The title of this entry does not imply going on a yoga retreat to do yoga all week as a vacation. What I am suggesting is you take a break from your yoga practice for a few days, maybe even a week. Dare I say this! Why would I suggest it?
The best thing for your practice can sometimes be not practicing. I discovered this a couple weeks ago while spending a week of vacation in the Caribbean. The first few mornings my natural inclination was to immediately think I needed to jump out of bed, unroll my yoga mat and practice with the sunrise. Something told me, hold back. After all, I was on vacation to take a break from my daily routine.
Sure I practiced a little asana and meditation almost every day (anywhere from 15-45 minutes) but I did it without a plan. Even in these short practices, I felt my body in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. –stiff! Yes, I felt stiffer than usual because I wasn’t practicing as much. But this unfamiliar stiffness brought greater awareness to areas of my body I hadn’t quite paid attention to in some time. I felt more connected from the inside out. I moved slower but I felt more in sync with my natural surroundings —the swaying palm trees and calm morning ocean.
Now as I settle back into the reality of my everyday life, I have returned to my mat with a greater appreciation that I have yoga in my life. I am appreciative for the longer practices I am able to do most days. I am even more appreciative of a couple poses I previously wasn’t a huge fan of, such as upward facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana).
P.S. If you were reading this blog entry in hopes of finding a yoga retreat for a yoga vacation, grab a copy of the November issue of Yoga Journal and read “Great Escapes”.