I recently went on a yoga retreat and it was an amazing experience. It was a group of 20 people which is a large group, I think, for a retreat. I was a bit concerned about how we would be able to bond as a group. I wondered if I would make any connections with people. Well, the answer is,....we did bond and we did connect.
First, we had two wonderful instructors that were able to hold the energy and space of the group. They were also able to create a theme and intention for the retreat that really held the group together. We had the opportunity to hold the retreat in Greece. So, the instructors, used the history and stories of Greece to create a foundation for our yoga retreat together.
Socrates' famous saying, "Know Thyself," was the theme of the retreat. Through yoga practice, we were able to delve into this intention. Quiet morning meditations, simple vinyasa flows, Yoga Nidra practices in addition to the beautiful natural surroundings of the Greecian hillsides, helped all of us to get more connected to ourselves.
One thing that our instructor mentioned was that, not only will we manifest these connections during our yoga practice, but also when we are our together on our excursions. He was absolutely right. I found a deeper bond, not only with myself on this retreat, but also with my fellow yogis. On some of our excursions to the beach or out on the town, or island hopping, I found myself with 3 or 4 other retreat attendees sharing a simply yet beautiful meal together by the seaside and sharing our stories. It was through these small networks that I found these deeper connections to my colleagues who are now my friends. We shared more about ourselves which, in turn, allowed us to continue manifesting the theme of "Know Thyself." I was able to see myself in new ways simply by sharing my stories with others.
So, I encourage you. If you're able to attend a yoga retreat, whether it's in Europe, your home town, or even in your own backyard with a few close friends, you can certainly take those opportunities to bond, connect, and create a Community. A Community that is supportive, loving, and long lasting.