Yoga Retreats for Beginners

Yoga Retreats for Beginners

I am often approached by newcomers to yoga with this question - ‘Can beginners come on retreat?’ The answer is absolutely, in fact, they are perfect candidates! The nature of a retreat is to take you on a journey. To build upon the practise slowly and steadily, and to allow this to be a personal journey for each guest. As a beginner, a retreat is the perfect environment for a first introduction to yoga. Free from the regular distractions of daily life, one can immerse themselves in the practises of yoga, gain a deeper understanding of their own abilities and progress throughout the retreat.

For some, a yoga retreat is a threshold, a sort of ‘aha’ moment. Many people will never have afforded themselves the luxury of a week out of ‘normal’ life, dedicated to their own wellbeing. As the week progresses, the nervous system down regulates and the effects of the practises in a tranquil environment set in, some people find that they are truly touched. Some meet a sense of peace that they never knew they could, others feel themselves as strong of endurant in ways they never thought possible. A yoga retreat is really an experience and on these weeks, I love watching bonds build between guests as the walls come down and we form a community - again for many, this is a new experience and one with great merit and health benefits - (those who yoga together … !)

As a teacher, the opportunity to lead beginners on a retreat, allows me to guide them through their practise and “build’ from the ground up, which is often an advantage as usually there are fewer pre conceived ideas of what a yoga practise ‘should’ be ( ideas that sometimes tie us up in knots - literally!!)

In my sessions, I try to give as many options for mixed levels as possible. I also minimise the use of “sanskrit’ (the ancient language which yoga is transcribed from) or offer translations so that the poses are as accessible as possible. I also like to experiment with other movement modalities such as feldenkrais, free style movement and meditation techniques to offer students a wide introduction to the practises of embodiment as well as the traditional practises of yoga. A retreat is a perfect environment for students to explore all aspects of yoga and meditation practise and get to know what they personally resonate with. After a retreat, guests are equipped with the foundations of a yoga practise and the confidence to continue their yoga journey with a regular teacher or classes suitable to their own level.

If you are asking the question ‘Is a yoga retreat for me?’ I’d say take the plunge! Twice daily physical sessions to strengthen your body and rid you of tension, breathwork to enhance your breath capacity and your overall wellbeing, meditation to calm your mind, a peaceful environment in the sun to feed your soul, delicious food to nourish you and rest, loads of rest, because you deserve it... What more can I say!

joanne King