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Yoga Retreats For A Deeper Spiritual Journey

Updated on January 9, 2016

Yoga Holiday retreat Burren Yoga Centre Ireland

About Yoga Retreats

Typically, a yoga session lasts between 1 or 2 hours, depending on the intensity of your workout and the type of yoga technique being performed. Most practitioners of yoga establish their own yoga routine, which allots a particular time of day to perform yoga at an area of your choice, preferably a place that provides as little physical and mental distractions as possible. In the modern setup, however, it can be difficult to find a secluded area within your home or elsewhere that can provide a serene and calm setup best suited for practicing yoga.

Hence, the concept of yoga retreats were innovated by yoga experts. There are two main reasons why students of yoga might be interested to partake in a yoga retreat: (1) it enables them to participate in longer periods of yoga practice in a suitable area, and (2) it introduces you to innovative yoga practices and learn more about its new philosophies.

02 Yoga Retreat in Maya Tulum, Mexico

Finding a Qualified Instructor

To get the benefits of engaging in a yoga retreat, it all boils down to the capacity of a yoga instructor to share yoga insights and precisely help you in executing various movements. Indeed, this is one of the most basic steps you need to take if you want a successful yoga retreat, especially given the fact that you'd have to settle some fees.

Here are some qualifications that you should be examining closely:

*Specialization. Yoga is a comprehensive philosophy and it is therefore important to look at an instructor's specific field of specialization. Then, compare that to your own fitness or health goals for engaging in yoga. If the instructor's yogic specialization is able to provide for your goals, then you could spare yourself time from trying to learn techniques or poses that you will not benefit from.

*Experience. There are competent yoga instructors but lack enough experience to efficiently teach their students the concept of yoga. After all, there are two basic components in yoga philosophy: theory and practice. Their ability to make you understand these theories and apply them in your practice is something that can be developed only through years of practicing yoga.

*Yoga Methods. Over the years, yoga has evolved largely to incorporate new techniques that make it easily adaptable even for beginners. Therefore, if you are a novice to yoga practice, your instructor must have suitable methods that you can use and slowly introduce you to newer and more demanding exercises.

*Certification. This will ensure that your instructor can legitimately and competently teach yoga. There is a main gap between knowing yoga and being certified teacher of yoga. Beware of possible scams offered by uncertified yoga instructors because they might cause risk to your health and body.

Choosing a Suitable Yoga Retreat Program

As much as you need to examine the special field of yoga practice that your instructor belongs in, you must also do the same with choosing a specific yoga retreat program. For instance, if you're an athlete who want to improve performance in your particular sport, there are corresponding yoga techniques and exercises suited for you. Or, if you want to practice yoga for stress relief, you will be engaged in totally different series of yoga poses.

Hence, never go into a yoga retreat program without establishing your goals for practicing it in the first place. Aside from joining in yoga sessions, there are also other set of activities included in your itinerary during yoga retreat to produce holistic benefits.

Where is the Retreat Located?

One of the biggest dilemmas that people who practice yoga at their own home is the lack of an ideal place that enables them to effectively meditate, and thus perform yoga. You can attain this ideal location during yoga retreat. Therefore, location is an important aspect when choosing a yoga retreat to participate in since it must provide the conveniences that is not normally available at home.

You cannot proceed deeper into your practice unless you have attained the “yoga zone”, which prepares your body and mind for yoga. Also examine the facilities to make your stay and the entire experience as convenient as possible.

Retreat at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with Laurie Ellis Young

What You Need To Bring

When traveling or going somewhere away from home, you basically are aware of what personal items you need to bring with you. However, they might become too familiar that you could end up forgetting some of those essentials. Hence, it is best to write those items down on a sheet of paper and make a checklist. Compare the list against the items you have prepared so you know what else you need to secure.

To ensure that you never forget essential items, categorize them into three: personal items, yoga items, and utility items. The personal items include toiletries, extra clothings, and other hygiene products. Yoga items, obviously, are those that you will use for your yoga sessions during the retreat. And utility items are other essentials such as alarm clock, flashlight, activity gears, location gears, among others.

Internal Benefits of Retreats

An opportunity to deepen your yoga practice is one of the major reasons why people engage in yoga retreats. Those who have participated in yoga retreats report a blissful and re-energized feeling after their trip.

Therefore, experts suggest that when you decide to participate in such activities, that you learn to leave all worries behind, whether it be from work, family, or home life. This is the key to finding the relief and relaxation that you are trying to get from the experience.

Fred Busch Yoga Retreats--South Beach and Tulum, Mexico

Yoga Retreats vs Yoga Classes

Here are some areas wherein yoga retreats offer more benefits than yoga classes:

  • While yoga classes lasts between 1-2 hours, yoga retreats allow you the entire day to practice yoga. This will give you enough time to focus on just practicing yoga and not think of anything else.
  • The place where most yoga retreats are located are specifically chosen for the calming and serene experience it offers participants. Hence, this will give you the perfect opportunity to meditate without any distraction.
  • Instead of focusing on a specific yoga technique in yoga classes, yoga retreats allow you to learn more yoga techniques than you might already know. Hence, it offers you with a wide range of new techniques and experiment on the possibility of adapting them into your yoga routine.

Deepening Your Practice

Indeed, nothing offers a deeper spiritual experience than yoga retreats. It offers the rightful combination of skilled instructors, serene locations, and freeing yourself off any worries and thoughts. A half-hour to an hour of yoga practice each day really is not enough to provide one with the real benefits that yoga promises to bring. Meditation alone takes a while to attain, so you really need to move at your own pace, listening to your body and enabling it to open up when ready.

During yoga retreats, you will basically think of nothing else but practicing yoga and providing yourself ease from all worldly anxiety.

Yoga Books on Amazon


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