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Going on a yoga retreat is a beautiful opportunity to delve deeper into your yoga practice, take some much needed time to connect to yourself, and add healing treatments like massage or meditation…depending on where you choose to retreat. If you are able to attend a retreat, I highly recommend it; however, if you aren’t able to attend a retreat, why not create your own in three easy steps?
You roll out your yoga mat, take your seat, and begin your routine before class starts. A routine comprised of stretching, sitting or lying down to mentally prepare, or maybe enjoying some time to chat with your fellow yogis. All is as it should be, yet something seems off. You’re uninspired, going through the motions, not as aware of what you’re doing, feeling low in energy and even contemplating the need to take more breaks.
On a regular basis, I have people tell me all of the reasons they don’t do yoga: they aren’t flexible enough, they feel awkward compared to others in class, they can’t quiet their mind, they aren’t fit…the list goes on and on, filled with fear and uncertainty. While it makes me sad that so many people are holding themselves back from experiencing the transformative beauty of yoga, I am also happy that so many people are sharing these thoughts with me because in sharing they are looking for answers.
Self love. It is the foundation of a happy life and yet, at times, is so hard to hold on to. So, what is self love? While some consider self love to be conceited, the Yamas and Niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras teach us that self love is a combination of ahimsa (non-violence) brahmacharya (non-excess), and santosha (contentment).
It’s the holiday season. A wonderful time of year that somehow gets stressful and chaotic with all of the things to do, events to host as well as attend, and relationships to celebrate through gifts and time spent together.
Maintaining balance and letting go of the stress of the season is a practice of its own. Fortunately, with a little mindfulness, planning, and compassion, you can embrace the season feeling more refreshed, grateful, and happy.