It is always the best and first time for everything only if you take the plunge. I found myself on a Yoga Retreat and you can too. Here is a story on my first ever Yoga Retreat.
There is always a first time. It is the experience that matters and not the apprehensions. I am an adventurous person and I often choose to do things out of my work life that satiate my soul and fulfill my cravings for life. My perspective changed when I started doing Yoga and meditation. It is after I entered the world of spirituality, I realized how insignificant our existence is. So, what makes it different and noteworthy? The answer lies in all those experiences that level you up.
Usually stuck in responsibilities, I decided to choose a place away from the daily wear & tear of the stressful life. After reading through multiple web pages and reviews, I finally pinned down Thailand as it was affordable and not that far away from my country, India. Let me tell you, after listening to the bad guy image of this place, I was skeptical if I would ever be able to experience the utmost feeling of silence and serenity here. If you see Thailand in a different light and identify its image then I have something to share with you on my first Yoga Retreat:
I ponder over things several times before getting on with them. This is part decision making skills and part fear. On a Yoga Retreat, I was fearful about so many things. The foods, people, who will teach me the poses, and where will I meditate, were some of the questions nagging my nerves all the time. I was obnoxious at one point of time and then realized that I was wrong. Yoga is an art that eradicates instances of fear within you and frees your soul to search what it actually wants. I was in Phi Phi islands in Phuket and believe me; I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of this place.
The Yoga sessions would start in the morning comprising a bunch of unknown people carrying their own baggage and anguish. I felt liberating in an environment like this. The more I talked to people, the more freedom my heart had in its core. The sessions were conducted by teachers from different cultures who would preach and ask you to go in deep meditations. The moment I opened my eyes after 30 minutes of meditation, I realized that life is too short to not feel the things your heart craves for and the moment this came to my mind, I felt liberated and less fearful. I was ready to take on the world.
This is not about a bruise on my knee but a trauma in my mind that was sore and bleeding. There are still so many things that are not healed and may be they would never heal. However, this beach Yoga Retreat healed many wounds that were open and throbbing. I can still feel the cold waves of the sea come splashing on my face and taking away the fine lines of despair off my face. The most important aspect was the interactive sessions in the evening that would let people come together sit, talk, and sip a cup of tea while they pour their heart out. Before coming here, I thought that my pain was unbearable and life is unfair to me at all levels.
However, when I listened to the painful stories of other participants and how they battle the aftermaths every single day, it gave me a sense of gratitude and I told myself that it is not that unfortunate to be ‘ME’ in this lifetime. I had depression that I used to mask under work load, food, relationship hopping and what not. I never felt the pain, and never actually went through the healing process. The calmness of the beach surrounded by the penetrable walls of the hearts of people made me vulnerable and I cried my heart out. It was then that I realized how much pain I was enduring for the past few years.
Amidst the stress, where everything honks in your ears at the top of their lungs, life takes a toll. All you know is the deceit, hurts, harsh words, and hate. Does that mean that there is no good in this world? Well, there is a lot of goodness in this world but to see that you need to have space in your mind & heart. I was clearly in a different zone wherein, I only felt the dark emotions and the worst forms of hatred and jealousy. No weekend had the power to bring me back to myself and staying at home on my bed made me even more depressive. I wanted to go out to a place that would break me free and once I was in Thailand, I felt complete.
No office work, no tensions, no responsibilities, and no worries to do the laundry. It was just me and my mind, both searching for some tranquility. My headspace was free and spacious enough to accommodate new experiences and lessons. Yoga retreats in Thailand gave me an opportunity to concentrate on my growth, mental peace and most importantly my identity. Loud environment and jobs actually puts you in a robot mode where you do things to survive. A Yoga vacation will teach you that your existence is mere coincidence but your life purpose is higher. You are here to thrive and not survive.
A cuisine has a personality of its own and not tasting it in its country is unfair on your part. My first Yoga retreat which was also one of my first yoga meditation retreats brought me in connection with my urges and likes too. It brought me near to the dislikes as well, so now I knew what I wanted. Food offers comfort, so after an exhausting day I needed to fill my tummy too. I went to some good noodle places in Phuket and had the best papaya salad in the world.
Being a vegan, I thought Thailand is not my cup of tea but I was taken aback to see Vegan as well as Raw Food options. Eating clean plays a huge role in clearing up the mess in your mind, and makes you feel good about yourself. Yoga vacations are intended to change you and transform your choices.
This holiday changed the way I see food and more than taste, I was looking out for substance. I skipped carbs for 2 days, and I felt less bloated and tired because carbs take time to digest. In lieu of that I ate salads, lentil soups, chickpeas, and tomato soups, and I was content. I went near the monsoon time, and I could enjoy Durian, an exotic fruit sold here. The first time trying exotic foods and changing the way I eat gave me a new high and I could feel my body thanking me. My digestion improved and so did my mood pattern. Do not neglect food as it determines your system.
I was pretty much sure that I felt myself waking up to the realities of life, by now. Yoga vacations in Thailand brought me close the truths of life. However, the strain of everyday life and the necessity to socialize did put a lot of pressure on my mind. I was always under the constant pressure to look good, be more acceptable, act a certain way, and behave a certain way. All these episodes made me join people I wanted to avoid and act in a way that brought me away from my true self. I didn’t know the ways to raise boundaries and actually say ‘No’ wherever required.
You cannot fathom the ways a vacation like this taught me to act appropriately. When I did one advanced pose, I realized my potential and the innate power that can help me grow and be myself. I was invincible and needed no support to balance out my flaws. I could do it myself. When you meditate or do a pose, it unlocks the trapped energies, just like Acupressure, and you feel mellow and content. And, when you are content, it is obvious that you don’t have to be a slave to a certain perspective or stigma. Yoga retreats taught me to unlock my potential and present myself the way I truly was. I learned to raise boundaries and disconnect with people and their repelling energies.
Booking a Yoga Retreat is no difficult task. Here are the steps to the new YOU:
1.Choose a place and check with your finances.
2. Look for the best times of the year to visit a place and if you are adventurous, then time is not bondage.
3. Decide where you would like to stay. A cottage or a hotel, what is your choice? Book accordingly in advance.
4. Review the Cheap Yoga retreats available online and then pin one down. It is possible if you go off season there will be fewer people.
5. Carry your passport, medical papers, vaccination & tests reports, and your VISA.
6. Embark on your journey.
Best of Luck!