Yoga Retreat as a Must-do Thing for Self-improvement?

Here is the simplest natural way for self-improvement. The known Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” which means “healthy mind in healthy body” is very true, but what comes first, the body or the mind? This is tricky and making a bad decision can cost you more than your free time.

To make the body healthy, a healthy mind must determine the body movements and ensure continuity to become and stay healthy. That means that healthy mind comes first, and you can only get it by properly developing it. With developing is meant retreating and there is a specific raja yoga retreat program designed for this. Here you can taste a bit of its value.

In today’s dynamic world, where tight schedules and high goals keep the wheel turning, it’s inevitable to take a proper care of our body, mind and soul. I’ve been taking the proper care of my health successfully for more than 20 years and have studied all the ups and downs in the process. The conclusion is that retreating is a must-do thing for self-improvement.

Leave Your Body Resting and Start Developing Your Mind

We don’t have to add more of the existent stress and pressure we have upon us, by pushing our bodies to drastic measures. The body must be prepared (relaxed) in order to be strong and vital, hence you can begin with practicing the mind first. We all know the fact that when we strengthen the nervous system, the hormone system is balanced and automatically our immune system is more resistant. And these processes are initialized through mind-work first and consequently supported by physical work.

By retreating within doing the mind-work you will safe time, money and a whole lot of struggle. As time is our greatest commodity we possess, we don’t want to waste it inefficiently, hence we invest it in creating our mental well-being first.

Although most of us are retreating – having a nice walk in the nature, making a bubble bath with candles around the tub and so on – this is a partial retreat with only a temporary impact on our physical and mental well-being because the moment the retreat is over, the centrifugal force of the worldly agenda pulls us back into its mayhem. Therefore, we need the yoga retreat which is holistic, purely intrinsic, shutting down everything that is outside of us and saves physical and mental energy instead of consuming it. Most importantly, it builds up new energy at the same time. How?

Kick-off Yoga Retreat Through This Simple Action

Let’s taste the value of retreating. With this simple exercise you can start retreating wherever you are:

- Focus on 10 (if you’re advanced go for 20, 30 or more) slow deep effortless breaths.
- Use your concentration to notice how many essential subjects will stream through your mind.
- Write them down after you finish to see your mental content. In a week or two you’ll be amazed to see how is your way of thinking.
- Try not to lose the count of breaths. If you do, your mental fitness has to be improved. Don’t get it wrong, that doesn’t mean you don’t have skills. We all have great skills.

This is the start of retreating within (the mind-work) – contemplating on your mental fitness – the start of your development, self-improvement.

Most importantly, notice at which breath you start losing patience and want to quit the exercise. Especially then observe what happens with the flexibility of your mental fitness. There you can practice your patience and this indicates your process of self-improvement.

Develop your exercise by increasing your breaths to 20, 30, 50 or more, as you move ahead with your practice. This will give you a lot of tranquility, insight and energy – retreating will become the source of your resources.

Most importantly, the idea of this exercise is to develop the ability to put you in your yoga retreat on a daily basis and get the mind disciplined in a way to create a continuous mental and physical well-being as a result – consequently achieving body-mind-soul harmony. An immediate benefit of this organic yoga retreat is keeping your pressure and stress balanced, and maximally reduced, to a point where it doesn’t affect you.

The Immediate Benefits

During this breathing, through the slow, deep exhalation your body and mind will relax, and through the slow, deep inhalation new energy will build up. These are only two of the many benefits of this exercise. The other are: lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, increased oxygen in your body, lower serotonin (stress hormone) level and so on, whereas the benefits we all want to have – the psychological ones are:

1. Sharper attention due to the focus on your breath.
2. Improved concentration as you follow the flow of your breath for a longer period of time.
3. Improved memory as a result of the latter.
4. Inner stillness that permeates within.

All this motivates your mind and creates mental stability – crucial mental state for developing patience and self-confidence. You can read more about these qualities and other valuable tools in my book About the Power of Breath - A Message from the Life Force.

Tips for Effortless Action and Quick Effect

To make retreating in everyday life successful, practice this Raja Yoga valuable tool at least 2 to 3 times a day. It can help you get more productive and teach you instantly how to:

1. Focus on your fundamental source of energy – the breath.
2. Observe your internal mental content – the right thinking.
3. Let go of the external influences – the right doing.

If you’re beginner, the best place to practice this exercise is some quiet place like at home, in a park, or even in your car. If you feel like you can pull it off during a moment of waiting for a plane, bus, cab, in a crowded place, even better. Instead of letting your mind to create thoughts that consume your energy, you can reverse that activity turning it into a gain by building up energy through breathing. Regaining energy, reconnecting to yourself and self-growth is the idea of retreating.

The 21st century domestication, that this overly organized world imposes on us does have its positive sides but it puts on too many layers that keep us away from the precious skills and the true inner beauty we possess. And that’s why we need to take this proper care of our mind, body and soul. It is precisely through this subtle process of this yoga retreat that we can peel those layers off and become able to navigate our dark hours and keep the moments of our live vital and worthwhile. Retreat through breathing and your improvement will unfold!

I salute the spirit in you!

Author's Bio: 

Marcin Gil is a yoga philosopher and breath therapist with over 19 years of experience in the field. Through his philosophy and organic tools, he is devoted to help people in need for physical, mental and spiritual growth. Out of his vision he authored a book “About the Power of Breath – A Message from the Life Force” and founded GIL Teachings.

His yoga wisdom and spiritual advisory come through seminars, workshops, retreats and articles where he transmits his personal and professional experience through natural tools and techniques. The essence of his teachings which has an immediate effect on the individual is based on life’s suffering and human failure, sending the message that we are free but have to retreat within and touch the spirit.