Considering a solo yoga retreat or a solo trip and not sure where to begin? Below you can find some highlights from my own experience and some inspiration for why you should do it too!
- Learn about Yourself
Many times it takes us getting out of our own comfort zones to truly get to know ourselves better. A trip like this is a guaranteed way to do just that. It might sound very cliché, but it’s so very true. When you travel alone, you are able to reflect on your life and who you are as a person more easily. It happens naturally without you even realizing it sometimes.
- Meet new people
When you go to a yoga retreat you are bound to meet other people who are like-minded or maybe who you admire and can learn something from. This is one of the best parts of traveling as well. It’s another way to open our horizons and become more open-minded when meeting and talking to new people from different places around the world. One of my journal entries during my retreat was all about the people and the great energy of the experiences we had together. We are typically introduced to people to learn from them and help us grow in some way shape or form and this type of setting is the perfect place for just that!
- Get in shape
This is a given considering the amount of yoga and exercise you will be doing. It gives the hashtag #yogaeverydamnday a whole new meaning if you are someone like me who has always wanted to practice daily, but it’s usually more of a few times a week kind of thing. This is a great way to start developing the habit of practicing every day and trust me your mind and body will thank you for it! (& of course, your soul will too!)
- The Mindfulness / Healthy Habits
Do you have trouble consistently eating healthy or maybe making reading and journaling a priority in your busy schedule? During a retreat, you are able to do these things so much easier because all of the distractions of day to day life are not there to get in the way. This is also another reason I highly suggest going solo as the distraction of friends and family can often get in the way of us accomplishing things. Anytime you are doing yoga, the mindfulness is a given, so when you add an amazing destination to the mix, it makes it that much more profound. Learning to meditate can be really tricky, but the atmosphere of a yoga retreat makes it so much easier to master. It’s also a perfect time to do some vision board journaling or reading of a good inspirational book that you’ve always wanted to get to.
5. Reset and refresh
Regardless of whether or not you need it, a reset is always a good idea. Maybe you need a break from your partner, family, friends, job…whatever it may be…this is a great way to do just that and come back reset!
(***Cost Effective Alternative: Are you tight on your finances right now and not able to plan a travel retreat? No worries! You don’t always need to go somewhere spectacular to get the feeling of a yoga retreat. Instead, why not just plan something at your house or a friend’s for a girls weekend and set up a schedule of healthy eating and throw on some yoga videos mixed with journaling and vision boards. You might not get all the same benefits as a travel retreat, but you will definitely have a great time and still reap some of the rewards without the cost!)
My Own Yoga Retreat Experience:
I can tell you without hesitation that my decision to go on that trip was one of the best I’ve ever made.
It started with lots of research as all trips do. In order to find the best yoga retreat for me, I used the website Book Yoga Retreats. Super clever, I know. It was the first thing that popped up on Google and it was full of reviews and details that helped me pick exactly what I was looking for. It is basically like a TripAdvisor for yoga retreats and trainings…so perfect!
I decided on Montezuma, Costa Rica for my destination. The retreat took place during the winter so it was the perfect spot for some R&R in a beautiful setting. (Stay tuned for my upcoming post on Montezuma to see why it’s a place you should absolutely add to your bucket list!)
I cannot say enough good things about this place. The instructors, the energy, the setting…everything was phenomenal. The classes took place in an open aired wooden pavilion studio facing the water where you can see and hear the sounds of the ocean, monkeys, and birds in the trees surrounding you.
Each day I had a choice of whether I wanted to do a morning or evening class, both of which were great. The morning class was a vinyasa flow with more of a strengthening approach. The evening classes were more zen and relaxing, set up with candlelight and more of a meditative stretch. The classes truly were some of the best I’ve ever experienced and each of the instructors were so very wonderful and inspiring to be around.
The marvelous views along with tasty meals and fresh fruit and juice made each morning so perfect!
The setting was so great that even the monkeys couldn’t stay away and came by to make an appearance!
Hammocks surrounded by beautiful views of the ocean surround the property where breakfast was served. It was the perfect spot to take a nap or do some reading during my breaks in the day.
I signed up for a yoga and surf combo, so my days were jam-packed with not only yoga but hiking and surfing as well. The hike to the beach where we went surfing was a beautiful trail along the water. Having never surfed before, I wasn’t sure what to expect but luckily the surf instructor Mauricio (with High Tide Surf School) was incredibly encouraging and wonderful! The breaks in between surfing involved fresh fruit and even visits from more monkeys in the trees.
Prior to taking the trip, I would be lying if I said that the idea of going solo didn’t scare me just a little. I’ve traveled plenty on my own before, but this was a straight solo getting to know myself kind of trip more than ever. However, I knew that any experience that doesn’t scare you or challenge you probably isn’t going to help you grow in the ways you might benefit from most.
If you are ever considering a certain trip or new experience and the idea of doing it alone is stopping you…do not let it. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Not to mention part of the fun is meeting new people and making new friends from different places around the world. I was so blessed to be introduced to a variety of unique individuals each with their own stories to share.
Overall, the entire experience was so incredibly magical and I highly suggest you do it if any of the above sounds at all appealing to you.
Happy yoga-ing and Namaste!