Are you curious about joining your first yoga retreat but not sure what to expect? In which case, read on...
Joining a yoga retreat can be a truly precious gift to yourself - an opportunity to immerse yourself in a sustained period of practice and a way to deepen your understanding of yoga, no matter what your previous level of experience has been.
But if you're newer to yoga and you've not been on retreat before then I'm conscious that it can perhaps seem a little daunting to take that first step. I well remember feeling the exact same way...
Will you be surrounded by elite level 'gymnast-yogis' with the teacher exhorting them to wrap themselves into ever more exotic contortions? Do you have to be able to do a handstand? Will you be hit with a stick if you inadvertently slouch during meditation?
The answer to all of these questions is a definitive no...at least not on my retreats!
My intention for running retreats is to leave all participants feeling more centred and grounded at the end of our time together...more connected to their practice, more connected to their bodies and breath. And perhaps more connected to a sense of inner stillness.
We will of course deep-dive into the postural aspects of the practice, but with the greater time afforded to us we'll also have time to explore pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation and other forms of mindful movement such as qigong.
There will be time for open discussion about different aspects of the practice (philosophy, anatomy etc.) and time too for relaxation...to read, write, sleep or explore the surrounding countryside as you see fit - an increasing rarity in this day and age.
Another wonderful aspect of retreats is the opportunity to spend time in a transformative space with like minded yogis and to forge new friendships. Many people who I consider to be amongst my very best friends are people who I first met on a yoga retreat.
And at the risk of over-promising, it's amazing how taking time out to pause and find stillness often opens up the space for us to connect to our sense of creativity, vision and purpose.
In fact it was whilst on retreat with one of my own teachers that I decided I wanted to spend my life teaching yoga and meditation to others...who knows what might open up for you?