Retreats, Art and Creative Processing, Yoga


Retreat Yourself held just outside of Cape Town is one of our favourite annual events - we always leave with immense heartfelt joy and inspiration. Happiness experts all agree that connecting with people, exercising, playing and being curious are essential keys to life. Our suggestion is to round up the family and partake in a memorable bonding experience together. As psychology professor from Cornell University, Dr Thomas Gilovich says,
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

With that in mind, (in addition to family and friends) here’s what to bring to the festival.

An open mind – ready to experience a host of different workshops
Having a curious mind causes the brain to release dopamine when it makes new discoveries. This results in higher levels of positive emotions, lower anxiety and overall heightened satisfaction. It also fosters better self-awareness, since actively thinking about your own curiosity requires you to question your value system and motivations. There are numerous talks and workshops your curious mind will thrive on. Other activities like a sweat lodge, secret dance floor and open mic sessions.

A sense of playfulness – join in with abandon
Psychiatrist Stuart Brown compares play to oxygen in his book called Play. He cites play as essential to our social skills, adaptability, creative problem-solving abilities and more. From roller disco to painting workshops, paddle boarding, there’s so much on offer. You can bring your own sense of playfulness with you – wear fairy wings, join a singing workshop, dance, picnic, blow bubbles, wave a magic wand and join in the many activities on offer.

Your gratitude – take stock of how blessed you are
There’s no shortage of things to be grateful for. From the beauty you experience at Elandskloof Farm (the valley is absolutely incredible), the music, the comedy, the community, the sense of connectedness, the eco-attitude and the opportunity to learn and play, to exercise and breathe in wellbeing.

Delicious snacks for sharing – bring your own or visit the vendors
Retreat Yourself is a community gathering, where new friends are waiting to be made. While packing for the weekend, bring enough of your favourite snack to share with newfound friends. There are of course amazing foodie vendors available as well.

Yoga mat – an abundance of classes
Movement is also an essential key to happiness and there are some fantastic yoga classes including slow flow, vinyasa, sup and kids yoga on offer. Bring your mat, your hiking shoes and your most comfortable clothes – this is your time, be at peace in it.
There’s also conscious dance, breathwork, hiking and trail running.

Other essentials to keep your body, mind and soul happy:

• If you haven’t booked a cottage or a pre-rigged tent, then bring your own tent, plus a sleeping bag.
• A torch – walking back from night time events, you’ll find a torch really handy.
• Sunscreen and a hat. Be in the sunshine, just remember to protect yourself from too many rays.
• Water bottle – be well hydrated.
• Biodegradable toiletries – you’re hanging out in nature, so you’ll want to honour the space by keeping chemicals at bay.
• Warm and cool weather wear – be ready for all eventualities, pack for warm days and cold nights; including a swimming costume and a beanie.

Above all, bring yourself – take the time to be fully present. Be mindful about your experience, from the nurturing impact of the nature around you to the talks you attend.
Book now for Retreat Yourself 26 to 29 March 2020 at Elandskloof Farm 120km from Cape Town towards Greyton.


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