One of yoga’s best benefits is the opportunity it provides for self-discovery. Your yoga practice is a door into the deepest parts of yourself. As it happens, so is travel! Exploring a new region or country gives us insight into the world and our place in it. Yoga retreats combine the two to create a life-changing experience. Although you might think that yoga retreats are best when you have a travel buddy to share the journey with, we think that attending one by yourself is magical. Here are five of our favorite reasons to go on a solo yoga retreat.
Hit the reset button
Yoga retreats are an incredible way to give yourself a reboot. Practicing each day refreshes your body, and experiencing a new place will invigorate your mind and spirit. It doesn’t hurt that most retreats include delicious, healthy, local food and comfortable accommodations in beautiful parts of the world. This is time to unwind and take a break from the things in our daily lives that vex us. While it might sound appealing to take this trip with a friend or relative, having a constant reminder of your life back home could make it harder to set that life aside for a few days. When you are by yourself, you’re able to fully step out of stressful or negative situations and take the steps you need to return home with renewed joy and a positive outlook.
Give yourself room to grow
Looking into our hearts and seeing what’s there, warts and all, can be a challenge for even the most experienced yogi. When we connect with ourselves on the mat, truths and feelings bubble to the surface that sometimes feel uncomfortable. Being able to turn inward and greet those feelings with love is vital to healing and growth. It’s a tough task no matter what the surroundings are, but you may find that you can’t explore it the way you need to with a familiar face around. Taking that journey alone will give you clarity and a fresh perspective. Bring a journal along with you to have a record of your experience, plan to devote time to meditation, or pack crystals and essential oils that you know give you a clear head.
Go where the wind takes you
Your retreat will likely give you time beyond the mat to participate in activities – horseback riding, surfing, and hiking are just a few popular excursions – or to explore your surroundings. If you are traveling with someone, you might feel compelled to spend all that additional time with them, which means you could miss out on parts of the retreat that really pique your interests. When you travel solo, the destination is your oyster! This may be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so make the most of it. If you know before the retreat that you’ll have time in your schedule to venture out on your own, make a plan for all your must-see places. We’ve taken the guesswork out of that with handy guides to our favorite retreat locations right here on the blog!
Focus on your intentions
We can’t say enough that the most important step to preparing for a yoga retreat is to set intentions for your trip. When you go on a retreat with a good idea of what parts of your life most need renewal and reflection, the odds are better that you’ll achieve your goal. It’s almost impossible to not see things differently when you’re in a new location with new people. Traveling with a friend might hold you back from the revelations a yoga retreat can provide. It might be nerve wracking at first to not know another soul, but we promise, the gifts this trip will give you are more than worth it.
Expand your tribe
If you’re still worried that a solo yoga retreat would be a lonely experience, never fear! Yoga retreats are full of people who share your love of yoga and travel, plus their own unique perspectives and experiences. How much you involve yourself in the social aspect of a retreat is up to you, and it might help your intentions for the retreat to stick to yourself, but we encourage you to spend some time getting to know your fellow travelers! They may have traveled alone too, or have intentions for the retreat in common with you. Approach these new people with an open heart and mind. Sharing this experience together is something you’ll always have in common. And who knows? Your souvenir for this trip might just be a few new friends!
Solo yoga retreats are amazing, and provide an unparalleled chance for you to get to know yourself better. Interested in taking one? We’d love for you to join us!