I recently took part in my first yoga retreat. Myself and a group of 13 women organized by two studios in the area, Just Breathe and Yoga and You Anywhere (or YAYA), journeyed to Amansala in Tulum, Mexico for five days.
I’ll admit, when my mom first suggested the idea, I was a bit skeptical. While I love incorporating yoga into my workout routine, I’m not one to sit still for very long. Envisioning days of meditation in a quiet place didn’t sound like much fun to me and even made me a bit anxious to think about.
However, that’s not what it was at all. That’s not to say that there aren’t yoga retreats out there that may be meditation focused if that’s what floats your boat. We found from our research that every retreat is really done differently depending on who it is organized by, and this was the perfect one for me. The experience was more than I ever expected, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Here’s a few reasons why I’d recommend it for anyone, even if you’re new to yoga.
Travel somewhere new
Yoga retreats are usually held in exotic locations somewhere on the beach or in the jungle which is definitely an up side. Choose one that’s somewhere you’ve never been before so you can explore and check a destination off of your bucket list. I had never been to Tulum and it had been on my list for a few years, so this was a no brainer for me. We got lots of time in between yoga and activities to fit in beach time, the food scene and shopping.
Step out of your comfort zone
We all know this is good for us, but the truth is, we don’t do it enough. Sure, I make lots of time for traveling and experience new things and places during my travels, but my trips usually look relatively the same: see the main attractions, eat & drink at as many hot spots as I can, shop the local boutiques for souvenirs and party into the night. Whatever your vacation style may be, when do you truly get the chance to try a different kind of travel? A vacation focused on wellness and relaxation was one I had never experienced. I usually come back from vacay worn out and feeling like I need a vacation from vacation, but not this time. Not to mention, yoga retreats are a perfect option if you want to try traveling alone. You’ll automatically have a group to roll with so you won’t have to worry about awkwardly trying to make friends in your hotel bar.
Meet new people & enjoy human connection
Yoga retreats are a great place to meet like-minded people who you can even stay friends with when you return home! Most retreats are organized by studios in a specific area so chances are most of the people on the trip won’t live too far from you. I kept saying our retreat felt like being at summer camp. We entered into the week total strangers and all had such a great connection by the end of the trip. It’s so refreshing to meet new and amazing people who are looking for many of the same things in life that you are. I already have brunch plans with my yoga retreat friends!
Feel reset, relaxed and refreshed
When do you get to go on a trip that’s all about you and your well-being? The retreat left me feeling relaxed, refreshed and reset. Often times we try to detox at home after a busy period in between work and other obligations, but being in a place where you can completely focus on this is a whole other story. With yoga twice a day, activities like bike riding to the ruins, plenty of naps on the beach, and on-site chefs preparing fresh, organic food for every meal, I definitely left feeling healthier than ever. My skin was even glowing! The combination of the messages in yoga, connecting with new people and hearing new perspectives all left my mind feeling refreshed and positive. Many of us left vowing to take a week like this to reset and recharge from life once a year! They say taking care of yourself comes first, right? Mind, body & soul babes!
Heal, grow, & let go
Everyone had their reasons for going on the yoga retreat. I think some people probably got what they thought they would get out of it, some got that and more and some got something unexpected that they didn’t even know they needed. Having so much time to reflect, hear others stories and just be helped me on the road to healing and letting go by discovering new ways of thinking. Times like this help you get to know yourself, who you are and who you are not. Sometimes it’s important to step outside of our familiar environments to be able to grow.
So, was the experience life-changing? In so many ways, yes. I learned so much in just five days that I plan on applying to my everyday well-being, I made new friends and got to spend more time with my mom than I have in a long time. A yoga retreat is just what I needed! The lovely teachers at Just Breathe and YAYA are already planning for the next one so stay tuned if you’re interested. I know I’m already looking forward to it!