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4 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Yoga Retreat

March 7, 2016

yoga retreats in costa rica

I love my life. I love waking up at 6 a.m., preparing breakfast and lunches for my two older kids, drinking my green juice (followed by ample amounts of coffee), breastfeeding the baby, heading off to school (7:25 a.m. start time for my 8th grader…OY), heading to my yoga studio, KamaDeva Yoga to teach a class, answer emails, re-stock the toilet paper…  I love the daily routine and the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment I get from taking care of my kids, my business, spending some quality time with my boyfriend, making the beds, straightening up the house.

But, I think I am able to love it even more because of the balance I am able to create by also getting away.  I have been teaching yoga for over 20 years now, and I have been teaching yoga, SUP, surf, and fitness retreats for almost as long.  If you had to ask me what part of my “job” I love most of all, it would be retreats.

I almost feel guilty in saying this but I can’t wait for the first retreat of the season. I can’t wait to throw a few bikinis and pairs of yoga shorts into a carry on, make the drive to JFK, hop on the plane and arrive, a few hours later, in a warm, tropical place, every sense awakened by the smell of tropical flowers, the healing energy of the sun, the wildlife, …. all of it.

Day one of these retreats we all get to know each other…  there is always a time of transition.  People are tired from traveling, they may be in an unfamiliar place for the first time, settling into a different routine, different food, new people.  By that evening, however, the transformation is already apparent.  The guard is down, (along with the hair), and strangers have already become friends (often for life).  By the last day, the group is happy, relaxed, cleansed, transformed on some level, ready to return back to their life with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity, perhaps even just a commitment to taking better care of themselves, or carving out time for more play in their lives, and my job is done.  Until the next retreat.

4 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Yoga Retreat

1. You won’t regret it.

Whether the hesitation is financial, logistical, or even apprehension about being able to ‘handle’ the retreat experience of lots of yoga or activity and healthful food, do it.  A good retreat offers something for everyone.  Not feeling like 2 yoga classes per day?  Take one.  Can’t stomach yet another organic meal?  Indulge in something less healthy if that is what you feel you need.  As your retreat host, I have absolutely zero judgement about where you have come from, where you are at, and where you are headed.  Your journey is your own- be true to yourself, and I will honor that.

2. You deserve it.  

When was the last time you did something for yourself?  Truly, for yourself?  Especially if you are a woman reading this post, between our partners or significant others, our children, our jobs, there is often not enough time in the day.  Time spent on oneself is beyond crucial for one’s well-being and growth.  Explain to your partner, explain to your children, explain to your boss.  You deserve it!!!

3. You will have the time of your life. I promise.  

I can not remember, in all of the retreats I have led to all of the various places I have led them, anyone having a bad time ever – I swear.  There is something about going away with a group of strangers and doing lots of yoga in a beautiful place that is, in so many ways, so much better than just going on ‘vacation’ –  having to seek out a gym or fitness class, and then laying around a pool for the rest of the time.  Even people that like that sort of thing tell me how much more they enjoy the retreat experience, which is why many of my retreat attendees come back again and again, year after year..

4. You will return home a different person (for better, not for worse).  

I am not suggesting that you need to be a different person, but  we are changing (as is the world around us) every single moment of every single day.  Who you are today is not who you were yesterday or even this morning.  So, yes, you will return home a different person (for better, not for worse).

This blog was originally published on Jessica Bellofatto’s website. See the original post. 

Join Jessica on the island of Ithaca on our Greece Yoga Retreat this spring from May 21–28! Find out all the details here. 

Jessica Bellofatto has been intrigued by the practice of Yoga for the past 24 years, since she was an undergrad at NYU studying dance. Since then, she has accumulated thousands of hours of training in styles such as Jivamukti, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Iyengar, and Anusara and is currently pursuing yet another certification in the Ashaya Yoga Method. First and foremost a student, Jessica has also studied Thai Massage, Reiki, and other forms of alternative healing modalities. Believing that movement is medicine, and through movement we can uncover the source of who we are and ‘Just. Be. You.’ Jessica is also an avid surfer, stand up paddleboarder (and pioneer of SUP Yoga- Yoga on the Paddleboard), and triathlete. In addition to teaching Yoga and SUP, she is the owner and director of KamaDeva Yoga in East Hampton, NY and is a skilled and FUN retreat guide, leading retreats throughout the year to epic locations. A momma of three, homebirther, and natural birth advocate, Jessica teaches to inspire and empower women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to step into the Bliss and Joy which is our true nature and our birthright.

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