Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yoga Retreat

 

I returned from the yoga retreat a few days ago. I had a blast. I have so many good things to say about this my writing skills will give it justice. This post will likely be an unorganized mess.

The women were wonderful. There were about 7 students, and 2 teachers. The only one I knew was one of the teachers, but I was confident the other ladies would be easy going and fun. They were. It’s so cool that people come in all shapes and colors isn’t it.

The grounds were beautiful.

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The lodge lent itself perfectly. I shared a room with two other women. I got the top bunk which was really nice. I had a bit of privacy. However, we had to walk outside to get to the bathroom (a short easy walk) and the first night I had to pee so bad, but I was too lazy to go down the stairs from my bunk, put my shoes on and go outside in the cold to get to the bathroom, so instead I suffered through the night waking up every hour having to pee. Needless to say, the second night I emptied my bladder thoroughly before hitting the hay.

Our room

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The day we arrived, after we unpacked and met everyone, we had our first class. I was a bit nervous about the class because with the exception of one of other woman, all the other students were very familiar and practice regularly with the instructor.

I was pleasantly surprised that my alignment/form/technique was not pointed out. Meaning pointed out for corrections.

The studio

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The second day a few of us women got up early to go for a walk and explore. The lodge itself is on Whidbey Island. The beach was a short walk.

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Just as we got back, breakfast was served and the other women were beginning to emerge.

First class of the day was a challenge. I was able to get into a variation of Extended Side Angle pose that I’d been admiring for months. Well, I got in one one side at least. My shoulders are often uncooperative when it comes to creating space. They are strong, but stubborn!

(source)

After the first class, lunch and sauna time.

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The second class on Saturday was more of a workshop.  The instructor did a good job on giving us direction and cues to get into some more advanced poses. My favorites are the arm balances. We tried a variation on this (only imagine the leg sitting on top of the arm is bent. Crazy hard. One of the ladies got in and held for about 30 seconds. Very cool! I want to master this one (the bent legged version).

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(from yoga journal)

A big highlight from the retreat:

FOOD! Our lunch and dinner was catered by, chef Vincent Nattress. To say the food was good would be the understatement of the year. I would go back again, just for the food.

Chef Vincent Nattress

(source)

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I’m disappointed I didn’t get more pictures of the food for you, but I wouldn’t have done the meals justice anyway.

Down time hanging out.

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The kitchen/dining area

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We closed Sunday with another class and I was beyond sore at this point. Every inch of my body felt like an old lady. Seriously. Walking was a bit of a challenge.

After we left the lodge we hung around the island before catching our ferrys back to reality.

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I also want to add that we did some chanting. I’m not sure how I feel about it so I wont go into detail. It was….interesting. For me it took on more of a worship to God than a yoga chant, but it certainly was beautiful to hear the unison of the group.

We also did some meditation and journaling, which I enjoyed very much. I know there are a lot of different thoughts on meditation. For those of you that are familiar with meditation and yoga, we used the tantric style of meditation which was much better than the, “think of nothing but your breath” style. That’s too stressful. I prefer to actually meditate on thoughts and explore my mind. It’s something I will continue to do.

I would definitely go on another yoga retreat and recommend one to anyone. I doubt I would go on a retreat unless I knew the instructor. The instructor is such an integral part of my yoga practice. Perhaps this is because I’m still so young in my practice.

8 comments:

Chloe said...

Sounds WONDERFUL! Can I come with you next time? :)

Meg said...

Every picture just looked so relaxing...and the food looked delish, yum!
I think that this retreat sounded really challenging in many ways but I bet you are so happy you went!
Thanks for sharing, it's so interesting to learn about the differences and similarities between different yoga studies.

Molly said...

I thought you were going to say you peed out the window, and then got to sleep.

The weekend looks and sounds like a true escape! and did that menu sign say that the greens were "interesting?"

xo

fancy nancy said...

This looks so relaxing!!! Definitely need to try it out some day!

Christi said...

That sounds like a great weekend!

I love the the picture of the pie. Yummy!

Christy said...

Wow, that place is beautiful!

Christy said...

Omg, Molly's comment made me laugh so hard! I thought you were going to say you peed in your room! Haha!

Alisa said...

Love all the photos. I've always wondered what a yoga retreat would be like--I was imaging a lot of "ohms" and stinky raw food. Hehe!