Fall & The Act of Retreat
I recently returned from a girls' weekend with two dear college friends and reaped many of the benefits of a traditional retreat—unplugging from daily life, deepening friendships, enriching my yoga practice, and laughter as good medicine among them.
Fall is retreat season! It's a great time to step away from our daily routines and stressful schedules to prepare for the coming holiday season. Ironically, the best results come from being fully present in the moments that you spend 'on retreat.' (More on that later this month.)
Webster's Definition of retreat (1): an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable. (2): the process of receding from a position or state attained.
It seems more difficult than ever to carve out time for a multi-day retreat, but the benefits are being researched and more well known. This article highlights the basics. Dig deeper in the embedded links for some interesting medical research on the benefits of retreat activities.
Now that I'm back in Atlanta it seems we are in need of retreat from these hot, dry days.
One simple way to retreat from too much heat and your busy life is to find a cooler space and practice yoga for 15 or 20 minutes. If you are still trying to figure out how to get started, use one of these videos.
Do the same video 3 or 4 days in a row. Then, one day start out with a few deep breaths, warm your spine, and notice what other movement or stretches you body seems to want next. Just do that for several breaths - voila! In your last few minutes, be still. Don't skip stillness! It's the most important part. Savasana, or corpse pose, is like a mini retreat. (Read more about the benefits here.)
And, if you or your organization are in need of a retreat leader, I just might be your person! I have experience leading retreats for 4 to 40 people from 2 hours to 2 days in length. Let's do some planning!
Meanwhile blessings to meet all your needs and namaste,