By Robyn Parets
I couldn’t have picked a worse time to go on a yoga retreat.
Say what? Since when is going on a yoga retreat a bad thing?
But let me back up a bit here. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have gone on the retreat. I’m saying it wasn’t a good time to go.
That’s right. Pretzel Kids yoga is the midst of our biggest brand initiative in more than three years. Yup, right now – at this very moment. As the founder of Pretzel Kids yoga, it’s my job to make sure everything gets done – from communicating with my web development team, to working with the press, to planning new membership perks for licensed Pretzel Kids teachers. The deadlines are just insane at this exact point in time. Not to mention that I run Pretzel Kids from our grand Boston headquarters (ha!), aka my home office. This means I’m also constantly juggling phone calls from my mother and my kids, as well as nudges from my two dogs to take them out for yet another walk.
So, if I could have picked a time to get away, prioritize my self-care and unplug, it would NOT have been now. But this brings me to my next point: Is there ever a good time to escape work pressure and turn inward?
Is there ever an ideal time to shut off your phone and ignore a slew of emails for at least a week?
Getting away is hard, regardless of whether you’re taking a European vacation or going to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for a few days of rest and relaxation. At the same time, taking time off from work is necessary for your own mental and physical well-being. It helps prevent burnout, which can be seriously detrimental to your health, according to Thrive Global.
With that, I’m going to leave you with my top five reasons to go on a yoga retreat. Better yet, go it alone:
1. You need time to recharge, even in the midst of chaos. Time off from work to go on a yoga retreat helps you slow down and take essential time to take care of yourself.
2. You’ll return with more focus. When you do #1, you’ll return to work invigorated and ready to charge forward with more energy and focus.
3. Your best ideas are hatched when you get away from your daily grind. Ok, maybe this doesn’t happen for you, but it certainly happens for me. When I’m away from home, I can more readily take the time to meditate, practice yoga, go for long walks alone, and kayak on a still lake. I often come away with the answers I have been seeking.
4. When you go on a solo retreat, you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. For me, this is liberating. I get to do what I want, when I want. But not only that, I also have time to become more mindful and contemplate my next steps.
5. You can create. What does this mean? It means you get to be your own creative genius, at least while you’re away (and better yet, you can take it home with you). If you want to write, bring along a journal (yes, leave your computer behind). If you want to photograph nature, have at it. Like to paint? Just do it. This is your time to let your creative juices flow and trust me, this will help you move forward when you return home.
Pick a Retreat Center and Go
I typically go to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Ma. twice a year. Sometimes I pick an interesting program, sometimes I just take a few days of R&R. Sometimes the timing feels right.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
Regardless, I go. And I come home refreshed, recharged and ready to seize the day. So, you better watch out: Pretzel Kids is about add tons more classes and teachers, and I am ready for it!