Hi! I’m Nikki. I’m a Peloton enthusiast, a NASM certified personal trainer, and a writer here at The Clip Out. I’m also right in the middle of a months-long military-directed move and I am STRESSED. If I could run away to an actual self-care retreat, I would be on the first flight out of town. But, as my therapist keeps reminding me, running away isn’t the answer, so Peloton’s new program A Self-Care Retreat, led by Instructor Anna Greenberg, felt like a solid backup plan to help mitigate some of the stress I’ve been under. The Instagram Reel on Anna’s page that was used to introduce this new program promised to make it feel like I’m at, or near, a beach listening to waves crashing and birds chirping (not surrounded by a mess of packing materials and boxes), and I’m here for exactly that type of experience. So, let’s do this!
Located in the Programs tab, Anna Greenberg takes you on a self-care retreat from the comfort of your own home
This program is a very manageable week-long series and, just like other Peloton programs, once you press Start, you are locked into their timeline if you want to complete it. You have 7 days to finish 8 classes, with two classes on Day 1, where Anna introduces the program’s intention, two classes on Day 7, where Anna brings the program to a close, and a rest day sandwiched in on Day 4.
- Day 1: 2 classes (5 minute program introduction & 30 minute Slow Flow)
- Day 2: 1 class (10 minute intention-setting Meditation)
- Day 3: 1 class (20 minute Core class)
- Day 4: Rest Day
- Day 5: 1 class (20 minute Power Flow)
- Day 6: 1 class (15 minute Restorative Yoga)
- Day 7: 2 classes (30 min Flow + 5 min Meditative Reflection)
In this program, you will need 2 blocks, 2 blankets/beach towels, 1 bolster (or large sofa cushion) for the series of classes. Not all classes will require these at the same time, but you will use them all at some point over the course of all of the classes.
This week-long program consists of 8 classes to be done over 6 days, with a rest day sandwiched in the middle. As with all week-long Peloton programs, you have 7 days to complete it.
Day 1, Class 1: Anna opens the program by encouraging Self-Care-Retreaters to identify small, manageable ways to initiate a reset in your life and, encourages program participants to lean into the Retreat aspect by finding a way to make your space feel more retreat-like, noting that small shifts can help provide signals to the mind and body that this is your time to slow down. While this was mostly a class meant to introduce the program, it did end with Supported Fish (my favorite restorative pose) and my heart rate reaped the benefits immediately. Checking my HR graph on my Strive Score, it looked like the steep downslope of a rollercoaster that has just reached the summit. Self-care activated!
Day 1, Class 2:
Once the roadmap has been introduced, the program continues on to the second class of the series: a very intentional flow, focusing on releasing areas known to carry tension. Everything about this class was slow, introspective, and calming; however, owners of sensitive wrists, beware: she introduces, and uses, Downward Dog as homebase, and you will visit this position often both in this class and throughout the rest of the program. In this class, Anna establishes the concept of self-study, and encourages participants to do a little bit of self-inquiry by asking introspective questions such as who am I and what do I want? The goal of this exercise in self-reflection is to seek answers to help guide your personal path throughout the program, and going forward after the program ends.
As someone who is a big believer in mental health counseling, I have to say that this class felt very therapy-adjacent, which I didn’t mind at all. Mental health is as important as physical health to me and I appreciate that the two are combined here. Some of the questions that Anna posed applied to me, some did not, but overall, I appreciated the encouragement to stop and really think about how I could benefit from the answers I arrived at during my self-reflection not only throughout the program, but in my everyday life as well.
Day 2, Class 3
The second day of the program was an intention setting Meditation. I appreciated that Day 2 was just a 10 minute class, both because my day was absolutely packed and fitting in 10 minutes of anything additional felt nearly impossible, and because my day was so busy, I really needed 10 minutes to sit still and take a break (moving isn’t for the faint of heart!). This class focused on setting an intention for the remainder of the program, checking in with yourself and how you’re feeling in your body, and choosing a word that acts as a touchstone for how you would like to approach your life (I chose tenacity). As this is just a 10 minute meditation, I have no likes or dislikes to note. It was a great class that built upon the previous two, even if it wasn’t a physically active class.
Day 3, Class 4:
Moving on to day 3 of the Self-Care Retreat, it’s time for a…..core workout? Gotta admit, I wasn’t expecting a core workout in the middle of this particular program. But, Anna has a very obvious plan for this program and, while it was initially surprising to see a core Focus Flow included, she makes sure to build upon the themes from the intention setting meditation from the previous day. The theme of this class is about learning to focus inwardly, by virtue of working on our deep core muscles. The class begins with breath work and Anna encourages focusing on your intention/word that you chose the day before. This class is all about transverse abs and pelvic floor work and is more of a core activation than it is a sweaty workout (but your abs will still work!). Anna is mindful of doming/loafing of abdominal muscles throughout the workout, which suggests to me that this class could be diastasis recti-friendly. Overall, I really enjoyed this class, especially the focus on engagement of the deeper muscles of the core. Mine were absolutely shaking by the end!
