By Liz Arch
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” –Mark Twain.
There are a million reasons not to go on a yoga retreat. A few of the most common are: “It’s too expensive.” “I don’t have the time.” “I can’t be away from work that long.” “I won’t know anybody there.” “I’ve never been that far away from home.”
I get it. Life is busy and jetting off to uncharted lands with a yoga mat strapped to your back is low on the priority list. But think of a yoga retreat as the ultimate investment in your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. With all those reasons not to go, there’s really only one reason to go – it just might change your life. If that’s not reason enough, here are five other reasons why you should pack your bags and go on a yoga retreat:
1) You will deepen your practice.
Going on a yoga retreat is a chance to completely immerse yourself in your practice without the daily distractions of life tugging at you. Most retreats offer practices twice a day with opportunities for specialty workshops designed to take your practice to new heights. Retreats also offer a more intimate experience with plenty of personal attention to help grow your individual practice.
2) You will unplug.
Yoga retreats offer the opportunity to go on a digital detox. How many times a day do you reach for your iphone, ipad or computer? Do you spend countless hours scrolling compulsively through your Facebook or Instagram feed? Your email inbox will be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re trekking through the Costa Rican jungle to a magnificent waterfall, snorkeling with playful sea lions in the Galapagos, or hiking to a majestic volcano in Bali. When you go off the grid, you realize you don’t need Wi-Fi to connect. The best connections are made face-to-face.
3) You will create lifelong friendships.
Yoga retreats attract some truly awesome humans. Prepare to meet globetrotters from around the world who appreciate nature, culture, adventure, healthy eating and healthy living. I recently came back from leading a yoga retreat to the Galapagos Islands, where 10 people met as strangers, but quickly became dear friends. On our final night, we sat around the fire pit under a sea of stars and expressed our deep gratitude and love for every single person in the group. There were tears, hugs, laughter and genuine heartfelt connection. There were no goodbyes. We simply said “until I see you again.”
4) You will nourish your body.
Yoga retreats offer the opportunity to experience the exotic tastes and flavors of other cultures. You will feast on healthy and delicious meals without the hassle of having to prepare it yourself. Most reputable retreat centers can accommodate any dietary restrictions and offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
5) You will scientifically boost your happiness.
Whoa. I know that’s a pretty bold statement. But hear me out. I recently attended a talk by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton titled “How to Make Choices that Bring You Sustainable Happiness.” We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness.” But according to Norton, if you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re simply not spending it right. So what things don’t buy us happiness? Fancy cars, gadgets, expensive electronics, clothes…basically any and all stuff that clutters our homes and our lives. How do we invest in things that could potentially create happiness? One way, Norton says, is to invest in experiences. Scientific research backs that experiences like taking a vacation can legitimately add to our happiness, and unlike a car or TV, which depreciates over time, a vacation actually appreciates over time and offers triple the returns in feel-good vibes.
Not only do you experience the excitement and anticipation before the trip, you also experience the joy and pleasure during the trip, and are left with long-lasting happy memories after the trip. As someone once said “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Biggest thanks to Temple Turmeric for being such a special part of my last retreat to the Galapagos and for generously giving away a free trip to our lucky winner @namasteheart.
If you feel the swell of adventure in your heart, I’m leading the ultimate yoga safari adventure retreat to Kenya in March 2016. For more info visit www.lizarch.com/retreats