Marriage Retreats for Enhanced Intimacy: Discovering Self-Love and Relationship Growth through’ Yoga Retreats and Travel
I’ve always been a fan of yoga retreats for discovering self-love, eliminating negative thoughts, and removing energy from your body. Especially this time of year, mid-winter within the northern hemisphere, when the nights are dark, damp and cold, we haven’t got anything to look forward to, and then we decide to book a yoga retreat. What better way to start the year off. Warm evenings, beautiful sunsets and movement within the body and mind. It’s amazing to allow you to come back to yourself from within, and it can be a catalyst for enhanced intimacy within our marriage.
Yoga retreats allow you to deepen your own yoga practice because they allow you to feel fully disconnected from the outside world. There may be three or four yoga classes spread out during the day, mainly before breakfast to wake the digestive system, one mid-morning, after lunch, and again early evening within your retreat. There may also be mindfulness practices and very nutritious food. I’ve also heard of but never done them silent retreats. This is where you are silent for the entire time you are there to gather your thoughts and again come back to your body, soul, and mind connection.
We live in such a fast-paced world right now that we never have any real time off to connect to our souls. Going on these kinds of retreats allows us to feel completely switched off and to find ourselves again. Find soul guidance and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the experience.
It allows us to find our love for ourselves and stops us from competing with the person next to us. We are all human; within being a human, we return to being a mammal. No other mammal or living creature compares itself to others; our society has made us do that. So, returning to yourself allows you to feel fully focused on the future and love yourself. Once you love and accept yourself, then you can love another.
Yoga retreats are also amazing at being in nature and allowing yourself to come back to yourself.
This leads me to the other topic of allowing yourself and your partner to travel separately and together. How can you use travel and retreats to help intimacy within your marriage?
Are you a couple who allows each other to grow and have space, which might mean travelling separately, or has it never come up within your relationship? I see this quite a bit being a relationship coach. One person always feels stuck and can’t travel alone to different destinations because their partner won’t allow them to for fear of leaving, etc. When you travel alone, it allows you to find that deeper connection with each other. It goes back to what I said above, where you need to find yourself, especially if you are stuck in your relationship.
You might have the ‘perfect’ life on paper but never travel. You have a 9-5 job because that’s what society tells you. You have a family; you do all the right things to be ‘happy’, but inside, you aren’t happy because you feel pulled to travel alone to find your true happiness, but you ‘aren’t’ allowed to travel because your partner says no, you need to work, etc. I get it; you feel trapped.
I see this also time and time again. The thing here is to sit down and communicate your wants, needs, and desires with your partner so you can be happy. How can you be happy in your relationship if you aren’t truly happy? Your partner needs to know that when you go away, it will be for your highest good and a new perspective on the relationship when you get home. If your partner isn’t one for travelling and experiencing the world, that’s ok. They have to let you go and experience that; otherwise, there will be a lot of tension within the relationship, which can manifest into other things, eventually breaking up because you’ll start to resent each other.
So research destinations you would like to travel to and return to your partner and say here are the places. It will allow me to be fully present when I return, and I will have grown and changed into an even better person for us as a couple and myself.
When you travel alone, you gain so much personal perspective and are able to feel fully yourself. You meet new people, you experience different cultures, and then this transpires into the relationships you have around you. You come back feeling refreshed; of course, you would have missed each other. You know what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that’s such a true statement. You get to find yourself again. You also find new friends who are on the same path as you and with whom you have much in common. It’s always about expanding your experiences and bringing them back into your relationship when you get home.
I remember back in 2006, Darren, my husband, and I went backpacking around the world. We nearly lost our relationship due to the demands of work, etc; we weren’t seeing each other, and when we were, we were arguing all the time. Our first stop was South Africa, and I remember the first couple of nights, a semblance of happiness just washed over me as if something had completely lifted from my shoulders. From that day on, something within us changed; it was the best feeling we had ever felt. We needed that. We needed each other, and we found that again.
If you are a couple who like to travel together, what do you like to do? Do you find romantic places to go and relax and switch off, or are you a couple who like to experience the cultures and maybe adventures you wouldn’t normally experience at home together?
Try to be intentional when you are choosing destinations together. Have a list in your mind of the places and things you would like to do as a couple and compromise. You aren’t going to want to do the same things, but you might want to experience different things within the same place. So, it goes back to maybe going to places where both of you would enjoy but also doing things on your own while out there together as well.
It comes back to having time alone with each other without any interruptions and talking about things you usually wouldn’t have time for. Find a connection or a deeper connection with each other.
If you’re after romance, what does romance mean to you? Ask your partner what they would say and then compare notes. Romance means being okay with each other, communicating your wants, desires, and needs, and accepting each other’s needs.
If you are a couple struggling at the moment and you think that some time away from the demands of normal life will help, and I’m sure it will, then you want to find a destination which will both light you up. Write down what gets you excited about a specific destination.
It’s all about energy exchange. I know it sounds weird, but when you have negative energy within your body, this can transpire into pain in your body, or your body feels out of sync, etc. Going away to a new destination will allow you to feel excited, inspired, and more connected to each other. This is true when a couple can’t find the right balance. You experience things together, which allows the connection to come back and find the spark that may have gone out.
If, for example, you haven’t been intimate with each other for a while, choosing a destination you both agree on will have a profound impact on your relationship and yourself. You start to love each other again. You can bring the fun back into your relationship, which may have been lost. Even just stepping on the plane and waving goodbye to all the stresses back home will start you off on the right foot.
Doing activities you wouldn’t normally do at home can bring the romance back again. You start to trust each other and find that person inside who has been missing for a while. Choosing the right destination for all these things is a game changer. For example, Darren and I went Quad biking in South Africa, which was amazing fun. We were laughing and joking around, experiencing the different cultures and even playing chase with local African children. When you are in the fun zone, your body gives off endorphins (happy hormones), which then transpire into your relationship. You feel happy, calm, and relaxed with each other. You find each other attractive again and feel a deeper connection you haven’t felt in ages.
Think about the destination and finding peace by being in nature. Remember, we are mammals, and being grounded and centred allows us to return to our soul level. Make sure you ground yourself by taking your socks and shoes off and being present each day in nature, whether on a beach with sand between your toes, snow on the soles of your feet or lying in the grass and cloud gazing.
So go and have the best time with each other or on your own. Find yourself again if you are feeling a little lost, and strengthen your relationship with yourself and your partner.
Love and happy travels.
Gemma Nice, founder of The Relationship Coach and Easyoga Podcast, specialises in helping high-achieving women aged 35-45 overcome relationship challenges through innovative wellness techniques and talk therapy. Drawing from her personal journey of healing and a 23-year-strong marriage, Gemma’s programs focus on self-love, healing past traumas, and building stronger, more intimate relationships.