By: Lisa Greenbaum
I write a lot about Yoga. Why we should regularly practice Yoga, with the central goal of connecting back to our Self. How a daily practice that includes meditation we can hold this space and then how we watch its effects ripple out into all other parts of our life. I didn’t come up with this on my own, this is what all great sages and Yogis talk about. If you truly want to experience Yoga, you must commit. The thing is most of us are what is considered “householder” Yogis. We practice Yoga, we love Yoga, but we also live in the world with jobs, families, relationships and homes to care for as well. As opposed to those who dedicate their entire life to the practice, spend the majority of their day in meditation, forego all worldly attachments and essentially live as monks. While the latter sounds to me like a bit of luxury, I would miss my mom (I assume my husband would be leading the way if I even suggested this as an option) and my cats and the hustle of the city, my friends and classes etc… But there is a middle ground, and why I felt called to throw myself into this new venture (and I’m a bit of a pitta/workaholic and can’t help myself) and that is to step outside of our regular life from time to time to take a real break, unplugged and dedicated to connecting to Self, to our practice. In other words, a Yoga retreat.
While Yoga retreats come in all shapes and forms, for me I use them as a true reset button for my practice. A chance to explore, peel back the layers, remove all other obstacles of daily living, set intentions, and completely dedicate myself to my practice. Though I practice for roughly an hour each morning at home, my day quickly sets in of all the things that need done and I’m pulled into my householder life. I love my life, and I’ve spent the last few years shaping it to be so. But nothing helps me be more grateful, look forward to my regular routine and to do lists like taking a break from it all and coming back with fresh eyes and a renewed connection. Any Yoga retreat that I lead holds this in mind and why when I built out the itinerary for 7 days in Costa Rica, I called it “Journey to Self.” Because that’s what we are doing. Each day we have the opportunity to meditate to the sounds of nature, watching the sun rise overlooking the jungle from the Yoga deck. A different physical practice dedicated to each of the 7 chakras as the week progresses. To explore Yoga philosophy, ask questions and spend time in introspection, contemplation. To spend the week falling in love with our practice and deepening our connection to Self. A chance for renewal and growth and with the timing of our retreat this year in April it will be like the perfect lift to the winter fog and into spring.
Whether it be this retreat, or any other time that you can really step back and focus on replenishing your cup, the important thing is that it happens. If you have carved out time on a daily basis to practice you are already in a pretty incredible space. Imagine the luxury of a few days or a whole week? (India is two!!) If you feel like you are pushing to get through each day. If you are beginning to resent what you once loved so much. If you’ve begun to take yourself for granted and are continuing to increase the demands on yourself to keep up. It’s time to step off the wheel. Take a break. Reset. Trust me as one who has been through the ringer of burnout more times than I can count. If we don’t do this for our self, no one is doing it for us. It’s time to replace that little voice in our head falsely telling us that we are not enough with one of love. Put down your phone, close your laptop. Take the break. In fact, right now close it all down and spend 5 minutes just simply paying attention to your breath. It’s amazing what you will find.
With love and light, namasté.