What Happens on a Retreat?

…and what should I bring?

You may have considered a retreat, or taking a break but a few things may be holding you back; money, guilt or fear of the unknown or expectations on you from the leader or the group? We spend so much time on useless energy around guilt with the ‘should’s’ and ‘have to’s’ which we set upon ourselves in our lives and these things can really drag us down over the months…creating anxiety and depression.

We put everyone else before us and get bogged down, overwhelmed and exhausted.  Sometimes we experience anxiety, or fatigue and our usual sunny selves turns a little flat and grey.

Mixing with like-minded people, but having time to yourself

Self-love to bounce back to life

By looking after yourself you build yourself back with energy, joy and peace.  This makes you feel lighter, free-er and happy. When we feel like this we give back in a way that is so natural and simply part of the joyous, peaceful and abundant energy we exude.

But when we feel tired, from saying yes to too many things outside of us, and saying no to ourselves, we feel obliged, maybe even bitter; the negative internal feelings become suppressed which can often lead to distress within the body, not just the mind.  When was the last time you took a break, even a small pause in the day? Do you check in with your mind and body to find out if you’re out of balance? Do you know how?

Some of you may have seen my blog on ‘Getting Back to YOU’, where I spent 2 days in a pod on my own with no wifi or reception, in the middle of Powys.  It has kept my fuel tank filled with self-love until now when I’m now looking into the next break that feels right for me.

Listen to the Niggles

Retreats are more than just a well deserved time out, they are a chance to learn a little more about you, discover your triggers, your red flags that are little niggles from your deeper consciousness trying to tell you when to change something. The tools and techniques help to find what works for you to get back to yourself, but also maintain your balance going forward and which ones can help you when you fall off the wagon. With this extra awareness we can make choices that feel right to YOU. How can we do this? By getting to know ourselves.  By pausing and listening to ourselves; away from the hustle and bustle and investing in our own personal development, learning and growing.

What you might find on a retreat is:

  • Checking into your venue
    • this might be basic or luxury but it’s usually about the location rather than the quality of the bedroom. Not all will be ensuite and some are only sharing rooms. I tend to always have single and ensuite options as this is what I like myself, then sharing a room is cheaper. Most will have photos of the rooms and you can always ask. I usually recommend people to bring their own pillow and some slippers for extra comfort.
  • Intro
    • this usually involves a short talk/ intro about the weekend where everyone gathers for the 1st time. It can be casual, or before a yoga class or over dinner, depedning on the time of arrival. The retreat leader would usually send and agenda or there be one in your room. I would always recommend coming in casual clothes in case it’s not clear that a yoga session is about to begin. Get a vibe for your yoga retreat leader by taking a look at their website or going to their class if they are nearby. Even a phone call can let you know if they are the right person for you and if the yoga style is for your liking. Check my blog on finding your yoga vibe
  • Yoga/ Meditation/ Mindfulness
    • Most Yoga retreats will have a welcome yoga class, then 2 per day. If it’s a weekend retreat that would mean Friday night, Saturday morning then afternoon/ evening and one on the Sunday. Some do more/less. I always do those 4 and people can opt in and out. Some do super early sessions so check what kind of style suits you. Would you rather be up with the lark, or take your mornings slow? I like a slower morning but we are all different. Don’t worry if you are new to it, drop all expectations and just go with the flow, bene
  • Food and drink
    • Food is generally vegan or vegetarian but you’ll often find that the food is amazeballs. The retreat hosts are experts at catering for all types of preferences and allergies and even meat lovers do not miss meat with the variety on offer. If you could take their chefs home I’m sure you would continue to eat this way. It’s a great easy to get back into a positive cycle. There are often fruit and tea available all day but bring snacks just in case. Most venues don’t sell wine but if you like a tipple you can always think about bringing your own. I find my groups bring something and connect in the evenings. Some retreats don’t allow because they are working more with detoxing on all levels so check that out with the retreat leader.
  • Connections
    • Even if you tend towards the introversion side, chances are – someone else will too. Over the blissful days on your retreat you may open up to someone, or simply connect through a smile. Friendships are made and that includes with yourself. Don’t worry if you have a ‘moment’, things can come up but you are in good hands. If you’re with me, I’m qualified therapist and can always be there to support at any time. Sometimes you may just want to retreat to your own space and chillax! But you can’t beat those deep chats with like-minded folks 🙂
  • Other bits
    • You might find extra stuff going on through the retreat such as walks, meditations, workshops so I would recommend bringing things on the list below. Remember everything is optional, never feel pressure or guilt. The retreat is for YOU and what feels right for you. There may be a theme so be sure to check what else…

What to bring?

  • couple of yoga outfits (leggings, baggy top etc.)
  • warm jumper
  • waterproofs (and umbrella)
  • walking shoes and flip flops (for easy access from your room to the yoga studio etc.)
  • notebook and pen
  • book (I often bring loads of books to lend people but it’s a good opportunity to read but don’t ad extra pressure by bringing 5 books!)
  • snacks?
  • pillow, pj’s and slippers
  • yoga mat (unless provided) and any other props like cushion/ block
  • chargers, phone, money (even though you won’t use them – hopefully)
  • any oils, incense/ fragrances/ candles and lighter

It’s easier than you think to make a shift, all it takes is a shift in the mind to say yes, to you.

Sometimes all we need is space to break the cycle to give our bodies and/or minds the opportunity to heal themselves and the domino effect is powerful in flowing up that positive spiral. When you try something for the first time it can feel scary, you’re not alone.  Every time I see a newbie join the retreat, they always come away feeling calm and so happy they came, and then it’s something beautiful that they know they can return to again and again. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort bubble to find what we have been looking for all along, ourselves.

If you tend to feel anxious even though there’s something you would really like to do, don’t worry I’ve been there! I have suffered high anxiety and found the things that work for me. You can read about my healing in my blogs, and my tips for relieving anxiety is one of them.

We have 3 or 4 retreats every year. For our current retreats head to our RETREATS page and see our lovely little video compilation below with our TESTIMONIES. Take a look at our Monthly Mindfulness sessions for small pauses within the month and our videos that can be purchased for just £5 on the same from our products section of our booking and buying page.

Topics include:

  • EFT (Tapping)
  • Self-Hypnosis
  • NLP
  • Saying ‘No’
  • My 10 Day Retreat at Home
  • Relaxation and Meditation Techniques
  • Insomnia
  • Pranayama Breathing techniques
  • and more….

© Inspire and Rewire 2019