You feel drained, overwhelmed or just need a break from your routine and feel like looking after yourself? Well, a yoga holidays might just be the right thing for you: ideal to rejuvenate, refuel, feel healthier and connect with like-minded people J
But there are so many packages to choose from internet that it can quickly be confusing. So, here are a few tips I would like to share with you:
First of all, remember that most of the people going on a yoga holidays are solo travellers. So you won’t be alone but will still have your “me-time” if you need it.
Second, yoga retreats are not just for the “super flexible-ultra-thin- young yoga fashion girls!
You will easily find a retreat open to “all levels” or beginners or without a specific focus on acrobatic and head postures. The postures are just one of the aspects of yoga and all retreats would include guided relaxation/meditation and breathing techniques alongside the physical practice. There are a lot of styles of yoga to choose from too.
Define what you are looking for?
Take a little time to narrow your needs and preferences :
ü When do you want to go?
ü What location? (Europe, Asia….) (this will affect the price of the flight)
ü Where do you want to practice (beach, mountain, city, remote…)
ü What do you want to gain from it (be physically stronger, learn how to integrate yoga into your life, combine it with others activities, learn tools to de-stress, be coached…..)
ü What is your overall budget?
Align your retreat with how YOU define yoga – most of the yoga holidays describe well the schedule but make sure their theme or intention are stated too and attuned with yours.
All-inclusive or not?
All-inclusive can be great as once it’s paid, you don’t have to do anything. The money goes to one place and will be re-distributed probably on a fee basis. But what about contributing directly to the local businesses too and exploring local restaurants and activities?
If you decide not to go for all-inclusive, enquire about the access and cost of food and transportation. It sounds like you will spend a lot to organise your holidays, but personally, I take this occasion to be in touch with the teacher/organiser and get a real sense of her/his personality. Also, I found that going local is a way to make a difference especially in certain countries where economy is not at its best!
Don’t be shy to ask questions to the organiser or teacher. Any doubt, just ask. Best would even be to talk directly with the teacher, via Skype, to gain a sense of connection.
Remember that she/he will guide you twice a day, so may as well positively resonate with her/him.
Get information about the clientele, atmosphere and group size. As you will probably go alone, trying to target like-minded people can really enhance your experience.
A description of the teacher should be given with the number of years and style of teaching. The teacher will attract a certain type of clientele. If you have specific physical or mental conditions (chronic pain, back pain, depression, anxiety or stress) I would highly recommend to speak with the teacher or make sure that she/he runs regular classes with specific conditions.
What to expect from a yoga holiday?
It is very likely that you will feel rejuvenated, happier, energised, stronger, more flexible, relaxed and ready to dive into your routine again with a new “suitcase filled with yogic tools” for you to re-use when you need it.
Remember, the most important is that this is YOUR TIME and YOUR holidays. Listen and follow your guts instinct,
it will always be right
Author: Beatrice, yoga and meditation teacher www.beeyogi.net
1st of January: we all take some resolutions to improve our lives, to get healthier, fitter, drink less, less stress, spend more time with friends and family, quit smoking, go to the gym, stop gossiping, cut mobile time….our wishes list can be quite endless, abrupt and quickly become stressful or just forgotten… In a society where instant gratification has become the normal trend, how do we really implement those changes that we are craving for and that really would do us good?
Step-by-step, with patience, without adding stress…. Well, easy said…
FACTS: Don’t be fooled, drastic solutions don’t work: have you ever tried a 10- day drastic diet and lost all the weight and fat you wanted without feeling tired, frustrated and stressed? Subscribing to a gym in January with the intention to go every day and 1- either had gone every day for the first 5 days! or 2- got an injury after the 1 week and be advised to stop for a few weeks?
Set objectives, a deadline and be realistic!
All those changes take time to be “DE-wired” from our brain as the pattern has been there for years or at least is fully appreciated by our little brain. The only time I found that I could cut on something abruptly was when I had a “too-much-at-once” event. Too much wine and my body would literally reject it for a few weeks. I call this the “abrupt effect”. Not the most pleasant but quite effective indeed!
