Summertime is here and I”™m ready for some R & R! Yapping about yoga all day can be exhausting, not to mention pondering the profound questions that arise from my yogic journey ”“ does that girl with the yellow skidless towel have leaner arms than mine? Does the redhead with the big rock on her left hand have a gorgeous husband and a more “enriched” life? Oy. I need some time to myself, to relax, rejuvenate and unwind, and I can”™t think of a better escape than a yoga retreat.
But where should I go? There are so many fab options to choose from. I”™ve always wanted to visit India or Thailand ”“ you know, connect with the yogi motherland, get closer to Buddha”¦ But my fear of spending the entire trip in Utkatasana, due to over consumption of saag paneer, causes me to reconsider (despite the allure of returning home ten pounds lighter, with super toned quads). A nice beach somewhere is more my speed”¦perhaps Hawaii, Costa Rica, or Mexico, all of which sound like paradise.
Once there, it”™s easy to make new likeminded friends (especially when you get naked with them in the hot tub). On yoga retreats, “clothing optional” opportunities abound for hippies and exhibitionists alike. What else would one expect among loving, healthy, free spirited yogis (with killer abs to show off, thanks to all that Navasana.)
So, after a hard day of yoga, sunbathing and making human yoga pyramids in the sand, my new friends and I need to unwind and paar-taay! We play some yoga drinking games (first person to come out of horse pose does a shot of wheatgrass), followed by strip asana. And while a spiritual awakening is an important component of the journey, who says we can”™t experience the divine in conjunction with a little sex, drugs and rock & roll? We are on holiday, after all, and sometimes a little “help” can get us to a higher plane.
Although some like to use their yoga vacation as an opportunity to detox, if you find yourself in dire need to curb some fix, you can hook up with the delinquents of the group, who are more than happy to share their love (and their stash) ”“ whether it”™s “enlightening” brownies (for sugar/wheat addiction, of course), Ambien (for jetlag), or Ayurvedic diarrhetic poopie pills (for those who don”™t get enough cleansing from a 2 Â½ hour sweaty class).
If it”™s a wild adventure you”™re looking for, or something a little more internal and subdued, lots of awesome teachers, studios and retreat centers offer perfect vacations that will simultaneously strengthen and deepen your yoga practice. It”™s a great way to connect with very cool, connected, and super limber people in a new and exciting environment as close as a hop on a freeway or as far as your airline mileage will take you. If you think yoga is great at home, try a yoga vacation. Give yourself the treat you deserve, relax, and enjoy the journey!
Om Shanti & Infinite gratitude,