As I grow my longer offerings in the form of workshops & retreats, I have had conversations with many of you that have reminded me of the many assumptions that we absorb around who retreats are for, who gets permission to retreat.

Some truths...
It is impossible to speak to this without placing it in incredibly unequal systems of oppression we live in and how this is reflected in yoga spaces. Yes some of us live with a greater degree of privilege in terms of finances, family responsibilities, work commitments and deeper than this, the belief that we are allowed to take time & space for ourselves. It is a truth that retreats are a privilege in our current way of living AND, I believe, they can also play an important role in resourcing ourselves to get back out there to fight against these very systems of oppression that live within and outside of our bodies. Increasing accessibility and inclusion within yoga is a huge passion of mine, and I also recognise where this becomes limited. For example, many retreats spaces are totally inaccessible for wheelchair users; the google forms to register might be inaccessible for neurodiverse minds; retreats run by white facilitators like me where the majority of attendees are likely to be white understandably may not appeal to people of colour (I'd really recommend OYA Retreats if this is you!).
Some myths...
One perception I've come across, is that to come on a retreat, you need to be an 'advanced' yoga practitioner. Absolutely not true. Whatever your experience or however long you've been practicing yoga, you are so welcome. And beyond this, I'd like to call out this idea of what it means to be an 'advanced' yoga practitioner. In mainstream yoga in the West, this is often equated with how bendy you are or whether you can do a handstand. Yoga has become so focussed on the physical practice, which of course is an important part but this is often at the expense of honouring its roots as a practice of liberation and freedom. When we take it back to these roots, being 'advanced' is much more about building a relationship between our mind, breath, bodily sensations and emotions. And our yoga journey is not linear! It is a journey of learning and unlearning in spirals and challenging ourselves to keep a curious beginners mindset both on the mat and off the mat. 

It is also important to highlight how so much of the magic in retreats is not in the scheduled 'activities' but in the connections made with fellow retreaters and quiet time on your own to simply be. And this can bring a fair bit up, when we give ourselves time to pause and this is all beautifully held in the container we all co-create during our time together.

And yes finances play a huge part and can be a real deal breaker for many of us. AND it might also be worth observing if it is more about how we prioritise what we spend your money on. What would it be like to prioritise time, space & healing for yourself? 
Retreating with me...
I aim to hold all of the above in body, mind & spirit in my retreats by things like: 
~ Welcoming all levels of yoga experience! 
~ Centring the roots of yoga as a practice of healing, connection & social justice
~ Everything is optional
~ I strive to share my offerings through the lens of anti-oppression, decolonisation & trauma-informed practice. This is a constantly evolving process of learning for me and you do not have to be well versed in these topics to attend, only open & willing to learn.
~ Together, we co-create the space and share responsibility in holding one another. 
~ Intentionally specifying some workshops/retreats for certain populations i.e. queer folx
~ Offer super flexible payment plans and where possible, discounts if this is a barrier. All you need to do is reach out. 
~ If forms or emails don't work for you, give me a call or come talk to me at class!
I am really open to hearing from any of you if you have any thoughts, reflections, feedback in relation to how I can do better in any of these areas. 

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