Q: Why should I join a Yoga Retreat? Do I need to have yoga experience?

A: The short answer is: 1. Because you’re worth it. 2. No.

Participating in a yoga retreat is like eating a very most delicious salad filled with healthy ingredients – or other dish of fresh food –  when you are very hungry. After you’re done, you are completely satisfied and you also know that you did something good for your body. As most of us are very busy living our lives, often we forget that not only our body but also our mind and spirit need a vacation once in a while (and I am speaking for myself too!): The kind of vacation during which you don’t need to think of anything. Where all your meals are taken care of, and you don’t need to worry about getting your daily dose of vitamins or whether there will be great tasting vegetarian options available.  A get-a-way for your mind, because of the yoga that you will be practicing twice a day so your train of thoughts will be slowed down significantly. (And if your body is tired, oh bliss: you are just going to take a nap!) A yoga retreat allows for time to develop a new relationship with your body. It doesn’t matter if you are new to yoga, or a seasoned practitioner: when you practice yoga twice a day you will certainly find new physical capabilities. And by stretching and breathing so much you will have the opportunity to let go of bodily imprints (Samskaras) that are preventing your energy from flowing freely and (thus) living a life in joy.

And I haven’t even spoken of the fact how wonderful an opportunity a yoga retreat is to go away by yourself, yet still spending time with like-minded people. What a great ‘excuse’ to go explore new places (and I’m not only talking about your inner space)! Maybe joining a yoga retreat will be a life changing experience. Like it was for me, several years ago….

After a painful period in my life – and having a stressful job as a corporate lawyer – I decided to go to Bali, Indonesia, to attend a yoga retreat. During this six days yoga retreat, I attended yoga classes two times a day. It was then that I truly experienced what yoga did for my body. After two days, my body felt more “open” than it had ever done before. Suddenly, I could do some postures I had never been able to do. Moreover, I felt a direct relation between my emotions and all the practice I did. A good example of how the mind-body connection works! The peace I felt in my body afterwards was unbelievable. My mind could go on having all kinds of thoughts, but my body was just silent and feeling soft from the inside out. That retreat made me long for more. I decided to find a yoga teacher training, only because I wanted to learn more about yoga.

A friend, who is also a yoga teacher, once told me: “You don’t have to go look for the right yoga teacher training, the right one will come to you”. And so it happened. While I was still on Bali, I read about the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Massachusetts, USA) in a yoga magazine. Something inside me stirred. At home, I checked the Kripalu website. It resonated deeply. I just knew: “This is where I have to go”.

A year later, I became a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher. I had found my Dharma (life purpose). I quit my law job and moved to the United States to teach yoga and be with my partner (who – by the way – I had met on Bali that time). Now I am a faculty assistant in the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training and an experienced yoga retreat leader. Anything is possible when you are listening to your Soul.

Are you ready to listen? Want to change your life? Here is the good news: I will be teaching several yoga retreats this year, and you are very welcome to join! Click here to see an overview!

Nap in Bali