If you are a yoga teacher planning to run a yoga retreat, then you might find this information useful. If you are just starting out, looking to run your first retreat or if you have already run a few retreats and are looking for ways to improve them, then this information should be helpful.
All the information here is based on my experience running a successful retreat centre for several years and working with yoga teachers, holiday companies, yoga studios and businesses. It’s not theoretical. You should find it practical and easy to follow. Ultimately, the advice should help you really enjoy the experience of running a retreat and make it successful – whatever that means for you.
The history of retreats and their role in the world today
It seems that as long as there have been people, there have been retreats. They are an ancient and profoundly human activity. Evidence of retreats can be found in the cave paintings of our earliest human ancestors, throughout tribal cultures across the world, and at the heart of our great religious and spiritual traditions. The Christian Desert Fathers, the Buddhist monks and hermits, the wandering Saddhus of India and the Sufi Muslim adepts have all followed the path out of the world and into the stillness of retreat. They heard a calling, and we are still hearing today.
In fact, if numbers are anything to go by, more people are hearing that call than ever before. Going on a retreat is becoming a popular part of modern life. As the speed and intensity of our day to day life increases at an ever-startling rate, the urge to step out of the world is being recognised not just as a nice thing to do, but as an important way we can take care of ourselves holistically.
Most of the advice and information I share in this series is very practical and earthly, but if you are considering running your own retreats, I think before you jump in, it’s a good idea to take a moment to contemplate the rich and profound tradition you are about to step into and to recognise your responsibility as a retreat leader to honour, uphold, and enrich this tradition for the benefit of your students and for humanity itself.
‘Approach all aspects of leading a retreat as you do your Yoga practice. Take the time to organize and prepare as much in advance and then get ready for the unexpected.’ David Lurey- finbalance.net
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