For those that have attended an immersion or retreat before, whether that is for one afternoon, one day, one week or even a month, you know that the effects are powerful. The longer the time the more powerful but even one day can have big impacts.
So what do we get from an immersion that we don’t get to experience in a 60 or 90 minute yoga class?
- Over this extended period of time our body opens. Through daily practice of yoga and exercise this shift naturally occurs without any pushing or forcing required.
- We give ourselves the opportunity to really slow down for an extended time, with tools to help us to just be present. We are able to put ‘normal’ life on pause so the stresses of maintaining a home and family life, of work, even the busyness of social lives or our online lives or our connection with the news cycle, are put to one side for a while.
- With more time available we can access deeper teachings. On retreat, teachers can fully explore themes and introduce a fuller, more wholistic practice.
- We are connected with a group of other people who have chosen to take the journey at the exact same time as us and so we become knitted together in the experience in a way that is so powerful. We might start the experience as perfect strangers but end it with hearts deeply connected forever.
- And, most often, we nourish ourselves with delicious, healthy, plant based food; treatments; low-tox products; and healthy sleep patterns, to bring deep rest and healing to our physical body.
- After a time of immersive practice we go back to our lives more whole, with more tools to face the inevitable struggles of life and with more of ourselves to give, with a deep connection to the truth and love that lies within each of us.
The benefits of immersive practice and time to retreat are endless.
But, what can stop us from booking that retreat? What are the barriers?
Time? As a Mum of young kids I know how difficult it can be to get life organised for even a night away never mind a whole week. But, it is possible with some planning and convincing family that the benefits will be absolutely worth it!
One of Karma Yoga Retreat participants last year was worried about leaving her young family behind, and quite naturally as a Mum, feeling the guilt of putting herself first! Here is her feedback after returning:
For some of us it is the cost that is prohibitive.
I completely get it. Our retreat in Laos is around AUD$2500 for the week and then you add in flights and insurance and some extra spending money and you are going to need about AUD$4000. That’s not an insignificant amount of money indeed.
But I did work out that it’s around $75 a week for a year. When you think about it we’d easily spend that on a night out for dinner, or on items at the supermarket that weren’t even on the list, or… if you happen to buy two coffees a day this is what you spend… Eek.
For Karma Yoga Retreat, Laos, 10% of the retreat fee will be donated to the local Ban Boungkham school development project on Done Daeng Island. The school requires much maintenance work including toilet facilities and structural improvements. Donations from our 2018 retreat are currently being put to use installing a floor for part of the school so that the classrooms are not flooded with water and mud when it rains! Plus participants have the opportunity to volunteer time on the project during the retreat!
For those that want to stay closer to home (to avoid the travel expenses) and for a shorter period you can still get so much benefit from a shorter retreat and myself and Kylie Bertuch have a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and yoga at the base of Mt Buffalo right here in Victoria at our three night Alpine Spring Yoga Retreat each year.
For others the barrier to attending is that we believe somehow that we are supposed to have some level of practice to attend a retreat! That we already need to be experienced yogis in some way. To be strong, to be flexible, to have a daily practice…
This is just not true.
Retreat is the opportunity for you to deepen your practice in whatever way that is meaningful for you.
Everyone has a different journey and our retreats are completely inclusive of age, gender, level, experience. All paths are important and these ancient wisdom teachings are universal and applicable to all.
Jenni, an Alpine Spring Yoga Retreat participant, provided this amazing feedback after her experience: