Paradise in Paradise…or 5 Ways Yoga Retreats Change Your Life by Melinda Abbott
Since 2012, I have traveled to study, teach and lead Yoga retreats in some of the most stunning natural beauty the world has to offer.
While practicing and teaching yoga, I have rediscovered what is wonderful, beautiful and awe-inspiring about life. I cannot express how transformative this has been. Make sure you read all five.
- We need eye candy! Nature is beautiful. We as city dwellers need nature. We need oceans, dirt, trees, flowers, plants, birds and all manner of living things to remind us of how perfect the natural world is, and how blessed we are to be able to enjoy it. Nicaragua is a great place to go to see abundant, vibrant nature. My next retreat, April 22-28th 2016, is in Nicaragua. J What are you waiting for? www.triptribe.com/melindaabbott
- Retreats chill you out! Actions that are selfless generally produce better outcomes than actions that are selfish. This is because with every action we are creating and projecting our world. If we create and project a world where we are kind, compassionate, selfless and thoughtful, we suffer less. We are rewarded with experiences of peace, feelings of love and a bountiful stream of blessings, prosperity and feelings of unity rather than feelings of division, manipulation or guarded self protection. This takes practice, patience and the right atmosphere. We are often up against social norms that tell us how great it is to succeed at the expense of others, and how being nasty, spiteful, vengeful and selfish is empowering, and being kind and of service to others is weak and leaves us open to pain and hurt. This shift poses a question only you can answer: Do you feel good around people who are mean, nasty, self-serving and seeking only power, revenge and control? Or do you feel good around people who are kind, thoughtful and generous?
- Yoga is awesome! Teaching and practicing yoga is a noble, humble and honorable pursuit. Sometimes in the competitive, high stress world of winner-take-all and survival-of-the-fittest, we forget that there is more to life than being “the best” or “the only” or “elite”…What about the space to enable peace and tranquility? How about providing relief from tension, pain, chronic agitation and worry? What about engaging not only the physical body, but the emotional, spiritual and energy body as well?
- We let our imagined limitations control us! What we seek, I believe, is control over the mind. We often take a circuitous route to control the mind by first attempting to control the body. We may live in a state of subtle or very obvious chaos, where whirlwinds, discomfort, dis-ease and often irrational thoughts of likes/dislikes/preferences only serve to limit us. Imagine for a moment if there were no concept such as “I am just not a morning person” or “I could never do that pose, it’s too hard for me” or “Yoga and I just don’t mix, I don’t have the time, and it’s too far away, too expensive, too scary” etc, etc…Think of all you could accomplish if you didn’t buy into that!
- We need support! We can’t do it alone, usually. I was fortunate to meet a new lifelong friend, runner, yogi, professor and just beautiful person. We met almost every day for a 5:30am run in the spectacular hills and countryside of Costa Rica prior to our schedule of asana practice and lectures. Imagine if I confined myself to my perceived limitations! I didn’t even bring “running sneakers”…I made it work because I wanted it to happen. A tranquil run through the countryside alongside an inspiring and amazing person is just too incredible of an opportunity to miss! And guess what? My mind said “don’t run, sleep in today…sleep, so nice…” I learned to discern what mental messages nudged me further towards who I want to become, and what messages kept me grounded in limitations. And I harnessed the power to choose. You can do the same.
Below is a link to an excellent article about the science of addiction. You don’t have to abuse drugs or alcohol to relate to having habits which we cannot seem to break, or tendencies that we wish we could overcome. It is a short read, with a wonderfully concise summary of how the breath can stimulate the relaxation response via the practice of yoga. I recommend it.
So when are you signing up for your next retreat? Because you CAN change, all you have to do is move towards it. Join us April 22-28th at Buena Vista Surf Club, in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua for a week of amazing transformation. $195 is all you need for a deposit. Click www.triptribe.com/melindaabbott to get started. See you there!
Melinda Abbott is a Yoga teacher, health educator and all around nice person living and smiling in NYC. She is excited to lead her fifth Yoga retreat to Nicaragua April 2016. She is an Adjunct at Hostos Community College, CUNY and a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves any and all cute animals and making people feel good and excited about transformation. Find her on instagram @melindababbott, and her website, www.melindababbott.com