Have you ever wanted to experience some of the nurturing benefits of taking yourself on retreat, but you haven’t got the time or maybe the resources to go at the moment.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could give yourself the gift of intentional, fruitful and beneficial rest?
To retreat is an act of moving back or withdrawing. It is like moving away from the outer world of targets,expectations and deadlines and moving inwards to a place of stillness, calm and natural ease.
“To rest is not self-indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.” -David Whyte
Last week I felt a need to take myself on retreat. I have a busy schedule, a lot of coming and going and I generally work weekends. Taking an entire weekend off to go away (though this would be nice) is not always an option. As I am sure it is not for most of us…
But I know how important it is to create those times of deep rest for yourself on a regular basis, so…
I decided to devise a day of rest, replenishment and nourishment for myself.
I began my morning by doing a little tidy up of my home space nothing major
*Fresh bed sheets
Though this might sound counter productive when all you want is rest, it creates a feeling of spaciousness and also means you don’t have to concern yourself during or afterwards with those pesky chores.
The retreat element
Time Set aside the time to do this, a day off or a free afternoon with no interruptions. Turn off the notifications on your phone or turn it off all together.
Smell– I used a diffuser with a combination of lavender oil and eucalyptus for the combined effect of soothing, calming and de-congesting. You can place a couple of drops of each onto your radiator or in a candle if you don’t have a diffuser.
Feel– Set up your yoga mat laying a blanket on top for extra cushion and set about doing a supine practice of twisting, hip opening, leg extending goodness. I followed this with a very slow and conscious asana practice.
Nourish Take the time to prepare the food you have, enjoy the process of putting it together, considering each ingredient where it has come from and its beneficial properties. Choose to eat juicy foods, living foods that are good for your system. And then savouring each bite, dedicating all your attention to the process of giving your self nourishment through food.
Melt- I ran a bath, (I know you might be concerned about how much water you are using) But did you know that the average shower uses 5 gallons of water/minute and the average bath uses 36 gallons of water to fill. Which means if you only take a 7 minute shower you are using almost as much water as you would in that bath. I added Epsom salt another drop of lavender essential oil to the bath water for a really soothing, tension easing soak.
Note: If you have a sensitive skin, or are using a new oil, rather first mix the essential oil to a carrier oil.
Other ideas worth trying :
Book a massage therapist to come to your home. Massage in the comfort of your own home is really wonderful. You don’t have to worry about having to get transport of travel home you can just ease into the comfort of your own home.
Do a relaxing restorative yoga practice.
Yoga nidra. Get comfortable and play some yoga nidra recordings check out these free amazing resources.
I would love to know if you tried any of these ideas.
Share your experience and comment below.
And as always…
Feel at ease