Are you one of those crazies who gets up at ridiculously early hours to fit in your yoga practice before the rest of the world wakes up?? Or maybe you’ve considered it but not quite managed to get past the alarm stage?! Or perhaps you’ve only thought about it, and the thought alone was enough to put you off!
It’s fair to say that practising yoga early in the morning is not the easiest thing in the world. Especially for those of us in colder climates when literally the last thing you want to do is get out from under that warm, cosy duvet with the rain pelting against the window and it still feeling like the middle of the night. Yet anyone who has dared to try it will know that yoga sets you up so amazingly for the day. You walk off the mat and into the world feeling calm yet alive and ready to face whatever life throws at you. A stark contrast to how you felt when the alarm went off!
In Goa, we will open every day with a wonderful yoga practice. Ah but the difference is, there it shall be warm and you’ll probably have already woken up naturally to the sound of the sea and the sun peeping through the bamboo walls of your beach hut. Yeah it may still be a little hard to roll out of bed. You might have a touch of jet lag. You might think to yourself, why oh why do I have to practice yoga so early on my holidays! But you will soon see, it will be worth it. There is a certain peaceful magic to tap into at this time of day. And being on holidays, there’s no rush to finish your practice. We will have all the time in the world to be fully in it, without any other pressures. Time to sit, to breath, to stretch, to relax, to get ready for another warm day by the beach in magical India. Bliss!
Each morning we will gather in the outdoor yoga room and start with a meditation, maintaining the quiet of the dawn. Taking this peaceful time to tune into our inner selves, tapping into our intuition that is often heightened at this time of day. Away from your daily worries at home, this will be a perfect space for you to reflect on your life, as you are guided through a meditation practice that will focus on letting go - of your worries, stress, anger, and moving forward - with gratitude, clarity and guidance. A chance to lose some baggage and to gain some perspective.
Moving on from the meditation we will shift the focus to the breath. Deepening and lengthening the breath, using it fully, with awareness. Breathwork will be a key focus of the morning. You will be guided through simple breathing techniques to enhance the quality of your breath and to experience its powerful effects on the body and mind.
Then using our enhanced breathing we will simply start to add movement, as we move on to the yoga asana practice. You will be guided through a sequence to awaken every part of your body. We’ll start the week off gently, building the yoga practice each day and focusing on different parts of the body. But always moving with the breath and with focus. Starting with sun salutations we’ll then move through a standing sequence, followed by seated postures before winding down with a closing sequence. Full guidance will be given and beginners will be taken through each posture step by step. More advanced practitioners will go deeper, each working to their own ability. It will be a dynamic, ashtanga based practice but accessible to everyone.
Finally, there will be rest, deep rest. But with an awakened mind and body. To leave you rested yet feeling alert and alive. And then comes the toughest decision of the day...swim before breakfast or breakfast before swim??!
After a week or two weeks of this routine perhaps you will return home and think, right, I'm ready to give this early morning yoga lark a try! Or you may develop a sitting practice with some breathwork to add to your current practice, which you can do in the comfort of your own home with a hot brew by your side. What you take out of this retreat and integrate back into your life will be entirely up to you. But one thing’s for sure, you will go back a whole lot more relaxed and at peace than when you first decided to take the plunge and book that flight to India, thinking...a yoga holiday....I must be mad!
Are you mad enough to join us or still wondering what this craze is all about?! Email any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. All kinds of crazy welcome!!