Ever considered going on a yoga retreat? (you might after reading this) April 06 2015, 1 Comment
I'm a MASSIVE fan of yoga retreats. For me they are the perfect holiday. I love the time out, the sacred space they create to reflect and just be. They rejuvenate, refresh and re-energise me. They also challenge me to switch off from the busy world we live in and peel off another layer of myself. They bring me home to who I really am. My true self. I don't need to put on any different masks or compete with anyone, I can just be me.
Today on the blog I'm thrilled to interview holistic health coach, yoga teacher and absolute Goddess Sarah-Jane Perman. I met Sarah-Jane (also known as SJ for short) at an Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference in Sydney just over a year ago. SJ guided a large group of coaches through our asana as we saluted the sun in the Botanical Gardens with the Opera House in the background. She also took us through our paces and got us moving during the conference.
Given my love of yoga retreats and knowing SJ had some amazing retreats lined up this year, I decided to quiz her to find out what yoga means to her and why she believes retreats are the bees knees as well! Join us as we go on a guided tour of the beautiful retreats SJ has on offer in 2015.
A retreat is a total act of self-love for your body, mind and spirit.
In 4 words what does yoga mean to you?
Self-exploration, grace, divine union, freedom.
What has been the biggest lesson yoga has taught you?
Yoga is teaching me so many new things every single day! Walking this path has taught me to become the observer, to feel energy (inside and out), to listen to the wisdom of my body, to remember that I am connected to Spirit which is way way WAY bigger than myself and to feel compassion for myself and for every thing in the Universe.
How would you describe the style of yoga that you teach?
My style is creative, dynamic and like a cosmic dance between your body and Spirit. My love of dance and the natural rhythms of the earth has infused my own style of vinyasa flow that is getting juicer by the day. I love to weave music, stories and mythology into my teaching to take students on a journey deep into the body, opening the heart and speaking directly to the Spirit.
What's your favourite yoga pose and why?
My favourite pose is actually the transitions between the poses… this is where the real feeling of fluidity and grace comes in and I guess I am a dancer at heart… I love the strength of handstands… they would have to be a personal favourite simply for that moment of equilibrium when you are “on” in divine alignment, like you could stay there forever suspended in time… and I am still working towards one day being about to float on up into a full hand stand press… #manifesting
What are the top 3 benefits of going on a yoga retreat?
Our lives are so busy these days and we often find ourselves stuck in a cycle of working so hard that we rarely make the time to check in with how we are really feeling. Going on retreat offers the opportunity to totally come back to yourself, to finally give yourself the space to let go, to nourish, to reset and create the space for your own transformation. A retreat is a total act of self-love for your body, mind and spirit.
Do your retreats cater for beginner yogis?
Totally…! Each retreat is tailored to the needs of the group and beginners are well supported and guided in their entry into yoga, meditation and self love.
What are your thoughts on going on retreat solo versus with a friend or partner?
Hmmm… that’s an interesting one. Many people don’t like the idea of travelling alone so like to come on retreat with a familiar face and this is beautiful as friends can support each other through the transformation process. I personally like to go on retreats alone (and love my brave solo travellers) as the energy of the group is so incredibly powerful. It’s easy to feel well loved and I always find I make life-long connections on retreats I have attended solo that I may not have made if I had gone with a partner. I guess the solo journey offers a different experience but both are really beautiful.
I am constantly blown away by the people I attract on my retreats… such inspiring men and women from across the globe, each with their own special gifts to add to the energetic mix.
Do you have any advice for someone feeling reluctant to step outside of their comfort zone by going on a retreat?
Get quiet, take a deep breath and ask your body if it is ready for a week to slow down, to drop the armour, to move, breathe and feel re-energised in paradise! To let go of the worries and the stress, eat delicious and healthy food, connect to nature and come back into harmony with who you truly are?
I’m guessing the answer might be yes… ;)
Often our heads tell us we are too busy, we can’t afford to spend the money, we are afraid of going away with a group etc but when we get in touch with our inner wisdom, our bodies are yearning for some space to let go and come back into a space of harmony.
What's your favourite retreat you're running this year and why?
That is way too hard to answer as each retreat is so different and I love them all! This year I have already been in Goa (which was so incredible that I will be back for Goa Goddess Retreat #2 in January 2016) and next I am on the coast in Sri Lanka offering a blend of surfing and yoga with my surf yoga goddess partner Alexa Nehter… then deep in the healing energy of Ubud, Bali for some yoga and raw food with Amanda from The Raw Food Kitchen and then onto Ibiza for some juicy sacred feminine goddess work around the Solstice with Kirsty Gallagher and Mexico to unleash the Wild Goddess within with Kristi Britto from The Glow Life!
The Surf Yoga Bliss retreat looks amazing and what an idyllic place for a retreat. What can yogis expect on this retreat?
This retreat is the perfect union of Alexa (my retreat partner) and my energies and love of the feeling of FLOW and coming back into harmony with our natural way of being. Expect lots of delicious vinyasa and yin yoga, some optional surfing (I can’t surf to save my life so being a surfer is definitely not a prerequisite - although Alexa is amazing), deep dives into the ancient science of Ayurveda, personal rituals to help open the heart, awaken the chakras and harmonise the energy of our sacred masculine and feminine… all whilst luxuriating at the amazing Talalla Retreat and its surrounding beaches…!
I love Bali and raw food, so the Raw Yoga Bliss Bali retreat has my name all over it! Are the meals vegetarian and is there time for sight seeing in Bali?
OMG - Amanda’s food is so incredible! She takes raw to a whole new level and will be feeding us 3 fully raw, vegan, refined sugar, soy and gluten free meals per day plus delicious snacks in between. And yes, when we are not practicing yoga and learning about raw food there will be plenty of time for spa treatments, healing sessions, shopping and sight seeing… in fact there is a free massage included in the retreat package… and we will be organising group trips to beaches, sunrise volcano climbs and a balinese cooking lesson which is not to be missed!
Wow the Solstice Goddess Retreat in Ibiza sounds like heaven and looks like it would be a life changing retreat. How would you expect women who attend this retreat to feel afterwards?
This is one of my favourite retreats and the power of women coming together, the energy of the Solstice and the magnetism of Ibiza really fast tracks any intentions we set. For example, last year’s goddesses were manifesting babies, meeting soul mates, creating dream jobs etc and I can proudly report that, since the retreat, we have had three babies (two currently still in utero), two engagements (myself included), a wedding and two goddesses are taking the world by storm with their coaching businesses… and this really is the power of the work we did on this retreat. I’m waiting with baited breath to see what happens this year! If you want to tap into Shakti and bring a dream into reality I suggest you jump aboard!
I don't know about you but I'm ready to pack my bags and jump on a plane to Sri Lanka, Bali AND Ibiza!! Are you coming with me? From surfing to raw food and Solstice energy, it sounds like there is a retreat for all types of Goddesses!
As a very kind gesture SJ is offering the Yogamona community 10% off when you book one of her retreats and mention Yogamona. You can find out more about SJ via her website, Instagram or Facebook. If you're interested in one of the above retreats, simply click on the picture of that retreat and it will take you to the retreat website.
"I love adventures, meeting new people, eating raw chocolate (daily… ok maybe twice daily), getting creative in the kitchen, writing, being wild, crazy and free, dressing up, the earth beneath my feet, the sun on my face, getting lost in nature and experiencing everything life has to offer (the good, the confronting and the slightly uncomfortable)… most of all I love LOVE!" Sarah-Jane Perman.