Beyond the joy of relaxing in the sunshine, escaping the stresses of life and indulging in a week of rejuvenation, there are some less obvious reasons why a Pilates retreat is an important part of your journey. Hear some of those reasons from Peak Pilates® Master Instructor Jamie Isaac.
I’ve been involved in the Pilates retreat world for over 10 years now, and as one of the first Pilates retreat teachers, I’ve had the honor and experience of teaching Pilates retreats across the globe. Some of these highlights have been stretched as far as Bali, Spain, Morocco, the always sunny UK and in Southern California, USA.
We opened our inaugural retreat in the Canary Islands by sharing and celebrating a healthy and exciting lifestyle. As one of the first Pilates retreats in the world, we learned as we went along. We had to write our own blueprint for retreat success, which has resulted in some incredible learning experiences. Today we still hold the sharing and celebration of vibrant living at the heart of everything we do.
There are so many reasons to attend a retreat, or to lead one of your own. One thing I notice is that, although everyone has their unique reasons for attending, there are also many common reasons to re-treat yourself. If you’re also looking for ways to justify to your spouse or boss why you should be packing for paradise, then hopefully these thoughts will help.
I hope that my experiences can help others to experience the same joy, fun and growth that retreat life has given me.
So ask yourself, why should I go on a Pilates retreat?
Of course, I shouldn’t need to tell you all that – as Pilates teachers and practitioners – we all need to take some time and space for ourselves. This should of course happen on a weekly basis, but sometimes, the reality of life requires us plan well in advance to find time to take some space and recharge our batteries. How can we keep delivering dynamic sessions, giving and working hard for others, when our vitality or inspiration are low?
I know plenty of teachers who actually say that they need a real break. I need to escape Pilates for a while, and that’s a valid point. However, we all know how we feel when we return from an amazing workshop or an information and inspiration-packed Pilates conference like the Pilates Empowerment Summit (PES). We reconnect with the amazing Pilates community and fall back in love with both our practice and our teaching of Pilates. The pure energy from this alone is more than enough to fuel our teaching for a little longer.
So imagine combining this feeling with some much needed R&R, along with some time in the sunshine, re-energizing and disconnecting from life back home.
So where do I gather information on retreats?
You may have already discovered it’s not easy to find where these more in-depth retreats are taking place. The last thing you want to do is end up on a deserted island being taught Pilates by someone without a valid certificate, or turning up for your daily Pilates fix only to find out it’s more of a yoga-fitness fusion nightmare.
Well, help is here! There are a number of websites devoted to the general retreat industry that include listings of Pilates, yoga and meditation retreats. Resources like BookYogaRetreats.com are well known, but of course, be prepared to pick through the non-Pilates offerings to find your retreat gem. A pitfall of the yoga listing sites is that many will say they offer Pilates to increase appeal but actually don’t offer Pilates regularly.
A great Pilates only website to check out is PilatesTravels.com, which lists retreats, events and workshops across the globe. This site offers plenty of details on the style of Pilates being taught and the level of the trainers, so you can really be sure that your Pilates needs will be met. It also lists some wonderful studios around popular tourist attractions and locations, so you can even combine your hotel on the beach package or weekend city break with some quality nearby studio classes.
What if I want to lead a retreat?
For teachers wanting to lead a retreat for your own students, these websites can also be a wonderful way to reach out to a new and wider audience.
How much lead time do I need?
If you’re the kind of person who likes looking for last-minute bargains, then it can be worth subscribing to newsletters to look out for the last minute deals. Often, many retreats will drop prices to fill up their final spaces. Some retreats offer early bird pricing for booking in advance. Just some useful pointers for you to save a little money and enjoy Pilates in paradise.
So now we know where to find our perfect retreat, or our perfect location to lead one, but now the question is...
How do we convince ourselves and others to take the next step?
I’ve mentioned why we should go on a retreat ourselves, but, as a teacher, why should we consider leading one as well?
In short, the answer is yes! Why not travel to an exotic location, do what you love surrounded by follow enthusiasts, all while getting paid for it? When we put it like that, it all sounds a pretty sweet deal.
I do promise I would go a little deeper, so look out in the next few weeks for more reasons to attend Pilates retreats.
Eager to know more? Tune next week as we look at the four big reasons to host or attend a Pilates retreat!This article was contributed by Jamie Isaac, Peak Pilates Master Instructor and founder of Azulfit & Fluid Art Pilates Studio in Vista, California. You can read more about his Pilates journey here.