Retreat – a personal timeout

BLOG POST Starting a business offering retreat services has raised some questions among fellow beings: what on earth are we actually doing in Ikivalkea Retreats? As said, not everybody knows what a retreat really mean.

Life buoy at Pajakkakoski | Photo by Sanna Kyllönen

For one reason or other, I came up with a loanword from sports. I am contrasting retreat with timeout – a chance to re-evaluate your standpoint in this game we call life.  This parallel might not the best one possible, but not too bad either.

Especially when we think about a retreat where you work intentionally trying to identify and overcome some troubled aspects of your present being. Or, perhaps you go for a retreat searching for support when experiencing a major change, or, as you’re looking for new directions in life.

In addition to an opportunity to change, a retreat might be something more peaceful, too. It could serve as a longed for pause button in a moment when you feel overwhelmed by everyday life.

In religious context retreats have most often a spiritual goal enabling you to study sacred texts and turn inwards in silence. Personally, I have not participated in any convinced retreats. Yet, I have been asking existential questions in many other fruitful contexts.

It is well known that modern man is not very good in taking really care of himself as he chases achievements in everyday life. Our to-do lists seem to be more important than our personal wellbeing.

Thus a guided retreat might serve as life buoy in the busiest of times; a chance to breath in and consider new perspectives in our lives in a safe setting. In other words, it allows us to gain clarity and strength, so that the rest of the game would progress slightly lighter.

Written by Ikivalkea Yoga Teacher Sanna Gyllene Kyllönen.