yoga retreat is for you?
Or curious why someone would choose a yoga retreat over a conventional holiday experience?
I’ll share with you my top 8 reasons why a yoga retreat can be a powerful catalyst for change and healing in your life.
1. Enjoy time out for YOU – do you remember what that feels like?
When did you last take some time out for yourself? I’m not talking about getting a massage or your hair done. I mean, when did you last take the time to listen to your body and be still in the silence of nature, while being fully supported? If the answer is you can’t remember then keep reading. (And if the answer is recently, then great! You can keep reading too.)
Often a conventional holiday is all about the ‘doing’. When we go on a holiday we often pack our itineraries with sightseeing and rarely get the downtime to simply be and recharge.
A yoga retreat, on the other hand, is all about being still enough to listen, while we move and breathe in a way that connects us with your body enough to remember, ‘ahh this feels good for me’.
Yoga retreats encourage us to step away from the stress of our everyday life and direct our focus inwards, where we can set powerful intentions and gain clarity by listening to what is waiting for our undivided attention.
Despite the powerful transformations that happen when we take time out for ourselves I still see people hesitating, with the biggest hurdles often around things like time away from family and investing the money. (Even though we often don’t think twice when it comes to spending money on a loved one, or on those shoes we wear once or twice in our life!)
A retreat is the perfect opportunity to fill your own cup, so you can more easily give to others and show up as a healthy example of self-care too.
2. Immerse yourself in deep rest – what does this really mean?
The art of deep rest is something I’ve been focusing on a lot in my personal life over the last few months. I thought I knew how to rest. After all, I’ve been a yoga practitioner for over 15 years. I know all about restorative poses and breathing practices to calm the mind and body, but true rest takes your practice to a deeper level.
When we take time out from our everyday routines and responsibilities and immerse ourselves in a supportive environment — where we unplug together — we get to experience a deeper kind of relaxation that stills our mind and helps us to connect to ourselves and our inner world.
3. Find a connection with like-minded people – this is a bonus!
Whether you go on retreat solo or with a friend, or two, there’s something empowering about like-minded people coming together to create a conscious community experience– this is exactly what happens on a yoga retreat.
I like to be on my own to retreat – even in a group setting. Over the years, however, I’ve realised this was part of me hiding. Until I let go and let myself experience a group retreat (as they’re designed) I came to understand the importance of sangha.
In yoga, sangha, or community, is an important part of spiritual growth. In a sangha, everyone shares gratitude and creates a safe space to explore and overcome fears about stepping out of our comfort zone.
4. Disrupt patterns and break the endless cycles – Yes, you can!
With the careful guidance of an experienced yoga teacher, a retreat can be a powerful catalyst to bust the habits that are no longer serving you.
Yoga, as a practice, is a pattern disruptor and helps you see yourself clearly. I often say, ‘yoga is like getting a hand mirror and holding it up in front of you — there’s nowhere to hide.’
Habits like too much social media, mindless eating, listening to the endless critic in your mind, or consuming the daily wines to wind down are patterns of behaviour that, when on a yoga retreat, we start to recognise as ways we escape, numb or disconnect. We then start to breakdown these unhealthy patterns and replace them by building new patterns of behaviour.
The healthy daily routine you experience on retreat helps set the framework for these new ways of being. And you start to feel into more of what serves your transformation and what doesn’t.
In fact, the moment you act towards taking better care of yourself the transformation is already in process. What you learn on retreat is the beginning of healthy ways of being in the world, which you can continue when you return home.
5. Build resilience by going outside your comfort zone – you won’t know unless you give it a go
This one might sound scary, but trust me, exploring life outside your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Life always offers us uncomfortable situations, which can be powerful opportunities for growth and expansion. And yoga is the perfect way to develop a sense of comfort (or ease) in those uncomfortable moments – this is the gift of grace.
On a retreat, you’re taken out of your comfort zone — your regular routine, surroundings and even regular distractions, like social media — and get to enjoy a new routine in a new environment and with a supportive teacher to guide your way.
The mere thought of getting out of your ‘comfort zone’ could make you feel uneasy, but when we get honest with ourselves we know that each time we’ve dared to take that step we’ve reaped many rewards.
In fact, we’re the sole owners of how much we get out of a retreat, which relies on how much you immerse yourself. Getting the most from a retreat means arriving prepared to expand your mind and let go of the load on your shoulders.
6. Deep seasonal nourishment – the Ayurvedic way
According to Ayurveda foods can help to rejuvenate and regenerate, based on the current season and place you live. When you think of nourishment, a yoga retreat goes deeper than just delicious, wholesome food.
Yes, you get to enjoy nourishing food, but you also get to understand how the season affects us, our bodies and our mind. The holistic nourishment you experience on a retreat leaves you feeling refreshed on a deeper level and inspired to make better choices.
7. Magic and miracles happen
I’ve been facilitating yoga retreats for over 10 years. Whether here in Australia, or internationally, I’m always in awe of the transformation that happens for the participants who come along to my retreats.
There is a grace to change that when embraced can leave you feeling whole and deeper in love with yourself.
As a retreat facilitator, I’ve witnessed the moment a participant feels the ‘penny drop’ or experiences an ‘aha’ moment. This magic illustrates what can happen with the power of having an intention, commitment and actions in alignment, also known as flow.
8. Return ‘home’ and feel a true inner connection
On a retreat, we find stillness and space to sit and discover what inner wisdom is waiting to be heard.
Showing up, doing the practice and trusting the process allows us to see what we’ve been denying or ignoring within us. We then have the chance to re-awaken the connection with our wholesome Self, who has, of course, been there all along.
With this kind of inner connection and transformation, people find themselves leaving a retreat feeling rejuvenated, replenished and restored.
Written By Romina Di Federico
Romina Di Federico is an internationally accredited Yoga and Meditation teacher and is recognised and respected as one of Yoga Australia’s senior yoga teachers. Romina has been practicing yoga for the past 20 years and has been teaching since 2004.
For Romina’s retreat schedule check her upcoming retreat offerings.