“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” — The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga is an absolutely transformative practice… each and every Asana has the potential to change you in ways you may never imagine. But a yoga retreat is an experience all in itself, and there are very few words to describe the way spending a week surrounded by lush forest, breathtaking ocean views and a supportive group of like-minded friends can change you. Unfortunately, there are a few people who don’t join in this metamorphic experience because of myths surrounding attending a yoga retreat. Here are a few myths (that you may have thought of as well, so be sure to read on) that surround attending a yoga retreat.
1. Yoga Retreats are for yoga experts only
One of the most common misconceptions about yoga retreats? That they are for yoga experts only. While the photos on Instagram may look like everyone has been practicing since they could walk, most people who attend yoga retreats have actually never been to one, and are more often than not brand new to yoga. Over the years, family members join our retreats that have never even set foot on a mat before taking the step to join us for a transformation of self and soul.
2. They are wildly expensive
Another upsetting misconception is that retreats have to be wildly expensive. That is simply not true, especially when you consider the cost of a traditional vacation. Where else in the world could you enjoy 7 days of luxury accommodations, ocean views, 3 organic and gourmet meals (and 2 snacks) and 3 hours of yoga a day for less than $1000?
3. Participants undergo deprivation and suffering
A much older misconception derived from a very specific form of yoga practice created this misconception. Yoga is in fact NOT painful, and while there was at one time a very strict training available to people who wanted to partake in it, it is NOT how yoga retreats now are. In fact? Most of our retreats are fun and spent laughing, shifting and learning to enjoy your practice again.
4. Everyone must be serious
Another common misconception, this is simply not true. Most of our retreats are filled with laughter, joy and a great time. In fact, most retreat families stay connected and host reunions after chatting, enjoying good food and wine and supporting one another throughout the week spent at Anamaya.
5. A strict diet must be adhered to
Yoga and a healthy diet go hand in hand. So while we do offer organic, mostly plant-based food that is grown at our nearby farm, we do include chicken and fish options, cater to almost any dietary restrictions and offer tons of variation for different palettes. We can also be found eating chocolate and drinking wine at the end of a beautiful day and laughing into the wee hours of the night with newfound friends.
6. You practice for 24 hours
If yoga for 24 hours is your dream, we have decks open to practice as long as you’d like. 😉 But most retreats won’t be anything like that! In fact, most of the guests that visit Anamaya choose packages that have them doing other activities such as surfing, scuba diving or ziplining for many more hours than they actually attend yoga. It is common for you to practice yoga from 2-5 hours a day, but at most retreats, this is a choice, not a commitment.
7. You can’t attend alone
If you had a chat with our founder, she would recommend you DO go alone. Attending a yoga retreat that is supportive gives you the space to be completely alone and go through a transformative experience while never once feeling alone. It is space without loneliness and the perfect space to explore yourself, recover from a traumatic experience or re-center and reconnect yourself. Attending a yoga retreat can be an absolutely cathartic experience that changes your perspective, creates a powerful change for you or just re-invigorates your practice in a new way – but no matter what myth or fear is keeping you from attending – don’t let it get in the way of this experience. But don’t listen to us, hear it from a few of our newest family members. Book your retreat here.