Get healthier by equilibrium. Extreme are never good, balance is great and although benefits will come along in a slower pace, it will settle itself and last for much more longer.
The “get healthier” resolution: choose the activity that YOU like. This is paramount. I tried going swimming as was injured but I really find it boring! So I went a few times and then funnily enough always had a good excuse not to go! Bingo, challenged missed, feeling frustrating and not happy with myself! There is so much sports or activities to choose from. Make it fun to do and easy to start and go to.
If you haven’t practised in a long time, start slow. This is tricky and difficult. I stopped climbing for 6 months and started again…3 times a weeks… and after 2 weeks, got a massive tendinitis in my elbow: haven’t climbed now in 3 months!.… can you feel the frustration? But hey, I used to climb 5 times a week without any injuries… REALITY: age and past is past, not quite fit again yet.
The “eating healthier” resolution: OK, so this is a tricky one but I must admit that health comes from a healthy diet. I feel extremely lucky since I like cooking and love the natural taste of food. I always make time to cook, so I am pretty quick and used to it. I take time to have breakfast but my partner doesn’t and would spend way much more time in the shower instead. It’s all about priorities and preferences really. I love food so much that there is no way I would skip a meal. I eat natural products (vs processed or canned) and trust me, my budget stays low. Changing eating habits are very very difficult. So you need to be really committed to do it and learn new ways to cook or enjoy things that you wouldn’t have thoughts of before. I treat it like an addiction (and it is actually). Nowadays, I am trying to reduce my coffee intake and it is really difficult. I love coffee but I drink too much of it and I feel its effects on my body. Self-indulgence: why do I do this to me? Well, step-by-step, I reduce its quantity. I take a moment to reflect on why and if I really need it. This is the step I call “ the mindfulness awakening”! I have stopped smoking thanks to becoming more “connected” or conscious of myself and drastically reduced “quick fixes” like foods, alcohol, shopping and even medicines…(or at least, I am conscious of it when doing it for no other purpose than fixing a down time!).
And yes, Yoga and meditation were and still are the main players in my “awakening transformation new self”!
So what were your 2018 resolutions? Did you manage to stick with them? Do you even remember them? No really, is there something you would really liked to achieve this year? Maybe a much more heartfelt desire?
Still January, still time to wish for some changes in your life and bring them into action.
Wishing you a wonderful 2018, filled with new adventures, travels, friends, connections and more laughs and smiles… J
Nope, I don’t levitate to reach the top of my route! I just can’t climb at all since my elbow received a “bullet-shot” pain that could not be ignored any longer. That was 3 month ago….The hard truth of the so-feared tennis elbow!!!! Hummm, as a daily yoga & meditation practitioner, you‘d thought I would surrender to the situation or let go and be relaxed about the present! Ouch… NO! I am really getting frustrated especially when I go to visit my parents near Buoux, St Leger and this endless crags area! Mind you, living in London has helped a little as indoor climbing has never been my cup of tea either; but Thailand in March and Kalymnos in April and I might not be climbing at all! #Buddhabea, #zenattitude, #letgo…I want my body back and being able to use it again without crunching my teeth every time I pick my Nespresso cup….So what else is there for me to do apart from factually wait until it goes? Here is what I do when I reach that red level of frustration state: I pull my yoga mat out and I practise a sequence that will serve me when I return on the crag: coordination, balance, weight shifting, cores, flexibility, breathing control and visualisation… and below is a flow I do after warming-up and before going into deeper stretches that has served my climbing injury recovery (also great for wrist or shoulders injuries):
Yoga is a great way for me to “rest” (when forced) in an intelligent and efficient way but also to recuperate quicker after climbing and it has helped me improve my mental abilities to climb and responding better to stressful climbing situations. I find it to be a backpack full of precious tools and have shared those for the past 5 years now, teaching climbers in Kalymnos (soon again in April), Thailand, London(at climbing gyms) and recently at the Leonidio climbing Festival.
Keep tuned as will post a 15-minute guided meditation to deeply relax muscles after a climbing session.
Beatrice has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2012. She runs yoga and climbing holidays in Greece in April and Sept. 2017. For more details about the yoga & climbing holidays, click HERE