If you are choosing a yoga retreat through Me Time Away, or any other retreat for that matter, it is important that you prepare in advance as a yoga retreat is is a real journey of self- discovery and personal transformation.
We have devised this list to help you prepare mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually; on all levels (visit previous post if you want to learn what to pack for a retreat).
Educate yourself- learn the “what”
Before attending any yoga retreat you need to first make sure you know what you are getting into. You can’t truly experience the full effects without being aligned with and open to them on a mental level. Read up about yoga as a holistic system and make sure you have read through the details of your specific retreat. Knowledge is power!
Prepare mentally and emotionally
It is very important to prepare mentally and emotionally. This is because a yoga retreat opens you up mentally and emotionally, you may in fact be pushed to new personal heights. Yoga retreats are both spiritually healing and physical stimulating, meaning that mental and emotional blockages and subsequent distortions in our energy body will be overcome. This, of course, require healing, letting go and release- not always a smooth or tear- free process! Preparing yourself on the mental and emotional planes can allow you to “set the scene” and become an open channel for healing and positive change to occur.
Do a fast/ detox
Connected to the previous point is the importance of a fast, or detox. Just a 3 day fast can cleanse your system entirely. Water is the source of life, health, vitality, longevity, positive emotions, inspiration, creativity and productivity. If you don’t want to engage in an actual water cleanse- fast, try mindful empathic eating. Mindful empathic eating, or mindful eating, is choosing the foods you know are best for you- mind, body, emotions and spirit. Avoid dairy, red meat, processed foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholefoods, beans and legumes, and generally foods which make you feel good and light. This will help you flush toxins on a physical level, and prepare you mentally and emotionally.
Engaging in meditation in the lead up to before you leave, as this will open you up to your own spiritual source of power, charge you with chi or life force, open neural pathways and stimulate your body’s self- healing mechanisms. Embody the mantra, “Meditation is my medication” and see how you transform. Yoga naturally integrates meditative practices due to the breathing techniques and intentions set before, during and after practice. Therefore, morning and evening meditations can help you open up more effectively to the benefits of the yoga retreat to come.
Purchase a journal
A journal is a great way to write down your emotions, feelings and anything which can help you during your retreat. Remember that a huge aspect of yoga is the moving and releasing of trapped or stored emotions, mental blocks and past pains. Wounds and traumas can often be stored in the physical body, and it is exercise and meditation which release them. Start to journal and simply express yourself- write down anything that comes to you. You can release painful memories and begin your own journey of healing through writing and authentic expression, further opening yourself up to new experiences, connections and opportunities. Journaling is a powerful process!
Make sure you are prepared physically
Travel and pack light! The importance of this cannot be overlooked or undermined. You will not need excessive make- up, hairdryers, hair straighteners or curlers, endless clothes and high heeled shoes. You are going on a yoga retreat, which means you are preparing to detach and go within. This involves an element of natural beauty or inner beauty- which you will surely realize by the end if not already at the start.
Prepare physically by making a checklist of all the things you truly need to thrive and feel whole energetically. Perhaps your hair straighteners will be substituted for tarot cards, or your massive make- up back for a collection of healing gemstones and crystals? Also, check to see whether you will need to bring your own yoga mat or whether the retreat provides one. Yoga resources and materials are usually provided but do some research before you leave.
Energetically connect to the location
Connecting energetically to the location can supercharge you in unique and extraordinary ways. Places hold power and everywhere on earth has a unique energetic frequency or blueprint. Why do you think people travel all around the world to Stonehenge, the Himalayas, Machu Picchu, and the Great Pyramids of Giza? The location of your retreat holds a memory stored in the earth herself. Set some subtle intentions to connect this loving and healing space, and do some research as to both its history and energetic symbolism. This can add a whole other dimension to your experience.
Set your intentions
Make a plan and set your intentions. We live in an energetic, subtle and spiritual universe- our thoughts and intentions have great power. You can essentially shape, influence and create physical reality as you know it through the strength of your intentions. There are many ways this can be done, such as through writing a list, creating a vision board, or engaging in daily intention setting prayers or meditations. You can also prepare yourself through yoga, spiritual or meditative practices, and a change in diet. Your mind and mental powers are intrinsically connected to your physical and emotional health and well- being!
Plan, initiate and organize- then surrender
Finally, the key to a successful yoga retreat is to plan, initiate and organize and then surrender. Lose yourself to the journey and try to release control. Too much force can close you off to the fluidity and adaptability of the beautiful and abundant world we live in. Action and intentions require surrender and detachment for true inner balance, harmony and health, therefore being aware of this and taking steps to connect to the “go with the flow” and open to healing part of yourself can be the catalyst to real transformation.