It was 2004 and I was planning a trip to India. I had been there before with the sole purpose of studying Ashtanga with the founder, Pattabhi Jois, and had wrapped the trip up with some heavenly beach time in Goa. But there were things that I was drawn to doing that I hadn’t had the time to do on the first trip. I had read and heard tales of ashram (spiritual communities) life and stories of living in residence where all your day’s activities revolve around meditation/devotion/service/yoga. I was curious about what it would be like to only focus on yoga and meditation without the distractions of life getting in the way. I registered for a week’s stay at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala which involved lots of yoga, breathwork, chanting and meditation and then a Goenka meditation retreat in Bangalore which had us doing nothing but sitting, walking and eating all in silence.
Let me tell you there is nothing that prepares you for the shifts that happen when you do more yoga, breathwork and meditation than you ever have done in your entire life. Physical, mental and emotional stuck places reveal themselves to be healed and you have the opportunity to get real acquainted with the clearest part of yourself.
The reasons people are drawn to stepping outside their lives and deepening their practice are many. Sometimes it’s a longing to know more about yoga than a 1-3 times per week class allows, sometimes students need a break from the busyness of life and need a re-immersion into self care. Whatever the reason for going on retreat, it’s sure to be revelatory and good medicine.
I believe so much in the value of taking a time out of one’s life that I organized my Yoga Lifestyle Retreats loosely around a schedule where participants have the option to dive as deeply into yoga, breathwork and meditation as they are called to do. Each day there are two yoga classes (one more dynamic, the other gentler) and two meditation/breathwork sessions and this year a discussion session around the day’s theme.
Here are some comments about the Yoga Lifestyle Retreat from past participants:
“This was an amazing life experience! I am leaving physically/spiritually stronger; more peaceful and insightful.”
“What a completely amazing experience… a springboard to launch us on our own experiences.”
“It was a new, fabulous experience. Just to have the time and space to really tap into my inner self was the most beneficial thing of this week for me.”
If you are ready or needing a retreat this year, join me in Sayulita, Mexico Dec 5-12/14. Details are here.
Reduced rate applies till Aug 31.