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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Benefits of A Yoga Retreat

When most people think of a yoga retreat the things that come to mind are “Will I Travel to an Exotic Place ?”, “Will I have a great looking body after the retreat?”, and “Will there be lots of Yoga?”

Yoga retreats are a huge growing trend because simply put, they change people’s lives.

So much more happens on a yoga retreat than the obvious benefits of stretching and strengthening your body; it is the way you stretch your mind and open up to greater fulfillment in your life.

In the retreats I hold, people often come for the physical fitness and healthy eating to get their bodies into shape, but they end up shocked at how deeply a retreat improves their life when they return.

One common statement I have heard over the years from married couples is that our retreats saved their marriage.  I have heard that our retreats enhance relationships, including finding new depth of love and trust, and an improved sex life.

Countless people have thanked me for giving them the courage for a deeply desired and long delayed divorce.  Several people have started their own businesses or made a career change; most all attendees on these retreats were most thankful for a new outlook on life.

Whether you have endured a loss of any kind, such as death or divorce, you are in the midst of finding a new career path, you want greater happiness or you simply want to get your body into the physical shape you desire, a yoga retreat will help you to accomplish these goals.

When you have time away from your normal daily routine and surround yourself in a nurturing environment, you will experience change in your thought patterns, leading to growth and allowing healing to occur. You will improve your physical fitness and see your body change, but more importantly is the acknowledgement of your own beauty inside and out. One satisfied attendee stated "I feel like a beautiful woman, and that is a beautiful thing!"

The Asana, or physical limb of the practice of Yoga, is what our western world often misunderstands Yoga to be. Asana is one of eight limbs and is used as a tool to break down physical tension, allowing openness of mind. Yoga is also about looking inward at how we treat ourselves and how we treat those around us, and interact in our external world. Yoga asks us what our beliefs are, who we are, what we want out of our life. You won't find this in running, kick-boxing or golf.

In yoga we say, "the issue is in the tissue." When we endure anxiety, anger or stress, our body often becomes tense and this tension is held in the physical body through muscle memory. We must release this tension so we can relieve dis-ease in the body before it manifests as disease. This can occur in a yoga class, but being in the space of a retreat, you have the opportunity to go much deeper. Not only does healing occur, but the mind opens up allowing creativity, inspiration, and dreams.

In our busy lives, we do not take the time to dream, or often even consider what it is we really want out of life. It is necessary to know what we want in order to achieve it. You don't fall into your dream life. You do the work to achieve it. A yoga retreat is one way to do that.

You must give yourself permission to live your dreams, go after your passions and be true to who you are. Sadly, many of us don't know who we really are because we are caught up being someone everyone else thinks we should be.  When you break down barriers and get to a place where you can quiet the mind; that is when you can listen to your heart, that is when you can get in touch with who you really are. Henry David Thoreau is quoted, "Live the life you imagined." That is my goal for people!

I practiced yoga in the States for years and never understood what this "spiritual" part was. You don't often get that in a yoga class. It wasn't until I lost a friend in a motorcycle accident, left a successful corporate job and traveled the world alone that I began this understanding.

I ended up on a month long intensive yoga teacher training in Bali , Indonesia . This is where I ended my physical journey around the world as a solo traveler, but began my journey to who I really am and towards a more fulfilling life.

I now feel compelled to share this type of work with others through yoga life coaching, yoga classes, and my favorite of all, yoga retreats. My next international trip will bring me back to where this began for me, when I take a group to Bali in May 2012, where author Elizabeth Gilbert explored in her best selling novel Eat, Pray, Love.

I would love for you to join me here!

For a more light-hearted, fun trip incorporating skiing, snowboarding, yoga and indulgence in food and life, join me in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado in March. This one is perfect to bring a partner or friend, deepen your relationship or just have a great time in a luxurious home, stretching muscles, hitting the slopes and rejuvenating.
I hope to meet you someday, and be a part of your journey!

Tara Nolan is a RYT, CYLC, International Vibrant Living Yoga Teacher & Certified Yoga Life Coach who has helped countless people with their lives through Yoga.

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