• Sarah McFadden

Yoga retreat: Q&A time

Updated: Jan 3, 2019


Whether you’re new to yoga, new to my classes, or one of my regular students - I wanted to share some more info about what to expect on one of my retreats.


Here is a summary of some of the questions that I get asked about the retreat experience:


Q: I already go to classes regularly, so what does a retreat have to offer that is different?


A: Retreats are a really important part of the yoga journey, and it is very difficult to replicate elsewhere the deeper experience with your practice that you can achieve on retreat.


If you’ve been doing yoga for a while a retreat is a key progression in your practice - to help you continue to stay inspired, to take your knowledge of yoga to a much deeper level and to really integrate more of the teachings into your life in a holistic way.


Because I am able to build the teachings in a more consistent and thematic way than regular ad-hoc classes, and because of the small group working together, I am able to shape the experience to be much more powerful and of service to each of you.


And finally, because of the immersive experience of being away from home and your daily life stuff, the yoga experience on retreat will take you into a deeper practice. Even with just a weekend retreat, you’ll gain a lot more than you would in a month of going to regular classes!

Q: What if I haven’t done yoga before or still consider myself a beginner? Will I fit in with the rest of the group, or feel left behind?


A: Often I hear from clients that they’re not sure if a retreat would be suitable for them, as they worry it might only be for super experienced yogi’s and with lots of really difficult postures! I can assure you this is not the case.


Most retreats are full of practitioners of all levels, and mine are no different, so you’ll fit right in wherever you are on the spectrum of yoga experience.


My teaching is always inclusive of all levels of practitioner whether I’m teaching a beginners, mixed level or more advanced class. In fact this is one of the aspects I specialise in in my teaching: ie. ensuring the vinyasa flow style of yoga can be suitable for all levels.


My intention for running retreats is simply for everyone to leave feeling more centred and grounded at the end of our time together, and you really don’t need to be a master of all the postures to achieve that!

Q: I was thinking of coming on my own, but wondered if anyone else will be?


A: Yes, many people come on their own. Even if you don’t normally holiday alone, a retreat break is a different experience, because you are joining a kind of ready-made community as soon as you arrive.


In fact, this is one of the lovely things about a retreat - the opportunity to meet and bond with other retreat-goers. People with a similar interest in yoga, and perhaps different experiences of it in their life. The sharing peer to peer is immensely valuable and you’ll probably learn just as much from the others on the retreat as you will from me as the teacher!


Retreats are inviting, sociable places that they can offer you the opportunity to make friends easily.


However, even if you’re sharing a room and you decide you want some space and some ‘me’ time, there are plenty of options at the retreat centre for this - for example on my Dorset retreat in March 2019 - there are numerous lounge spaces, there is the swimming pool, and there is the garden and the great outdoors beyond.

Q: Can you tell me more about the food provided?


A: The food as standard will be vegetarian with some vegan options too. There will be plenty of variation to nourish and sustain you.


Don’t worry if you don’t normally follow a vegetarian diet, the meals will be hearty and filling, and you could use a yoga retreat as a chance to try out some of the variety within a vegetarian diet and see how you like it.


Meal times are also another lovely part of the community-feel on retreat. When we all sit down together to share food and refreshments it’s a great chance to learn more about your fellow-retreaters, reminisce about the day and share what you’re looking forward to about the next.

Q: Can you tell me more about the Bonhays Retreat Centre location?


As the winter comes to a close it’s a wonderful time to take a balance of uplifting and nourishing yoga practices and to learn new things that will help us adapt to the seasonal changes and the changes of life. I chose the location: Bonhays Retreat Centre with this aim in mind.


It has a lovely backdrop of nature – woodland, the nearby coast, and as well, it’s own indoor heated swimming pool! So you can find a balance of activities that will enliven you, as well as restore.


The Centre is secluded and peaceful, surrounded by beautiful countryside and has plenty of communal areas to relax in, as well as many spots for quiet and reflection. Hence lots of options whatever your preference and mood.


The coast and beaches are 2 miles away (approx a 40 min walk by the river, or 5 mins on the road if travelling by car).


Here's a slide show of the Bonhays Centre:

Find out more about my retreats here.