Are Yoga Retreats Fun?

Are Yoga Retreats Fun?

I was trying to convince my friend to come on a yoga retreat with me and was surprised when she asked me if there would be any craic?

Loads! I replied. I went on to extol the joy of yoga.

  • The self exploration, breathing and the benefits of moving slowly.
  • The giving your body time to rest.
  • The well deserved self-love and nourishment

when I noticed the light in her usually sparkly eyes had been snuffed.

‘I know all of that but where’s the fun?’

For the next five minutes she asked me questions that I’d never considered. She pointed out that as a mere human who only dips an occasional toe in and out of yoga classes, she thought that retreats would be no place for laughter.

  • What happens if she was still hungry after eating only veggie food?
  • Would she be allowed to skip the meditation classes?

She’d most probably relish a tonic laced with gin at the end of the day. It was clear that she hadn’t a rashers about what’s involved and I’m guessing she’s not alone. There was no point in me carrying on with my ‘alternative holiday / healthy choices’ mantra so I pointed out that…

Not ALL retreats are the same.

I revealed that I’d been to a retreats that I’d laughed so hard that my jaws ached. I’d been to a place (top secret)  in the West of Ireland where they offered me a shot of whiskey in my morning porridge. I’d done wine tasting, cookery classes and yoga in Italy where you escapeonly got fed if you asked for your grub in Italian. I’d experienced yoga and surfing in Greece where I’d spent more time falling off the board and cursing than I spent on it, much to the -and if i may add- insensitive and unnecessary hysterical laughter from my students.

I told her that there are studios ‘not yet in Ireland’ who pair yoga and marijuana for that ‘extra’ level of immersion and then there are the quietly reflective, deeply connecting, transformational retreats. You just have to have an idea of what you want.

She was surprised and somewhat disbelieving of my answer so after Mr Google was consulted she beamed.

Yoga Holiday or a Yoga Retreat?

Yoga holidays tend to be just that. There will be a few hours of yoga per day, interlaced with an outdoor activity like walking, surfing, painting etc. There’s a good bit of down time for book reading or for catching up on some afternoon naps. NONE of the classes or activities are compulsory. The cuisine will more than likely be vegetarian, made with love and there is usually loads of it but if you don’t like no one will stop you from nipping out to find an alternative should you want to.

A yoga retreat will have all of the above but with a heavier emphasis on the yoga and self exploration. The food will most definitely be vegan or veggie and there is usually cake.

_LOU3596I’ve been on so many yoga holidays and retreats at this point and each of them have offered a special ingredient of their own.  I’ve chosen what I needed for me at the time but I can honestly tell you that I have always had fun. The change of pace, the environment and time out from your own 3 ringed circus, is enough to make anyone chill long enough to release a giggle or two. I’ve made lasting friends and not one single enemy. I love going on them and facilitating  them in equal measure. The more eclectic the group the more fun I’ve had.

Whatever you fancy…marijuana, juniper laced or metamorphic, there is a retreat for you and when you’ve booked you will start to look forward to it and the fun will weave its way into your curious soul.


About the author: Bev Porrino

Bev Porrino

My early career involved strutting the halls of numerous institutes, initially as a nurse then in Social work and while I have no plans to step back into those arenas I am grateful that I experienced the world through a wider lens because of them. In 1999 I moved to Amsterdam where I designed and delivered in-house education for a chain of gyms. I wrote a couple of books, numerous articles for Men’s Health and other magazines. I learned the craft of script writing and eventually went on to open Amstel Yoga Lounge, a boutique-style studio specialising in yoga and food workshops. In 2012 I relocated to Dublin and found The elbowroom. They let me make soup and gave me some classes and a place to hang out. I'm a teacher of yoga and pilates. I’m a writer and a Be Activated - Neuromuscular practitioner and I am smitten with the gritty city of Dublin and it’s eloquent and friendly inhabitants.

The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.