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Integrating Your Yoga Retreat

Will Hardy

February 18, 2022

If you’ve been on a yoga retreat before, you know that feeling of euphoria as you walk out the front gates. If not, you need to come do a retreat with us! During the retreat, you’ve given your all during the yoga sessions, tried your best at meditation, ate healthy delicious food, made deep connections with the group, and committed to making changes in your life. From now on, you are totally going to wake up early to practice yoga and meditation, cut out toxic people from your life, eat healthier, and generally be a beacon of love and light. Right?

Your first few days post yoga retreat go pretty well. You take a couple yoga classes, meditate for a few minutes each morning, you ignore those messages from your ex, and you make an effort to smile at everyone, even the woman at the restaurant that put extra chilies into your veggie stir fry when you specifically ordered NOT spicy.

A few more days pass, and you start missing the structure of the retreat. It’s easier to be the best version of yourself when you have someone ringing the gong to get you up each morning to practice, and a team of chefs to prepare you healthy, nourishing food. You skip yoga a couple days in a row, snooze through meditation, grab some ham cheese toasties and Red Bull for lunch at 7-11 (travel days, it happens), and before you know it, the retreat is fading away into a distant memory and you’re back to your old habits.

Has this happened to you? It definitely has to me. That’s why I want to share nine top tips and a couple resources on how to continue integrating your retreat long after you leave. With these tips, the retreat feeling can continue on even after you’re back to your travels or to your daily life at home. Here they are!

  1. Process your experience! As soon as you are able, take time to process and reflect on your retreat experience. This can look like journaling, talking with friends, or deep reflective meditation.
  2. Reflect before making drastic changes right away. You’re in a weird headspace, so take some time to sit with the changes you’d like to make before implementing them.
  3. If you do decide to make changes, make changes that are small, gradual, and sustainable. That might look like starting with 5 minutes of meditation a day, 20 minutes of yoga three times per week, or starting a daily gratitude journal. This looks different for everyone, yet starting small and being consistent gives you a solid base from which to grow.
  4. Be consistent. This doesn’t need to be harsh or strict, it can be an act of love to hold yourself accountable with the changes you’d like to make. Make a plan, and stick to it.
  5. Dive deep into the practices that you resonated with while on retreat. You may have discovered a style of asana, meditation, journaling, eating, etc. that you connected with on your retreat. Nurture that enthusiasm you have by seeking out guides that can help you go deeper into whatever it is that you’re interested in.
  6. Find likeminded community in your local area. If you are making shifts, it’s helpful to meet others who are on the same path to support you and encourage you to move towards what you want and need in your life.
  7. Stay connected to your retreat group. You have all shared a transformative experience, and leaning on each other for support post retreat can help you work through the challenges you’ll face as you reintegrate into the “real” world. Don’t forget, if you’ve done a retreat with us, you can access our 1,200+ person private Suan Sati Facebook group to connect.
  8. You’ve changed, but everyone else hasn’t. You might being feeling like a brand new person, and yet the people in your life back home haven’t gone through this experience. It’s unrealistic to expect them to change along with you, so keep doing your inner work and let everyone else evolve at their own pace and in their own direction.
  9. Drink water. I don’t know why, but it is in the unwritten rule of yoga teachers that we’re the chosen ones in this world to remind everyone to hydrate.

Lastly, I want to share a couple of resources which are useful to keep your practice on track.

  1. Insight Timer App. This app takes the most addictive parts of social media and uses them to keep our meditation practice on track. I am shamelessly addicted to my consecutive days meditating streak and the little ribbons and awards I get every ten days or so.
  2. Online Yoga with Suan Sati. It might be years before we finish our online platform, but I do offer online classes here and there. You have the option to download and save the videos and do the classes again whenever is convenient for you. The next round of classes will start in March, so stay tuned to social media or reply to this email to express interest.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading! I hope this has been helpful for you. If you really can’t connect to that retreat feeling at home, or just want to taste that famous Khao Soi again, then you’re always welcome back here with us.

 

Much love,

Will

About

About the Author

Will Hardy

Will is the director and co-founder of Suan Sati. He founded Suan Sati as a lifestyle that would allow himself and others to live the practice and not only visit it. He is currently E-RYT® 500 certified and continues his studies with well known teachers in his time away from Suan Sati.

About Suan Sati

Suan Sati runs on-going meditation and yoga retreats in Chiang Mai, Thailand throughout the year. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer guests the opportunity to come and join our family for a yoga retreat of a few days or a few weeks. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer a range of all-inclusive meditation and yoga retreats in Thailand at an affordable price for those on a budget. Whether you’re new to meditation and yoga or a seasoned practitioner, we’ve got something for you. We also host our own 200 hour yoga teacher trainings in Chiang Mai multiple times per year.