The importance of Solitude as Regeneration

We honor our life path when we acknowledge our receptive nature. In trusting the cycles of our bodies. Each one of us has its own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place…To be with one Self-means to be whole, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. It is the cure for the frazzled state so common in these times.”

To be a woman is to have interests and duties raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel. The pattern of our lives is essentially circular. We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes.

Our lives go so fast, and we often find ourselves drained and exhausted. We hardly tune in to ourselves or listen to our cycles and rhythms or what our body-mind needs. We do so much, talk too much, think in excess, take in so much information & food, move so much, and meet so many people… but we have forgotten to meet ourselves, to breathe, to slow down, to walk and feel, or to just be. We exhaust ourselves, and we dry up until the point of getting sick or depressed: anxiety arises, loss of purpose, insomnia, and panic attacks.

Then this effect extends to the world around us. We lack creativity in our life; our relationships suffer, our work becomes difficult, and our ability to give and receive becomes stagnant. When it comes to priorities, we leave our wellness and integral health in favor of all kinds of activities and forget that we can’t do anything if we are not well and healthy. A paradox.

How difficult for us women, then, to achieve a body-mind balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives. How much we need and how arduous of attainment is that steadiness preached in all rules for holy living…

Women need solitude in order to find the true essence of themselves again, to regenerate and renew.

Tips for understanding when it is time to go back home to yourself, to retreat.

Take time regularly to be in solitude, to come back to wholeness and reintegrate.

When a woman stays too long away from herself, her capacity to perceive what she feels and thinks about herself and others becomes blurred. She can’t perceive what is too much and too little for her anymore, so she overflows her limits. When a woman stays for too long in the busy outside world, she loses her ideas; her blood circulation becomes slower. Her eyes lose their brightness, and her bones feel tired: she becomes irritable and demanding, unable to concentrate on herself and her activities.

Every moment she feels less capable of moving forward in life to the extent that she can’t see the doors opening or the opportunities arising. Her inner fire is consuming her. Her body is in the now, but her mind is far away. She dreams of a new life, a new holiday, a day when she will be free to do something for herself. She feels that she is going to die if something new does not happen soon…she feels nostalgic, longing, and trapped.

She may feel that others will not understand her to need to retreat, and maybe some will not. Still, the only one that needs to understand that moment is herself. When a woman understands and respects her own cycles and rhythms and takes time to address her individuation and vital needs, and makes the decision to retreat, it is for the good and the growth of all those around her!

To retreat can be for a moment, for a day or a week, or more. It can be different things for you or me, and at different moments: to go for a walk, to practice meditation, read a quote you once liked, just to go outside in nature and stay in silence or listen or dance to a song that touches you. Or it can be to unroll your mat and practice. It can be going on a yoga retreat.

To retreat is to take divine time, a short break, and listen to our needs: to love and respect, to come back home to ourselves: and to become whole again. This retreating does not always mean money; it means time-space and the determination to say ‘NOW I AM GOING’ and having the courage to do so.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” _ Rumi

Women need solitude in order to find the true essence of themselves again, to regenerate and renew; that firm strand that will be the indispensable center of the whole web of human relationships. She must find that inner stillness, which Charles Morgan describes as ‘the stilling of the soul within the activities of the mind and body so that it might be still as the axis of a revolving wheel is still.

A yoga retreat is a space-time to withdraw inwards (Pratyahara), to retreat from everyday life and noise, to savor a few hours of solitude and freedom, meeting silence and stillness. To meet others who also come to find wholeness by delving into the practice of yoga & meditation. Sharing silence, we become more receptive and attentive to others. Silence can be richer than any chat. Silence is the source where we become reintegrated.

A Yoga Retreat is a time for regeneration that results from silence and stillness. We all need to listen and know when it is the time for us to retreat and to honor ourselves by just going. Plan your Solo yoga holidays any time of the year and take a short break to regenerate and renew!

irana Fouroulis

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