14 Benefits of an Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat
1. CONNECT WITH NATURE AND DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY
More often than not, Ayurveda and yoga retreats take place in beautiful locations nestled in nature. Whether it’s the beaches of Mexico and Goa, the rain forest of Costa Rica, or the Rocky Mountains of Canada. A yoga retreat is like getting two for the price of one, a vacation in a beautiful place combined with an immersion to healthy living that benefits you on a profound level. Especially if you live in the hustle and bustle of city living, I can’t think of a better way to vacation and truly recharge than to go on a yoga retreat! When we allow ourselves to retreat from daily responsibilities and the fast pace of life we can truly immerse ourselves in our surroundings and connect with nature on a deeper level. Taking time to connect deeply to our environment and disconnect from our technology, offers an opportunity to delve into the self discovery of our own true nature, in a way one might not otherwise. Many jobs require us to be connected 24/7 and even if they don’t, we can end up spending too much time on social media or simply glued to a screen. A retreat is the perfect excuse to disconnect from technology and connect to the present moment and back to nature!
2. CONNECT WITH YOUR TRUE NATURE
One of the main advantages of being immersed in stunning natural surroundings, is that we are reminded to fall in love with our own natural beauty! During an Ayurveda yoga retreat, students of all levels are invited to get to know themselves on the deepest level by taking time away from their busy lives and habitual thought patterns. Ayurveda teaches individuals about their unique prakruti (mind body constitution) and vikruti (current imbalances). The focus of an Ayurveda retreat is cultivating a dinacharya (daily routine) which includes yoga, pranayama, meditation and other self care practices, thus providing the practitioner with a personalized tool belt for life.
3. DISCOVER A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE
Attending an Ayurveda and yoga retreat can give you a new perspective, whether it’s about looking at your own life and wellbeing through Ayurvedic eyes or through experiencing a new culture. Once you learn the principles of Ayurveda and yoga, your life may never be the same. I love the saying “Warning, yoga has been known to cause health and happiness!” If I have learned anything in my 28 years around the Sun, it is that happiness is all about perspective and you never know what you can learn from others (all kinds of people, not only teachers or gurus) that can affect your future choices, or make you see your own circumstances in a different light.
4. CULTIVATE HEALTHY HABITS
Humans are habitual creatures, so we must create healthy habits, or else we will fall into unhealthy ones! That is the basis of Ayurveda-the science of life and longevity! When you’re on a retreat each day has an element of purpose. You’re concentrating on your daily routine and yoga practices, while relaxing or taking advantage of optional activities in between. Your health and wellbeing are placed front and center of the to-do list. Each day you can achieve what you set out to do, even if that means just lounging on the beach or by the pool while napping periodically! Doing nothing IS doing something! This change of priorities will give you a taste of living your life with an element of purpose and you will forever seek to quench that thirst for dedication to self care, which paves the way for one to achieve their purpose.
5. DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE
If you lack the confidence, discipline or experience to maintain a home practice or make it to a yoga class in your everyday life, then you will find an invaluable benefit of going on a yoga retreat is being able to practice every day without distraction. All you have to schedule time for is YOU! While on retreat, important responsibilities change from daunting everyday duties to an enjoyable routine that is focused on you and your wellbeing! Your priorities revolve around rest and your self care routine and your priorities become: What time will meals be served to me? What time is yoga class? What time is my massage and What are the local adventures? Even the most dedicated yoga practitioner can deepen their practice on a retreat and aim to reach their next level. There is always room for improvement…and relaxation!
6. EXPERIENCE WELLNESS TRAVEL
Have you ever gone on a vacation and come home feeling like you need actually need another one? Have you ever noticed that you went to a new country and you didn’t even connect to any of the locals or even the other people staying at the resort you vacationed to?? An Ayurveda and yoga retreat may have you booking your next trip as soon as you’re back, but only be because you’re so connected, relaxed and rejuvenated that you’ll just want to do it again! Wellness travel is all about connecting to like minded people who are seeking health, connection and culture, not just an all you can eat buffet! A yoga retreat can give you a great introduction into a wellness vacation and a healthy lifestyle.
