Going on retreat is a concept as old as the hills. Back in the days when women were considered ‘unclean’ when they were menstruating, they would spend some time alone in the forest. Whilst it comes across as a negative, some say it was for the benefit of the woman. Going through such a process of renewal is a strong energetic & physical change where a woman should be able to tap into the natural energy around her and connect with a deeper feminine energy.
As you shed the old, do you want other people’s expectations, needs and niggles on you or can you for once let go and honour your self and your needs?
Now we rarely take the time to have these moments of peace and quiet. Our eternally busy lives have us spinning numerous plates, constantly fearful we’re going to let one crash to the ground. We’ve lost our ability to be at one with nature, at one with ourselves.
The continued growing popularity in physical practices like yoga in its many, varied forms, mental practices like meditation and healing practices like massage and plant based nutrition, express a desire to repair the balance. To go from one extreme to another in order to find our way back to homeostasis in the middle or just to learn how to live mindfully amongst our busy lives.
Taking yourself on retreat is an important part of a yoga teacher’s self practice and something we should do at least once a year. It’s something everybody should do. If you lack the knowledge and ability to put yourself on retreat or just yearn for the simplicity of slipping into somebody else making the decisions for you, then absolutely positively go on a yoga retreat!
There are many to choose from and sometimes this can be overwhelming… Where to start?! If you don’t have a preferred teacher who runs retreats but do have a teacher you trust, ask them! They probably have some teachers they would recommend. Otherwise start with the style of yoga you prefer or even just choose by destination! There are many retreats in Europe and further afield, do you want to retreat in the uk, in Turkey, France, Greece or El Salvador (coming soon!). You will feel amazing from the experience itself but maybe you want to combine if with a bigger trip, some other experiences or other activities – I once planned to run a retreat combining yoga and shamanic practice with exploring the brazilian marshland/Pantanal, and will soon be running yoga/surf retreats in El Salvador.
For now my recommended list of retreats and teachers to retreat with would be:
Jenny Box’s Tilton house retreat in Sussex from 18th – 20th July. A blend of iyengar, yin & classic Hatha yoga with a focus on nutrition and eating for health.
Daniel Gelblum’s Feldenkrais Yoga retreat in Llandudno, Wales from 1st – 4th august:
Alaric Newcombe, teacher of teachers, iyengar yoga retreat in Le Tordoun, Provence, France from the 17th – 24th august:
Catherine Annis’s Scaravelli inspired teaching in Turkey from 1-8th and 8-15th September:
Hatha Yoga and surfing retreats in the beautiful Eco resort la tortuga Verde, El cuco, El Salvador with Emma Batchelor & Rory O’Sullivan where you can release a few baby turtles into the sea. 2015 dates coming soon: