Last year I planned to join my best friend at Kripalu to enjoy a weekend workshop with our favorite meditation teacher. Due to a personal illness, the teacher was unable to teach the weekend course.
My friend and I had the option to meet at Kripalu for R&R or postpone our trip until the teacher was able to reschedule. We chose the reschedule option and I decided to create an at home retreat experience.
Being in nature
On my agenda for my weekend at Kripalu was keeping up with my training schedule for the half marathon I was running. I was looking forward to running thru the trails while smelling the old pine trees and hearing the birds.
I riffed on this concept at my home retreat by listening to an audio book, Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth, while running around the city reservoir.
Asana and pranayama
Spending five minutes breathing in a restorative yoga pose and imagining the tension melting away from your body can be wildly effective in resetting the baseline muscular tension in the body. During savasana (or shavasana) at home, I set a timer so I can relax and not worry that I might fall asleep.
Part of my self-care practice involves receiving acupuncture weekly and massage or ayurvedic work on a bi-weekly basis.
I was not planning on receiving any treatments on this particular Kripalu trip because I was maximizing social time with my friend, but I have had shirodhara treatment in the past. For those unfamiliar, shirodhara is a treatment using warm sesame oil poured in a gentle stream over the forehead, dripping down onto the scalp. It’s very grounding.
This particular weekend I scheduled a massage because I had some musculoskeletal goals, but shirodhara is a home retreat in itself. For those in the Boston area who would like to try ayurvedic body treatments and/or everything else ayurveda has to offer (self-care, food choices, etc), check out Kris Quinones’ practice in Somerville.
Nowadays we are supported by loads of meditation support options, from apps to books to online courses to in-person workshops.
Everyone has a different style preference. Some people will prefer a guided meditation and others a mantra-based practice.
My favorite teacher, Tara Brach, has a very robust library of both online audio recordings and videos recordings available. I really love her “Basic Body Scan” and “Instruction & Meditation: A Forgiving Heart.”
Indulge the senses
When I see my best friend, who lives a few states away, she will often bring me artisan chocolate with a sweet note about indulging in one of life’s finest pleasures.
Other simple pleasures include taking a nap, journaling, essential oils, masks, coloring books, or a warm bath.
You can create this!
So, there are a few ideas for a home retreat.
You can set aside anywhere from one hour to a weekend depending on your life commitments. Even stopping for five minutes during the day to take your attention inward can shift your nervous system.
Want to go deeper?
Want to indulge in a weekend retreat experience?
Join fellow pelvic health physical therapist and yoga teacher Casie Danenhauer at our Retreat To Your Root retreat in Central Massachusetts this October. Pictures and more information about our retreat in California this spring are on my blog.