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Retreat Yourself

March 22nd, 2017

YYoga instructor Lisa Messina shares the benefits of yoga retreats, including the chance to connect to ourselves and others more deeply. 

There is a wealth to yoga beyond the sixty odd minutes you allow yourself to step out of a busy day and into a studio. Or perhaps 'allow’ isn't the right word. Many of us may feel more like we 'carve' out time in the day, or 'steal away' for a longer lunch break to grab a quick class. Making time to practice can start to look this way when we balance moments of self-care with the busyness of modern day living. 

Imagine what the experience of yoga can look like when it isn't book-ended by 'busy.’ Rather than rushing home, waiting for you is a meal made with care from ingredients grown right outside the studio walls. How differently could you digest the process of yoga if the only thing you had to do following your practice was just digest it? What would your relationships with fellow practitioners look like when you have the time to relate?

Our practice becomes more sustained and satiated.

I feel there is a strong need for longer, more sustained practices, a chance to connect to ourselves and others more deeply, a sabbatical of sorts…a retreat. When we make time to practice, we make space for other processes to naturally arise. We can get to know ourselves deeper. Our practice becomes more sustained and satiated. We elaborate on aspects of the yoga practice that are only briefly covered in class time. We take stock of the many branches necessary to explore when considering a holistic approach to healing. And when we do this away from our homes, pressing pause on our responsibilities, we become more responsible for ourselves and our relationships. These are the reasons I continue to host like-minded people on retreats. I organize journeys that satisfy our need to be activated, to be nurtured, and to feel safe. Retreats are necessary for personal and relational development that can otherwise be quite difficult amidst the usual day-to-day responsibilities.

This June, I am hosting my sixth international yoga retreat in a place I visited last summer - Puglia, Italy. I was so struck by its warmth and charm, that I set out to book time at one of the world's most renowned retreat centres, La Rosa dei Quattro Venti. Practicing yoga in a restored 17th century monastery is nothing short of magical. To enrich the offering further, I invited my esteemed colleague, Adam Bolton, to co-host with me. 

Space and time are luxuries too often undervalued in the context of a yoga practice. Let's luxuriate! Retreat from the everyday and come back to the most sacred responsibility, that of self-care.  

Lisa Messina Retreat Blog Sized

Learn more about Lisa's retreat: www.drishtiyogacentre.com.

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