I've always wanted to go on a real yoga retreat. One of those getaways in an exotic location where every moment you're not practicing yoga you get to lounge in a hammock underneath the sun while someone brings you drinks and offers you spa treatments. Wait. Am I describing a yoga retreat or heaven?
As much as I like to daydream about going on such a trip, I don't have the extra cash lying around to spend on luxury hotels, expensive plane tickets, and massage therapy. But that doesn't mean that I can't make my own little retreat from time to time.
Here are 5 ways I give myself the experience of a yoga retreat without venturing away from home (or spending much money!)
1. Practice somewhere you've never unrolled your mat before. That garden you've been putting so much work into might be the perfect yoga sanctuary! What about that beautiful park where you take your kids to play? Or even the spare bedroom that you never use? You don't have to be in an exotic location to get away and focus on your yoga practice.
2. Practice a ton! Make a commitment to yourself that for a week (or however long you've decided to retreat) you'll stick to a regular schedule of practice--twice a day if possible. Part of the transforming power of a retreat is that you've got no distractions to take you away from your yoga practice. Creating a structured environment at home can be just as transformative--and it's not something that you'll have to leave at the end of the week!
3. Pamper yourself. If you're like me and you love a spa experience, go slice some cucumber and make yourself a face mask. If your idea of pampering yourself is a long hike on a Saturday afternoon to clear your head, get out and commune with nature. Treat yourself so you'll feel rejuvenated and rested.
4. Tap into your support system. If you don't have an existing yoga support system in place--a few friends to lend an ear or a hand when you need it--this is a great time to start planting those seeds. Yoga retreats usually encourage students to make connections with others so and build a stronger network. It could be as simple as asking a friend to tea after your regular yoga class or staying to chat with your teacher about your experiences.
5. Try something new.There's a reason so many yoga retreats offer adventures like surfing or rock climbing. It's exhilarating to try something new--especially if it's something that you've always wanted to try. Getting out of your comfort zone to have a new experience is a perfect complement to yoga because it puts you right back in that beginner's mindset.
Have you ever gone on a yoga retreat? What do you do when you need to get away, but can't take a trip?