Practicing the art of yoga, whether in the comfort of your own home or in a warm, inviting studio, allows you to achieve a sense of calmness and serenity. Those wishing to have a deeper understanding of the art of yoga or individuals who want to enhance their practice may wish to attend a yoga retreat, but are reluctant to do so because they are unfamiliar with what occurs on one.
Yoga retreats are often extremely misunderstood. People have an image of hundreds of people gathered around, cut off from civilization, and practicing the art of yoga for hours on end. While some 'extreme' yoga retreats may be set up with this type of structure, the vast majority offer a fun, relaxing retreat that focuses not only on yoga, but on healthy living and positive life experiences.
There are a number of different types of yoga retreats that can be attended. All retreats incorporate yoga practices into the daily schedule, but the supplemental activities involved will vary depending upon what type of retreat is being attended. Some supplemental activities that may be offered at a yoga retreat include cooking classes, tours/activities for that particular area, exercise classes, or individual/group counseling.
The structure of the retreat and schedule of the yoga retreat will vary depending upon who organized the event, but most stick to a fairly similar structure. Participants at the yoga retreat will typically start the day with an hour to two hour yoga practice. After the yoga session, retreat participants will have an opportunity to engage in any supplemental activity that is offered.
When the supplemental activities are complete, there may be an opportunity to engage in another hour or two of yoga. This late afternoon/evening practice is designed to calm the mind and provide participants with an opportunity to engage in self-reflection. The Yoga Journal explored some of the many benefits of an evening yoga session, and found that they range from a peaceful night's sleep to relaxed muscles.
A common concern among many individuals who are thinking of attending a yoga retreat is the lack of communication with the outside world. Many yoga retreats will request participants turn off their cell phones and leave their laptops behind. This request is made in an effort to enhance the activities that are offered at the yoga retreat. Shutting electronics/gadgets off forces participants to focus on their yoga practice and improve their personal well-being.
Yoga retreats present yoga practitioners of all skill levels and ages with an opportunity to enhance and explore their practice.
1. NCBI. “Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Yoga and Its Ability to Increase Quality of Life.”
2. Yoga Journal. “Finding the Best Time to Practice.”