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4 reasons popping your yoga-retreat-cherry without your kids makes you a better parent.

4 reasons popping your yoga-retreat-cherry without your kids makes you a better parent.

Recently I spent a weekend away with 4 of my girlfriends, who like me, also just happen to be mums of young children. We drove into West Sussex to spend 2 nights on a yoga retreat held by Stretching the Citystretchingthecity.co.uk  at Brantridge Park. The old ‘faulty towers-esk' manor has an incredible history. It was once the home to Queen Victoria’s grand daughter ( whose ghostly photo was framed on the wall and stared at me upside down during my downward dog pose ). Later, the manor was then taken over by the Italian Mafia, and more recently, has been sold privately to a professional equestrian couple for £5 million pounds! So this was a special, and last retreat being held at this manor. I love knowing this stuff. Anyway, I digress..

All 4 of us were exhausted in some way or another. None of us had ever been on a yoga retreat before, and spending time away from our kids is a heady mix of elation and guilt. You feel me? During the profound yoga and meditation held by Pollypollysyoga.co.uk , she mentioned our intention for the entire weekend was to ‘let go’ And ‘let go’ we did in a few more ways than anticipated, but more on that in a minute. The food was a tasty vegetarian discovery of the senses provided by vegetarian queen Ceri Jones of Natural Kitchen Adventures naturalkitchenadventures.co.uk  So you could say this weekend was to be a healthy one. However, clearly a novice, I found myself quietly wondering if there might be a bar on this retreat. And in the event there wasn’t I snuck in a cheeky bottle of red wine in my bag for the evening sessions in our room, only to find, the girls all did the same. Great minds and all. No wonder I love these women.

I don’t usually practice a lot of yoga. I dip in and out of it when I feel like it, but when I’m doing it I always appreciate the art form and wish I did it more. It makes a huge difference if you have an extremely talented teacher. Polly was and is sensational. Bizarrely, the Super-nova-yogi must have heard me, my wish was nearly granted, our yoga sessions were indeed .... wait for it....held in the official Manor bar, however the bar was dry. Lucky we thought ahead!

Given we had no kids to manage, no Weetabix to mash or milk bottles to make, we found ourselves eagerly surrendering to ‘letting go’. We had the time, and this was indeed a luxury and a necessity. We only had to manage ourselves, wipe our own bums and be incredibly grateful for the morning lie-ins. Two of us cried during Polly’s guided meditation. There was something profound about ‘letting go’ that made us realise how much, as busy mums and women, we just cope without much thought or reflection. Hence the tears came rolling down my face on a couple of occasions, and I wasn’t alone. Other sniffles could be heard from the mostly female retreat goers during a powerful yoga session one night.

Yoga makes me laugh though too. I always hear someone fart. Usually me of course, but the poses do encourage such motions without any control. Clearly I’m not controlling my pelvic floor enough, but after two kids, the pelvic floor is a little whimsical at the best of times. I'm working on it, so I apologise in advance to anyone who attends a yoga class with me. I can’t help it and I do promise you will have a giggle. Yoga and laughing are such a wonderful formula don't you think? I’m also a little wary of eating delicious vegetarian pulses before a yoga session, that’s just asking for trouble.

Here are my 4 reasons spending time away from your kids makes you a better parent:

1. It allows us space to appreciate them, miss them, and be more patient with them.
2. It recharges our mummy batteries. The extra few hours sleep alone is essential to sanity.
3. Having a good cry or laugh is therapeutic, allows us to lighten up and feel more human, especially when we can feel too busy to laugh.. or cry!
4. We can hold a full conversation without being interrupted, and this counts for a lot as we foster and nurture our friendships. Good friendships are so important.

If you’re looking for a special yoga retreat, I have 2 very special options for you to consider. I’m considering them myself.

There are only 12 places available so get in quick! ’Ski Yoga’ with Polly in Les Arcs, France in January 2017 OR ‘Safari Yoga’ with Polly in South Africa in April 2017. To find out more contact Polly and check out pollysyoga.co.uk

I’d love to hear what you do to have some respite from being a busy parent and person? Please comment below!

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