I believe you can do everything like a Badass. From work to volunteer efforts to spirituality-I think we can all do it with a sense of rebellion and irreverence. In fact, I think it’s imperative that as a single women yogini that we embrace our inner badass. Why not take this show on the road? Sometimes-I do. And, inspired by the upcoming Women’s Travel Fest and my very talented friend Kristin Luna-I decided to write about it. Thus, here is my guide (so to speak) to having a Badass time as a single woman at a yoga retreat.
- First-‘ Yogini, know thyself’. Are you a Four Seasons kind of gal? Or, are you a grungy hippie? Do you have a list of dietary restrictions and environmental requirements? Or, are you seeking a more back woods experience? Understanding your own personal idiosyncrasies (no judgement!) will help you choose the right retreat. Research the place where you’re going. Is it ‘Off the Grid’? -that might be a clue that it’s time to ask about your hairdryer/ laptop if that’s a requirement for you. Is it a SUP retreat?-make sure you know how to swim! Signed up for a ‘Musical Yoga Retreat’? -beware harmoniums! Anything at Harbin?- be mindful of swingers. Every yogini has their own fit- every retreat center has their people.
- Next-‘Yogini, know thy practice’. Are you a hard-core vinyasa practitioner? Are you expecting a detox and heavy workout? Maybe not invest in a ‘Healing Art Journey’ vacation. Are you a novice yogini who has only tried yoga for a few Pre-Natal classes 2 years ago? Do yourself a favor and don’t enroll in an intense Mysore Ashtanga experience. Be a yogini-practice ahimsa and be kind to yourself.
- Know (or choose NOT to know) your yoga teacher. Do you have an amazing teacher who you absolutely loooooove? AWESOME! Here is your chance to travel with them, hang out and spend more time with them. (Keep in mind- the cost of their (and their assistants) travel is often included in your cost). Or, take your chances and go with a place who sources local teachers. Personally, I like this model. I’ve found amazing new gurus who I never would have met had I stuck with my local teacher. Plus, it’s way cheaper. Yoga Dicha is one that does this well-great local teachers at a low price.
- Know your party plan. Is this your detox? Or, do you want to check out the local culture (and men?) Myself, I extend my vacation so I have time to pursue any romance that might pop up. After all, isn’t the best time to attract a mate also the time when you are most in alignment with your soul? And, some places offer an amazing festival scene that you should check out.
- Finally, know the local culture. Don’t be the ‘American Tourist’ and go in with 5 pieces of luggage and bark loud English to the locals. Embrace the experience and immerse. Try local foods you’ve never heard of (even if they *gasp* include Gluten. Learn a few words in the local language -even if it’s just the swear words. Go beyond the fences and boundaries of your posh retreat, Hitchhike, ride in the back of a pick-upm on a scooter or even on a Collectivo. The more you hang with the locals, the more you will learn about their amazing culture. I mean, if you wanted to hang out with a bunch of Lululemon-wearing white ladies, you would have stayed at home-right? Practice your flexibility off the mat.
- Write your Memoirs. The best advice I’ve ever received was to always carry a journal. This way, I have a central place to write down directions, tips on restaurants and sights and a place to write down the info on that cute boy from samba! (I also pass my journal around so people can write their thoughts, quote poems or even draw pictures-my friend’s son Luca has put many a masterpiece in my journals!)
- If all else fails……Pack some fun costumes that make you feel awesome. Shop at the local market. mercado, grocery and make some Ghetto-ritas and let loose. After all, you’re a Badass- rules don’t apply.