Day 5, Class 5
After taking a day off from the program, I returned to find that Day 5 featured a class called Light the Fire Power Flow and I was, um, concerned. Power Flow typically isn’t my thing and just seeing this class made me want to, well, retreat. But I committed to the program, and to this review, so I took a deep breath and dove in. The theme of this class is that you have to let yourself burn a little bit in order to transform, with the message that transitions are just as important as destinations.
At the opening of the class, Anna mentions that it’s going to get a little spicy, and, in my non-Yogi, casual-Yoga-doer opinion, she wasn’t lying. This class was very much a full-body experience and was very fast-paced. People like me, who need to take a peek at the screen to see what’s happening may struggle a bit, but someone who is proficient at Yoga would likely be very well-suited for this class. Warning: this class features inversions. Handstand hops, to be exact. Anna reached full-handstand and I….reached for my phone to make notes for this review. Full disclosure, I skipped this part. Inversions are not in my wheelhouse, and it also felt a little too risky to attempt this and chance injury right in the middle of a physically demanding move. All in all, this class did not change my feelings about Power Yoga. I was unable to find a user rating on the class, but I suspect that it’s likely very high and, I truly did find the pacing difficult to keep up with. If you’re a fan of Power Yoga, this will probably be right up your alley, but if you are like me and prefer a slower flow, this will be a very spicy retreat day for you. I did like that this was a full body workout, as it aligned with what would typically be a full body workout day for me and I really liked that Savasana was in Supported Fish.
Day 6, Class 6
After that spicy day 5 class, I was very excited to see a Restorative Yoga on deck for class number six. Restorative Yoga is probably the only type of Yoga that I feel completely proficient at. Actually, that’s not totally true. While I really enjoy Restorative Yoga, I do find that I have to manage my fidgets from time to time. Even so, I really enjoy a good opportunity to put the focus on my parasympathetic nervous system, and this class did exactly that. The theme of this class is “Recharge” and it is certainly the most prop-involved class of the entire program (you will use them all). Anna talks you through building your props to achieve the two restorative positions that you will spend class in: Bound Angle and Stonehenge. Honestly, this class was heavenly and very relaxing. So relaxing, in fact, that I fell asleep a little bit! It felt very meditative, with minimal talking. But, before I dozed off, I did register the message Anna was trying to convey, which was that we all need to be able to feel held and supported so we can feel safe to let go and, that we should fill our cups so that we aren’t pouring from empty (has Anna been watching my life??). I loved everything single thing about this class; it was, *chef’s kiss*, perfection. This definitely felt very retreat-like.
Day 7, Class 7
And, just like that, we’ve reached the end of the program with a class dedicated to how we all move as individuals, aptly titled Move Like You. This class is all about feeling good in your own skin, and feeling empowered in your life. It’s the pinnacle of the messaging Anna has built over the course of the week and she incorporates all of the themes from the previous classes. There is a challenging Crow pose toward the end, which is likely going to be unattainable for most people, but it’s easy to understand its inclusion and its relation to the overall messaging of this class. Overall, this class was enjoyable, well-paced, introspective, had excellent pacing, and the music added a light, happy quality. I’m a sucker for a self-improvement book, and this felt like a mini-audiobook on remembering that it’s ok to take up space.
Day 7, Class 8
Anna’s Self-Care Retreat comes to a close with a Reflection Meditation; an opportunity to infuse intention into our daily lives, an opportunity to reflect on the program as a whole and how it applies personally. Without giving too much away, Anna asks multiple questions that require more self-reflection. As it is only 5 minutes long, the Meditation flies by, but ends with a reminder that you are worth the effort, which is powerful and important in and of itself.
Though my week was incredibly chaotic, and I probably would have gotten MORE out of these classes if I’d been able to truly take it down a notch, I did notice that I was able to forge ahead through the stress of this week and handle the challenges of packing and moving to a new state with a calmness that I don’t know that I normally would have had (and, having done this 10 times now, likely have not had in the past). In the final class of the program, Anna asks if a shift has been noticed and I’d have to say that, for me, the answer is yes. While I couldn’t stop, or change, the stress of my circumstances, I did notice a change in the way I handled it, and it was certainly a change for the better.
Is this program for everyone? Yes and no. I think anyone can, and would, benefit from A Self Care Retreat, but I also think that you have to be open to, and comfortable with, this type of work–both the physical and the mental. Beyond that, there is the physical challenge of some of these poses. Inversions are not for everyone, however, those shouldn’t scare you off from trying this program. Most of these classes are not meant to be a typical workout; meant, instead, to be a respite in the middle of a stressful life, but also a tool in the toolkit of life, giving you the opportunity to reframe your thoughts about and your approach to how you handle life’s stressors and giving you a bit of a reset.
While it’s true that novice Yogis may find the Light Your Fire class unexpectedly challenging, overall you don’t need to be a master Yogi to take part and you definitely don’t need to be under an extraordinary amount of stress to reap the benefits of this week-long program. You may even find the challenge of attempting a full inversion exhilarating. And, whether you achieve full handstand or not, you may surprise yourself over the course of the week as you discover new ways of managing stress and making space for yourself within your own busy life.
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