You might have heard about a Yoga retreat and wondered if it is for you.
Perhaps you are not sure whether it would be too spartan? You are thinking
‘Will I have to start the day at 5am?’
‘Will the place have decent amenities?’
And worse, you are wondering whether you will have access to a decent coffee!! (If so, you’ll have nothing to worry about with ACCY’s upcoming retreat to Mission beach)
Or maybe you think you are not experienced enough at Yoga and Meditation to attend such a retreat. Something has piqued your interest, but not sure whether you are good enough or fit enough yet to commit to everything on offer. And you are wondering whether you will get any free time. (Also no problem with these issues on our Mission Beach retreat, we have always catered to a variety of ages, and stages of Yoga)
I thought I’d share my observations and experience on attending (and sometimes helping to run) many Yoga retreats over more than 10 years. This includes the ACCY retreats to Mission Beach but also retreats in France, Byron Bay, India, Tasmania and other parts of Victoria.
My experience is that the time on retreat has allowed me to focus more completely on my Yoga and Meditation practice, and I have had some of my most powerful meditation experiences. Perhaps the discipline of 2 hours Meditation each day – an hour at sunrise and an hour at sunset (on ACCY retreats) – has enabled a mental slowing down and allowed my inner exploration.
I love settling in to the rhythm of nature, the discipline of group Meditation as the sun rises and sets, living in the rainforest (at Mission Beach), hearing the sounds, seeing the sights, smelling the smells.
I love the relaxed pace and not being attached to electronic devices. I love being away from the daily responsibilities, and how that leaves time to explore and focus. Not having to get back to the daily grind makes it a complete break. (While the Mission Beach retreat has a lot on offer, the pace is leisurely and there are lots of breaks.)
I love the daily asana practice and beach and rainforest walks – somehow I emerge from retreat feeling strong and yet rested. Asana practice on retreat is usually a more vigorous practice in the morning and a restorative or meditative practice later in the afternoon. There are always enough options to suit beginners as well as more experienced practitioners.
I love the access to Yoga wisdom from teachers such as Swami Shantananda. If you want to ask questions and delve further you can, or you can just let it wash over you.
Maybe you have thought ‘Wow that looks great, I must get around to that sometime.’ But the time has never been quite right. I have never met anyone who has regretted going on a yoga retreat! And not only not regretted it, it is much more likely one of the best things you ever do for yourself.
Thinking about going on a Yoga retreat? My advice to you is to GO!!