2 Lessons Learned at My First Yoga Retreat

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to attend my very first yoga retreat, which was hosted my by favorite yoga teacher, Victoria Greene, at the beautiful Spirit Fire Retreat Center in Massachusetts.

The weekend was even better than I imagined it would be and I learned unexpected lessons that I’d like to share with you today…

Lesson #1: You control your thoughts.

While I was at the retreat, I was dealing with a pretty ugly and painful case of bursitis in my elbow. It not only prevented me from taking some classes offered, but it also prevented me from being able to focus on anything but the pain in my arm–at first.

But, after a morning class on the second day, I sat down and started really paying attention to my thoughts and realized I was doing something that many of us tend to to every day: focus on the negative. I was so caught up in the fact that my injury was taking away from the experience that I wasn’t focusing on how I could still make the most out of the experience.

Once I shifted my mindset, I began to focus on enjoying the opportunity to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and the entire experience improved.

Remember: only you can control what takes up your time, energy, money, and mindspace.

Lesson #2: We don’t wake up and ask ourselves “So, what do you want to do right now?” enough.

One of the things I loved the most about this retreat was how much downtime it included. Every class, activity, and meal was optional and the time not in class was yours to do with as you wanted.

At first, this downtime made me antsy. With no television and my promise to myself to use my phone very little, I found myself thinking “Well, I need to do something, but I don’t know what.” The first idea that came to mind made me sad. It was work. I thought working on With Cheryl was the solution, but lucky enough, I promised myself that wasn’t allowed either.

So, I closed my eyes and thought to myself “What do you want to do right now, Cheryl?” And, the answer was immediately clear. I was very tired and a nap before the next activity was exactly what I needed. So, I snuggled under my blankets, closed my eyes, and took a nap for as long my body needed while the sun was shining on my bed through the window.

This feeling of not knowing what to do came up a few more times for me that weekend, but instead of feeling uncomfortable about it, I started to realize how little we all allow ourselves to just do whatever we want in the moment.

This trip made me make a promise to myself to start saying no to more activities so I can take the time to recharge and really make sure my time is being spent the way I want it to be.

My first yoga retreat was an experience I will never forget. From the lessons learned, memories created, time spent with My Human (Hi Jenna!), recharging time, being outdoors for hours, and the wonderful people I met, I will encourage anyone and everyone to treat themselves to some real time alone. It will force you to embrace some lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn and challenge you in ways you didn’t see coming.

Hope you enjoy some of my favorite photos from the weekend below!

2 thoughts on “2 Lessons Learned at My First Yoga Retreat

    • With Cheryl says:

      Thank you so much! It was definitely an eye opening experience–and in ways I didn’t see coming at all. I so appreciate you reading and leaving a comment. Have a great day!


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