Something magical happens at a yoga retreat. Suddenly you find yourself amidst like-minded strangers, people that have come together to practice yoga. The atmosphere is calm, conducive to reflection and relaxation. You practice yoga a few times a day, meditate, hike, and relax. A retreat is a wonderful way to regenerate and savor your energy; it’s also the perfect place for deepening a yoga practice. For many individuals a retreat is a restful repose from life; for others it is a life-changing experience.
There are hundreds of yoga retreats in both hemispheres to rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. The settings are often spectacular. Retreats vary in price. They can range from $35 to $3,500, and yoga instructor or instructors that come to facilitate or teach special workshops. Here are some types of retreats that you might consider.
Do you live near a resort or health spa or do you frequent health spas? If so, you may want to ask about yoga classes. Many luxury resorts, such as Meadow Wood in Napa Valley, offer yoga classes for their guests in the spa. Not surprisingly, local residents in the valley discovered the yoga class, which encourages local participation.
A day retreat lasts an entire day. Most are silent retreats (see below). Lunch may be included or you may be asked to bring a vegetarian bag lunch. A day retreat can be at a yoga center, an ashram, or in a stunning country setting.
Not all retreats are silent. A silent retreat, however, is just that you don’t talk during the day. Silence allows the mind to relax and to pay attention to what is happening inside of you.
Before you cash in your annuities to travel halfway around the world for a retreat, it may be more sensible to first try a short retreat closer to home. Many ashrams and yoga studios offer short retreats. This is also a good introduction to the idea of retreats.
One-or Two-Week Retreats
These are longer retreats and a little more intense, time-wise and cost-wise.
Many ashrams offer longer retreats, and teachers’ training programs are typically a month or longer. Some of the ashrams offer family-style retreats, others do not.
Set on thirty-five acres in northern California, the Yoga Research Center is the first of its kind in the country. Its founder, Georg Feuer-stein, is one of the foremost yoga scholars and the author of numerous texts on yoga. For more information, contact:
Yoga Research and Education Center PO. Box 1386 Lower Lake, CA 95457 (707) 928-9898 www.yogaresearchcenter. org