I settle into my mat and let my eyelids grow heavy. Inhale the sunshine. Exhale crystal-blue ocean. I begin to let go of the thoughts of chilled coconut water, SUP yoga excursions, and what pose would be best for my next exotic-locale yoga-selfie.
My mind goes completely blank.
Until the jerk next to me rolls up his mat noisily and gives a pseudo-apologetic wave to our instructor, because he is obviously too busy for the last three minutes of Savasana. My eyes fly open and I am staring at the same ceiling, surrounded by the same people, under the watchful eye of the same instructor. I’m even wearing the same leggings I wore last week. Ugh, talk about yogic monotony.
There is a ton of buzz about yoga retreats, and with due reason. Separating yourself from your normal routine is healthy, and these retreats offer that while also encouraging growth in both your spiritual and physical practice- often in a gorgeous location. But practically, there are restrictions on time and funding that prevent jet-setting it off to Costa Rica or Greece for many of us who feel we need a retreat the most.
However, there are plenty of ways to achieve a deepening of your practice at home with these tips for a yoga stay-cation.
1. Unplug From Technology
One of the tenets of many retreats is minimal use of communicative technology. So give yourself a weekend (or even an afternoon) to meditate, study, and practice without the distraction of a blinking text or an ever-changing Twitter feed. Often even a few-day unplug can put real life into perspective, as opposed to the artificial faces people put forth on social media.
2. Create A Space
Clear your living room floor, fill the corners with exotic plants, open the windows, burn some incense, buy a water feature (or a podcast of water sounds), and spend some time in creating a new playlist. By investing just a little time and effort, your personal space can feel both novel and restorative
3. Move Your Mat
Get out of your studio! Find a pretty, grassy opening in a national park, a lakeside clearing, or even your backyard. A change in scenery can leave you feeling refreshed and more connected to yourself and nature.