Two years ago I shared my 10 reasons to retreat for the holidays. I think it's worth re-sharing and I've added a few bonus reasons too! Enjoy :)
December and I have a complicated relationship. Being raised with both Christmas and Hanukah traditions, having my birthday right before Christmas, and not to mention multiple holiday parties and New Year’s Eve, being busy during December is an understatement. Phew!
Mostly, I DO love this time for seeing friends and family and indulging in yummy foods, but by the end of it all I can feel a little exhausted. So I decided to organize a yoga retreat during the holidays as an alternative to all busy energy of the season.
To some this seems like not the best time of year to retreat; too much going on, too much to prepare for, not enough money after buying all the presents. But I figured there must be folks out there looking for a way to escape, relax, and recharge like me. And there are! So for the last 3 years I've been hosting the Om for the Holidays Retreat. Here are 10 reasons to consider retreating this holiday season.
1. Invest in your well being
De-stress and recharge. When you take time to nurture yourself, you are more productive, less likely to get sick, more relaxed, and happier. This energy has an impact on your work, relationships, and overall wellbeing.
2. Prepare for the new year with a renewed you
Take time to reflect on the past year. With time and space away from everyday routine, you can focus on clarifying your visions and intentions for the coming year. This can be a time to jumpstart New Year’s resolutions that seem so hard to follow. Your New Year's resolutions then shifts from starting something new to remembering and honoring the things you've are already doing.
3. Avoid too many holiday parties
Don’t get me wrong. I love parties. And hosted many parties in December. But with the numerous holiday parties out there, we can all get a little partied out. Having a special trip planned for yourself is a great reason not to feel obligated to say yes to all the holiday invitations.
4. Avoid the mall
Do I have to say more?
5. Treat your body to healthy, delicious meals! Avoid the surplus of holiday treats
It’s hard to say no to the abundance of treats around the holidays. When you surround yourself with healthy, delicious, and beautiful meals, you are less inclined to crave unhealthy foods. And by retreating into a slower, more relaxed pace, you are more likely to be in tune with our body’s needs.
6. Be active in a beautiful place
If you tend to slow down and feel less motivated in the colder winter weather, being in a warm and beautiful place can inspire you to be more active.
7. Save the environment from unwanted gifts and too much wrapping paper
Let’s face it. Re-gifting is kinda rude. But what do you do with those gifts that you really don’t need or want? And wrapping paper? Hopefully it goes into the recycling, but not always, and even then it’s still part of a cut-down tree. Set an example of living simply and not participating in the consumer culture of holiday overspending.
8. Come home feeling refreshed, re-energized with more love and energy to give to your family and friends
I come from a large family and community of friends, so I understand the desire to be close to loved ones during the holidays. But it's easy to lose connection to your own rhythm while trying to keep up with so many social obligations. Taking a few days of tranquility for yourself not only benefits you, but also sets an example that it’s OK to focus on your well-being. And when you return refreshed and renewed, you will have more energy to share with your loved ones.
9. Remember this part of yourself
Being on a retreat can help you to remember parts of yourself that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of life. Slowing down, going inward and re-connecting with yourself on a deep level can help you to remember the balance, inner calm, and harmony that’s already inside.
10. Why not???
2015 Bonus Reasons
We live in a culture of constant connection to technology: cell phones, computers, iPads even smart watches! We are constantly interrupted with texts messages and emails, and even the occasional phone call. Going on retreat offers the space to mindfully disconnect from technology and replenish your connection to yourself and nature.
12. Deepen your yoga practice
Whether you have an established yoga practice, or are looking to create one, immersing yourself in yoga retreat, without all the distractions of home and work life, can help to inspire a deeper relationship to your yoga journey.
Feeling ready to retreat?
If this speaks to you, check out the Om for the Holidays Yoga Retreat I am hosting with My Dharma Yoga this December 14-19 at the amazing Prana del Mar in Baja Mexico. This oceanfront, eco-luxury yoga retreat center is located in a remote desert area, surrounded by gorgeous mountains and an expansive beach. Enjoy playful and rejuvenating yoga, deep relaxation, fun in the sun, serenity by the ocean, and a remembrance of the vitality and inner peace within you. All levels of yoga welcome! More details here.