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My First Yoga Retreat: Part I – By Liz Swenton

In five days, I will be embarking on a new adventure – my very first yoga retreat!

1006168_10100104827616592_1732821509_nA yogi for just about ten years, a retreat has always been on my bucket list. Two years ago, I was signed up for HYL’s retreat in Tulum, Mexico, but got really sick and was unable to fly. Thankfully, Amansala Resort was kind enough to offer me a credit to stay at their resort and I traveled there with my fiance last December. I did a few drop-in yoga classes, but it was definitely not a legit retreat.

On Friday, I will be headed to Earthdance in the Berkshires with one of HYL’s most amazing instructors, Allison Jones. A few weeks ago, she sent around a weekend agenda as well as a “what-to-pack” list, which included linens, bug spray and of course, yoga attire. I cannot be more excited to check this off of my life list.

I instantly put together a mental list of the three things I’m hoping to get out of this retreat, which is very similar to what is achieved after every class I’ve taken so far at HYL.

  1. Relaxation – As someone with a stressful job, it’s difficult to find relaxation after-hours. With emails always coming in, I find it hard to turn off the chatter. I am hoping to return to work on Monday, August 18th with a clear mind and well-rested body.
  2. Prioritization – There is so much more to life than work emails and deadlines. I am hoping that this three day retreat will remind me the importance of family, friends and of course, the self.
  3. Saying YES to Challenges – It’s OK to try that difficult yoga pose and fall flat on your face. Nobody is watching and nobody cares. During this retreat, I’m willing to take my body past my comfort zone and try any and every pose thrown at me. What I love about HYL instructors is the non-judgement environment they’ve created.

If you recently attended a yoga retreat, I’d love to get your views on what you experienced and how you felt when you returned home.

If you happen to see me around the studio this week, introduce yourself and say hello!

Stay tuned next week for “My First Yoga Retreat – Part II” where I’ll share more about my experience and if these goals were achieved!


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