Traveling is wonderful. Abandoning daily routines, experimenting with new foods, speaking another language, turning strangers into friends–traveling makes the simplest thing different and exciting. But traveling can also be stressful: getting to and from the airport, the downtime during the physical travel itself, visa paperwork and customs. The stress of being on time and the boredom of waiting in line are total opposites to what I’d want in a yoga weekend or yoga retreat. On top of that, the money spent…so why not just plan a retreat / vacation at home?
To replicate the yoga retreat experience at home, register for a special yoga workshop or a weekend workshop at your home yoga studio and then plan for the little luxuries that would make your apartment feel like a yoga retreat vacation.
My guiding words for resting and recharging at home would be calm & serene, self-love, and connection with nature, so those are my criteria for my yoga retreat at home.
THE CRITICAL INGREDIENTS FOR A YOGA RETREAT EXPERIENCE AT HOME
♥ Make Time for Yourself
Clear your calendar for the day(s). I recommend 2 if not 3 days. You can meet up with friends if you’d like but don’t schedule anything that you wouldn’t schedule during a vacation. That is, yoga class and massages are ok; doing your taxes, not ok.
♥ Consider a Digital Sabbatical
Turn off your phone and check your email only once a day–or not at all. If you dare, don’t go online at all. Being offline is one of the best things about a vacation, so why not tell everyone that you will not be reachable via email or phone for 48 or 72 hours?
If you’re worried about getting bored, make sure you have a stack of books ready.
♥ Refresh your Environment
Either stay in a hotel or get your apt professionally cleaned to get the hotel experience. Change your bed linens and buy some flowers in a vase to give your home that hotel feeling. Light a new scented candle and buy a special bath product for your bath.
♥ Tune In Internally
Get in touch with yourself through writing. Buy yourself a notebook if you don’t already have one. Try to write three pages as soon as you wake up to get everything out of your head. If you don’t know where to start, try listing 100 reasons you’re grateful every day.
If you want to connect deeply with yourself, try observing silence for one day. Observing silence is exactly what it sounds like: not talking to anyone! Some people will allow themselves to speak when necessary or to write things down to communicate when necessary. You can wear a little sign to let people know that you are observing silence for the day. Decide on your boundary and stick to it! This will deepen your awareness internally when you are not focused on interacting with other people.
♥ Nourish your soul
Hide the foods in your kitchen that you want to avoid during your urban yoga retreat. Put chips, cookies, beer, perhaps even coffee in a cabinet. Lock it if you want to make it harder for yourself to access the forbidden goodies. To take it one step further, get rid of them entirely by donating them.
If you like to cook, stock your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables in season.
Otherwise, get some new herbal teas, some fruits, and some lemons for your water, and order delivery or eat out at organic vegan restaurants. Even if you’re not usually vegan, it will do your body good to cut out dairy and meat for two to three days.
♥ Move your body
Take a yoga workshop to delve into a subject you’ve always been curious about. Walk in nature. Swim in a lake.
I would love to hear your tips for recreating a yoga retreat experience at home, so please share your ideas in the comments below.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my ideas for recreating a yoga retreat experience in different neighborhoods in Berlin, so stay tuned!