Whether you dedicate a day, weekend, or week to your retreat, the overall theme should be one of relaxation and the pursuit of your own well being. By doing so, you are able to renew yourself in a nourishing and supportive manner, allowing healing energy to flow freely.
So, here are the three steps I recommend for creating your own yoga retreat.
1. Set the Stage for Solitude
Start your day by setting an intention. Take time to truly sit with yourself and tune into what you hope to achieve during your retreat and send loving energy to that intention to help it permeate your experience. Add anything that inspires you, helps you focus, and reminds you of your intention, such as incense, music, artwork, or a poem. Before beginning your yoga session, add a calming activity such as journaling, reading a book, or meditating.
2. Find the Right Classes
Embrace this opportunity to fully immerse yourself into your favorite style of yoga or try a new style of yoga in the comfort of your own home. This is your time to set your own schedule and be in charge of what is offered on that schedule based on your needs. Gaiam can assist you with the assortment of yoga DVDs, Gaiam’s Yoga Studio App, and downloadable Yoga Rising series.
3. Enjoy Good Food
One of my favorite aspects of attending retreats are the delicious meals and minimal clean up from those meals. Creating this aspect for your home retreat can be another aspect to nourishing yourself. After deciding if you want to make your own meals, plan ahead and have all of the ingredients ready to go so you can cook in a relaxing fashion or take a day before your retreat to cook all of the meals so you can simply heat them up when you desire. This is a great time to bring mindfulness to your food. Experience your meals with all five senses. Notice the smell of each item on your plate, taste the flavor of each bite, listen to the sound, crunchy or quiet, as you chew, acknowledge the feel as you touch each morsel, and take a moment to pause and look at your food. By doing this, you can connect to the source of your food and fully appreciate each bite.
I hope you savor the opportunity to relax and embrace the solitude, mindfulness, and stillness within that can be attained through a self guided retreat. By re-calibrating your energy to return to the world with a sense of calm and tranquility that can sustain you through the ups and downs of life, you are giving yourself a gift to treasure.