Answering your questions and dispelling myths about attending a Retreat
Would you like to know more about attending a Vibrant Women Retreat?
What is a retreat anyway? We answer some commonly asked questions to dispel any myths, fears or concerns.
Please don’t make me sit on the floor!
Will I have to sit cross-legged on the floor all day, or do complicated yoga postures?
NO! Heaven forbid!! We have chairs at all of our sessions, except perhaps if we are at the beach. All aspects of our retreats are optional. We have had women on retreat who have done the yoga class sitting in a chair and really enjoyed it. Our retreats are the opposite of competitive ― they are extremely supportive.
Are you going to starve me?
Will I have to drink only juice and not be allowed any alcohol?
Again, what the?? NO way ― we are civilised and most women do have a glass or two of wine with dinner ― you are on holidays after all! Meals are healthy and the menu varies according to local produce. We always include some dining out, and usually some dancing and cocktails as well.
Spirituality what, what?
I think people who attend retreats are the spiritual type ― I’m not very spiritual so I don’t think it’s for me.How embarrassing! What if people ask me something spiritual, or are having spiritual discussions and I don’t know what they are talking about?
You do not need to have any particular spiritual persuasion. Spirituality is a personal thing, we have atheists and Christians, Hindus and agnostics attending our retreats, and we do not judge or have expectations. You will have your own unique experience and that’s the way we like it. It is safe to be you at our retreats.
Will I be safe in a foreign country?
I’m concerned about my safety in a foreign country.
It is up to each individual to undertake their due diligence in regards to safety and travel. Travel insurance is compulsory for all attendees. Vibrant Women would not facilitate a retreat in a location where they thought participants or staff would be at risk. We have never had an incident of trouble in any of the countries we have visited. You arrive at the airport and are collected, and you then remain with the group for the duration of the retreat, unless you choose to do some shopping or sightseeing on your own. All locations and hotels and been vetted for their hospitality.
Am I too old?
I’m a senior citizen and would love to travel in a group like this, but I think I’m too old.
Thirty per cent of our participants are over 65 ― our oldest a proud 80! Some retreat centres have a lot of stairs, and may not be suitable for people with hip or knee problems. But apart from these, we have catered for people who may not be able to walk as far as others by providing transport. We will take good care of you, so talk to Tammie about your needs.
Nervous about travelling solo!
I’m scared about travelling on my own. Is that weird?
About 50% of women who attend a Vibrant Women Retreat are travelling solo. This is for a variety of reasons; it’s often that although they have friends and family, sometimes people just want to do it on their own. There is something delicious about being able to re-invent yourself on a retreat with a group of people you don’t know. Don’t feel weird ― you’re about to make new friends and spend some quality time with yourself!
Group participation – shoot me now!
I’m nervous about participating in a group. I don’t even like to introduce myself in a group, let alone talking in front of a group of people I don’t know!
This is a common issue I hear but don’t worry; all of our facilitators are very experienced group leaders and know how to support people. Participating is optional ― if there is something happening and you don’t want to participate, just say ‘pass’. When we have group discussion, often we will just get you to talk to the person beside you. We know some people don’t like this, (others love it and we have to watch them too!) but we make space for everyone and keep everyone’s level of comfort in mind. But it’s usually the case that by the end of the retreat, the quiet ones don’t want to stop talking!
Illness and Injury
What if I get sick or injure myself?
If we are in your country of birth i.e. Australia, no problem, but overseas you will require health insurance. During past retreats, we’ve dealt with broken bones and sprains but no Bali Belly, fingers crossed! If you need medical treatment we know where to take you. For more serious injuries we will help you arrange your transport home, contact your family etc., and you will not be alone in such circumstances. It is compulsory to provide the Retreat Leader with your emergency contacts and travel insurance details prior the start of the retreat, so we have all the information we need in the case of an emergency.
If you have any other questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact us, there are no silly questions, your comfort is our Number 1 priority!
A Recent question I had from a newsletter subscriber was about the photo at the top of the page, she asked if women were required to wear a uniform and if so did you have to purchase it prior to the Retreat?
This photo was taken from the 2013 Women’s Mindfulness Retreat and we are just about to learn the process of making the “Canang Sari” which are flower offerings the Balinese make at the temple. After we make the offerings we take them to the hotel temple and it is requirement in any Hindu temple that your legs and shoulders be covered. Balinese typically wear sarongs and so each women on the retreat is given a gift of a traditional sarong to wear (you get to keep this of course) and I ask women to wear a white shirt as it is a sign of respect. When we are not visiting a sacred site, women just wear their usual clothes as you can see in the photo above.
We hope this article has gone some way to answering questions you may have about attending a retreat. We also hope you will join us on one very soon, and remember there are no silly questions, if you have any concerns contact us so we can help you decide if a retreat is the right type of holiday for you. You can also view our YouTube video below which will give you more information about who attends our retreats and why and what you can expect. Warm Regards, Tammie