This week’s blog entry was written by guest author Christine Stump. Check out Christine’s wonderful blog at http://yogaguide.wordpress.com/
When you think of a yoga retreat, do you think of bamboo, waterfalls and bathrobes? Drop some cucumber slices in your water and pull up a chair: just five factors determine your ideal home yoga retreat.
With a home retreat, you reverse your priorities and emphasize the very things you’re usually trying to squeeze in. Flip your priorities for a while, focus on morning and evening meditation, include some pampering.
Five things determine your ideal self-retreat: home situations, budget, work integration, ideal practice schedule, and menu.
- Home situation: If you live alone, how do you want your space arranged for retreat? If living with others, include them in your plans. Do you want to plan special activities with each one of your children during this time, so they learn self-care as well? Or do you need to arrange outside care for your elders so they don’t miss medications, baths or meals? Have a conversation with your roommate or partner to let them know these days are special, that you want a clean, organized, media free space. Solicit their participation in common areas, and communicate they can’t count on you for late night drinks.
- Budget: Will your usual grocery and yoga class budget be plenty for what you have in mind? Do you want to set aside extra for a massage, time at a spa, special linens or a personal chef? Your retreat can be as simple or elaborate as you make it, but the simplest experiences can be most elegant. Candles, plush towels and great robe may be luxurious treats.
- Work integration: Will you take time off work or school? Or will you take your retreat time concurrent with work and commit to coming home on time and bringing your practices with you to work. Perhaps you can close the door and meditate for 15 minutes at lunch or take that after work yoga class to make sure you leave on time.
- Practice schedule: What is your ideal yoga day? Do you go to class at the studio every day? Take a workshop at the weekend? Practice for two hours a day? Vinyasa practice in the morning with restorative in the afternoon? You can create your schedule any way you desire. Your schedule creates a container for your experience, so commit to whatever you choose. Include journaling and outdoor time.
- Menu: Plan healthy meals for your retreat. Decide which options you’ll include: fresh green juices, ten servings of leafy greens, all organic, all vegetarian or fresh fruit every day. Commit to drinking plenty of water and include anti-oxidant rich teas and vegetables.
Once your retreat days come, relax into the space you’ve created. Allow yourself to let go of your routine priorities and prioritize your practice for this time. The structure you’ve created will help you reset when your habits kick in (which they will, over and over). Give yourself to this process and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!