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My First Yoga Retreat

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

I attended my first ever yoga retreat 5 years ago. I’ll be honest – I didn’t go for the yoga.

My main motivation was that I wanted to go on a holiday where I didn’t end up drinking alcohol and feeling more exhausted as a result.

Although I was attending the odd ‘yoga’ class at the gym, at that point I still very much saw yoga as a physical exercise. I hadn’t fully come to realise the multitude of benefits a regular practice brings to body, mind and soul.

I was actually much more in to Pilates and if I could have found a Pilates holiday I would have been there instead! Thankfully, there were no such retreats available or my life may have taken a very different course…

Truthfully, I ended up picking the retreat I did because of the location and reviews of the food more than anything! I figured a week in the Spanish mountains eating well and exercising would be a tonic.

And it was! But it was so much more than I had bargained for.

The yoga we practiced there wasn’t just glorified stretching. It was true yoga.

There was time for deep rest in savasana, guided meditations, philosophy, pranayama (yogic breathing), chanting and mindfulness in all of our activities. I’ll be honest, some of it I was quite sceptical of at first – the chanting specifically. Yet it’s funny that these elements which initially made me so uncomfortable are the techniques that bring me the most comfort in my daily practice now.

I had this perception that a yoga retreat would just be a chilled out week of pampering. And while I was definitely pampered and soaking in self care, it wasn't necessarily an easy ride. Any retreat I’ve been on has been deeply confronting. And that’s the beauty.

When you take the time to slow down and tune out the background noise, you are able to truly listen to your soul. You can hear what it’s crying out for.

I did a lot of soul searching after that first retreat and although I didn’t find any answers straight away, I know that that yoga retreat completely changed the course of my life. It opened me up to the transformational power of meditation, the benefits of self reflection. It showed me how good it was possible to feel, and shone light on the areas of my life I would have to change in order to enable that to be a more regular state.

Choosing to go on that retreat was the start of a chain of events which eventually led me to move to Thailand, managing a yoga retreat there and studying to become a yoga teacher myself. I've made it my life goal to help other people realise the power of retreats and come back to their true nature.

I am forever grateful to my younger self for choosing to break out of old habits and say 'yes' to a better life.

I am excited to go on another wild retreat ride in just a few days with my dear friend Molly in the beautiful Italian countryside. It's been a little while since I've attended a retreat as a guest and I'm both excited, and a little nervous, at what the universe will unearth for me this time... I rest easy in knowing that whatever does come up will be a catalyst to accelerate me towards the truest version of myself.

If you’re feeling a bit stuck in the same ruts and have that nagging feeling there is more to life, a retreat could be the perfect tonic. I can’t promise it won’t be uncomfortable, but it’s guaranteed to be a truly life-enriching experience.

If you’re hearing the call, you can find details of our 2023 Immersive Island Retreat here.

You can use the code EARLYBIRD200 to take advantage of a £200 discount until 31st October.

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