One thing that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, in fact, you could actually say it was a bucket list item for me, is a yoga retreat. They always look so peaceful and filled with bliss and relaxation in a beautiful environment. Over the past few months, I’ve been going back and forth over booking one – trying to work out my holidays, my budget and so on. But I got offered an amazing opportunity to be able to join a yoga retreat at Raithwaite Estate near Whitby and I, of course, immediately said yes! I would have practically signed my life over for it in fact – just tell me which boxes to tick and where to sign!
The yoga retreat is nearby me (as opposed to those on the south coast or in far away climes like India or Thailand…one day!) and is over a weekend in April, so it worked perfectly with my holidays for this year. I’m already SO excited – being able to experience a yoga retreat is like a dream come true for me!
I’ve written about my yoga journey a few times before, but I actually started doing yoga when I was about 16 at school. We had a maths teacher who was also trained in yoga who ran classes in our games session slots. Now as many of you probably know, I’m not a sporty person – I never made it onto any of the teams. Well, except for the 3rds Netball team – and that’s actually worse than it sounds when you realise that I was in the first intake of girls into a boys’ school and there were, maximum, 25 of us! I really didn’t like being forced into playing netball, hockey, lacrosse and rounders three or four times a week, but when you reached Sixth Form, you were finally allowed to choose your options, so straight away I picked swimming and yoga. And I mostly picked yoga because I thought it was a lot of laying on the floor and stretching – like I said, I had a terrible opinion of exercise of any kind at this point!
It turns out that yoga’s not really like that at all, to be honest! I did those classes at school a couple of times a week for two years, and while I could tell you the names of the various poses we did and take you through a salute to the sun, I definitely wasn’t making the most of it, although I’ve only realised now I’ve started up doing yoga again.
Last year we got a gym put in at work and that was pretty awesome really! But Laura and I decided that we were going to use it to try something else out as well: yoga. We gathered together various yoga DVDs that we owned (I’d bought a few to do at uni and afterwards but not really picked them up) and gave them a go. In the end, the DVDs weren’t what we wanted so we started using Yoga with Adriene YouTube videos and got massively into them, doing the 30 day challenge and even more.
Now just over a year later, it’s safe to say I’m addicted. A day without yoga for me now just feels weird! I try to do yoga in every lunch break, but sometimes I have other things to do so I do it in the evenings instead – the only days I tend to miss are ones where I’ve been too busy or too ill to do it.
And that’s when I decided I wanted to do some serious yoga: a retreat. And fortunately, Raithwaite Estate got in touch at just the right time as I was just researching various ones I could do!
The retreat I’ll be doing is a really interesting one as it also incorporates 3 stand up paddle boarding yoga sessions too – eek! I’m a little bit nervous about these because from the research I’ve done, it looks like you need good core strength to get your balance right, so that’s a little bit scary! But I’m also a lot of excited about these sessions too – it’s something entirely different to what I’m used to and I’m hoping that it will improve my yoga practice by taking away the steady ground beneath me so that when I return to solid earth, it’ll feel a lot easier. Fingers crossed!
The retreat is 2 nights, 3 days, includes 2 night’s accommodation in an Executive Bedroom, breakfast each day, lunch on Saturday, a 3 course meal each evening, and full access to the spa facilities – I may even book a treatment too! There are 5 other yoga sessions too including sunrise yoga with meditation and Yoga Nidra – evening meditation. I’m ridiculously excited for these sessions! If you’d like to find out more about the retreat, there’s some information here.
So now I want to know – have you ever done a yoga retreat? Where was it and what was it like?
PS: Images in this post are a series of outdoor yoga pictures I took on our recent trip to (rainy!) Northumberland – I decided it would be fun to get some #yogaeverywhere pictures, and it was! I’m sharing more on my Instagram, so keep an eye out for those there!