If you’ve chosen to go on a yoga retreat, it’s probably because you feel a need to remove yourself from the trials, tribulations, responsibilities and, well, the all-consuming nature of your day-to-day life. Most likely, you want to explore new perspectives, and set yourself up for some kind of change.
So, how can you ensure you get the most out of your yoga retreat? Here are five tips.
1. Be intentional.
Set an intention before going. Have a purpose or plan in mind for your retreat and focus on it. Without intention we can stray; our life can become meaningless and directionless. With intention, even the most impossible goal becomes possible.
On what area in your life, would you like to gain a new perspective? Have you been struggling to deal with and let go of something that happened to you recently? Maybe you want to change how you respond to events in general, to learn a new mindset that enables you to grow?
Write your intention down in the first person. Be as specific as possible.
For example: ''On this retreat, I intend to gain a fresh perspective on coping with my anxiety about meeting new people. I’ll open my eyes, my mind, and my heart to new experiences, welcoming each with positive expectations.''
Keep this intention close by, for example, on your mobile phone or device, or in your wallet or purse.
2. Be grateful.
Keep a gratitude diary. Record five things you are grateful for everyday. There are some fantastic mobile apps available to help you do this, but writing it in a journal is just as effective.
It's easy to lose sight and take for granted all that you have. Keeping a gratitude diary and writing down all that you are thankful for each day can really shift your consciousness. Energy begets energy. Counting your blessings will attract abundance.
3. Be in nature.
Being in nature has a very healing and therapeutic effect on us and can induce a flow of inspiration and creativity. This is why yoga retreats are often set in such beautiful natural settings. So, whilst you are on your retreat, take advantage of this.
Spend some time observing your surroundings—walk around the retreat, look up at the clouds (and the stars at night), think about how big your problems are in the scheme of the universe, feel the sun on your skin, and take photos of plants, trees, animals, and whatever else you feel drawn to.
Taking photos of nature will help you to remain present, create a state of wonder, and trigger gratitude. And you can always print your photos and put them in your journal or create a board on Pinterest so that you can turn to them whenever you are feeling disconnected again.
4. Be ready for change.
Change is the only constant in this life. Everything is in the process of becoming something else. Many people choose to go on a retreat as they are either going through a period of change, or want to create changes in their lives.
You have the power to choose your response to each event that happens to you. Your chosen response has the ability to move you forward or backward. Keep on doing what you’ve always done, and you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
Use your retreat as an opportunity to do things differently, create a new healthy routine for yourself, and try something you've never done before.
5. Be you.
Use your time on retreat to reflect and get in touch with your true self. Dig deep. Reflect on your patterns of thinking (your beliefs) and your values. It is your values and belief system that will strengthen or weaken your chances of leading a happy, prosperous, fulfilled life.
Spend some time alone or in meditation. Meditating helps you to gain clarity of intention and purpose.
You return to the world refreshed and ready to share your gifts. You live with a sense of meaning and purpose for your existence. In this time of inner reflection, consider what's important to you in your life, and let go of what is no longer serving you.
Are you living the life you envisioned for yourself when you were younger? If not, identify what changes you can make. Think about the kind of future you want.
Before you leave your yoga retreat, write a letter from your future self to your present self, describing in minute detail what your life looks and feels like now that you have met your intention. Then, go make it happen.