Monday, January 09, 2012

simple gifts: new year yoga retreat recap

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.
~Shaker Hymn

This past weekend I had the good fortune of being surrounded by the sweetest yogini souls for the new year yoga retreat at Shaker Village. If you live in KY then you know the amazing weekend we had. Wow. Could. Not. Have. Been. More. Perfect.

Shaker Village was truly a perfect place to retreat to. The 200 plus year old buildings that was our "yoga studio" for the weekend. The accomodations. The simplicity. The surroundings (mama nature was at her best). The history of Shaker Village. Meals in the winter cellar. It was really, really special.

We were a diverse and interesting bunch. A variety of ages. People traveled from a variety of places (Lexington, Louisville, MI, TN, and NYC). Different jobs and occupations. But so much in common. If I've said it once I've said it a million times.....

There is no better group to spend time with than yogis. Really and truly.

Laughter is quick to erupt. Stories begin to unfold. Empathy is expressed. I continue to be amazed at just how quickly we can get to know people and bond with them on a quick level when we bring openness and deep presence to the mix.

And that's what this group did. In less than 48 hours we were laughing, crying, hugging, and exchanging contact info. As Melanie Mauer said on her blog post about the retreat "it felt a little like the end of summer camp on the last day."

In the span of 48 hours we....
*Explored six to seven hours of yoga.
*Dug deep into hopes and dreams for the new year using the purusharthas as inspiration. Those were purpose, necessities such as health,home and finances, pleasure, and spiritual fulfilment.
*Did daily hOMework in their workbooks which was exercises and reflecting on the above.
*Shared meals at a long, wood, table lit by candles.
*Took hikes on the property
*Gazed foolishly at the moon and sky filled with stars
*Gathered around a fire, laughed, sang, roasted marshmallows and had smores while continuing to admire the night sky. Our yogini who came from NYC said, "wow, my friends are going to be so jealous."

One of my fave moments was talking a walk Sunday morning with a hot cuppa coffee. The sky and the light were breathtaking. I walked slowly, with my fave new shawl wrapped tightly around me. I admired the winter landscape of Shaker Village. The trees. The birds chirping. The stillness in the air. The birth of a new day. Glorrrrious.

I felt such deep appreciation for everything.

Shaker Village & KY in general.
These students.
My job.
My family.
My teachers.

And that my friends is what happens on retreat. You retreat from your everyday life. You reconnect to yourself. Mother nature wraps you in her warm embrace and you can't help but feel great big gratitude.

It's good.
Really good.

**So many thanks to the Lovelies I got to share with this weekend. You girls rock. And a big thanks to Misty for coming and taking photos.**

Interested in coming to a yoga retreat? The Mexico yoga retreat will be here in a jiffy. ;)

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