Tired? Overworked/ Stressed? At a crossroads in life? Time to give your self the break you deserve. Time to Re-TREAT yo-Self!
A Yoga Retreat is a great opportunity to unplug, unwind and focus on the true you, as you take a break from your day-to-day responsibilities and regular routines of life. A retreat is unlike a holiday in that it requires discipline and showing up, finding the balance between practice and pause. It’s an opportunity for you to deepen your connections and understandings of Yoga and yourself, in an exotic, gorgeous and exciting paradise while meeting great new people from all over the world. You may love it so much that you keep coming back every year.
10 Insights to Prepare you for your re-TREAT!
1-Yoga is the gift that keeps on Giving & You may come home Transformed
Warning: Going on retreat may cause serious side-effects including and not limited to feeling more: Aligned, transformed, Refreshed, Invigorated, Relaxed, Calm, Soft, Kind, Warm, Bright, Spacious, Light, Slowed down, Connected to yourself, Creative, Embodied, Focused, Clear minded, Strength to overcome new challenges, Resilience, and heightened sense of flexibility, both in the body and in the mind.
2-Expect the Unexpected and Remember
What matters in life, is not necessarily what happens, so much as what happens next. In other words, what matters is how You respond or react. Let’s begin with one of my favorite Rumi poems:
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
The Yin / Yang of Koh Phangan: The magic of our location on the crystal-quartz island of Koh Phangan is that it is remote, stunning, high vibrational and so it attracts yogis, meditators, fasters, artists, travellers from around the world and party animals too! Koh Phangan as you may know, is home to the monthly Full Moon Party. Generally, we are not so affected by these parties, but there are loud weekly music dance parties and all vices in our bays as well. Generally there are all-night parties Friday and Saturday. It is a unique situation in that you can wake up at sunrise, do your practice and then go dance all day, or you can stay up all night.
Keep this in mind. Notice what arises within you. There may be judgment, aversion, frustration, celebration, fascination; apathy…Again, everything that presents is just an invitation to know ourselves more.
“Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for
Your transformation. Use it!” – Ram Dass
3- SANKALPA – What is your Intention?
We can think of the Universe as a very sophisticated GPS system. Our jobs are to input our final destination address and then put our cars, ourselves into gear, letting the Universe navigate us and take care of the details of how we are going to get to where we want to go.
Reflect on why you have chosen to come on a retreat at this moment in your life: Take some moments to meditation or write about what has inspired you to join us here in Paradise on a retreat. Why you are coming and what do you hope will be the outcome of your experience? What are you hoping to feel during or after the retreat?
4-Come with a Beginners Mind and Readiness to Play:
Some of us are New to yoga (add hyperlink to other blog post) and some of us have been teaching for 20 years. Remember that the process of yoga is infinite, boundless, and vast beyond our wildest imaginations. Not knowing is the gateway to knowing.
When we come with our minds already full there is no space for the new, no space for transformation and expansion. So the invitation here is to be child-like: receptive, open and playful. Science proves that we learn and heal best through play, and that we ourselves are amazing laboratories for experimentation and self-discovery. So let’s play!
Beginners Mind – According to Zen Buddhism, when our rice bowl is full, so to speak, there is no room for more. Thus in order to stay open and keep learning, we must continually empty our bowls, so to speak. Throughout your time here, we invite you to meet each moment with a child-like sense of awe and wonder, in a spirit of openness, curiosity and playfulness as we explore and discover our personal patterns and edges.
Life is an endlessly fascinating play with relentless waves of ups and downs, lefts and rights, and all arounds. You may be coming with expectations of how things should be, or perhaps you have just had a blissful peaceful experience in mind. The reality is, things happen. Always. They don’t always go according to plan. Maybe the boat driver is trying to rip you off, or you get sick when you arrive, maybe you meet the person who will change your life forever, or maybe not, maybe this whole non-hot water shower non- flushing toilet thing is really out of your comfort zone, maybe you don’t sleep as well as you wanted one night because you’re getting bit by one mosquito too many. The point is, no one knows exactly what is going to happen next ever, and in accepting whatever is happening in this moment as perfect, we can use whatever is happening as a teaching to help us evolve. Challenge, resistance, everything is conspiring for our betterment.
6-Be Willing to Learn, to Show up, and to do your Best
Transformation is a reflection of our willingness to connect, to let go, to aspire to realize oneself. In other words, you get out what you put in. Use this as an opportunity to go deeply into self-reflection so that you can empower yourself to recognize and begin shifting patterns that no longer serve and integrating ones that do.
Allot of success is just about showing up. There are going to be times when you’d rather be laying on the beach than being present in class. Normal. We encourage you to use this resistance as your teacher and to continue to show up for yourself and do the work. Committing to the journey and doing your best will really support you in fulfilling your intention.
7-Feel Free to go alone! There is Sangha – Community here! –: Everyone who is presenting in your reality is somehow a reflection of who you are right now:
We are all coming to these retreats to find more balance, to love ourselves more and to awaken. In this we really find common threads to connect and support each other. Each group dynamic is so unique, some groups fall totally in love with one another, and other times there is frustration and annoyance, or feelings of being triggered. Always though, each participant leaves the group feeling expanded and connected and more self-aware. We don’t always get to choose the lessons we learn, but wow, if we can stay open to those lessons, and reflect on why this person or that challenge may be in our presence now, it can allow for amazing shifts.
8-Trust the Process & Take NOTHING personally:
The image most people have in their minds of a retreat in paradise is often peaceful and blissful, and ultimately this is the destination! But, the journey can be also be bumpy at times. Immersions offer a safe space to look at our murkier bits, to give our shadow sides space and time to emerge and release. Sometimes we can feel social and other times we can feel to be in a quieter space. Remember this can be a really sensitive time for you and the others. We can never really know where another being is coming from and so respect where you’re at and where others are at and don’t’ take anything personally.
9-Nurture yourself & Allow yourself time to Simply BE
What happens off the mat is as important as what happens on the mat. What we are learning in our journey of Yoga is what our bodies and minds need to balance. So reflect on what you need to find more balance in your body, in your heart, in your mind, and in your spirit and take advantage of this time to honour, listen and nurture yourself. Get massages, take naps, spend time alone, be barefoot and most importantly
Allow yourself time to SIMPLY BE. We are doing a lot: Moving our bodies, filling our minds, breaking through comfort zones, meditating and looking within…. We also have some free time and the tendency we have as humans, is to fill these empty spaces with distractions, habits, addictions, and BUSYNESS. Watch your actions, your words, and your behaviours and do your best to align these with your highest intentions.
10-Practice Gratitude Everyday
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to You”. – Lao-Tzu
Gratitude – thankfulness, appreciation for the simple pleasures, for your life’s blessings, for all that you receive – is said to the most powerful of prayers and the highest vibration we can emit to help us manifest a life of happiness and alignment. At the end of each yoga class we will take a few moments to feel gratitude. When we start this practice, we may feel challenged or inauthentic, finding it easier at times to grumble and groan rather than think of what we are grateful for. The hardest part is just beginning. So let’s start now – Today, I am grateful for… Perhaps you can feel grateful for the people in your life, the feet that support you, your morning coffee ritual. Anything. What most people I know begin to find, is that this practice has a magnetic momentum. As soon as you start, more and more things will come to mind that you can feel grateful for, and this ultimately can shift your mood, your moment, and ultimately you life! Please feel welcome to begin creating a list of all the people and things, big and small, for which you are grateful and be sure to thank yourself for being here, and from us, we thank you so much for being here now and all that you are!
Look forward to practicing with you soon!