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Yoga & Mindfulness Retreats - Why go on one?

Updated: Apr 15

Retreat- 'A place of privacy; a place offering peace and quiet and safety; withdrawal for prayer, study and meditation; refuge, haven, sanctuary, shelter.'

These words seem appropriate when it comes to yoga and mindfulness retreats.

A retreat is an opportunity to take anything from a few hours to a few days or more away from your usual responsibilities in order to deepen and strengthen your practice.

Time out from our everyday lives allows us to slow down. Just simply giving ourselves permission to do this is hugely beneficial to our mental and physical wellbeing.

Is rest valued in our culture? No it's not.

Our western culture teaches us from a very early age to to be productive, to earn money, to do do do! We are caught up in pressure to answer messages instantly, to post on our social media platforms daily, to always be available.

We juggle so many balls in life something has to give, and it's usually good quality rest and space and time to unravel.

We all need this. Our body, our mind and our nervous system needs it.

Have you noticed that if you switch off the T.V or put away your device you start to get creative? Maybe you've noticed that when you go for a quiet walk or sit in nature, you suddenly start to get your best ideas.

This is because you have removed distractions.

When distractions are removed the mind has more energy to be creative, there is more space for inspiration and insight to arise.

I remember when my kids were little we went for a period of time without a T.V. They were too young for phones so without the telly there really wasn't much else. So as a family we played games, made cakes and drew pictures. We did eventually get a T.V and what really struck me was when my son later said "I really liked it when we didn't have a T.V."

We are so distracted so much of the time and my son had clearly felt the benefits of connecting and being together in a more meaningful way.

Maybe you get a that feeling of connection and restoration from your weekly yoga class. Yoga does this for us. A weekly class is great, but I know from the perspective of yoga teacher and student that a 60-75 minute class has it's limitations. It's a wonderful little island in our week but not long enough to really gain a deep insight into ourselves, to really let go and move into a state of 'being'.

For this we may need a little more time. This is where a retreat can be a good option. There are many yoga/meditation retreats on offer, so chose one that resonates with you. The meditation retreats that I've been on have been very intensive, mainly silent and structured in such a way so as to facilitate a deepening awareness. This might be your thing or you might want to find one with a more relaxed holiday vibe with space in the timetable to enjoy other activities, get to know people or simply rest.

Motivated by the desire to facilitate a longer deeper practice, I now offer half day/whole day mini retreats. These retreats run four times yearly, bringing us into deeper connection with the cycles of nature. Themed around the seasons, the day will be split into two sessions, the first session with be a gently energising Hatha flow, the second session will include a yin yoga and mindfulness practices to slow us down and to take us into a space of deep rest and stillness.

At the time of writing the next retreat will be on the 14th April, 10-14pm Tornaveen hall.

If you'd like to come along or find out more, please go to the

Spaces are limited so booking is essential.

One final thing, Taking time out is not selfish, it is essential. Our children, partners, friends and work colleagues will get a better less stressed out version of you. The benefits always ripple outwards.

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