3 things I learned on My Yoga Retreat

Yoga at dawn. Image @hummingbird.and.lion

When you’re surrounded by lush rainforest and the gentle hum of cicadas replaces the buzz of your busy everyday life, it’s pretty hard not to relax.

Add to that you don’t have to even think about what to eat, much less cook anything, because a chef is preparing three nourishing meals for you each day.

And then there’s the yoga – the restorative classes and workshops your hosts Kara and Merryl will lead you through in the mornings, in the day time and at night.

This is My Yoga Retreat – a chance to escape the daily grind, get back to basics and take some time out for yourself with like-minded people.

Here are 3 things I learned on my first My Yoga Retreat. They might help prepare you for your first one!

1. Prepare to be nurtured

Thoughtful touches. Image @what.susie.saw

I first experienced My Yoga Retreat at a time when I was busy trying to juggle work and life, strung out from overthinking and – like many people – simply in need of a rest.

Gymea Eco Retreat – tucked away in a quiet nook of Uki near Wollumbin (Mt Warning) in northern New South Wales – was just the place to do that.

The location was tranquil, but I arrived feeling far from serene and needing all the help I could get to simply slow down.

Lush rainforest surrounds. Image @what.susie.saw

Words cannot express just how nurtured I felt on retreat.

Sometimes when you won’t be gentle with yourself you need to at least accept the warmth of people around you, and that’s exactly what happened.

Great company. Image @hummingbird.and.lion

Kara and Merryl went to every effort to make their guests feel welcome, relaxed and free to just let go of everything for a few days.

There were little notes on the doors, clear timetables, opportunities to give feedback and even a jar of uplifting ‘thoughts for the day’ in the dining room.

2.   Expect to simplify

Getting back to nature. Image @what.susie.saw

For starters, expect that you won’t need to bring much ‘stuff’ with you on retreat.

Take it from a first-timer who lugged an over-packed cabin bag plus a shoulder bag of ‘just in case’ items up to her room.

You simply do not need to bring many material possessions with you.

Yoga facing Wollumbin (Mt Warning). Image @what.susie.saw

Instead, expect to simplify.

Expect enriching yoga classes up to three times a day.

Expect the opportunity to take a relaxing dip in the pool or reconnect with nature on a gentle bush walk.

The magnesium pool at Gymea Eco Retreat. Image @hummingbird.and.lion

Expect the time and space to slowly enjoy a cuppa in peace and quiet, or maybe with new friends you make on retreat.

Expect to eat well, sleep well and get back to the basics of looking after your well-being.

In short, leave all the ‘just in case’ items at home. Bring your yoga gear, a swimsuit, some walking shoes and a journal to write down your thoughts.

3. Gain useful insights

Time to reflect. Image @what.susie.saw

What I took home with me from My Yoga Retreat was a deepened sense of valuing quietness and stillness.

It wasn’t an entirely silent retreat but there was the option to have times of silence.

Beads for each guest. Image @what.susie.saw

We each received a set of wooden beads which we could wear around our neck to signal to the others if we were having quiet time – and some people chose to do just that.

Whether you chose to be in silence or not, the generally slower and more gentle pace of the retreat served as a reminder that we don’t always need the busyness in our lives.

Sure, we can’t always be on retreat, life gets busy and tough times are inevitable.

But what My Yoga Retreat reinforced to me is that there is value in rest and there is wisdom in making the time to slow down, particularly during the busy times.

For more information or to book a retreat, visit myyogaretreat.com.au

Cover image by @hummingbird.and.lion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s