7 myths about yoga retreats busted
Here’s what actually happens on yoga retreats
People often imagine yoga retreats to involve toned ladies doing headstands and picking at raw food. Truth is, most yoga retreats are nothing like this! As someone who runs yoga retreats, I feel like it’s time to bust some of the big myths surrounding them. You might just find that a visit to a yoga retreat is exactly what you need.
Myth: Everyone on a yoga retreat is really good at yoga
Reality: There is something for all abilities on a yoga retreat
Yoga retreats are an opportunity to learn, rediscover yourself and refresh through the magic of yoga, meditation and relaxation. Whether you’ve been practising yoga for decades or you’ve only been to one or two classes, you’re going to be in safe hands. The instructors are used to adapting the poses to meet the needs and abilities of the class; most asanas can be made easier or harder with just a few adjustments. Yoga is about your personal growth and journey, so don’t worry about where other people are in their abilities.
Myth: All you do is yoga
Reality: You do as much or as little yoga as you want
Sure, the main feature of a yoga retreat is the yoga practice, but most retreats have one or two set classes a day then other optional classes in between. I like to give attendees plenty of down time to chill out, meditate, see the local area and relax. Go with the flow of your body and mind; some days you might be keen for a few extra sun salutations, while on others you might want to read in a local coffee shop or wander along a beach.
Myth: If you live in the UK, yoga retreats are always on the other side of the world
Reality: There are fabulous yoga retreats close to home
For those that want to travel far, there are some very well regarded yoga retreats in remote parts of Asia. Equally, if you don’t want to be too far away, choose a retreat that’s closer to home – either on mainland Europe or even in the UK. Warmer places in mainland Europe are a great option as they are so close and easy to get to, but they feel completely different to the UK and have lots to explore. That’s why I chose to hold my April 2019 yoga retreat in Portugal.
Myth: A place on a yoga retreat is not worth the money
Reality: Going on a yoga retreat is an act of self-investment
Your first wealth is your health. Without a balanced mind, body and spirit, it’s harder to function well every day and you struggle to keep giving your energy to other people. Going on a yoga retreat will give you a chance to restore, reboot and refuel for your daily life. And, while it might seem expensive, consider what’s included: expert tuition, nourishing food, homely accommodation, new experiences, enhanced practice and positive memories. Here’s a bonus tip: sometimes, you can find a discount voucher or promo code that’ll shave a bit off the cost (here’s a discount code for my yoga retreat quote CF0419 to receive 15% off).
Myth: You only eat salad on a yoga retreat
On the majority of yoga retreats, there will be a focus on healthy, balanced eating. This is so that you have enough energy for activities and to nourish your body from the inside out with vitamins and nutrients. Sometimes, retreats have a largely vegetarian or vegan menu with non-animal protein sources, but there’s nothing stopping you eating snacks of your choice or trying local delicacies during your free time.
Myth: You have to go to a yoga retreat with a friend
Reality: Many people go to yoga retreats on their own
There’s nothing wrong with going on a yoga retreat by yourself. In fact, the friendly atmosphere, group camaraderie and shared interests between attendees means that yoga retreats are very welcoming places to go solo. Of course, if you want to attend with a friend or partner, that’s usually fine too. There’s no need to worry about being lonely or bored on retreat; there will always be something to do or someone to talk to.
Myth: You need to have fancy workout gear and a fierce Instagram following to fit in
Reality: Only two labels matter: comfort and practicality
When everyone is waving their bum in the air for downward dog or rooting into the ground for tree pose, nobody is going to care if your leggings are from lululemon or your vest is an adidas by Stella McCartney bestseller. Some Instagram accounts make yoga look like a fashion show, but it’s not about what you wear, how old you are or how many followers you have; the focus is on your posture, your breathing, your mind and having a great experience.
What’s not to like about that?
Let me know if you have any other yoga retreat myths that need busting!