How to find the right retreat in a time of border closures.

Despite living in a world of complex choices, finding the right yoga retreat has never been easier.

The novelty of lean living is now taking its toll and with border restrictions becoming our ‘new norm’ (buzzword overkill), the idea of escaping the stay-at-home rat race feels like bliss. As a self-confessed decision staller, I am not entirely sure where to start.

Like most who call Bondi their home, yoga has become a way of life. I consider myself one of the lucky ones who can yoga for breakfast, work to pay the bills and cap a corporate day job by jumping in the ocean however they don’t call it the Bondi Bubble for no reason. Everything we need to thrive as Sydney go-getters is under one roof- or is it? Complacency has gotten the better of me and I am now craving that little something more.

With the Bali borders closed- the island I would call my annual escape pilgrimage and Australia now locking down states, I am looking to my backyard for inspiration. The truth is, I know very little about New South Wales when it comes to wellness retreats. Add digital fatigue to the pile of excuses after spending months scrolling through the day and it’s no surprise the internet is a little overwhelming.

So I ask myself, “What do I want?”

I was recently asked over coffee, what do I look for when I book a retreat (all four of them). The length of pause spoke volumes, exposing the fact that I do not know. The idea of searching for the perfect destination, within my budget, a location needing a plane and ideally with an ocean on my doorstep, has deterred me in the past from trying. Laziness doesn’t get the better of me, but the match does- because it never fits.

We live in a generation where everything can be home delivered, from Uber Eats, men from dating apps, films from Netflix but where is the algorithm to tee up my perfect escape? Reliant on filters, I stop before the tapping gets tough in my virtual search for health and happiness.

The irony of calling myself a yogi with a routine is that I stopped being curious. My life pre-pandemic was filled with a typical yoga practice, at my typical studio followed by my typical coffee near my typical beach but that’s not yoga, that is sleepwalking with a yoga mat and a decent tan. I am not quite sure what we thought would happen when the clock ticked over into 2021 because life remains uncertain and our choices remain complex as they were the year before. The same questions remain unanswered, “When will I see my family again?’, ‘Will I be cashing in my Bali Festival ticket any time soon?’ and ‘When will I feel less exhausted from a world in white noise?’

So I return to my original conundrum. What DO I need to remove myself from my sofa workstation and explore the great outdoors again? My updated criteria: the ocean, no plane necessary, not too expensive and ideally very soon! When I was reunited with Katy, The Yogapod Sydney founder, and barefooted life-hacker after eight months stranded overseas, I was so happy to learn that I had one less choice to make.

Where can I find a dream location in three easy clicks?
You are already at your destination, The Yogapod Sydney.

Author: Allison Hensley 
Find her on Instagram @ally__hensley

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