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Yes folks, it is Yoga Holiday time! The first-ever Yoga Holiday With Paul retreat in Cyprus is underway and it has been a long journey to get here.

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The payoff…

Undertaking any new venture, even if it is something as joyfully anticipated as our Cyprus retreat, takes a lot of time and energy. No matter how carefully you plan there is always an element of uncertainty, because you simply haven’t done it before.

This can turn the positive experience of doing something into a source of stress.

How do we do something new, in such a way that the whole experience enhances our mental and physical well-being? Here’s four steps.

Trust your gut

The first thing to do, before even considering the new thing, is to check in with your body that this is really¬†right for you. Don’t take on a new responsibility, adopt a new habit, or even sign up for a new yoga holiday, unless you’re sure that it is what you need, now. There is a time and place for everything in your life. If something feels good, move forward. If you feel stressed or uncomfortable thinking about it, hold back.

Assess and be realistic

You’ve decided this new experience, or journey, is 100% what you want. Great! Just remember, there will still be challenges. Running a yoga retreat in a new location requires a lot of logistics — coordinating with the venue, caterers, exploring what is available in the area in terms of food, excursions, and so forth. Before undertaking the new retreat, I had to think about all these things, and be sure that I had the mental and material resources to do the necessary preparation.

Don’t expect perfection

Even with the best planning, things will go wrong — or at least not the way you expect. Be patient, build in extra time to solve problems or adjust itineraries. Most of all, don’t beat yourself up over unanticipated difficulties. You learn by doing, that’s the whole point. Accept there will be inconveniences, setbacks, etc and enjoy the journey.

Take time to reflect

When you’re undertaking a new project it is so easy to get caught up in being busy, busy busy. However, to really learn and fully appreciate the experience, you need to take time to reflect. Check in with yourself during the process. How do you feel? What went well? What would you do differently? Who would you reach out to next time? Taking this mindful approach will increase your mental calm, and your appreciation for all that you are learning and doing…

How do you approach a new challenge? Share in the comments!