A yoga retreat is one of those things that you always talk about doing, but never actually do.
We all say how great it would be for both our bodies and our minds. Yoga for mental clarity. Adventure for energy and creativity. Whole foods for a nourishing cleanse. Then, meeting new people for lifelong friendships and connections.
All of these things happen on retreats and are so beneficial to our health and well-being. So why aren't more of us actually going on them? Well, after embarking on my first ever yoga retreat (finally), I'm here to give you 5 reasons why your next vacation should absolutely be a yoga retreat.
For the past year, I had been eyeing this one retreat in particular- Revitalize Retreat. I tried several times to make one happen, but could never get enough time off of work or find a way to fund all of my adventures. Until, Instagram answered my prayers.
Kait and Lindsay, the two gals who run Revitalize, were running an Instagram contest for their Southern Utah-Zion Retreat that offered quite a big discount. I saw it on Instagram and immediately jumped to the opportunity; tagging a million friends more than once and commenting as many times as I could...can you say #sorrynotsorry?
Then, my good vibes and positive thoughts were answered with one direct message by Kait.
I could not believe it. I had never won anything before, especially not on Instagram where the competition is always cutthroat. But this contest, one that I wanted more than anything, was mine for the taking.
Like I had mentioned before, this retreat was my first one I had ever done. As an added bonus, I got to bring along one of my best gal pals to share the adventure with. We left town on a Thursday morning, with no time-line, expectations or worries in the world.
The retreat was down in St. George, Utah, on the border of Zion National Park.
The first day was filled with sweaty circuit training in 100 degree weather and tons of much needed pool time.
The second day we hiked Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. One of the most gorgeous and scariest hikes I have ever done.
We then went back to our house and cooled off by the pool (surprise, surprise) and had a mindfulness workshop to end the day.
That night, we had a magical yoga class fueled by the sound of desert crickets and the starriest sky I had ever seen (one that would even make Montana jealous).
The third day we had a Mala Bead workshop, more sweaty circuit training and, of course, more yoga.
We also had an impromptu photo sesh with one of the most talented photographers I have ever met. And our crew knew how to work it in front of the camera!
As you can see, yoga retreats don't have to be intimidating. This group of women spoke my language when it came to combining adventure, fun and fitness with the healing power of yoga.
Here's 5 reasons why your next vacation should be a yoga retreat.
1. You don't need to be an expert yogi
Most yoga retreats cater to people of all levels, and even those who have never done any yoga before in their lives. The cool thing about yoga is that it means different things for everyone. It's so much more than poses and movement.
2. You'll feel relaxed and rejuvenated
Instead of coming off of vacation with serious anxiety about going back to reality, coming off of a yoga retreat leaves you clear and level headed. This makes the transition back to real life a little bit easier to manage.
3. The days are structured, but not mandatory
Yoga retreats always have a schedule you can follow, but you don't have to do everything. If you feel like skipping out on that workshop to go on a hike instead, do it. No one will "get you in trouble" or really even care that much. A retreat is there for you to focus on you.
4. You do more good than harm to your body
Almost all vacations that I ever go on, there is lots of overindulging involved with little to no exercise. Whereas a retreat is quite the opposite. You fill your body with good food, your mind with positive thoughts and move your body with yoga and exercise, instead of too many margaritas and dinners out.
5. You'll find a community
It's true. There is something special about a retreat that allows you to open up to complete strangers about what's going on in your life. Maybe it's because they don't have anything to judge you on or maybe it's because everyone is going through something too. Whatever it is, the sense of community you develop with one or all of the attendees is something completely unique and truly gratifying.
Hopefully this post will help you take the leap and go on that yoga retreat you've been eyeing instead of that same ol' vacation. I promise you, it will not disappoint.
PHOTOS BY Taylor Jarman Photo