Leading yoga retreats was a dream of mine because my goal as a teacher is to facilitate transformative experiences for my students and clients.
Yoga stretches the canvas of our lives, unveils latent potential, and deconstructs limiting beliefs. When on retreat and away from the “daily grind”, we can participate more fully in the process of practice. We have an abundance of time to bask in the teachings and be supported by like-minded community.
After several retreats, I’ve developed a recipe for creating a dream yoga retreat every time:
- Apply Inspiration Liberally – Choose locations, events, and activities that inspire and invigorate YOU! Your enthusiasm for the retreat will motivate your students to attend and participate fully. One source of inspiration for me is providing new experiences for my participants. This has been as elaborate as a 2-day rafting trip down the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, as classic as Kirtan, or as simple as movie night.
- Healthy Dose of Good Food – My dream retreat always serves food that is nourishing, healthy, and a little decadent. One of the benefits of retreat is that we’re removed from daily chores like cooking, kitchen clean-up, hustling to the next thing, etc. Having delicious and nourishing food provided to you throughout the day is definitely a treat and a reason to retreat. Eating together is also a powerful bonding experience.
- Overflowing Cup of Content – My favorite part of retreat is teaching more philosophy and in-depth studies complimented with long, luxurious, built-for-breakthroughs asana practices. I focus the content with a theme that directs our practices, group discussions, guest teachers, etc. The content also deepens participants’ practice when they return home to regular classes.
- Chemistry of Community – Nowadays, many of us are not as connected to immediate family, let alone neighbors or community with similar values. In classes, students often practice next to one another for years without ever knowing each other. On retreat – during activities, meals, long practices, in shared rooms – bonds are created and we get connected. To generate receptivity, we have daily opening and closing circles with thought provoking questions and ice-breakers.
On retreat, we carve out a magical bubble of time and space. When you fill that bubble with inspiration and an opportunity to connect, a retreat can become a dream for you and your guests. If you’re looking to create your own retreat consider using helpful tools such as online RSVP
Today’s blogger, Alison Smith, is a Marin County/ San Francisco based yoga teacher and a The Mazé Method Apprentice.
Alison is known for her playful fire, inquisitive nature, and technical expertise. Her warmth and enthusiasm creates an engaging learning environment where students feel safe and accepted. Her down-to-earth approach makes the complexities of yoga easier to understand and relevant to your daily life. Alison is E-RYT 500 certified through Yoga Alliance. She was first certified with Anusara Yoga and continues to hone her teaching skills with Noah Mazé. She teaches in Marin County, CA and the San Francisco Bay, CA Area. You can learn more at AlisonSmithYoga.com