Tips for Attending a Retreat at Ojo del Mar
Before You Leave Home
Practice your Practice. If you already have a daily practice, keep at it. If not, building toward it in the weeks before your retreat will prepare your body for daily classes, and help you feel confident and strong on the retreat.
Establish your Intentions, and your Intended Outcomes. Many people find that setting intentions can help keep momentum throughout their experience. Your intentions might be small steps or goals - staying present, learning something new, reducing stress, making deeper connections. But, why? How do those steps fit into a larger goal? Think about the longer term outcomes for your time at Ojo del Mar. Connecting your smaller intentions to a larger outcome will keep you on-track here and back home.
Meaningful Meals, at home and beyond. We are committed to serving fresh, delicious, whole meals -- locally sourced, and served communally. We offer vegan and gluten-free alternatives at the majority of our meals. If this is a change for you, suggest you start a "clean eating" routine before leaving home - you'll leave feeling better, have less to adjust to, and be ready when you get home to continue new habits.
What to Bring (and What to Leave Behind)
Be mindful in your packing. Take time to think about what you will need, and eliminate the unnecessary - while bearing in mind that familiar sources of comfort - help create a safe, pleasurable environment, especially when traveling to a new country.
Bottoms: 2-4 pairs of Yoga shorts, and 2 pair of long pants. You'll wash and dry on sunny days. That said - many folks end up just wearing the same things, or just their swim shorts, after a few days.
A mix of Yoga tees and tanks You will have 3 to 4 of these damp at any given time, so plan accordingly.
Two swimsuits; you can use one of your breathable tees for a rashguard.
A light yoga jacket or long-sleeve shirt - you might use them as bug protection.
Do you prefer your own mat? You’ll have full access to our collection of Yoga mats and props. But if you prefer yours, please bring them!
Earplugs, since you will probably be sharing a room.
This list adds Yoga-specific gear to our overall Getting Packed guide, so be sure to read that, too!
Be mindful in your messaging. To experience new growth, you have to create space for it. The Osa is a remote place, with inconsistent cellular and WiFi access, which often presents the perfect conditions to let go of managing the day-to-day and setting boundaries - with yourself and others - so you can disconnect.
"Out of the Office" is as much for you as for your coworkers and clients. Let your team know how to keep things moving without you, and leave your desk clean so you will come back to a serene space. If you have critical tasks, schedule time for them before you leave for the week after you get back, and then stick to your plan. You need re-entry time, and by knowing you'll attend to things a few days after you are back in the office, you'll have given yourself some breathing room. If your mind wanders to "oh, I forgot to...", make a mental note, then let it go.
Get Something to Write With. It’s common to experience new ideas, dreams and insights during your time in the wild. Whether you already journal as part of your practice, or are just considering it, bring a paper journal with plenty of room to capture your thoughts, notes from class leaders, and the like.
A rebalance of life and work is easier said than done - and there is nothing gained by making it a source of stress. If you cannot entirely unplug from work or home, try limiting yourself to connecting only at a set time of day. You'll be amazed by how setting even this small limit with yourself (and managing the expectation for others) can pay off.
During Your Stay
Yoga retreats are intense: multiple sessions, new poses, and perhaps meditation, philosophy and other sessions every day.
Add to this that you'll be in the heart of the rainforest, with new sensory information flooding through. You'll need to maintain your energy to enjoy your
Balance your Needs. Keep your energy high by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and not over-doing anything. Schedule a massage, take a nature walk, or simply take a nap – whatever recharges your batteries.
Open yourself to the experience. Allow yourself to be open to new ideas, and guard against old patterns that might keep you from connecting to others and to this incredible environment.
Connect to the Environment. Your Retreat Leader may have already scheduled off-mat time so you can get out and immerse yourself in the jungle, or take some time to explore on your own. Research our location, and check out our Essential Experiences for an idea of what tours are available. Even if you know you will be coming back, treat your visit like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
While You’re with Us
With so many people sharing our community spaces, and in order to create a space for reflection and growth, we ask you for your help in support the following:
Our quiet times are after dinner at 9:30 until 7:30 in the morning each day.
We ask that you observe all signs and requests to limit our environmental impact - for example, we ask you not to flush toilet paper, but instead use the bins provided.
Our Yoga Shala and Decks are sacred spaces, and we ask that it is held as such by your group. We clean the Yoga platform once a day; after your classes, we ask that mats and props are neatly stored.
Our lodge is solar powered and “off the grid.” High-consumption personal devices such as hair dryers and flat irons are not allowed.
Please help one another with gentle reminders to turn off lights when leaving rooms, and check that all candles are extinguished.
After Your Retreat
Expect to leave your experience with both a deeper practice and understanding of yourself.
You can extend your learnings and connections by:
Sharing your experiences - others who are interested (or, anxious) about retreats in remote places might benefit from your images and insights. If you do share images, be conscious of the other people in the pictures, and post those you feel reflect well on all. (And, be gracious if someone asks for their image to come down.) We have some helpful hashtags listed below - and of course, always appreciate when you tag Ojo del Mar in your posts!
Giving yourself time to readjust. When you’re back home, spend a day in "re-entry" into daily life. Look for ways to incorporate changes you have lived at Ojo del Mar into your daily life – both on and off the mat.
Check in with your teacher or studio for more specifics on your trip.
Explore our site for info on our lodge, the tours and activities we offer, and the ways to make the best of your rainforest adventures!
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