Yay, you’ve booked your first yoga retreat! But maybe you’re feeling a little apprehensive or anxious. Don’t worry, I think that is a totally normal reaction, especially if you’re going on a retreat with a teacher you don’t know or to an unfamiliar destination. As a retreat organizer this is what you can expect from your first yoga retreat:
- You’ll do yoga… and probably lots of it. From my experience you will do a minimum of two hours of asana practice a day and possibly up to four hours for a typical yoga retreat. If you’re attending an asana intensive retreat then plan on doing even more…. with that said 1/2 of your asana practice will most likely be of a gentler or more restorative variety.
- You will be challenged… on your mat and off of your mat. It’s inevitable. New location, new people, new food, new routines and possibly a new teacher. Know that you’re being blessed with the opportunity to truly focus on your yoga practice (you may become frustrated and you may come right up to your physical/mental/ emotional threshold… that’s okay). You will have the opportunity to practice with absolute self love and to practice patience with yourself. And don’t worry you will have lots of fun too.
“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- You will make life-long friends. Each retreat new friendships are made and that is one of my favorite parts about hosting yoga retreats. There is a certain magic about getting a bunch of like-minded people together to do what they love in a beautiful location. Barriers begin to fall and true friendships are created. The friends you meet during your first yoga retreat may just end up being your best retreat-ing buddies
- Book that extra massage, colonic, cleanse, surf lesson. You only live once. You won’t regret doing it, but you’ll most likely regret not taking advantage of the opportunity. On my last trip to Bali I booked at least two massages a week and my body never felt better (I was also eating a plant based diet, not drinking alcohol, and doing 3+ hours of yoga each day). My first trip to Bali I had ZERO massages…. and I was kicking myself for it.
- Your body, mind and soul will be rejuvenated. When you return home you will feel refreshed. You will notice it and everyone else will notice it too… your partner, your coworkers, your employers, and your fellow yogis. Carry your bliss with you as long as you can.
- You’ll immediately start looking to book your second retreat. This I always laugh about, but it’s true. You won’t want to leave and you will immediately want to do it all over again. And why not? I think we absolutely deserve a week (or more) of indulgent self-care at least once year.
- Relax, You’re in good hands. You’ll love it. Have fun. Roll with the punches. Enjoy having someone else take care of all the planning so you can focus on celebrating this life you’ve been given.
Love and Light,