Why I love the magic of retreats, by Andrea Kwiatkowski

I led my first retreat in Egypt over 10 years ago, taking a small group of my regular students away for a week. It was really magical – the setting, the venue and the space to practise. I remember getting up at 4.00am to lead 108 sun salutations, as the sun rose we were all sweating and late for breakfast!

I have loved being on retreat ever since. I like to go as a student (I was once told by a teacher that you should try and retreat at least once a year) and now I regularly teach 2 to 4 retreats both short weekends in the UK and wonderful whole weeks abroad with Destination Yoga. They are excellent at organising the venue, flights and travel arrangements for all the guests so I can relax and just focus on my teaching, which is what it is all about.  For those new to retreats, they also recommend which week would work best for you. For beginners going away on a specific retreat, is a great way to see if yoga is really for you- learn the basic postures, in the sunshine and in nature. For more experienced students and teachers these yoga weeks are a way to deepen your knowledge and understanding of yoga.

Being away with a different group of people is also really nice, people make friends and often plan their next trip together. I have a lot of students who come away on retreats with me every year, which is why booking early is best! Eating the wonderful food and sharing each other’s company makes the week. It’s fun, can sometimes be hard work but really rewarding and nourishing. I enjoy putting a week retreat together,  from  my playlists and themes of the day; I like to vary the sequences, asana,  chanting  and  meditation in the morning and offer slower  softer more introverting sessions in the afternoon after everyone has had a relaxing massage, dived  on  a sunbed with a good book or been for a  walk. What is there not to love?

Really you should try it , you can change your life or if that is too much ,change your state of mind and body and come back feeling renewed and refreshed ready to sign up to another one!

This year I’m teaching in Puglia, Italy 1-8 July and  Shanti Som, Spain 2-7 November.  For full details including how to book your place  go to  www.destinationyoga.co.uk

Hopefully see you on retreat soon!

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