This article is written in a time where there are a lot of uncertainties. We are finding a way to deal with a virus that is affecting our lives drastically. We don’t know how long it will last and therefore I’m going to tell you a bit about how to create your own retreat at home! These tips will still stand after the crisis is over of course ;).
In the future, if you don’t have the budget to go on a yoga retreat, you might decide to hold your own retreat at home. There are a couple of pros and cons, of course, so you’ll have to see for yourself whether this will be a good idea for you.
The Pros of a Yoga Retreat At Home
You are the Creator
One of the biggest pros of your at-home retreat is that you can design it the way that you’d like it to be! If you’ve taken a look at my website before and you’ve seen a couple of retreats that caught your interest, but weren’t perfect, then now you can just do it yourself! You can pick your own style, you can pick your own schedule, make your own food (or take it out ;)), etc.
You are the Money Saver
Another positive is that it’s very low-budget. I do recommend that you’ll get an online subscription somewhere, or that you make sure that you get some guidance through YouTube Channels. Or heck, you can even ask me for guidance ;). This is very important, especially if you are just starting out doing yoga.
You are the Green Warrior
What’s a good thing about not choosing to go on a retreat is the fact that you’ll be saving the planet with it. You’ll lower your footprint by choosing a stay-at-home retreat. Making the world a better place.
You are the Relaxer
Do you remember what kind of stress it can give you to travel around? You know, time schedules, rushing into public transport, etc.? Well, you don’t have that on your own personal at-home retreat! You’ll be able to start your retreat on your terms, without the stress of traveling around. Which makes that you already start very relaxed with your retreat.
The Cons of a Yoga Retreat At home
What can happen when you are holding your own retreat at home is that you are not going to do what you actually planned to do. Which has the beautiful name of procrastination. It’s a nice name, but in the end, you won’t be feeling so great. Doing something at home asks for a lot of dedication. Luckily we will talk about it in this article, just to make sure that you will succeed!
You also have to be a bit cautious about your social contacts. You’ll be doing this all by yourself and it’s easy to just meet up with friends while you are holding a retreat for yourself. And it’s also fine, you probably need some social contacts as well. Although, be cautious that you find a good balance between not being lonely, or ruining your retreat because you decided to go out every night.
Lack of Guidance
Another thing that might occur is that you won’t have the guidance as you’d normally would on a yoga retreat. You won’t get the hands-on adjustment, neither the vocal guidance of a teacher. For beginners this might be a bit challenging as you’d always want to do the poses in a good way, rather than repeating the mistakes that you’ve always been doing.
How To Hold Your At-Home Retreat
Before you begin your holidays, you can already start to prepare yourself. The time you would normally need to pack your bags and to take care of your documents, you can now put into this preparation. It’s not that bad, it’s just that you need to know what you are going to do before you start your retreat.
Decide the type of retreat
And when we are talking about preparation, it all starts with deciding how you see your retreat! This means that you’ll have to think about which type of yoga or meditation you’d like to do and what your intention is (for example: for your knees, anxiety, …). If you’ve got this straight, you’re off to a good start already!
Why is this so important? Well, the moment you start your retreat, you want to know how it will flow. Nothing as worse as having to look for the proper video or yoga flow when you are already on your mat. And yes, this will lead to procrastinating!
Do your research
When you know what you’d like your retreat to look like, it’s time to do a bit of research. If you are planning to work with videos, make sure that you have your playlist already prepared. There are a lot of YouTube channels where you’ll find free videos. If you’d like to have a more professional setting though, without ads, you can always decide to get a subscription somewhere.
The need to eat
Yes, also during your at-home retreat you’re going to need to eat something at some point. Make sure that you don’t fall into the habit of going for take-out or other fast food. Did you even know that you can take your meditation into your cooking? You should give it a try during your retreat!
Meal plans are very important to take care of as well. You don’t want to go to the supermarket every single day. Put into your schedule a shopping day so that you’ve got everything you need! And make sure that you put some healthy things on there as well :).
Make a schedule
You see it on every yoga retreat: a schedule. This is done not just to make it convenient for the retreat organizers, but also for you. Somehow we always like to have a structure and our body and brain really react well on it.
Make sure that you make one in advance, and don’t forget about the golden rules of yoga. Don’t plan any yoga activities right before a meal! Here is one of my personal schedules that I often use, even if it’s just for a day retreat:
8.00: Morning Active Meditation
12.00: Vinyasa Yoga
13.30: Lunch (Soup or Salad)
18.00: Dinner (Bread Meal or very light dinner)
20.30: Hatha Yoga
I regularly do three sessions a day, but you can even decide to have 2 sessions or just 1 as well if you’ve planned some other things as well.
During the Retreat
You also have to be really conscious of what you are going to do during your free time. You don’t have to plan out your whole day, but just make sure that you set yourself some boundaries. For example, don’t go watch television the whole time as this is quite counterproductive. Tell yourself that you can watch your favorite show every day or one movie in the evening.
If you have some hobbies that are quite relaxing for you, try to see if you can fit them in your retreat. If you are a big fan of making puzzles, you can almost fill your whole day doing that! If not, there are many other things you are able to do, don’t worry ;).
Minimize social contacts
It might be a bit of a contradiction with my previous tip, although it makes sense. You have to make sure that you don’t put yourself out there too much as this retreat is for you. Therefore, inform your friends and family what you are planning to do and see where you can fit them into your schedule.
You can go for tea in the afternoon with each other for example, rather than going out for drinks and dinner in the evening.
Also, if you’ve got a family to take care of, make sure that your partner is on-board with your idea. Make sure that you have a quiet space for your yoga practices and that nobody will disturb you. Also, within your schedule, make time for yourself if you are taking care of others. For example, put another hour in your morning schedule where you can relax in your yoga space before hitting the hectics of a family again.
After the retreat
Make sure that you don’t schedule your retreat in such a way that you already have to go back to work the next day. If you’ve got 7 days of holidays, do your retreat for five days. This will give you the time to acclimatize before you head back into your daily routine.
And it also gives you the time to make sure that you don’t have to do all your chores during your retreat! This way you don’t have to think about everything you still have to do before you go back into the daily rush.
Enjoy your retreat and…