Create Your Own Yoga Retreat—With Tips from Hilaria Baldwin

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Back in June I escaped to the Kripalu Yoga Center  for a few nights.

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Kripalu is a place like no other. Nestled over 100 acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the center is housed in a former Jesuit seminary on a property called Shadowbrook that once belonged to Andrew Carnegie. Centuries before that, the entire area was considered a mystical hub for the Mohegan tribe who believed the surrounding mountains had great powers. I’m inclined to agree. There’s a peacefulness and sense of purpose that has nothing to do with meeting deadlines and more about becoming reacquainted with yourself and your inner purpose.

My stay was about as low-key as you can imagine. Every day started with Silent Breakfast, which is exactly what you think it is. Eating your first meal of the day while taking in the nourishing and delicious—if sometimes unfamiliar—food prepared by Chef Jeremy Rock Smith, or the simple joy of waking up to see another day. Days were spent exploring the grounds, taking classes (many classes) and perfecting poses. Nights were spent, well, there wasn’t all that much to do at night actually, with no TV, radio or phones in the rooms and cell phone use frowned upon. I sewed. I shared conversation with new friends. I learned about Ayurveda, embraced the pure joy of Yoga Dance my new favorite thing ever, and probably spent a bit too much time and money at the spa and in the gift shop. What I didn’t do, was spend so much time taking photos or selfies that I forgot to enjoy my stay. In other words, it was the perfect escape.

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(Rachel Weingarten)

Coming home was hard, especially in contrast to the complete peaceful environment of the Berkshires and the absolute madness of Grand Central Station during rush hour.

Related: 10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga

I kept thinking about how to create a similar retreat on my own. Clearly, without 100 beautiful acres on-hand that isn’t likely, but here are some tips and resources for creating your own unique yoga escape—even if it’s only for a few minutes each day.

hilaria
(Jet.com)

Author and yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin offers tips for creating your own yoga retreat.

Sneak time for yourself:  Baldwin manages a career, an active yoga practice and a very high-profile personal life with four adorable children she shares with husband Alec Baldwin. “The beauty about yoga is that you can do it anywhere and you don’t really need anything,” she told Parade. “Of course, you can have a mat, you can have blocks, that’s all wonderful. But if you need to just get your yoga in, all you need is a floor and a body, so that’s one of the reasons that I’ve completely fallen in love with it.”

Related: The 10 Best Yoga Props You Will Actually Use

Set up a tiny practice: Baldwin says “You know what? the hardest thing is showing up. You know you have to work out, you know you have to move your body, the question is ‘will you?’ Will you take the time to go ahead and do that. So, the best time is now. You have a few minutes and if you were going to spend that on Facebook or watching TV, why don’t you instead do a forward bend or do some crunches. These tiny little things that you can do throughout the day to just constantly keep moving will really benefit you.”

Related: At-Home Restorative Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

 A few minutes matter: Don’t worry if you can’t commit to a full class a few times a week. “Anything is more than what most people are doing so even if it’s just a few minutes a day and the next day maybe do a little bit more,” Baldwin said. “There really is no smallest amount that isn’t worth doing because a little bit is better than nothing.”

Set the mood: Baldwin recently partnered with Jet.com, one of her favorite shopping sources. She shared some brands she and her family already use available through Jet. “I’m very focused on being eco-friendly and they’re very thoughtful not just about how they are packaging products but about the products that are being included on the site. They have a lot of organic brands such as Califia Farms, Cedar’s Foods, Emmy’s Organics, Toms of Maine, those are really great products that we keep in our home at all times. Their fresh produce is incredible as well and it’s an easy way to make sure that the right products are in our home.”

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Ready to set up your own yoga retreat at home or rev up your practice? This might inspire you:

  • For less than the price of a single class, YogaGlo meditation and yoga app gives you access to 4,000 professionally filmed online yoga and meditation classes taught by the world’s leading instructors.
  • Crane & Lion is a luxury yoga apparel brand with super cute tights and a French Terry collection perfect for down(ward facing dog) time.
  • Can’t leave your yoga pants in the studio? Noli Yoga yoga and activewear apparel fuses fashion and function.
  • Every piece in the Hyde Yoga collection is made in the USA of organic cotton so it’s mindful clothing for your mindful practice.
  • If you don’t feel like struggling with laces after your workout, Claire Slip on Mule by Vionic looks a lot like a Mary Jane, but is more like a cushy clog.
  • Why should you try a HairZing? Because it’s so comfortable it’s been described as “yoga pants for your hair.”
  • If you’re trying to learn more about Ayurvedic principles or cooking, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O’Donnell is a great place to start.
  • Keep the zen with you during the day with a cute Om pendant from Auburn Jewelry or Mala beads by Jen Stock.
  • Leave the roller bag at home and carry a cute tote from Wingman instead for everything but the mat.
  • If you’re in it for the leggings, check out Terez in about a zillion patterns.
  • Try a meditation cushion that puts you in the right frame of mind. Walden doesn’t take up much space and eases you into the right kind of headspace.
  • And lest you think yoga is only for people who personify the notion of a yoga butt, Prana offers a full collection in larger sizes. As for me, I’ll be Jonesing for a new yoga mat!

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