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Too busy to go on a retreat?

I get that, we all lead busy lives, and most of us, yoga teachers included, have a limited number of days we can take as holiday.

But on the other hand, sometimes you just need to get away. Not just from your day to day work and environment but from everything. Family holidays are lovey, reconnecting with your loved ones in a hopefully no pressure environment is precious. But but they can be stressful as well, if you are trying to please everyone and there is so much to organise in advance.

I try to find the time, a couple of times a year to go on a yoga retreat. It might only be a weekend away or maybe if Im lucky, something longer and more in depth.  I know when I go on a yoga retreat there will be healthy vegetarian food prepared and waiting for me after my class. I can rely on relaxed, comfy accommodation that someone else has checked out for me.  And so far Ive never been disappointed with the good company. In fact, Ive made some very special and life long friendships with people Ive met at a yoga retreat.  It refreshes and reinvigorates my own yoga practice too.

This year  I'm going on a yin yoga retreat for a whole week. Yes, a whole week of yin. I am becoming more and more attracted to this fast growing but slow paced yoga style. Everyone seems to be offering yin yoga or yin yang or yin and restorative classes. As a yoga teacher myself I want to find out more how you plan and sequence yin classes, how you keep your students focused during the long up to 5 minute postures holds.  

There are plenty of books to read and even on line courses to follow. But by going away on a retreat not only will I get my daily practice but I’ll be learning so much more about how the postures work in practice, how to connect with my energy body, and I expect to come away with a deep knowledge of integrating meridians and chakra elements to my classes. It’s going to be hard work, with lots to take on. And very intense. But the supportive environment created by a community of yogis committed to experiencing the slow practice of yin yoga will make it all worthwhile.

Being a yoga Teaching can be an isolating, so building up a network of teachers who follow a similar yoga philosophy is really important. There are lots of yin teaching trainings available now - even on line courses and those run over several weekends. But for me the retreat format will give me so much more than just adding to my knowledge.  I’ve decided to go on Regina Kerschbaumer’s Yoga Orchid Yinstitute training in April because Ive been to quite a few of her Saturday teacher masterclasses and Im impressed with the insights she offers from her work with Paul Gilley and how she brings anatomy and energy theory into the classes.  Im currently teaching one-to-one and small group workshops in my studio in South London and this will really help me add more depth to my classes.

When I did my initial teacher training I knew that it was going to be just the first step of a lifelong commitment.  I intend to make the most of my yoga journey.

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