Nourishing Yoga Retreat from the Comfort of Home

Maybe, like me, you started looking around to find events, trips, holidays and yoga retreats to go to, celebrating our liberation from Covid lockdowns. I’ve been on quite a few yoga retreats over the years, mostly in the UK, but the price of retreats seems to have increased recently and may be out of reach for some of us. Why bother with a retreat at all? I’ve found that they can inspire, challenge, reflect, connect, restore or just reassure and confirm what we already know. Retreats aren’t really necessary for our development in yoga but they can be a great catalyst for change and nudge us out of our regular comfortable practice.

Sometimes things align without you realising, I had booked my place on the YHET special focus workshop with Sarah Ryan, without really thinking about the dates it was happening. Luckily for me it just so happened that it was a weekend I was mostly on my own at home. Life can get very busy for any of us, with pressures and worries calling on our time and energy. I hadn’t planned an ‘at home’ retreat but that’s just how things fell into place.


A morning yoga practice followed by a walk in the countryside (even the weather co-operated), lunch break with time to read followed by Sarah’s first session on Chapter 1 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Real food for thought, and a great perspective on the practical aspects of the Sutras helped me to see them through new eyes as a path for practice, stepping stones joined up, and not isolated ideas. An evening listening to music and reading followed by a good night’s sleep, my mind quiet and calm.


I attended a yoga class with a long-standing friend; we’ve been practising yoga together for around 20 years and know that our yoga practices converge and diverge over the foundation of friendship. Lunch together discussing the class and then home for Sarah’s second session. Chapter 1 was completed by the end of the session. My understanding was clearer on the place of Patanjali’s recommendations in the wide-ranging field of meditation. Sarah’s presentation was interesting, comprehensive, friendly and made me feel that Samadhi is within the reach of any of us. A quiet dinner and evening followed.

It’s not always possible to switch off from the rest of the world, and perhaps we shouldn’t try as our connections with other people are a big part of our lives, but if you get the chance, next time there’s a YHET weekend workshop online, perhaps you could build your weekend around it. Trim down the unnecessary, set up your room as a yoga sanctuary, find the nourishing aspects of being at home and make yourself a little retreat to nourish yourself.

With thanks to Sarah and June for running and hosting this workshop, my ‘home retreat’.

Karen Martin

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