Retreats can teach you how to be in harmony with yourself, to eliminate anxiety and physical or mental ailments, through the use of different techniques and connection to nature.
If you’re reading this article, the short answer is: “YES, you should.”
The reason being, you’re not really asking: “Should I go on a retreat?”. Instead, you’re reading as much information as you can to convince yourself of something you already know you have to do.
Why then, can’t I just make the decision and be done with it?
Himalayan Yogic Tradition calls this a clouded buddhi, a higher mind that is not harmonized with the center of consciousness. This is not a bad thing, most of us have a clouded buddhi. Our job as human beings, however, is to see past our conditioning to remember who we are. Only then, will our day-to-day actions will be harmonized with our True-Self and living will become as easy as breathing: effortless and profound.
That subtle feeling of anxiety or being out of place can only be fixed by going inward. You can read as much as you like, however, knowledge does not equal experience, and it is only through experience that we achieve understanding. Generally, retreats provide the environment for you to go inward so you can experience yourself fully. Once there, it’s easier to achieve understanding and reduce your karmic cycle by removing bad habits, incorrect thinking, and so on.
If you’re still doubting yourself, here are some reasons why you should go on a retreat:
Why You Should Go
Reason 1: Reduce or eliminate mental or physical pain, sadness or dejection, restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath.
According to the Yoga Sutras all of the above are direct consequences of obstacles happening at subtler levels of our mind. These obstacles can be overcome by training our being so it becomes less easily distracted.
Nature accelerates the process of going inward by calming the mind. When the mind is still, we are able to observe, accept, understand, and train the subtler aspects of ourselves that are at the root of our ailments. People have cured themselves throughout the ages from all kinds of diseases by establishing a loving and honest dialogue with their inner-selves.
Reason 2: Find the answers you’re looking for.
“The whole tree is contained within its seed.”
All the answers you’re looking for reside within. Tapping into them can be difficult because of the constant distractions of modern life. The trick is training the different aspects of our being so that we are not easily distracted.
Nature makes it easy to listen to your inner truth by inviting us to get rid of notifications from your phone or city stimuli. During a retreat, you might learn techniques that allow you to tap into your inner-truth at any time anywhere. In that sense, a retreat is not only an escape but also the foundation on which to build a stronger sense of being.
Reason 3: Remember who you really are.
Throughout my years of yoga practice I have found that our inability to maintain a level of practice or remember what we already know is one of the most difficult obstacles. This causes fate to repeat over and over again until the lesson is learned.
Sometimes, the reason why things don’t stick is because there are subtler aspects at play that have not been contemplated yet. Attending a retreat can provide the necessary environment to isolate these subtler aspects and bring them forward so we can understand what is the real reason we keep forgetting who we are.
Why You Won’t End Up Going
Reason 1: “I Can’t Afford It”
“Where there is will there is a way.”
Money is the primary concern for most people because they think of money as the goal, not a tool.
How to get around it:
- Find ways you can provide value to the organizers and offer your help in exchange for a spot. It won’t always work but a NO is already guaranteed if you don’t even try.
- Ask the organizer for a payment plan. By splitting the cost of the retreat in several months you won’t risk leaving yourself without capital.
- Book sooner rather than later. Things are cheaper when you do them with time. You will most likely get an early bird price and get special bonuses for jumping in first. Flights and hotels will also be cheaper and you will have time to save.
Reason 2: “I Don’t Have Time”
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” — John Lennon
You will never have time unless you make time. Most people live their lives thinking they’re immortal, only to realize one day they’re not.
How to get around it:
- Stop procrastinating, book it. When you take a stand, the cosmos conspires to help you. If you don’t make a decision nothing will happen because you’re telling the cosmos you’re fine where you are.
- Invite people to come with you. When you invite other people to come with you, you make yourself accountable to each other. This will create a circle of inspiration for you and others, to make the time.
Reason 3: “I’m afraid”
“Life is an infinite stream of moments happening one after another.”
Fear paralyzes most people. The problem is, where there is no movement, there is no life. When you move, you invite opportunity.
How to get around it:
- Take the moment for what it is, a moment. Not because you’re afraid one moment means that you need to be afraid the next. This is the difference between living a conscious life versus an unconscious one.
- Observe your fear and go for it. Fear is an aspect of yourself that must be observed in order to be understood and overcome. It’s also an indication there is something that is preventing you from becoming fully realized.
Kiva Yoga Institute’s retreats provide peaceful environments for spiritual understanding and remembrance supported by nature, ancient techniques & wisdom. We use ayurveda, meditation, yoga, and plant medicine as tools to help harmonize your life with your center of consciousness.