Inspired Yoga/
Inspired Life

A blog about yoga and life by Pittsburgh-based yoga teacher, Stacey Vespaziani.

DIY Yoga Retreat

Every winter, Brian and I take advantage of the incredible Gateway Lodge Off-Season Midweek Pass offer– which includes suite accommodations in Cook Forest, PA for five nights (they don’t have to be consecutive) and a hearty B&B style breakfast each morning– all for just $499. (I feel like I should pause here and mention that I am not on the GL payroll... I just love it there and truly think it is a magical, healing place.)

Anyway, this year, the vacation that we pre-booked in the fall couldn’t have come at a better time. We both so desperately were in need of reconnection– with ourselves, with each other and with nature. 

Armed with an arsenal of feel-good books and mobile devices full of our favorite music, we set off for what ended up being an impromptu yoga retreat for two and proved to be the perfect reset for both of us. 

It got me thinking: Anyone could do this– create their own reset retreat– anytime, anywhere– with a partner, a group of friends or family... even solo. 

Here’s how our “retreat” unfolded. (Feel free to copy exactly, edit, disregard or use as a jumping off point... and, if you give it a try, I’d love to hear about your experience– or even better... see the pictures!)

Day One: Settle In
A soft, 60-minute evening yoga practice followed by a light meal and a hot bath. (Wine and/or tea optional but recommended, of course) 

Day Two: Turn It Up 
A 30-minute morning meditation walk (in nature if possible, but absolutely no headphones or talking... the point is to be aware– to be at one with your surroundings). 

Then a 90-minute active yoga practice. A generous brunch. Afternoon creative time which may include: reading, writing and/or craft making. 

A pre-meal, one-hour yoga practice to music. A delicious dinner. A 30-minute pre-bedtime sitting meditation and a stream-of-consciousness journaling session before a good night’s rest. 

Day Three: Take It With You
Another 30-minute morning meditation walk (see above) followed by a two hour active yoga practice. Closing the “retreat” with a journaling activity around the question: What have I created space for? 

Note: If you choose to create your own reset retreat but do not have a regular personal yoga and/or mediation practice– or just want some guidance– I recommend using yoga podcasts like the ones offed free on this website or on iTunes. If you are brand new to yoga, have questions and/or a medical condition... seek out a certified yoga teacher to help tailor an appropriate yoga plan for your body and needs.