retreat

7 Reasons Why You Should Pack Your Bags & Go On A Yoga Retreat

Yoga Retreat

By Rachi Perera

Every year, tens of thousands of people are choosing yoga retreats over traditional holidays to escape the stresses of modern life. If you're feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by day to day demands and seeking a holiday to relax, replenish and return to the busyness of every day life with renewed energy and optimism then a yoga retreat is the perfect choice. Whether it is by yourself or with a friend or two, it is a truly transformative experience and a magical way to add a little spark to your life.

Here’s seven reasons why you should just pack your bags and your mat and go on a yoga retreat in 2017.

1. Time out for yourself

The word retreat itself tells us that it’s about taking time out, quietening your mind and taking an inward journey. A retreat takes you away from real life, and the stressors that go with it. It gives you the luxury of self-care time and space to do things just for you. By focusing on yourself and your needs you will be able to recharge your mind, body and spirit which will ultimately energise and reconnect you with the most important person in your life, yourself.

2. Practice mindfulness
We live our lives multitasking and rushing from one place to the next. We are constantly surrounded by distractions and it is rare that we take the time to simply be aware of ourselves and our surroundings. Yoga can help you be present by focusing on your mind and body. Going on a retreat takes being present to a whole new level. Whether your retreat destination is in the misty mountains or a sun drenched island, when you take yourself away from the daily hustle and bustle you focus on simply enjoying your surroundings and the joys of life.

3. Digital detox
A yoga retreat is a chance to press the reset button on the daily grind and do things differently. It’s an opportunity to disconnect in order to reconnect. Email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, text messaging, and so many other things can take up a lot of your time at home. Going on a yoga retreat allows you to step away from distractions of the past and future, be fully present and make your holiday about recharging your own batteries.

4. Broaden your horizons
A yoga retreat is an opportunity to see the world and yourself differently. Choose a retreat in a location you’ve always wanted to visit and and you will find yourself on a journey of a lifetime. It will change you far beyond just your yoga practice in so many positive ways. You will broaden your horizons, learn new cultures and experience new things. You will get to see the world through a different lens making you stronger, more tolerant and open minded.

5. Push yourself to new heights
Regardless of your level of yoga experience, practicing twice a day with a small group and an experienced teacher will transform you physically as well as mentally. It will take you away from your comfort zone and encourage you to try new things. You will allow yourself to let go and open your heart. Pushing yourself to find your potential on the yoga mat may also inspire and give you the internal strength to conquer other goals when you return home from your retreat.

6. Make lifelong friends
Shared experiences are the best experiences. Whether you are a solo traveler or going on a retreat with a friend, when a bunch of people with similar interests and passions get together in a beautiful place, new friendships are bound to blossom. A yoga retreat is an intimate journey of shared laughs, meals, adventures and emotions that can end up in lifelong friendships.

7. You deserve it
You work really hard and do so much for others. You probably wouldn’t think twice about spending money on a loved one, yet when it comes to treating yourself you’d probably think of many excuses and reasons why you “shouldn’t”. But remember, if you neglect to look after yourself and live your life to the fullest then you fail to give the happiest and healthiest version of yourself to your loved ones. So go forth and book that yoga retreat- treat yourself to a week in a beautiful location where there’s no one to take care of nor to worry about. A week without deadlines or distractions. A week to find your own inspiration because you deserve it!

Rachi Perera is the founder and host of The Paradise Retreat, an all-inclusive six night/seven day yoga retreat in the spectacular south coast of Sri Lanka. The Paradise Retreat is an opportunity to rest, restore and explore Sri Lanka through a carefully curated program of yoga, meditation and other activities. Use code BLOGSOCIETY to receive 10% off any of the advertised retreats. All details and bookings via the website.

Setting Goals & Embracing The Fog

Blog-Society

By Shanna Skidmore

As 2015 kicks off, most people feel the urge to make plans for the future. Some make resolutions, others set goals, while others sit paralyzed with inaction. As a business development consultant, I often hear clients express the stress and anxiety they feel due to uncertainty and lack of clarity: “the fog”. It’s the moment we speak a goal out loud that a sense of fear and doubt rush in along with that dreaded question, “how”? I cannot imagine the countless dreams that have faded due to that one word question. How? 

Many of you have probably heard of the long-distance swimmer, Florence Chadwick. In 1952, Florence set out to swim the English Channel from the Catalina Island to the California coast. That particular day the fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats around her. After 15 hours of swimming she quit, just one-mile from her goal. She is later quoted saying, “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land I might have made it.” 

It doesn’t take much time around me to know I am a HUGE proponent of setting goals. I believe in the power of written goals so strongly I developed an entire retreat designed specifically as a place for creative businesswomen to come, gain clarity, DREAM BIGGER dreams, and set actionable goals for the upcoming year - BLUEPRINT RETREAT! In order to accomplish a goal, we first need to identify the goal, and secondly we have to stay focused on the goal. It is when we lose sight of the goal that the distance seems unachievable. In the case of Florence Chadwick, it is not the challenge of the swim that caused her to fail, it was the fog which caused her lose sight of her goal. 

Most of us wish for a fogless journey. Hower, the reality is that maintaining sight of the ultimate goal doesn’t mean there won’t be unclear spots along the way. It doesn’t even mean the majority of the journey will be without fog. We have to learn to EMBRACE the fog. All we really need to know is our very next step. What can we do today to move closer to our ultimate goal? Learning to break goals down into bite-size, actionable tasks makes them manageable and achievable. 

Over Thanksgiving I was spending time at my Grandmother’s house. She had just returned from an unexpected visit to the hospital; a place she has visited frequently this year while battling heart issues. As we talked about her journey with her health this year she said, “You know, I think God only allows us to see small pieces of our lives at a time because if we could see everything that we would go through in our lifetime we would feel it was impossible to overcome.” Hmm.. Isn’t this so true? 

When the good and the bad come in small pieces we are forced to take it one thing at a time. In some ways the fog is protecting us. Just like so many of you I wishfully long to know the outcomes and to see the entire path.  As we sit down to dream up goals for next year, let’s choose to identify the ultimate goal and then focus on the bite-size pieces; embracing the fog as it forces us to focus only on our next step. One day we will look back and realize we have achieved the impossible, one step at a time! 

Keep dreaming big dreams,
Shanna 

For more information on Shanna’s annual planning retreat or her consulting services, please visit her beautiful website, shannaskidmore.com, or find her on Instagram or Facebook

Shanna-Skidmore
Shanna-Skidmore
Shanna-Skidmore

Images by Shanna Skidmore