Updated: Feb 12, 2020
So you are thinking about joining a retreat, but have no idea what to expect? The first thing to know is that you won't be alone. There will be many retreat attendees who are also on their first adventure and some attendees who are new to yoga altogether! Here are a few tips and insights to ease your mind.
Not Everyone Coming is a Yoga Pro
Worried that everyone at the retreat will be way more advanced than you? Think again. While I always have a few advanced practitioners and even other yoga instructors at my retreats, there are also quite a few beginners. A yoga retreat is a place to learn and gain confidence in form. Even advanced yogis need to be refreshed on proper alignment and process. As we workshop the postures together you'll gain confidence in your technique. The environment is fun, friendly and communal. There will not be any cold, or "judgy" vibes allowed.
You Won't be Indoctrinated Into a New Age Cult
When I moved down to Florida from Chicago I noticed that people use the word "woo woo" to describe things that were too close to religion in yoga. I'd never heard this word before, but thought it was quite funny and hit the nail on the head. We won't do any "woo woo" stuff, I promise. My philosophy in regards to yoga retreats is to create space for you to explore your own path and highest expression of self.
You Will Make New Friends
Every retreat, on that first night, there's that slight awkwardness of not knowing people. By the last night, there is a sweet sorrow, knowing that everyone will part ways the next morning. This is one of my favorite things about retreats, strangers become family in just a few short days. We share, laugh and cry together as we explore various facets of life in a few short days. Even the most introverted attendee cannot escape the joyous connection of the group -- you will leave with new, powerful relationships and bonds.
You Will Leave With a Deeper Understanding of Yoga
There are so many things that your yoga teacher wants to explain during class, but can't due to time restrictions. Retreats are where you can get that information. Some people even call my retreats mini yoga teacher trainings. My goal is for you to truly understand the postures so that as you continue your practice, whether at home or in a studio, you know exactly what you are doing. Beyond the physical aspect of the practice, you will also leave with an understanding of the restraints and habits of yoga "off of the mat". A beginner could arrive and leave as an intermediate yogi should they truly soak in all of the information.
Emotions May Arise
Retreats can be intense. Getting away from the distractions of everyday life and being placed in completely nourishing environment can unloose some deep emotions. That is completely normal and to be expected. This is why I suggest you bring a pen and paper, so that you can diary your experience and take your insight and new found self-awareness with you back home.
You Will Fall in Love With the Food
One retreat attendee admitted to the group that she was nervous about the food. She thought we'd be eating salads the whole time and was worried about being hungry. To her delight she felt beyond full and satisfied at the end of each meal. The Ayurvedic meals prepared by our yoga family are hearty and nourishing. They stimulate all of the taste sensors in the mouth and satiate your appetite. As we say, salad is only an optional side!
Make Sure to Check the Weather
If you are staying in a yurt, canvas tent, or normal tent, make sure to check the weather before coming. The structures are not heated, so if it's in the low forties at night outside, that's the temperature of your tent. Bring a beanie and warm PJs!
Still have more questions? Contact Courtney on Instagram @Couryoga