The Yoga Retreat That Made Me Ditch My Day Job

As a busy urbanite, you don’t always realise the stress your body is under. You go to work every day, you fight the commuters, and you put your heart and soul into the 9 to 5. It’s not easy, and I always used to look forward to my much needed breaks.

I had been in a job I had disliked for a while. I hadn’t done anything about it, probably because I didn’t realise how unhappy I was. I was sick at least once a month and had been going for a series of tests due to strange stomach pains I had been getting. I was convinced I had some sort of weird tropical bug or that something was seriously wrong with me.

I felt I owed myself a holiday. Just some time out so that I would get back to work feeling refreshed, positive and ready to tackle anything. I travel a lot on my own, so I decided I would try Ibiza Yoga. It’s a great yoga retreat for beginners as well as yoga fanatics.

Ibiza, renowned for its party scene, is also well known for its mystical energy which many attribute to the high levels of quartz crystals found on the island. I arrived in Ibiza, dodged the clubs and bars and headed straight for the retreat which is just above Benniras Beach on a quieter part of the island.

After arriving and settling in, I got the chance to meet some of the people I would be spending the week with. Most of them were in very stressful jobs and were joining the retreat for the same reasons I was.

For five days I rose early at 7am and spent two hours every morning and evening practising yoga on the wooden platforms overlooking the sea. My body thanked me for it; I didn’t feel sick the entire time I was there.

I made a point of breathing in the fresh air and relaxing in between going to the beach and enjoying the home-cooked vegetarian meals. For the first time in ages, I felt grounded, revitalised and relaxed. I wanted to hold onto the feeling for as long as I could.

When the retreat came to an end I was sad to leave. I had met some great people. I imagined what it would be like to stay longer and really enjoy the benefits of such a peaceful and welcoming place. It was only when I arrived back in London that I realised how much stress I had been under. As I stepped off the plane, sharp pains gripped my stomach and I realised that everything I was feeling was completely my own choice.

That moment was when I decided to quit my day job. I walked in the next day, very afraid of what I was about to do, but relieved that I had finally realised how unhappy I was. I had no job to go to and no source of income; the only thing I needed was a way to escape, and fast. I decided that I was going to start my own business and do something I was passionate about. I wanted the freedom and the challenges that came with it. I took the leap and I have never looked back.

If you’re a solo traveller looking for a little bit more than the usual backpacking trip, here are some of my favourite retreats. Some are part of my bucket list, but others I have been to and can highly recommend!

Ibiza Yoga (Ibiza) – I really enjoyed this retreat and you know why. It’s got a great relaxed vibe and you can rent a pagoda in the garden for around £430/$850 a week.

Dhanakosa (Scotland) – this one’s on my bucket list. It costs £350/$700 for a week, but when you look at the photos you will understand why I am so desperate to go!

South Africa Yoga (South Africa) – this is another bucket list favourite. What I love about South Africa Yoga is that it really is in the middle of nowhere and for every retreat that they do, they give something back to the community. It costs around £400/$800 if you share a room.

Sivananda Ashram (Bahamas) – you’ll need to be prepared for a serious commitment. You’ll have to wake up at 5am for mediation, but the upside of this is that you get a gorgeous white beach all to yourself. Tents are about £35/$70 a day and you can rent a beachfront bungalow for £60/$120 a day.

About Kerry

Kerry is a passionate traveller who has escaped the rat race to run her own website Enjoybedandbreakfast.com. When she is not working hard, she is travelling to off the beaten track places or planning her next yoga retreat. You can follow her on twitter @enjoybnb

 

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14 Comments

  1. Cynthia

    I have been wanting to start yoga for ages, and did not realise that you could go to a retreat without having done it before, now thaat I know this, I think I will be booking a retreat soon, sounds just like something I need to add to my list for 2012. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Adam Dudley

    I hope to eventually reach a level of contentedness in my yoga practice in which I can consciously create remarkable life experiences like the one you describe, only every day and no matter what I am doing and without having to take a retreat.

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  4. Monica

    This sounds amazing – I would love to go here. Sometimes it does take a break like this to make you realised how stressed and unhappy you were. I went back to my parents house in Wales for Christmas and it wasn’t until I got there that I realised how stressed I was – the city just saps the life out of you sometimes.

    I’ll be going to a yoga retreat in India this year and hope it has a similar effect on me :)

    1. debndave Post author

      You said it Monica. It is amazing how much stress we store each day without even knowing it. We did some yoga in India two years ago and it was amazing. You will definitely feel better and inspired and relaxed. Have a great trip and I hope that you’ll be able to bring the peace that you’ll find in India home to your yoga practice in the city. It can be done. Enjoy!

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