Updated: Aug 14
by Thread Co-Founder, Liza Bertini
In 2001, I went on my first yoga retreat. It was only a weekend in Connecticut, not a week in an exotic destination, but it changed me forever. It showed me that I could really relax, learn new things, deepen my yoga practice, recharge, but most of all, it reminded me who I was. Just two days of pausing helped me reconnect to my Self, and to “dust off the mirror of my heart” as Krisha Das says. Retreating allowed my heart to soften and helped me see clearly again.
After becoming a yoga instructor myself, I realized how essential retreating is for wellbeing, especially for yoga teachers whose job is taxing physically, energetically, and mentally. I started hosting my own retreats and even co-founded a retreat business that I ran for over a decade. Each a every retreat experience I have had has been magical and healing in its own way.
Retreating should be built into every yoga teacher’s business plan. As yoga teachers our bodies, energy, and minds are our working tools. One can’t be their best self if injured, depleted, overwhelmed, uninspired, or disconnected.
Here are 11 reasons why a Yoga Teacher should retreat:
1. Time to Truly Pause
Unlike a vacation that takes lots of planning and scheduling and then doing, a retreat is a trip in which all you do is sign-up and get yourself there. Your retreat hosts usually do everything else for you. Eat amazing and healthy meals (without cooking or finding a restaurant), take classes, go on excursions already planned, or DO NOTHING. When I host a retreat, everything is optional and no one ever feels pressured to do more or see everything. It’s up to you. Time to relax comes easily on retreat as you unwind from the ongoing busyness of your regular life.
2. Get Inspired
The word Inspire literally means “to breathe into”. On retreat you can breathe life into your life and teaching. Inspiration can happen at any time, but it usually doesn’t happen when you are moving through your days on auto-pilot or stuck in habit. Inspiration can be sparked from a change of landscape or trying something new. We’re all creative. Creativity and inspiration happen when you take the time away from your day job to remember your daydream.
3. Have a Unique Experience Retreats vary in what they offer but when a group of people get together for a retreat it always winds up being unique. Each teacher offers something special, each guest brings their unique self, and each destination offers something new. I have never been on two retreats that were the same, even though I held retreats in the same location several years in a row. Each one offered a new way to experience life!
4. Get a New Perspective
Going away on a retreat can give you a new perspective on life. Discovering new ways to look at things can help you evaluate how you are showing up in life, and a teacher, and inform your future decisions. Sometimes to help get through current challenges we are facing; we need to be in touch with our creativity. Often the answers we need come when we are immersed in something. Clarity flows when we give ourselves time to retreat.