The Evolution of Escape the World Retreat

cobra pose at Kumara

I believe that life has to have a purpose; one must know its destination, just like traveling. When we decide to travel, we first must have a destination, otherwise we don’t know how to prepare, which map to follow and which obstacles we will encounter. This is what happened to me twelve years ago!

When we just met, my partner asked me: “What do you really want in life?” That question seems simple, yet it can be seriously difficult to answer. Spontaneously I replied: “Travel the world!”

For a few days after the meeting, I was pondering; if I want to travel the world it means that I must be smart and wise, I must be healthy and strong, I must be wealthy enough to be able to pay for my journeys. Following such contemplation, I figured that I should seriously do some affirmations and visualizations if I wanted my dream of traveling to come through.

In 2002, with the suggestion of a healer, I started doing yoga and I truly enjoyed it, not just because of the great results, but also for the feeling of finally being in and with myself. I found joy within. After a year of serious practice, I got the opportunity to become a yoga teacher, a change from teaching Indonesian language. I enjoy teaching, sharing with my students what I have learned and experienced.

In September 2003, following my teacher training program with Yoga Arts from Australia, my partner Claude created a 6 days/5 nights retreat program and this is when it all began. It did not take long to notice that our guests were joining my retreat with the same purpose, to escape from their daily routine and to go deeper. We then decided to name our retreat ’Escape the World.’

I remember leading retreats with only 2 guests, 5 guests, and even once we only had 1 guest, yet we never cancelled any retreat in 10 years. Today, all of our retreats are fully booked and my dream of traveling came through and so far, I have visited a dozen countries. I love traveling! In 2009, we did our first retreat abroad, which was in the Netherlands, then France and Thailand. There are more retreats abroad planned for the future, it is so exciting!

Leading Escape The World is more than being a teacher or a retreat leader; it is for me a medium to learn and to find a deeper meaning in life. I genuinely hope to share my experiences with you. Some of my students have been back many times and that is very rewarding. Come and escape the world with us, it is an experience that you will not regret!

- Iyan -

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