UNcompromise Your Life -Take a Retreat! by Vyda Bielkus

Sometimes the best use of your money, time, energy is investing in yourself, and one of the best ways to do that is by taking a retreat, a journey to get to know yourself on a deeper level.  Yoga and health retreats can be powerful healing experiences because they provide an opportunity to put the demands of life on hold. When I went to my first retreat as a participant about 9 years ago, I was having what John Mayer so aptly coined “a quarter life crisis.”  I was workaholic, a complete coffee addict, and on a path that if I continued would lead to a very unhealthy life.  The stress of my life was sucking all of my inner energy and had severed the connection to my own true desires and wants.

Knowing I needed to do something to break the cycle I was in, I signed-up for a retreat in Costa Rica.  As I journeyed, alone (and I do recommend going alone on a healing retreat), my biggest concern was how I would handle being cut-off from my morning coffee ritual.  Terrified of not being able to have my fix, I packed some green tea for an emergency.  Landing in a location that is designed for a yoga retreat is like landing on a magical part of the planet, where there are no obstacles to peace, healing, vitality and inner growth.  For the first few days of my week of twice daily yoga, walks, and healthy eating minus coffee, I slept.  Literally if I wasn’t in a session or eating, I was sleeping.  Getting in touch with how deeply tired you are from the actions and behaviors of your daily life is very eye-opening (pun intended).

On about day 2 of the retreat came the headaches of serious caffeine withdrawal.  I was forced to face my addiction to coffee. Feeling that I would not make it through the day, I drank one of the contraband green tea bags I had brought with me and went to practice the second session of yoga for the day.  On my mat, I was able to observe my fingers shaking from the caffeine.  I noticed my heartbeat racing and my mind jumping around like it was on a pogo-stick.  There was no connection to calm, no sense of peace.  I was all over the place.  In that moment of awareness, I gave up coffee.  I could see just how negatively my body and mind responded to caffeine and decided withdrawal symptoms were easy compared to a life of dependency. The magic of a retreat is that letting go and shedding of negative behaviors is easy.  The environment supports positive change.  All I had to do when the headache came was go lie in hammock, watch the hummingbirds and breathe.  By day 4 I had no more headaches.

Practicing yoga twice a day, meditating, eating clean healthy foods, walking in nature all invoke a sense of stillness.  Stillness that we don’t have in our regular lives, ever.  Deep stillness brings you insights you cannot have when the mind is cluttered when the body is bogged down by toxins, and the spirit is heavy.  Going on a healing and yoga retreat allows for the truth to unfold in your life.  It lets you see your life with your internal vision, from a what is truly right for me perspective.

Leaving the retreat with a new body, a new mind, a happier spirit, I made two very small choices-that I wanted more yoga in my life and that I wanted more control over my time.  With these two choices and a sense of staying true to myself, my life unfolded in a way I could not imagine in the years that followed that first retreat.  Some changes were immediate.  Coffee never came back into my life and upon returning home, I was able to finally make a decision to quit my job which no longer suited me.  Other changes developed over time.  Yoga not only became my lifestyle it became my profession.  My body continued to change as I shed physical and emotional weight.  Going on a retreat is an investment, it costs money but the return on investment is high. You regain yourself and your health.  By choosing to go on a retreat you choose to put yourself first.  This is not selfish or self-indulgent in fact it has quite the opposite effect.  When you invest in yourself first you are able to more fully show up for others in your life.

This April 10-17th, join the wonderful teachers of B1 Community in Costa Rica, for the Living Healthy Retreat at the Blue Spirit Center.  In a time of uncertainty, strain, stress it is the best vacation you can take that will keep giving back to you even after you go back home.  During our retreat we employ the B1 Community Self-Care Solutions™ to begin to dramatically shift your relationship to your body, mind, spirit and health.  During our week together, we will engage in transformative yoga classes, inspiring walks, awakening meditation, coaching conversations, nutrition strategy classes and more! Also joining us is Wade Morissette, a world-renowned kirtan singer and author of Transformative Yoga: Five Keys to Unlocking Inner Bliss.   Don’t miss this opportunity to UNleash your spirit, UNlock your blocks, and UNcompromise your life.

Visit www.b1community.com to learn more or email retreats@b1community.com to register today!

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