TRAVEL: Yoga Retreat at Dahlonega Spa Resort

This weekend I went to my first yoga retreat ever. Through Vita-Prana, where I teach Intro to Aerial Yoga, I ventured up to North Georgia to Dahlonega Spa Resort. What a beautiful setting for a weekend away! The grass was green, the trees were lush, and my mom and I were greeted by a deer as we made our way up the driveway. I had been in great need for a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of adult life, and this was perfect.

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Dahlonega Spa Resort was only an hour and half drive away. The resort is located about 15 minutes away from downtown Dahlonega, so you can easily pop into town for shopping or some delicious fudge.

This resort is part of Pura Vida, which has two other retreat locations – one in Costa Rica and one in Mexico at Maya Tulum. While I would love to go to one of those locations in the future, I’ve realized I’m more of a mountain and tree person than beach, so this was heavenly to me. The only downside (which isn’t much of a downside at all) was the mosquitoes. But hey, you’re in Georgia in August, what do you expect?

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After checking in, we went up to our room. You can choose between the main house or a small cabin. My mom and I stayed in the main house, which to be honest, we only chose because it was a bit cheaper. However, the room suited us perfectly and we were very close to the food. Priorities, my friends. The cabins did look quite cute too and you can bring your dog if you stay in one.

Our first night was very relaxing with a wine tasting before dinner. I taught a very restorative class that evening with a candle intention setting ceremony to start off the weekend right. It was truly beautiful standing in a circle of yogis only lit by the candles we were holding.

The food was absolutely heavenly. Breakfast and dessert are my favorite and I was not disappointed. The first night, we had balsamic macerated strawberries with coconut whipped cream. AH. MAZING. I have always loved whipped cream, but coconut whipped cream gave me heart eyes. While the food was great, the community bonding of sitting at a table outside on the porch was perfection. Because I only teach 2 classes at the studio, I don’t get to meet all of the students. This provided the best setting for chatting with people I’ve met maybe once or twice, and some I had never seen before. I am often (aka always) very socially awkward and usually get uncomfortable in a big group, but I felt completely at ease here. And don’t underestimate us! The conversation didn’t end at yoga – we talked about tattoos, apps, book to movie adaptations, body image, and so much more.
Our schedule was very low key. Saturday had 4 yoga classes to choose from but there was plenty of time to rest, visit a nearby winery, or as I did, watch Stranger Things. You might think it odd to go on a yoga retreat in a beautiful place and stay inside to watch a show, but I don’t watch much TV at home. I’m usually busy during the week and when I do have free time, I like to read. I had heard amazing things about the show, so I watched one episode and then became hooked. I only watched a couple episodes while I was there, but that was what I needed. Don’t judge me too hard, I did go to some of the classes!

Both my mom and I got massages after lunch and then went to a partner yoga class lead by 2 amazing ladies. We did all kinds of partner poses I’ve tried before, and some I had been wanting to try. Pro tip – if you get a massage before a yoga class, take a shower to wash off all the oil on your body. Lesson learned the hard way. But we still rocked it despite being slippery! We both forgot our phones as well, so this is the only photo I have of us. I know some others took a few for us, so if you did, feel free to send it! I would greatly appreciate it!

After class, we washed up before heading to another delicious dinner with live music. I met some more amazing women whom I am so glad I bonded with. While we finished up dessert, we were handed flying wish paper for a bonfire ceremony. We all wrote down things we either wanted to let go of, things we want to bring in, or what we are grateful for. We headed out back with our papers and stood in a half circle around our small fire and took turns throwing our papers and wishes in.

 

We ended the day with another relaxing class before bed. The next morning, we slowly made our way down to breakfast and took a group photo before heading back home to the reality of our everyday lives.

It was an amazing experience and was much needed. I felt refreshed and restored and knew I could conquer the world. I deepened friendships and made new ones. I tried new things, but also listened to what my body needed. If you have the chance, I would highly recommend trying a retreat. I am already ready to go on another.

Have you been on a yoga retreat before? Did you feel transformed?

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