Should You Go On A Yoga Retreat?

By Jane Mountain | April 19, 2016

Should you go on a yoga retreat?

Yes, I know, it’s a modern question, only for those of us privileged enough to have the time and freedom to contemplate it.

Here’s my attempt to help you find an answer.

The first step is to ask yourself…

When’s the last time you sat around doing nothing? No, I’m not talking about doing nothing as in watching TV, checking Twitter, or listening to music. I’m talking about actual nothing. Can’t remember? Neither can I. These days, doing nothing has gone the way of saddle shoes and poodle skirts.

(If you want to do nothing right now, you could always join our free 7-Day Meditation Kick Start →)

How about this…

When’s the last time you got away from it all? When’s the last time you completely disconnected from the hectic pace of your day-to-day life? When’s the last time you spent even 24 hours without looking at media delivered to you on a digital screen?

It’s no wonder finding clarity — about your dreams, about your life, and about yourself — is so hard. The constant stimulus and noise of our digital world leaves no time for the things that make life worthwhile — like soul searching and inspiration.

should you go on a yoga retreat pin

So, should you go on a yoga retreat?

If you’ve been feeling stuck in your daily grind…

If you’ve been feeling a little lost, like life is meaningless…

If you’re just not making any progress, no matter what you do…

Or if you just need a way to hit the pause button for a while…

Yes, you should go on a yoga retreat!

(Don’t miss: Find out why this is one of our favourite foldable yoga mats)

Yoga Retreat vs. Yoga Holiday

Not all yoga retreats are equal. Finding a good one can be tricky.

Lots of retreats are designed to keep you firmly in your comfort zone. On these retreats, the staff makes sure that you are pampered and pandered to, that you have 24-hour internet, access to hundreds of TV channels, and plenty of cocktails to block out your thoughts and dull your emotions. This kind of retreat is a usually just a fancy beach holiday with a little yoga thrown in (so they can charge you extra).

(You could take a mini yoga holiday right now by practicing with Stephen online →)

Not that there’s anything (much) wrong with a fancy beach holiday; it’s just not going to help you grow, change, or create any lasting happiness in your life.

Welcome to Ulpotha

I figure, if you’re going to go on a yoga retreat, why not REALLY retreat? Why not heave yourself out of your hectic life and into something completely unfamiliar?

Why not stay in a hut (a very comfortable hut) in the middle of a jungle, where there is no internet, no ringing phone, and no TV?

should you go on a yoga reatreat

Why not make sure you go where there is an amazing yoga teacher who will help you gain the clarity and courage to live your life the way you’ve always wanted to live it?

You can see where I’m going here, can’t you?

Why not come on a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka with us?

We would love it if you could join us at Ulpotha Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka from June 26 to July 10.

You can come for the first week, the second week, or both! Come for both!

The Observer Magazine called Ulpotha:

“The best yoga retreat in the world.”

How awesome is that?!?

At Ulpotha, you can join two sessions of yoga with Stephen every day and then…

“Relax in a swing bed, have a massage, swim in the lake, bird-watch, explore the surrounding villages on a bike ride, take a jungle walk up to the temple, have Ayurveda treatments, and enjoy yummy veggie Sri Lankan meals! There is no strict regime here, it’s all about what you feel like doing.”

should you go on a yoga reatreat

You don’t even need to be a yoga nerd – you just need to come with an open mind and a desire to learn.

Here’s what National Geographic Traveller says:

“The Ulpotha sanctuary has pushed the parameters of eco-tourism to its purest extreme, creating a naturally regenerative environment where the conception of time and space seems to be suspended in the flow of traditional life, untainted by the intrusive pressures of the twentieth century.”

Watch this video if you really want to see what Ulpotha is like.

Is a Yoga Retreat Right for You?

In case you still have doubts…

I’m not bendy or skinny or sheathed in lululemon pants.

At a yoga retreat, you will meet some skinny bendy people. It’s unavoidable. You will also meet some people who have tight hamstrings and curves on their curves. Everyone will have this in common: they are curious about yoga and want to spend a week or two in the jungle. The classes will be open to all levels and focussed on safe yoga techniques, so even if you’re a newbie, Stephen will take care of you.

I love eating meat.

You may love eating meat, but you probably also know that eating less meat is great for your health (and for the planet). The food at Ulpotha is all vegetarian; it is almost all grown on the land surrounding the village and it is prepared fresh every single day. Eating delicious, freshly prepared vegetarian meals (made by amazing cooks) is a great way to expand your palette and start reducing your dependence on meat.

should you go on a yoga reatreat

I love my home comforts — especially my blow dryer.

What you really mean is, I love my comfort zone and am scared to leave it, even for a short time. At Ulpotha, there is no electricity (though you can use the solar charger for your cell phone), so your blow dryer won’t work anyway. Don’t worry, we’ll all be frizzy! If this is the only thing stopping you from coming, I highly encourage you to examine your attachment to your blow dryer and really question whether it gives you happiness (or is it just holding you back?).

I’m not a crystal-swinging tree-hugging hippy.

That is why this retreat, this summer in Sri Lanka is the perfect one for you. Stephen’s yoga classes are no-bullshit zones — he won’t ask you to be at one with your kidneys or to expand your throat chakra. We can promise you there will be zero crystal swinging during Stephen’s sessions. But, to be perfectly honest, we are kind of tree-hugging hippies, but we love meeting people who are not.

I can’t afford it.

We hear you. We wish it wasn’t so, and if we could, we would pay for all of you to come :). Then again, if “I can’t afford it” actually means “I’m hoarding my mountain of gold like Smaug to spend when I finally retire and get to start my life,” well… I have news for you… your life is happening right now! What are you going to do with it?

(If you really can’t afford it, you can still practice with Stephen online. The first 14 days are free →)

How to Join In on the Fun at Ulpotha Yoga Retreat

  1. Head over to Ulpotha’s booking page.
  2. Choose the dates from June 26 to July 10.
  3. In the “Any other questions” box, make sure to mention Stephen and My Five Acres.
  4. Dust off your flip flops and your sun hat, you’re going to Sri Lanka!

  See you in Sri Lanka, Jane & Stephen

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