03 Mar 11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Retreat
I’m delighted to welcome Sunshine + Glow blogger Inma to the Shine Blog in this guest post. Inma is a travel loving yogini whose beautiful blog is packed full of inspiration and ideas for a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. She has joined Shine Yoga retreats in Cornwall, Spain and Bali so if there were such a thing as a yoga retreat expert she would be one!
If you are going on a yoga retreat or in fact any type of holiday or travel experience Inma’s inspired suggestions will help you to make it even more special. Once you’ve read Inma’s ideas we’d love to hear from you. Comment at the bottom of the page and let us know your tips for really making the most of a yoga retreat or holiday.
11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Retreat
Before your yoga retreat
PACKING: KEEP IT SIMPLE
You will find yourself in leggings and a tee most of the time, so don’t fill your suitcase with a million clothes that you will bring back home unworn. As well as those I usually bring a warm jumper, a handful of other things for the day and a pretty top or dress for going out for dinner one evening. I bring a small bottle of soap to hand wash my clothes and this helps me bring fewer clothes.
My other essentials are a notebook, pen, my kindle and my camera. Lastly, I always take something smelly that I’ve not used before (last time I took The Body Shop’s coconut body butter). That way when I get back home, every time I use it, it reminds me of the retreat.
Your travel time is a great opportunity to transition from “normal” life to the retreat. I usually like to arrive the day before so that I don’t arrive stressed out by traffic or late flights. It also gives me the chance to explore the local area a little bit. During this time I start gradually switching off from social media and start reading more.
Once I arrive at the retreat, I like to take a few moments to get ready. Everyone is different but I like to take a shower, take my make up off and spend a few minutes thinking about what I would like to get out of the retreat and write them down on my notebook.
during your yoga retreat
In your day to day life you probably go at a million miles an hour, ticking things off your long to do list. Make the most of this opportunity to go at a slower pace, have a nap if you need to, go for a walk or a swim, spend an afternoon reading in the shade, have an early night. Indulge and recharge.
DISCONNECT FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Only a year ago I would have suggested not to go on social media at all, but it is such a big part of our lives that it is really hard to go cold turkey now. There are so many incredible views and food that you will want to post it all on Instagram. but when I do I end up checking how many likes it has! What I try to do now is find some balance, try not to keep up with what everyone else is doing, only post a few pics and leave my phone behind as much as possible.
GET TO KNOW SOME AMAZING PEOPLE
Yoga retreats tend to attract lovely people. You will find yourself laughing at dinner, hanging around the table after breakfast, going on hikes and lounging by the pool with some people that have similar values to you and yet have gone through different experiences. I have made some amazing friends that I am regularly in touch with.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL EMOTIONS
When you are practicing so much yoga, lots of things happen in your body. You will most likely release some tension and might feel a bit emotional or off at some point. Know it is ok and that you are releasing and making room for better things.
WRITE A JOURNAL
I always like to bring a notebook where I try to write most days about what’re have done, how I feel after class, things I want to do when I am back at home, etc.
after your yoga retreat
STAY IN TOUCH
Swap numbers with your new friends and stay in touch. I have met some lovely like minded yogis and I love having a chat with them or even meeting up during the year.
SWITCH UP YOUR PRACTICE
Find an extra class, or a new one. Develop your home practice. You will come back feeling so strong and amazing that you will feel like you want to practice every day forever! I always spend a few weeks obsessed about inversions and end up trying at home for hours each day!
MAKE TIME TO ENJOY YOUR NEW DISCOVERIES
You will probably end up with a long list of books, tv shows, blogs, podcasts… Make some time to read, watch or listen to what sounded really interesting. Try to recreate some of your favourite dishes from the retreat. Over time some of them have become my staples: Jen’s bircher muesli and raw brownies, Karen’s mango and rocket salad and Natalie’s Thai watermelon salad.
And above it all, just enjoy the amazing feeling you have after a week of daily yoga! 🙂
What are your top tips for getting the most out of a yoga retreat or holiday? Comment below – we’d love to know.
Inma was born in Spain, where she lived until she graduated from university and moved to Oxford, the place she calls home now. Living healthily, learning and exploring new things is what makes her get up in the morning. Inma is always listening to podcasts, checking out new recipes, books, a new place to go to… She has a curious mind and discovering new things makes her very happy, as does sharing them with everyone she knows. She started her blog Sunshine + Glow in December 2014 to inspire people to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life.