Buddha view Lumeria Maui

by Elissa Dawn Strutton

With the increasing number of yoga retreats offered in various locations all over the world, at some point you may have considered going on one yourself. 

If you’ve ever wondered “why should I go on a yoga retreat?”, here are a few compelling reasons to invest in yourself for your next getaway.

    • Develop a stronger practice. Not only in terms of physical strength, flexibility and stamina, but as you experience progress, breakthroughs and changes in your body and mind resulting from concentrated consistency and focus, you will find a deeper commitment to your practice that will positively impact your life well beyond the duration of the retreat.
    • Take a break from digital overload and reconnect with yourself and nature. This is key to maintaining a sense of life balance whether away from home or not. Truly.  On retreat, you’ll have the opportunity to put down your devices for a an extended period of time and appreciate the beauty of the moment, the location, your surroundings and the way you feel when unplugged from the distractions of the digital world.  (You can of course log on if you absolutely must.  Many retreat centers have wi-fi). You might just discover how freeing and refreshing it is to unplug from your devices.
    • Balanced, healthy eating without having to do all the work.  What we eat has such a profound influence on how we feel.  All meals are prepared for you with your dietary needs and desires in mind.  Plus, there are no dishes to clean up afterwards!
    • Get the rest you need to recharge. Taking a hiatus from your usual routine, your daily obligations and the stressors in your life can help reset your internal rhythm and facilitate restful, nourishing sleep.  Studies have proven time and time again the importance of adequate sleep to help reduce stress, to regenerate our cells, increase brain function and improve digestion.  With better sleep, we feel more alive, awake and inspired to be fully engaged in our life.
    • New experiences and new friends. Retreat with like-minded people and develop friendships and connections that can last a lifetime. Explore new adventures, create wonderful memories and return home to experience life from a new perspective.
  • The best travel souvenir! You can take what you’ve learned and experienced on retreat with you! Beyond the intention of self-renewal, the purpose of a retreat is to help strengthen and develop your own personal practice and then incorporate the self-care strategies you’ve learned into your daily routine upon your return home. Step back into your life feeling better than when you came, empowered with tools, skills and healthy habits to help create life balance and cultivate a sense of ease in your body.

To address a number of COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS AND QUESTIONS about yoga retreats:

    • NO, you do not have to be an expert or experienced yogi to participate in a yoga retreat.  All are welcome, from the absolute beginner to the most devoted, experienced practitioner.  Everyone is encouraged to practice at their own pace, to discover what works and to explore what’s possible in the moment.  You will be supported wherever you are in your practice.  Consider that the number of participants is often limited to a small size, so those in attendance will receive individualized attention and instruction to help refine and tailor the practice to their particular needs and goals.
    • You will not be going on a juice cleanse or sustaining yourself on salad for a week.  Unless that’s what you’d like to do or if that’s what the retreat programming is about….of course you’ll be supported. Most retreats include breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy, nourishing meals offered according to your dietary needs and preferences. Most often, Carnivorous, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Raw and other diets are welcome and accommodated.
    • You will not be doing yoga all day every day.  Days are structured and planned, but participation in all of what is on the yoga and meditation menu is optional. In other words, you can come to as many or as few classes as you would like.  There will be ample time for rest, lounging by the pool or in the spa, venturing out on excursions, enjoying the retreat center grounds and scheduling healing treatments and massage.
fresh fruit Lumeria Maui