1. Daily sunrise and sunset yoga classes
A yoga retreat provides us with a daily structure of classes. In most cases, teachers will offer two classes per day. We may not usually get the opportunity to practise daily, or if we do we may focus only on postures. A retreat setting enables us to open ourselves up to other aspects of yoga – most retreats provide a combination of breathwork (pranayama), postures (asana) and meditation.
2. Nourishing vegetarian food
Another attraction is the healthy food. When we go on a regular holiday, it can be difficult to find wholesome, nourishing food – in fact we can often over-indulge and come home feeling like we need to detox! On yoga retreats, the food is generally vegetarian (and is often organic).
3. Beautiful surroundings
Yoga retreat venues are usually in very scenic locations, enabling guests to really de-stress in a natural environment. Warm temperatures, swimming pools and nearby beaches all form part of the Summer retreat package these days.
4. Plenty of free time to do whatever you want
Many retreats are structured to provide guests with plenty of free time during the day. We think it is important to incorporate lots of down-time into the day on summer time retreats –participants are not attending a teacher training course – they are on holiday and will want time to themselves to just rest, relax by the swimming pool, or explore the surrounding area.
5. Meet new like-minded people
A yoga retreat is an ideal holiday if you are travelling alone. It is a great opportunity to meet new people who share an interest in yoga. Holiday retreats are structured so that guests practise together at class and then meet up for meals, so there is never a shortage of company or conversation (if you want it!). Of course it’s also a great holiday for a group of friends, and we’ve also had several families attend our retreats in the past.
This year is our eighth annual summer retreat, and for the first time we are going to teach this year in the Algarve in Portugal, at Quinta Mimosa Yoga Centre. One of the big benefits of this location is that it is very accessible from Faro airport – only a short taxi ride, so if you are travelling by yourself, you don’t have to hire a car. If you are a group of friends, car hire is a great option, as the Algarve has more than 100 miles of beautiful coastline, with some of the most amazing beaches in Europe. The yoga centre is only 7km from the coast, and we have factored in plenty of free time each day to explore this wonderful area.
The Quinta Mimosa Estate consists of 10 acres of almond and orange trees and is in a peaceful, quiet setting. The accommodation consists of well equipped houses, all with en-suite bathrooms, and there are three swimming pools in the grounds. In total, the venue can accommodate approximately 20 people.
Each day will begin with a yoga class at 7am. We have allocated 3 hours for each morning session consisting of postures, breathwork and meditation. If you are new to yoga, your practise time may be shorter, depending on your energy and how much yoga you want to do. This retreat is appropriate for all levels, from total beginners to experienced practitioners, since each student is taught a routine that is suitable for them specifically. If you have a particular injury, condition or weakness in the body, we tailor a practice to address that. There is therefore no pre-requisite that you be young, fit and healthy – our retreats are suitable for everyone, regardless of your current state of health. At the end of the week, you should have a practice that you can take with you to integrate into your life at home if you so wish. Each evening, we will have a class, consisting of yoga philosophy, chanting, breathwork and deep relaxation, to prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Meals will all be vegetarian using locally grown, organic produce as much as possible. Each day we will have a buffet brunch together on the shaded outdoor terrace, after practise at 10am. The rest of the day is free to do whatever you want. We all meet up again in the evening for dinner.
A yoga retreat holiday is a healthy break away – the idea is that you take time out of your regular life to nurture yourself. It is a great investment in your health and well-being and we hope the week will help you to feel motivated to keep up a regular practice long after you return from holiday.
Ryan Air and Aer Lingus have daily flights direct from Dublin to Faro airport. If the idea of this type of holiday appeals to you, click here for all the details and contact me if you have any queries – I would be delighted to hear from you.
Best wishes and Namaste,