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Wouldn’t it be so great to have a real pause button when it comes to life? Imagine the ability to take a moment to recalibrate, check in to your core values, and really reflect on how we are living. Unplugging is a hot topic, but what if I asked you to press the pause button for a whole four days? How about an entire week?
If you are an avid vacation taker or one that doesn’t break on a trip until burnout, it might be time to reevaluate what it means to go away. I have been learning the power of the pause and the intention to disrupt the status quo when it comes to vacation—and make sure I am living the way I want to be living while embracing total relaxation. Enter the magic of a yoga retreat.
Whether you are road tripping to Grand Lake or hopping a plane to Mexico, there is real magic in creating the space to be present and check in with like-minded humans to recalibrate the mind and body. A yoga retreat is an experience designed to make space in your life—physically, mentally, and spiritually. You request the vacation days from work, you pack the yoga mat, and you find an adventure somewhere new.
If you are ready to redefine your next vacation and truly get in tune with yourself, here are five tips for your first (or next) yoga retreat:
- Be Inspired.
Choose a teacher you feel a connection with and trust. They are the ones creating the experience for you, on and off the mat.
- Let go of control.
Go in with an open mind when it comes to the people you will meet, the location you have chosen and the entire experience that has been curated for you.
- Set an intention.
...for the whole experience. Check in with it daily and change as needed.
- Retreat your way.
If you are tired, rest. If you want to paddleboard, grab that board and take to the water. If you want a massage, book it.t.
- Allow yourself some space.
Upon returning home, give yourself some time (and space) to let the retreat marinate. Take time each day to read your journal notes, reflect, and implement your learnings.
Feeling ready to (re)treat yourself? Here are some of my favorite MINDBODY instructors in Colorado who are hosting some ahhmazing yoga retreats this summer and fall:
August 1st - 4th
Join Jessica Heaney of Vail Relationship Institute and Kim Fuller of In Your Element for a weekend of yoga, connection workshops, a guided hike up Mt. Sneffels, great food and fun at the beautiful Red Mountain Alpine Lodge in Ouray, CO. Nestled in the striking San Juan Mountains, your expert guides will take you from your mat to the top of one Colorado’s incredible 14,000 ft peaks during this epic weekend.
August 22nd - 25th
This one is for the ladies. Escape to Grand Lake (and Rock Your Bliss with me!)—and my closest friend and renowned yoga teacher, Mary Beth LaRue. Expect conscious conversation both indoors and outdoors, flowing yoga practices, and open time to hang poolside. During our weekend together, we will explore grounding and heart-opening practices, authentic conversations with our community while learning about our true nature with the power of the unplug.
October 19th - 26th
Join Danielle Barbeau, founder of The River, and yoga teacher and empower coach, Jennifer Jarrett on The River’s first international retreat to Xilana, Mexico. A week-long retreat outside of Puerta Vallarta, you will learn to nourish and nurture your entire being—body, mind, heart, and soul.
Oct 31 - Nov 3
Venture into the wild with local Colorado Springs yoga teacher, Nina Petruzzo, and San Diego-based yoga teacher and Reiki master, Jenna Zabrosky! A curated weekend just for women to recharge, inspire a reconnection to yourself and others through yoga, meditation, reflection, and nature. Spend three nights and four days at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Northrop, CO as you take in the breathtaking landscape and crisp mountain air.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.