So you’ve had a great week on yoga retreat, and you’ve returned home feeling refreshed and inspired! But after a while that retreat feeling can start to fade – so how can you sustain that sense of relaxed vitality back in your everyday life? Here are some ideas to help you bring the magic back home and weave a little retreat into your world.
1 – Start a regular practice. On our Find Your Balance retreats you will have meditated each morning, as well as practicing yoga twice daily and exploring workshops and yoga nidra. Whilst that schedule is obviously not practical in everyday life, consider what isrealistic for you and commit to that. It can be tiny – even three sun salutations before you hit the shower is a way of staying connected to your asana practice and giving yourself the beautiful message of self-care. If you enjoyed the peaceful start to the day that meditation offered, how might you make that a part of your day? Sitting in meditation for five minutes on rising and then enjoying a hot drink with no phones, newspapers, TV or other distractions – maybe even outdoors – is a beautiful way to begin the day. Giving yourself a slow start like this puts you in a much better place for the whole day than pressing snooze a couple of times and then having to hit the ground running!
2 – Make it easy for yourself. If the idea of a daily practice appeals to you, figure out where you’ll do it and keep your mat or meditation cushion nearby, so you’re not breaking the spell by clearing clutter before you can begin.
3 – Treat yourself to a lie-down with a yoga nidra or guided relaxation once a week. There are some fantastic recordings available to stream or download for free, and many of them are less than 15 minutes long. If you have time for news, social media or TV, you have time for this!
4 – Massages are a delicious cherry on the cake of a retreat, and whilst they can seem expensive back home, handing yourself over to someone else for an hour every month or two is a wonderful way to take really good care of yourself. If that appeals, see whether you can free up the money by reducing a less nourishing expenditure elsewhere. Independent therapists who do home visits are often a better value option than day spas, and offer the added bonus of getting to know your preferences – and of course you can stay where you are afterwards rather than getting dressed and driving home!
5 – Think about what was special for you on retreat, and consider how you could bring a flavour of it to your life. Did you love the chance for solitude and to be in nature? Then maybe you can take a walk in the countryside by yourself once in a while. Was it meeting new people? Maybe suggest coffee after yoga class to the other yogis one day. Was it the fresh healthy food being cooked for you? Maybe you could make bigger batches of what you’re already preparing so that you don’t have to cook every night, or slice up a plate of fruit and veggies to have on hand in the fridge.
6 – Finally, identify the areas where you waste time. Then, consider what ‘stopping’ means to you, and do more of that instead. Whether it’s lying on the bed with a face mask and a book, sitting outside and staring into space, or having a luxurious bath and a really early night, it need only take a few minutes a day to invite that sense of ‘taking a breath’ into the hurly-burly of everyday life, and maintain a little taste of that delicious retreat feeling back in everyday life.