You’ve seen them advertised online, and you’ve heard all the raving testimonials from people gushing about days spent on a wellness retreat abroad – but it’s definitely not your type of holiday. I mean, there’s no way you’d have anything in common with the super-spiritual, granola folk that congregate to stretch and sing Kum-bay-ah around campfires. You know them. They’re the first ones to tell you all the reasons you should be vegan, smoke copious amounts of whacky tobacky, and swear by earth-friendly beauty products (including a line of natural deodorant thats effectiveness is questionable at best). No, these simply are not your people.
And even if you did meet people who inspired you and believed in all the same things you did, you’re not any good at yoga. Hell, you can’t even touch your toes let alone stand on your head. And let’s say (hypothetically) that you were curious about it. About all the ways in which you’ve heard yoga can promote physical, mental and emotional well-being without ever moving a muscle – you don’t need to go to some paradise resort in Thailand to learn about it. You can go to a gym down the road or, better yet, put on a DVD in your living room. No, infinity pools, tropical fruit gardens, and relaxing hammocks on bungalow porches are definitely not what you’re into.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just book one of those all-inclusive packages to the Caribbean or something? You know, the overpriced resort holidays where every detail is taken care of for you. You could spend seven glorious days on repeat; over-eating fried food at the buffet, waking up hungover in the afternoon, and then proceeding to walk fifty feet to the pool bar for a stiff margarita on the rocks. Okay, you may completely lack cultural immersion because you never left the resort all week, but at least you’d be comfortable…. and you can feel good about the decision to get your money’s worth in alcohol consumption.
No, immersing yourself in the simplicity of Asian-living, indulging in playful laughter as you experiment with a foreign language, or experiencing the indescribable stimulation of local Thai markets don’t sound like anything worth participating in. As long as you have wifi to check into your Facebook account from some luxurious destination – than you’re totally good. Forget that there’s a possibility you may forget your phone altogether because you’re living (actually living) in the moment. And never mind that there’s an even greater possibility you’ll develop life-long, non-virtual friendships with people from all over the world; opening your mind and your future to the opportunity for more travel.
And what’s with this vegetarian diet thing? I mean there’s definitely no way you are willingly going to go without meat for seven full days. That’s like twenty-one unsatisfying, tasteless meals in which you leave the table feeling hungrier than when you sat down. Breakfast without bacon? Please. Never mind that you could eat bountiful farm-to-table meals, pick your own fruit, veggies, and peanuts from organic gardens, and learn to cook mouth-watering Thai cuisine. There wouldn’t be burgers and steak so it just wouldn’t be any good.
Plus, it’s your hard earned vacation time – why on earth would you ever subject yourself to waking up early and being physically active? I mean, even if it meant witnessing a spectacular sunrise overlooking the Adriatic Sea from the edge of a limestone mountain; it still wouldn’t be worth setting an alarm on your holiday. And okay, you might enjoy biking in the sunshine along miles of spectacular beaches and swimming in turquoise waters – but your neighbour has a saltwater pool, and that’s kind of the same thing. If you wanted to see vibrant aquatic reefs filled with exotic fish you could always rewatch Finding Nemo.
And doesn’t a yoga retreat mean a strict schedule of sharing dreams and feeling feelings? Like one of those awful team-building getaways your boss proposes in which you’d rather be anywhere else with anyone else? It’s so much easier to suppress emotions and talk about your frenemies behind their back. Why would you want to give yourself the gift of retreat to deepen the most important relationship in your life – the one with yourself? Any practice that promotes being a quality human for the benefit on yourself and others sounds pointless and stupid.
But who says a yoga retreat has to be boring, structured and serious? That, as with all things in life, a little bit of hard work shouldn’t be rewarded with a whole lot of celebration? And isn’t it true that we all feel a little more free to be our authentic selves when we harmonize wellness with some of life’s most satisfying indulgences? At Whole & Happy Retreat we believe that moderate indulgence is the key to a life well-lived; cultivating self-acceptance and balance.
***Join us for a unique combination of invigorating yoga, mouth-watering cuisine, ice cold beer, soulful music, and beautiful people on a seven-day seaside retreat in Chanthaburi, Thailand. Whether you’ve trained in Indian ashrams or never heard of a yoga mat in your life, if you’re a human-being wanting to authentically interact with other human-beings, you’re invited. Relax, unwind, indulge, have fun, feel fantastic, glow, inspire others and change the world. Or, just come and do some playful yoga poses on the beach and sip cocktails with us! It’s our tribute to the yin and yang of life. Proving that the beauty and rawness of imperfection is what, in fact, makes you perfectly YOU. ***
*Photo contributed by Sarah Schu