Why you should go on a yoga retreat
Breathe, bend and stretch
The age-old advice from experts recommends us to take a break from work and life for the sake of our sanity. Even in our daily grind, it is best to get a five-minute time-out every hour or so. Likewise, it is equally good to enjoy some time away when you've battled through enough shares of dark days and nights, monsters big and small. When stress is building, we look for a yoga retreat to get our mojo back.
A yoga retreat is all about regaining your balance in all sense by realigning your mind, body and soul. Studies have found many benefits in the practice of yoga such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure, soothing tension as well as increasing one's inner awareness. Recently, Buro 24/7 was privileged to be in the presence of a renowned yogini, Tara Stiles at the beautiful Tanjong Jara Resort.
Located at Dungun, Terengganu, Tanjong Jara Resort provides a sanctuary of luxury and well-being. Being surrounded by the soft swaying coconut trees and cool breeze of the east coast, it was the perfect setting for the Reebok's Sucimurni Retreat with Tara Stiles. Sucimurni is the lifestyle practised at Tanjong Jara Resort, which is based on a Malay concept to balance the mind and body – just what we were after!
Tara, who has been named as the coolest yogini of our time, believes in meditation and yoga in guiding the body and mind to be mindful of each other. She explained, with constant yoga practice, we learn how to roll with the hard knocks more and let go of our expectations of how things should be.
"Yoga has really helped me to slow down and go easy. Whether something is simple or challenging, there's no pressure to do a pose or movement. Sure, you can either tensed up and freak out or you can go through with the pose and see how it goes; so being easy-going with my movement, that's kind of taught me to go easy a bit in life."
So, for the yoga retreat, I willed myself to put my troubles away and enjoy the moment. I'll admit it was not an easy thing to do as I'm too used to thinking and interacting with my mind. It is a habit of the human race. We've been conditioned to always think of what to do next, who needs our attention today, where we need to be tomorrow, when's the deadline...ahem!
It is worth nothing that each set of movements curated by Tara for the retreat was to address different conditions throughout the day. The sunrise session was to wake the body up in gentler paces or poses, while the sunset session has a more vigorous stretch to it.
But ultimately, the goal is not about how successful you are in achieving a pose perfectly but to find a range of movements that feels good for your body and emotions. Our bodies do go through a range of motions from the moment we wake up to when we go to bed at night. Yoga is a lot about getting to know your body and mind.
With that, I listened to the yogini and learned to just concentrate on breathing and ease the stresses away one movement at a time. It has become all too easy to get lost in our day-to-day life, which inevitably causes us to harden up and lose ourselves over time. Simply put, the yoga retreat was an opportunity to just feel better.
"It's a wonderful thing to just unplug and not be connected to emails and the rest of life. If you have the opportunity to go for a yoga retreat, great! But you can also make small efforts wherever you go by cultivating that in your regular life."
"When you wake up first thing in the morning, instead of checking emails, just sit up in bed and breathe for just a few moments. Then throughout the day, take little breaks and do a few different yoga moves to feel better. Whether you're sitting at your desk or standing at the pantry, just open up your chest and shoulders, roll around a bit. These short breaks really help you to be more in the present moment and not caught up in whatever that's happening around you."