As I work on my last minute details and prep for my upcoming YfR Umbrian Retreat, I want to share some reflections on my experiences.
My love and commitment to yoga started at my first yoga retreat – Hawaii 2000. I went from doing yoga once a week to doing a full ashtanga primary series practice every day for 2 weeks. I felt a profound change in my body and that was the catalyst for the changes that ensued to create my yoga life.
I love attending retreats as much as I love leading them.
Here’s what I like about attending retreats:
- Able to chill completely – nothing but yoga and relaxation
- Meet great people – have always had a great group of people, sharing laughs, great conversation and witness natural friendships
- The yoga is better – nothing like spending a whole week with your instructor to receive individual attention. Have always had ‘aha’ moments.
- Beautiful locations – whether it’s getting away in mid-winter or mid-summer, retreat destinations are always in fabulous locations
- Lasting glow – when the retreat ends there is a lightness and glow that travels home with you.
I organized my first retreat in 2005 and chose Prince Edward County, Ontario. Yoga retreats were not as common as they are now so I wasn’t sure anyone would come. But I went for it, spread the word and people came! Since that first one I have taught 31 week-end retreats locally and 1 week-long one in Italy. I am so excited about my second Italy retreat that is coming up.
Why I love holding retreats.
Without question, every retreat has brought together an amazing group of people where an instant bond develops.
There is nothing better than teaching the same group of students for a week, one class and one workshop a day.
I am able to assess each student and give them lots of individual attention. Always time to explore new ground with students – push the edge a bit!!
Sometimes the changes in one week are astounding.
I have a particularly fond memory of Rob who attended my first retreat in Italy. He came with his girlfriend, was new to yoga and had an athletic body. Day 1 he said his goal was to touch his toes by the end of the week. I make no guarantees at these things and kinda chuckled to myself. But on the last day we did a playful partner practice and… Rob touched his toes (shown right). Twenty-three people broke into laughter and applause! What a great peak for the last class.
I wonder fondly what awaits me with this fabulous and diverse group of people at my first Umbrian yoga adventure. I have no doubt it will be memorable and entice me to do it all over again.