Should you go on a retreat with a friend?
Or put another way: To go solo or not to go solo?
That is the great yoga retreat question.
In this post, I weigh up the benefits of sharing a yoga retreat with a friend – and when I say friend – I’m using that term loosely. A friend could mean a ‘parent’ or ‘child’ – I think by the time we are all adults our familial relationships become more like friendships, don’t you?
Over the three years I’ve been running my Norfolk yoga retreats, I’ve had many different duos enjoy a retreat together:
- Mother + daughter
- Mother + son
- Godmother + goddaughter
- Two colleagues
- Two besties
Although I can see the benefits of going on a solo retreat – I believe that if you do have someone to share the retreat experience with you, the benefits are powerful and long-lasting.
What are the five main reasons to retreat with a friend?
- Lower travel & retreat costs.
- Enrich your relationship
- Offer emotional support
- Buddy up for accountability
- Build shared experiences & memories
Lower travel & retreat costs
Cost is definitely a barrier for many people, so sharing a room with your chosen retreat partner is a great way to overcome this issue. It’s worth noting that when a single person books a room, the price includes a single occupancy fee as most retreat pricing is based on two people sharing a room. Not only will you pay less for your retreat experience, you may also be able to share the travel costs if you come by car. Win, win, I say!
Enrich your relationship with your retreat partner
A yoga retreat is ultimately a learning experience. The retreat provides a safe space in which to explore and grow – whether that’s exploring your body, mind, breath or how to integrate more wellbeing habits into your daily life. The schedule and structure of the retreat guides you both to a place where you deepen your relationship with your inner self and your retreat partner.
Offer emotional support
People go on retreats for different reasons, and sometimes it’s a specific event or comment that has pushed them to book the time away. Knowing you’ll be retreating with a friend can give you the confidence you need to make the booking. There are often a-ha moments on a retreat and it’s great to know you’ve got someone you love and trust by your side to support you as you explore the feelings that come up.
I attended this retreat with my friend and we shared a room which was a giggle and a bit like being in a dorm as Bridget pointed out! Such a well organised weekend without having to think about anything which was just what was needed. … A lot was gained from the weekend, fun and laughter, new ideas and things to consider.
Diana & Helen, Two nurse friends
Buddy up for accountability
A retreat is a catalyser experience. There is a before and after. You learn many new practices on a retreat: yoga, breathing, mindfulness to name a few. A retreat should finish by encouraging you to integrate some of the new practices into the life you return to. I have watched in awe as some of my retreat duos have committed to being accountability buddies – both with couples and best friends who don’t even live in the same country. Having someone with whom to share the onward journey is key to assimilating, enjoying and growing from new learnings & practices.
Build shared experiences & memories
They say that in life it’s not what you accumulate that brings you happiness, but shared experiences. You will share fun, laughter and maybe even tears on the joint retreat – you’ll certainly be creating memories to draw on when life sends a curveball your way.
A wonderfully nurturing weekend! My mum and I were drawn to Bridget’s peaceful place on the Norfolk coast and loved every moment of the experience. We both learnt so much from Bridget’s kind and knowledgable way of teaching… I would recommend this retreat to anyone ~ all levels of experience too!
Hector, Musician & his mother
My own shared retreat experience
I asked one of my daughters to join my Finding Space retreat when a guest dropped out at the last minute due to Covid. I don’t think she’ll mind me saying that it was an enriching experience on both sides. I learned things about her that she shared with our small group and I saw her compassion in action with the other guest. She gave me honest feedback, for which I’m very grateful, and I made adjustments based on her advice. I think it increased our awareness – and respect – of each other’s skillset and strengthened our relationship.
If you’re interested in experiencing a retreat with a friend – or other kind of retreat partner – then come join me in Norfolk.
Upcoming Yoga Retreat Weekend dates:
April 14th 2023
April 21st 2023
April 28th 2023
And weekends in May, June, September, October & November 2023.
Come retreat with a friend!