How to Have an Epic At-Home Yoga Retreat
Who says you need a beach in a foreign country to have a yoga retreat? Those retreats are sooo 2019. Today, it’s all about the at-home retreat, and we’re going to help you plan a good one.
When we go on retreat, we do so to deepen our practice, reconnect with ourselves, and have a good time. The best part of doing that at home is that you get to decide on all the details. It could look something like this:
Wake Up in Silence
Skip the alarm. Loud noises create a stress response in the body. Instead, let the sun wake you up, then lie in bed for a few moments, breathe deeply, and get excited about the day. Notice the little sounds you hear when your space is generally quiet. If you live with other people, don’t speak to them. (For the sake of a harmonious living arrangement, you’ll probably want to tell them the night before that you’d like to have a quiet morning. Otherwise, rude.)
8:00 Self-Care Routine
Take the next hour to nurture your body. Try garshana and abhyanga—dry brushing and self-massage—to promote healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage while reducing stress. Or do a face mask. Or wash your hair.
9:00 Yoga Practice
Try this Anusara Yoga Morning Practice with Jennifer Harbour. Jennifer is a certified Anusara yoga teacher, and in this gentle practice she’ll guide you to set an intention for your day. The way you approach your time on the mat this morning can set the tone for your entire retreat.
This practice is easy to follow with clear instructions, and it’s suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. Jennifer offers suggestions throughout the class about how to modify poses to make them accessible for everyone. The practice is 20 minutes long, but spend a little extra time in savasana if you’d like. This is your retreat. There are no rules.
10:00 Chow Down
This can be no ordinary breakfast, because we’re on retreat here. Tell the chef you’d like… Just kidding. You’re your own chef, but never fear — the internet is here, and it’s full of decadent recipes that aren’t that difficult, but will definitely feel like a treat. Try these Banana Oatmeal Pancakes topped with some fruit or peanut butter and maple syrup. Or mix up a batch of Vegan Oreo Cookie Pancakes. If you want a big protein boost, let the Food Network guide you in making a perfect omelet.
What, homework? Don’t worry: it’s the fun kind, and there are no tests. Delve more deeply into the world of yoga (and let your food settle before you yoga it up again). Read up on the gunas or the chakras, or download a few books for reading today and in the future. Consider Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope, Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, or any of the many translations and interpretations of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
If you prefer watching to reading, take a look at yoga documentaries like “Y Yoga,” “Yoga Unveiled,” or “Ayurveda: The Art of Being.”
1:00 Yoga Practice
Roll out the yoga mat again. Even if you’re new to yoga, resist the temptation to follow along with a class online this time. Instead, connect with yourself and your own practice. See what you remember from other classes you’ve done, or simply move your body in a way that feels good. Follow your intuition and give your body the movement it wants right now.
When that feels complete, take a few minutes in meditation. Again, if you’re new to meditation, don’t sweat it. Simply take a few deep breaths, paying special attention to how it feels as the breath enters and leaves your body. There’s no right or wrong.
3:00 Snacks and Connection
Make some tea or a green smoothie, pop some popcorn, break out the good chocolate, and reach out to someone you love. This might be a phone call or a letter—which you don’t even have to send if you don’t want to. Talk about your life. Ask questions. Write about how much that person means to you and why. Bask in the incredible love and gratitude you feel toward that person.
Dinner, Relaxation, and Just a Little More Yoga
On retreat, they might call this personal free time. Make another beautiful meal and do an activity you enjoy. As you get ready for bed, set aside some time for a little more yoga. You might try a restorative practice or a guided meditation to help you prepare for restful sleep.
Happy retreating! Want more yoga at home inspiration? Connect with us on Instagram.