Having just returned from my first ever yoga retreat, ran by the lovely Tanya, I felt compelled to write about mindfulness and what it means to me.
Although everyone’s reasons for going on retreats are obviously different, I think the one thing we all had in common was the sense of escaping. Not because I’m making the assumption that people always have something to escape from, but sometimes just being in a different place and focusing on yourself allows you to let go of life outside.
I’m sure that can sound like a load of peace, loving, hippy nonsense to anyone that’s never been on a retreat, but it definitely allowed me some much-needed breathing space.
With the increasing focus on mental health over recent years, Mindfulness is something that has become more frequently discussed or mentioned as part of one’s well-being, but how many of us really have an appreciation of what it is, or how we can be Mindful? Or even what the benefits might be?
My own experience of how my mind races ahead into the future causing me worry and unnecessary stress, could be helped with more focus on my own mindfulness. If I could focus more on living in the moment I’m sure this would help. In actual fact, a yoga retreat is a perfect place to appreciate what Mindfulness means, but there are fewer distractions from your everyday life.
Like many, I am so grateful for the people I have in my life, but I’m sure I’m not alone in not placing enough value on the things that you may pass by every single day, instead of taking them for granted. For example, for me, the sea has always been a calming place to be, whether it’s on a bright spring morning or on a blustery winters day, and on Sunday morning I was reminded why that was…….
…The notion of medication for some can be lots of ‘Yogi’ types sat cross legged in a room in silence, but for me walking by the sea on Sunday morning listening to the waves crash and ripple across the pebbles, was the best form of medicine for the mind. It’s such an incredibly soothing sound, which gave me a sense of calm and uncluttered my head, which is so often filled with thoughts.
I’m not saying that I had an epiphany, or came back a changed women, but it did me the world of good to calm my mind from racing and just stop.
Finding myself in my current place in life, with so many decisions to make about my future, it’s very easy to lose the sense of today, and mindfulness in its many different forms helps you appreciate being in the present.
In yoga, you often dedicate your practice to someone, so in the true Yogic style, I’d like to dedicate this post to my dearest friend Emma Vaccaro, who is not only an amazing friend, a beautiful person, and an amazing Yoga teacher.