3 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat
By Silvia Mordini

One of the best reasons to go on a yoga retreat is no reason at all, you just want to. So in that case just do it! The one key thing that is not on this list is making sure that you are not basing your decision on what everyone else wants you to do. Do this for you. However, it you’re looking for affirmation of 3 key reasons why you should go on retreat read on below.

1. YOU ARE TIRED OR BURNT OUT.

As Americans we spend a lot of time thinking about physical digestion (what we eat, when we eat, what we’re not going to eat, how many calories stuff has) but what about mental digestion. When we have poor mental digestion we experience stuff like fatigue, impatience, anger, poor sleep, obsessive worry, lethargy, and an annoying degree of anxiety. John Doulillard, Director of LifeSpa School of Ayurveda in Boulder, Colorado says, “everyone thinks that when you can’t sleep, you have too much energy, but usually people have too little energy: they are TOO exhausted to get to sleep.” Going on a retreat helps you renew your commitment to the relaxation response so you can return back to a state of optimal health. You can accomplish this through getting more sleep. Retreats give you a nurturing environment to do just that. According to Jesse Lynn Hanley, MD, coauthor of Tired of Being Tired if you are tired which means your “Hitting the wall” you need eight to nine hours each night, plus two breaks. And once you’re “burned out,” you need eight to ten hours of sleep, plus three 15- to 30-minute naps.

2. YOU ARE BORED OR EVEN A LITTLE LOST

“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Are you doing the same things over and over again because you love to do them or because you feel like you have to do them. What percentage of the time would you say? It’s hard to figure out where you want to go in your life if you stay on the merry-go-round just going through the motions. Dizziness sets in as does anxiety and worry leading to overall mental confusion. If you are spending more of your time doing stuff because you feel like you have to instead of wanting to then this is a formula for misery. You will get bored. And worse yet, you will lose your PASSION for life! Passion is a powerful and necessary aspect of our lives. This is the ultimate definition of yoga: anything that wakes you up to who you really are, that makes you more aware of making conscious choices for your life. “To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do.” – Heraclitus

Going on retreat and surrounding ourselves with like minded folks that are living their dharma only helps us grow our passion. Why? Because PASSION IS CONTAGIOUS! Enthusiasm is viral. From time to time we all need to step back and ask ourselves “where am I going with my life” in order to get our internal GPS system rebooted. Retreats give us sthe upport and coaching we need to reconnect to personal mission statements.

3. YOU ARE MAD OR SAD.

Exercise but in particular the practice of yoga poses and conscious breathing brings about an awareness of what we are feeling. We can get really good at avoiding our emotional landscape. As a result, denial or argument with our feelings can become a way of life. But it is also a formula for suffering.

Yogi and meditation encourage us to embrace all of our emotions. The sadness and the joy, the anger and the patience, the fear and the love. We don’t have to battle our emotions, thoughts or feelings any longer. Running away or denying what we feel will only prolong them. Going on a retreat is where we can really be with what we feel and then leave the past the past and move forward. It is an opportunity for letting go and recapitulation. It provides us a fresh start and new perspective.