The Eye-opening Gifts I Discovered at my First Yoga Retreat

A Journey of Self-Discovery and Connection 

In 2018, I embarked on my very first retreat as a participant, unsure of what to expect. The idea of spending time with strangers, sharing meals, and even bathrooms made me feel uneasy. I had often canceled last minute, feeling uncomfortable leaving my comfort zone and opening myself up to new experiences. However, with the encouragement of my persuasive teacher, I finally decided to give it a try. Little did I know that this retreat would become a transformative experience, teaching me the value of an open mind and heart, and the power of human connection.

At the beginning of the retreat, I found myself in the corner, trying to blend in and stay unnoticed. However, as the morning practice began and the day unfolded with various activities, I realized that everyone around me was radiating joy and energy. Curiosity got the better of me, and I forced myself to participate in everything, reminding myself that I had paid for this experience and owed it to myself to give it a fair chance.

I discovered I was enjoying the retreat experience

To my surprise, I started enjoying myself. I discovered new things, met like-minded individuals who shared the same interests, and learned that we are never truly alone in our struggles and joys. Each person I met had a unique story to tell, reminding me that we all share common experiences in this journey of life, sometimes easy and sometimes challenging. It was through an open mind and an open heart that I allowed life, people, and the universe to enter, and I realized that even among a group of strangers, we could form connections, have fun, and learn from one another.

yoga practitioners at Surfhouse in Cadiz, Spain.

Yoga practitioners at Nexo Surfhouse in Cádiz, Spain.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the retreat experience, in my opinion, is the sense of community it fosters. While some of the retreat participants may fade into the background of memory, others become lifelong members of your yoga community. As they say, the people who practice together, stay together. The bonds formed during the retreat go beyond the surface level, creating a support system of individuals who understand and uplift one another.

As they say, the people who practice together, stay together.

– Maria

My retreat experience taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone, embracing vulnerability, and realizing that I am not alone in this journey. It revealed the power of an open mind and an open heart, enabling me to connect with others on a deeper level. Going on a retreat allows for self-discovery, personal growth, and the formation of lasting connections within a community of like-minded individuals. So, whatever you do, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to embrace your humanity. Remember, you are not alone in this journey.

Maria del Carmen Restrepo


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