by Tracee Stanley
I have been leading international yoga retreats for over 10 years and each time I notice the same thing. People come together with a group of strangers- stressed, tired and needing a vacation. On day one as the deep breathing and yoga begins, the layers begin to peel away as everyone begins to leave behind thoughts of their daily lives, mundane tasks and stresses. Day by day I can sense their bodies and minds becoming more and more relaxed. And by the end of the retreat a transformation has occurred for us all.
Here’s my list of why you should not hesitate to book your first (or next) yoga retreat:
1.You meet new people who share similar interests and love of yoga as much as you do. Communing with like-minded souls is said to sustain our spiritual life. In some traditions of yoga it is said that if we can do nothing else towards our practice we should cultivate sangha.
2.We let go of “doing”. We can drop the masks and responsibility of everyday life and reconnect with what is true for us in the moment.
3.You will have new experiences like hiking up volcano’s, eating local cuisine and exploring new cultures. You will be outside of your “normal” and you will feel alive!
4.You begin to tap into the flow and pulse of life in an organic way and soon you are listening to our own inner teacher with the answers to life’s questions coming so much more easily.
5.You spontaneously wake up to greet the day without 3 cups of coffee, feeling refreshed and energized. You may even find yourself getting up and meditating before sunrise.
6.By day three there usually is vibrance, a radiance that begins to emerge. I call it “the glow”. The glow comes from being in nature, eating fresh local food, being away from TV, media and our daily mudra of texting, emailing and posting our every move. It also comes from the friction that comes from deep practice. We begin to let go, see more clearly and we begin to shine from the inside out.
7.You shift towards becoming more in tune with yourself and with the people around you. You can sense who needs a hug and who wants to be left alone. And you take none of it personally.
8.Before long you are sharing with once strangers as you would with a sister or closest friend. You realize that we are more alike than different
9.Once you return home your friends notice your “glow” they see it in your smile, your skin and the light reflected in your eyes. You have gained a sense of ease. You inspire friends to practice self care or even take a yoga class.
10.You have connected deeply with yourself and others in a way that can only be felt in the heart. And you know that no matter what you want to return to that place. It doesn’t require you getting on plane though, just you getting on your mat. But sometimes we need to take a journey to remind us that all we need is already here.
For more information about retreats with Tracee click here
pictures courtesy of BaliWellness and Tracee Stanley