Yoga Retreats

This month (June), Dallas’ The Mat is adventuring on this year’s yoga retreat in Portugal(!). I’m partial to this trip – even though I unfortunately was unable to join – as Portugal captured a part of my heart when I first visited Lisbon years ago. I cannot wait to hear all about their experiences and already I’m overjoyed at the excitement I’m hearing from retreat-goers in preparation for the trip. Yoga retreats offer opportunities for deepening one’s practice and for exploring a city or culture.

Let’s look at deepening one’s practice first. A yoga retreat can offer one or more classes per day and may also add in time for meditation. In Costa Rica, I still remember one of our meditations on the beach with the sound of the ocean rolling in. The multiple classes can offer ways to explore other poses and also a wealth of time to talk with other students and teachers about yoga and questions you may have around the philosophy or modifications that may work best for you and your body.

Then there’s also the travel component. As far as group travel goes, you can likely expect to travel with a group of like-minded individuals, people who enjoy yoga, maybe slowing down a bit and good, healthy food. Which also means, circling back to the above about exploring yoga more deeply, these shared interests can offer so much opportunity for conversation which is such a great way to explore yoga and the themes around the practices during the week.

Having fallen in love with Portugal once before, I’ll also highlight that a yoga retreat can also be a great way to explore a place new to you. During the retreat itself, there may be “excursions” each day between classes to see the city or surrounding area, and the retreat center itself may also be able to offer additional excursions. On our Costa Rica retreat, a group went out for zip lining and another afternoon a few of us went to hang out on a nearby beach. The retreat also offered an opportunity to explore beyond the area of the retreat itself when a few of us extended the stay and traveled around the country.

My time in Costa Rica was truly special. It began with the retreat itself and continued through the friendships made that trip as we continue to meet up. I loved exploring a country that had been on my list of places I wanted to visit, and I enjoyed bookending my days with yoga and the most delicious and thoughtfully prepared meals all together. While retreats may offer a theme, there’s one I expect to happen naturally: connection.

I have no doubt this summer’s group in Portugal will also have a wonderful experience. And if you’re interested in an upcoming retreat with The Mat, keep an eye on the Retreats page for this summer’s announcement. And keep an eye out on their socials! The Mat announced a social media contest for guessing the location.

This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat Yoga Studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own experience.


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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