Radically Reset with a Yoga Retreat

Radically Reset with a Yoga Retreat

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Is it time for a time out? Our yoga expert explains how two upcoming yoga retreats can give you the reset you’re looking for.

A yoga retreat in Bali. Photo
A yoga retreat in Bali. Photographer: Rachel Roberts; Rights: The Yoga Bar

The western life is considered by many to be among the busiest in the world. We try to cram as much as possible into the course of a day, constantly expecting more of ourselves and constantly falling short. If we could just make more time for our family. For our kids. For our health. For our friends. For our schools. For community involvement. For volunteering.

Stop. You don’t need more. You need to breathe.

For those who are really burning the candle at both ends, perhaps it’s time to consider a time out.  A yoga retreat is just the sort of radical disconnect that we need from time to time in order to focus on our inner selves and realign with what is most important to us. To release the expectations that we have of what we should be doing with our moments, that add up to hours, that add up to our days. To release all of the roles that are no longer serving us. To surrender.

But, surrender is really hard. Especially for those of us who over-schedule, over-commit, and have high personal expectations. So, for those of you who are interested but want to know more, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about yoga retreats.

What do you do on a retreat?

Retreats are about taking some time for yourself, getting away from your regular routine, and indulging in a little TLC. On a yoga retreat, you’ll typically do several yoga practices each day, meditation, self-reflection, and journaling. Depending on the retreat location, there may be some little indulgences as well — spa treatments and light hiking are popular examples.

Do I need to be a yoga expert?

Definitely not! Just like a studio class, retreats are designed to meet you where you are. Anyone from a beginner to a certified Ashtangi can come and delve deeper into their own yoga practice on retreat.

How much yoga are we talking about, exactly?

At Bija Retreats, we do two practices a day — an active, vinyasa practice in the morning and a peaceful or restorative practice in the evening. Expect something like a vinyasa flow class in the morning, and a Yin or Restorative Flow in the evening. Most yoga retreats are like this, and if it’s not, it will be clearly stated in the retreat description. 

What should I bring with me?

Your yoga mat, if you have one. A journal and pen. Clothes that allow you to be comfortable and move freely in yoga practice. Clothes appropriate to explore the retreat location, if you choose to do so. For example, you might want hiking shoes in Hocking Hills, or a bathing suit in Tulum.

Will I starve? Is this a cleanse?

You will definitely not starve, and no one’s trying to trick you into a cleanse. A retreat that involves cleansing or fasting will be explicitly stated and described.

Unless otherwise stated, you can plan on 3 healthy, organic meals each day of the retreat and some limited snacks. Many yoga practitioners choose to follow plant-based diets, so retreat fare may be vegan or vegetarian. Yogis are no stranger to unique dietary needs, and the retreat leader will be happy to accommodate yours with advanced notice. Just be sure to speak up early!

I’m coming by myself. Do I have to share a room with a stranger?

Only if you want to! Typically, retreat fees show the room occupancy – one price for a double-occupancy, another price for dorm-style. You can always inquire about the cost of a private room. Or maybe recruit a friend to come with you!

Do I have to participate in everything?

Nope. While activities are planned to assist you in the self-reflection process of the retreat, you are always welcome to go on your own journey. Most retreat leaders will simply ask that you honor the individual journeys of others as well and refrain from disrupting the retreat atmosphere.

Ready to go? Find more information about The Yoga Bar’s 2016 retreats to Hocking Hills, Ohio and the Mayan Riviera here.

The goal of any retreat is to give you a comfortable space to go deeply within. We will try to accommodate any and all reasonable requests to assist you on your journey. If you have any additional questions about retreats through the Yoga Bar, please ask us!

Amy Thornley
Amy Thornley is a writer, yogini, baker, and Content Manager of The Yoga Bar. Amy found yoga in 2001 and from the first moments of deep breathing and guided meditation, her mind and heart were blown wide open. After studying in various cities, Amy finally found her home at the Yoga Bar, completing her 200-hour teacher certification with the Bija Yoga School in 2014. She teaches regularly around town, sharing her kind heart and radiating love in each one of her beautifully led classes. Amy also earned a Bachelor’s of Art in English Literature from the Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has now settled happily in Prospect Hill with her husband and fur family. Contact her at amythornley@gmail.com.