Guest post by Renee Gauthier
December and I have a complicated relationship. Being raised with both Christmas and Hanukah traditions, having my birthday right before Christmas, and not to mention multiple holiday parties and New Year’s Eve, being busy during December is an understatement. Phew!
Mostly, I do love this time for seeing friends and family and indulging in yummy foods, but by the end of it all I can feel a little exhausted. Therefore, I decided to organize a yoga retreat during the holidays as an alternative to all busy energy of the season.
To some this seems like not the best time of year to retreat; too much going on, too much to prepare for, not enough money after buying all the presents. However, I figured there must be folks out there looking for a way to escape, relax, and recharge. So here are 10 reasons to consider retreating this holiday season.
1. Invest in your well being
De-stress and recharge from daily life. When we take time to nurture ourselves, we are more productive, less likely to get sick, more relaxed, and happier. This energy has an impact on our work, our relationships, and overall wellbeing.
2. Prepare for the new year with a renewed you
Take time to reflect on the past year. With time and space away from everyday routine, we can focus on clarifying your visions and intentions for the coming year. This can be a time to jumpstart New Year’s resolutions that seem so hard to follow. Our new years resolutions then change from starting something new, to remembering and honoring the things we are already doing.
3. Avoid too many holiday parties
Don’t get me wrong. I love parties. And often I have a party in December. But with the numerous holiday parties out there, we can all get a little partied out. Having a special tripped planned for yourself is a great reason not to feel obligated to say yes to all the holiday invitations.
4. Avoid the mall
Do I have to say more?
5. Treat your body to healthy, delicious meals! Avoid the surplus of holiday treats
It’s hard to say no to the abundance of treats around the holidays. When we surround ourselves with healthy, delicious, and beautiful meals, we are less inclined to crave unhealthy foods. And by retreating into a slower, more relaxed pace, we are more likely to be in tune with our body’s needs.
6. Be active in a beautiful place
For those of us who tend to slow down and feel less motivated in the colder winter weather, being in a warm, beautiful place can inspire us to be more active.
7. Save the environment from unwanted gifts and too much wrapping paper
Let’s face it. Re-gifting is kind of rude. But what do you do with those gifts that you really don’t need or want? And wrapping paper? Hopefully it goes into the recycling, but not always, and even then it’s still part of a cut-down tree. Set an example of living simply and not participating in the consumer culture of holiday overspending.
8. Come home feeling refreshed, re-energized with more love and energy to give to your family and friends
I come from a large family and community of friends, so I understand the desire to be close to loved ones during the holidays. But so often many of us lose connection to our own rhythm while trying to keep up with so many social obligations. By taking a few days of tranquility for yourself, this not only benefits you, but also sets an example that it’s OK to take time and space to focus on your well-being. And when you return, refreshed and renewed, you will have more energy to share with your loved ones.
9. Remember this part of yourself
Being on a retreat can help us to remember parts of ourselves that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of life. Slowing down, going inward and re-connecting with ourselves on a deep level can help us to remember the balance, inner calm, and harmony that’s already inside.
10. Why not?
So if this speaks to you, check out my “Om for the Holidays” yoga retreat December 18-22 at the amazing Prana del Mar in Baja Mexico. This oceanfront yoga retreat center is located in a remote desert area, surrounded by gorgeous mountains and an expansive beach. Enjoy playful and rejuvenating yoga, deep relaxation, fun in the sun, serenity by the ocean, and a remembrance of the vitality and inner peace within you. All levels of yoga welcome!
Intertwined with her personal search for health, happiness and fulfillment, Renee has always had a strong desire to inspire those things in others. Her passion for movement and healing arts led her to become a yoga instructor and massage therapist. She also has a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in cross-cultural counseling. This combination of expressive movement, bodywork, yogic mindfulness, and emotion focused counseling represent her integrated approach towards health and wellness.
Check out her upcoming retreat: “Om for the Holidays” yoga retreat December 18-22