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For the last week of my burnout break, my parents and I went to the south of Portugal, near Sagres, for a week of yoga – my first yoga retreat. I figured it was my last time to really relax, before heading back to work. I was hoping for some time to finish some of the many, many half-finished blog posts, bits of code etc, but our schedule ended up being pretty packed with relaxing activities – something I found at times a bit stressful!
We had yoga morning and evening, but a slower than usual form that frustratingly at first didn’t give me the post-yoga high that I was getting in Bali. Although as the week went on, it got a little faster and more intense, and I started to enjoy it more.
I took a surfing lesson, which was fun. I felt no desire to stand on the surf board, but enjoyed riding the waves. I’ve never really been interested in learning to surf, but it was surprisingly fun! I would definitely be up for body boarding another time.
We were on a vegetarian diet, which was mostly very nice, although on the most active day there was no protein, which left me feeling horrible – most people picked at the jar of nuts made available to us, but I’m allergic so that wasn’t an option for me.
As the week went on, I decided to just focus on the yoga classes and spend the rest of the time doing whatever I felt like, rather than going out and about – my skin had reacted to some sunscreen, so I was not wild to spend too much time outside, and definitely not in salt water! So I spent time in the gym, went swimming, and read and wrote and coded, and did about 3 hours of yoga a day. I started to stress less – I find having my day completely scheduled difficult, especially when scheduled by someone else – and enjoy myself more.
By the end of the week my skin was brighter, and I felt healthier, and frankly, as relaxed as I am ever going to be. As a bonus, doing yoga (well, body flow) a week later, despite a stressful week at work, brought me back to feeling more centred and chilled out, and I could tell the difference in my flexibility too. Hopefully this (and Bali) have kickstarted a yoga habit for me.
I’ll definitely go on another yoga retreat at some point, although I don’t know that I’ll go out of my way to surf again!