Discover the sweetness inside when you slow down and listen.
Feeling burnt out? This might be the year to try a silent yoga retreat. "In our culture, we're used to living with a lot of urgency and tension. It's become the norm to be high-strung and on the run," says Dina Amsterdam, the founder of InnerYoga. "But this places great stress on our physical and mental well-being. We simply weren't built to live in fifth gear all the time." Amsterdam, who leads silent retreats that combine asana with meditation and pranayama, says that a no-talking retreat is a great way to downshift. "You get this extended opportunity to open to your inner landscape and stay with your own experience."
Observing silence, says Amsterdam, is like one long yoga pose: It's an opportunity to cultivate presence, awareness, and an authentic relationship with yourself. "When you spend time in silence, you start to learn that you don't need to react to all the waves of things arising and passing but just to allow space for the unfolding of life. Most people tap into a deep well of ease and peace."
A silent retreat is not the same thing as a vacation, cautions Amsterdam, but it can revitalize you on a much deeper level. "You're immersed in deep practice the entire time, no matter what activities you're engaged in," she says. And if spending a week in the company of other people without saying a word sounds daunting, consider starting with a one-day or weekend-long silent retreat or a longer yoga retreat that includes some time spent in silence.
Silence Is Golden
Take a tour of your inner landscape on a silent retreat:
Land of the Medicine Buddha
Santa Cruz, California
Take a tour of your inner landscape on a silent retreat. InnerYoga founder Dina Amsterdam leads silent retreats that combine asana, meditation, and pranayama at the Land of the Medicine Buddha, an eco retreat center surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine redwoods near Santa Cruz, California.
For more information, visit dinaamsterdam.com.
Insight Yoga founder Sarah Powers leads five-day silent yoga and meditation retreats with Ty Powers and John Welwood at Mayacamas Ranch in the mountains overlooking Calistoga, California.
For more information, visit sarahpowers.com.
Ala KuKui Retreat Center
Join yoga teacher Erin Lindbergh and meditation teacher Therese Fitzgerald on a three-day silent retreat at Ala KuKui Retreat Center in Hana, Maui. The center, surrounded by green lawns and fruit trees, is located between the Pacific Ocean and the peaks of Haleakala.
For more information, visit alakukui.org.
Learn from yoga and meditation teachers Patricia Brown and Surya Chandra Das on small-group silent retreats at Rolling Meadows, a center located on 100 rural acres in Maine. Eleven retreats are offered each year.
Fore more information, visit rollingmeadowsretreat.com.
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
Sign up for a rest-and-relaxation retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the beautiful Berkshires of western Massachusetts and elect to retreat in silence, if you desire. Retreats include daily yoga classes.
Fore more information, visit kripalu.org.