Teaching yoga in the Alps through the seasons is such a humbling and rewarding role.  Our mountain yoga community is truly alive and I’m so grateful to be part of it.  We experience the centering qualities of yoga, optimised by the natural energy derived from this expansive space.

We are in a place where grounding stability meets skyscraping inspiration.  A place where there is an abundance of space and time.  A wilderness place of untethered nature.  The ideal place to retreat.  Mountains impose such a varied impression on us making it the perfect environment to support the ultimate yoga retreat experiences.

Knowing this, I am passionate to share the mountain magic to people beyond my mountain yoga community by offering mountain holidays to restore and re-energize with a synergetic blend of being immersed in Nature with great food (plant based) – Yoga and Mindful practice – Hiking and exploring.

 

The Little Owl Retreat – Summer Balance

This year (2020) I am collaborating with Caz Clapham of Le Petit Hibou.  She is a professional chef and restauranteur from New Zealand who has made the Apls her home. She has made available her sanctuary that rests in the Vanoise National Park – Le Petit Hibou, Boutique Chalet & Restaurant , for one week – saturday 13th to saturday 20th June 2020.

We have an amazing week planned to nourish your mind and body in preparation for Summertime.  (Book soon for an early bird discount (10%) available for bookings made before March 2020.)

Read on for my thoughts on why I think retreating to the mountains is a great thing to do.

 

 

7 Reasons to go on a Mountain Retreat

1. Holiday with a purpose

When life’s not being likened to a box of chocolates, it’s often being likened to climbing a mountain….

The constant challenges while pushing onwards and upwards.  The mighty obstacles, adversities and wild environment to be met with human courage humility and endeavor.  The mountains are a great place to explore your own personal magic and refresh our perspective of who we are and what we want in life:-

  • empowerment comes from knowing where you’re headed and taking one step at a time to get there.
  • humility arrives from feeling so small in comparison to the vast scale of the majestic surrounds.
  • insight comes from scaling the peaks and assessing the bigger picture.
  • fresh understanding comes from exploring and appreciating the variety of features, shelters and obstacles, nature and wildlife.
  • feeling free as you immerse in nature, play with the fall line and explore the mountain floor or endless horizons.

History is full of leaders and changers who withdraw to the mountains to tune-in to their inner compass, to learn and grow and re-emerge with purpose perspective and direction. Refreshed, inspired, enlightened, empowered…

As sir Edmund Hillary once said ‘It’s not the mountain you conquer but yourself….’

2. Stress Management

Stress builds mountains.  Plateaus, volcanoes,  fold mountains all formed by stress to the earths crust.

We, like the mountains, also experience stress that has the power to shape us.

Our stress responses are felt emotionally and physically all to different degrees.  While stress is a necessary component in achieving great things or just getting stuff done, it seems pretty clear that unmanaged stress and tension is distorting our health.

So let’s embrace stress in a way that it shapes us in positive way!

It’s worth remembering that while STRESS is inevitable, TENSION need not be.

Most of us aren’t aware how much residual tension we hold onto, but it’s there….. maybe in our posture, breathing, habits, thought patterns, behaviours…

We always have the power to let go of tensions and rebalance the effects of stress.

There are so many simple ways to detach from the stress which encourage us to be calm and simply in the present.

Attached to Nothing – Connected to Everything

So simple but hard to permit ourselves to do it.

A mountain yoga retreat supports us in learning personal wellness tools that we can continue to apply long after the retreat.  Enabling you to mirror the qualities of a mountain – strong stable and immovable. Able to apply your ‘Mountain Mind’ anytime you need to take time out to destress.

3. Yoga progression

With yoga, energy practices and meditation on tap, in one week your practice progression will be turbo-charged!  Away from the hussle and daily distractions with unreliable mobile networks and a slower pace of life you will be free in the mountains to focus on you and your yoga.  And for long after the retreat, every time you get on your mat you will apply what you discovered on retreat and continue to develop that connection.  That’s true progression.

4. Mountain Mind

You will become more mindful on a yoga retreat and you will actually meditate!  With less distractions and more free time you will experience the benefits of breathing practice and meditation with like-minded people.  To understand more about meditation read from my blog MEDITATION EXPLAINED

5. Relax and Refine

Choosing an organised retreat holiday allows you to relax back and detangle while all your wellness needs are met.

You will be well fed with nutritious and delicious food without having to give it a thought.  You’ll be in a routine that supports a healthy lifestyle and may help you to break out of bad habits.  With all this support you can focus more on you, your needs, your interests and doing more of what you love.

We love to learn new things.  It’s in our nature to develop and grow. To evolve.  So why not expand your mountain mind and your skills by searching for an organised yoga retreat teamed with your favorite outdoor pursuits such as yoga, hiking, painting, photography, skiing, boarding, climbing, biking, running etc.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for get in touch – happy to help you source your perfect mountain yoga retreat.

6. Make New Friends

You may go on retreat with your buddies or you may go it alone.  Either way you will be amongst like-minded people. Together with an immersion in mountain nature and yoga on tap you can expect to expand your mountain mind and make a connection to your fellow retreaters.  It’s so freeing to meet new people, experience new things and immerse ourselves into the moment.     On retreat we create bonds with each other that will often last a lifetime.

7. Because you deserve it!

If you’ve come this far and like what you’ve read, you are probably keen to make it a reality.

So why not go on a mountain yoga retreat.  There are many on offer! Plan it, do it, love it!

It’s time to be assertive and put your needs first – because you are most definitely WORTH IT!

 

So what’s holding you back?

  • Often we operate under many roles and find ourselves too committed to take time out (parent, worker, leader, carer, housekeeper, teacher, animal owner, team member etc.) Perhaps we feel we’d be letting people down if we took ourselves away for a restorative break.  But just imagine how those who rely on you will feel when you return a fresher lighter brighter version of you?  They will feel good to!  You will lift them with your new found energy and fresh perspective. Everyone’s a winner I say.
  • Perhaps your finances hold you back and holidays and travel are not in the budget.  But we all have birthdays don’t we?…. put it out as your birthday wish ‘I want to go on a yoga retreat’.  Share that with your friends and family and maybe instead of buying you gifts they can help you to make it a future reality.
  • Perhaps you don’t have the time.  Yoga gives us space so that our relationship with time becomes more balanced.  Deepen your breath and then decide. Do you really not have time to look out for yourself?  to look after yourself? Perhaps now’s not the right time but keep it on the radar and slot it in at the perfect time.
  • If you really really do not have the time to go on a yoga retreat, permit yourself some time-out in nature – visit the hills, forests, lakes, rivers or the sea. Look around and take it all in with all your senses.Turn off you phone, practice breathing techniques and stillness amongst nature and gift yourself some retreat time of your own with mountains on your mind

Interested in organising your own a mountain yoga/activity holiday? Contact Bec Black: yoga@balancebec.com