At a recent family outing, my sister-in-law practiced yoga on the deck of our rented home just off the harbor in New Jersey, with the smell of the ocean and the gentle sound of the crashing waves behind her. As I watched, I could not imagine a more peaceful setting for practicing yoga.
Sometimes all it takes is your imagination to put you in that serene and beautiful atmosphere. Other times, you just need to get away. With the popularity of yoga not waning anytime soon, and a longing for healthier ways to vacation, yoga retreats offer everything a vacationer could desire. You can be as active as you desire, or you can simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Even if you’re not a die-hard yoga fan, there is so much about a yoga retreat to enjoy. Here are 8 reasons to take a yoga retreat:
8 Reasons to Take a Yoga Retreat 1 of 9
Need to get away? This will Make You Say Om.
Soothe your mind 2 of 9
The practice of yoga, by its very nature, can help to reduce anxiety. The slow and deliberate movements, the peaceful atmosphere, and the attention paid to your breathing all allow you to relax and de-stress. Not only does it help you to de-stress, studies have also found that practicing yoga improves both concentration and memory.
Improve your health 3 of 9
We bet you might have figured out already that mobile phone calls increase your blood pressure, and research even confirms it. Yoga, on the other hand, is proven to lower your blood pressure. So why not unplug for a while?
Yoga is known for its tremendous health benefits, from making your body more flexible to improving your cardiovascular health. Yoga gets the blood flowing, which lowers your blood pressure and improves heart functioning. Practicing at a yoga retreat will give you a concentrated amount of time to focus on your body's needs.
Learn something new 4 of 9
Sometimes we can forget about our worries simply by concentrating on something new. From photography to cooking classes to surf lessons to Ayurvedic medicine, there are retreats that provide a variety of learning experiences. At Adventure Yoga Sustainability Retreat at Jungle Bay in Dominica you can learn about sustainable lifestyles and organic farming. At Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Montana, they offer classes the likes of a tea blending workshop and a chocolate workshop, among others.
Spend time in nature 5 of 9
At most yoga retreats, you will have the opportunity to take classes outdoors in serene settings, such as staring at the ocean waves or snow-capped mountains. Spending time outside in nature is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Choose a retreat that serves your outdoor tastes, whether it is taking long afternoon hikes or surfing the waves. At Stowe Mountain Retreats, for example, you can hike, canoe, kayak, ski, or play tennis, depending on the time of year you visit.
Enjoy the water 6 of 9
Therapeutic salt rooms are popping up all over the world, where people can take in (literally) the health benefits of sea salt. If a room of salt can be beneficial, imagine what a day on the open water can do for your health. Whether you want to combine yoga with sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, or just enjoy the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves, there is a retreat for you.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Experience new adventures 7 of 9
Yoga retreats are not necessarily all poses and chanting, you know. There is plenty of time before or after you say Om to enjoy new experiences. For example, you can go cave tubing in Mexico, and take a wildlife tour in Costa Rica. The Body Holiday in St. Lucia has a huge variety of activities, from archery to tennis and from scuba diving to golf. Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers snowshoeing, skiing, and horseback riding.
Let loose 8 of 9
Some people may not fully de-stress and decompress until they let off a little steam in the partying way. Fortunately, many yoga retreats offer ways to let loose. At the famous Greenbrier Resort you can do a yoga class, a meditation walk, and have tea in the morning, then hit the restaurants and casino at night. (While some may love the excitement of a casino, others may not find it the best way to de-stress. Whatever works for you!) At Las Olas Surf & Yoga in Mexico, you can learn to make the perfect margarita and how to salsa dance. Ole!
Breathe 9 of 9
When we are stressed out, many of us tend to hold our breath or take shorter breaths, when in fact, what we should be doing is practicing deep breathing. Yoga allows us to focus on our breaths and learn how to control our breathing. Why is this important? Because deep breathing has many health benefits, including reduced stress levels, less hypertension, and improved brain function. So no matter which type of yoga retreat you choose or why you need to get away, make sure you take a breather, literally and figuratively.
Are you ready for a yoga retreat? Where is your favorite place to say Om?
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