7. COMMIT TO HEALTHY EATING
The food you eat on an Ayurveda and yoga retreat is chosen with care for your unique health and wellbeing. Committing to a retreat is an commitment to your health. It is an opportunity to eat well without having to worry about how to prepare it yourself. Some retreats even include cooking classes and teach you how to reveal your innate skills to cook for you and your loved ones and create healthy meals along with healthy habits! So that this ideal lifestyle is truly an accessible one that you can take home with you.
8. STOP OVERTHINKING
Many or most people find it next to impossible to silence this persistent modern mind and we are easily trained to always think of and strive for the next thing you think you need. Our society pulls us to live in the past and pushes us to worry about the future, all while tragically missing the present moment. This is why we all need to take time to retreat from our busy lives and take an intermission from the movie of life we’ve created. A wellness retreat that involves Ayurveda and yoga gives you a great opportunity stop overthinking it all and truly cease the moment. The sacred space and unconditional support of a yoga retreat, provides the comfort for one to turn off all the noise of your own voice and open yourself to a more positive way of thinking. Meditation is ideally part of a retreat program, and you can speak to your instructor about different methods that help you to harness your thoughts and maintain moment to moment awareness!
9. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE ENERGY
Sometimes we can feel very alone on our healing journey and surrounding yourself with like minded people, while focusing entirely on wellbeing and positive energy is one of the best benefits of going on a yoga retreat. This promotes positive thoughts and a sense of belonging and connection that we all seek and need. Also most Ayurveda and yoga retreats are all inclusive with food, accommodations and sometimes even transportation all included, so there is no need to worry about any vacation stress, just allow yourself to receive and embrace the positives vibes coming your way.
10. DISCOVER THE POWER OF SELF HEALING
A yoga retreat can be healing for your mental and physical health, especially when it is combined with its sister science of Ayurveda-which is also known as the science of self healing. On an Ayurveda retreat we incorporate all aspects of self healing including daily routines, diet and lifestyle recommendations such as asana, pranayama, meditation and other self care practices. Going on a retreat like this can alter your life, and help you to discover, deal with and begin to heal any emotional and physical issues you may be having or had in the past.
11. EMBRACE CHANGE AND FEAR
Change is one of the only things we can count on in this life. That is one of the things nature teaches us, every day and every season. But for some reason as common as it is, it can still be SO scary! In a way, change and fear can go hand and hand. What is fear related to anyway? We often have fears about the things we care about the most …and those things changing. The impermanence of life is scary as F$%#, let’s admit it, but it is inevitable and resisting change will only create more suffering. The best thing we can do is confidently embrace that fear with awareness, acceptance and positive energy. And by bringing awareness to these fears, real or imagined, we can remove them from our life. A retreat is a safe place to be guided through fears and face them head on, while being supported by professionals.
12. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEEPER DIMENSIONS OF YOGA
Ayurveda teaches us that yoga is more than just poses, and going on a retreat that includes both of these synergistic sciences, can reveal more about the entirety of the philosophy behind yoga. You’ll be given a chance to live the Ayurvedic lifestyle that allows you to connect more deeply with yourself through an understanding of your personal mind body constitution along with consistency in your daily Ayurvedic routine which includes your yoga practice. A good understanding of these ancient techniques and how to integrate them into your daily life is usually established after attending a retreat.
13. LEARN TO MEDITATE
“Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodha”
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations (misperceptions) of the mind
The traditional goal of yoga is to balance the state of our mind and achieve higher spiritual evolution, not achieve handstands or backdrops. Yes we need a flexible supple body that can sit comfortably in meditation, which comes from our asana practice, but the benefit of yoga is the stilling of the mind, and going on retreat will allow you to focus on this more deeply. Instead of emerging relaxed from a class having to rush back into your busy home life you can carry that calmness with you throughout the rest of the day and ideally during the entire retreat. A yoga retreat gives you the space and time to meditate fully, with guidance and without any distractions that come along with responsibilities of our regular schedules.
14. IT’S AN INVESTMENT YOU DESERVE
When you book yourself on a retreat, it is an invaluable invest in your health and wellbeing. By immersing yourself in an experience such as a yoga or Ayurveda retreat you have made an investment that will surely return more than money could ever buy. Health is wealth! This is not only a vacation, but an educational cultural experience as well as preventative health care! This kind of trip is all about YOU and developing a strong sense of self love and care. By taking responsibility for our own self healing, by loving and accepting ourselves just as we were created, we help make the world a better place. Plus, with the stresses of daily life, you deserve it!