Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Vinyasa Flow Retreat - Keeping your practice with you

I went on a run in the rain yesterday in my little town and stopped when I heard rushing water falling over a dam.  I went over to the bridge and looked down...then closed my eyes. 

The beauty about yoga practice and meditation in general is that the more you practice, the more you carry it with you.  I was just fortunate enough to spend the weekend in Bartlett, NH with 13 beautiful women at Becky LeHoullier's Fall Vinyasa Flow Yoga Retreat.  A hike was planned by Jilly Sorrentino to the gorgeous waterfall pictured above, a discussion on Finding your Voice was lead by Yours Truly, vegetarian meals were cooked with love, a surprise "Yogi Yankee Swap" was planneed by Becky's mom, Jacky and of course Becky's flowing and flawless classes were the foundation of the trip. 
Work was forgotten about. Families were left at home (although we love and missed you!) Routine weekend obligations were put on the shelf to find a little space for "me".  Selfish? Read on.
During the "Finding your Voice" talk, people shared their experiences and stories of how they may have "radically expressed" themselves this year, or expressed themselves just a little more assertively than they may have in the past.  One woman mentioned that she had always been a controlling mother and it was the first summer she had learned to let go, take time off, and felt good about just having "me" time.  This trip was a reminder that it's okay to stop and find time to reset, rejuvenate and breathe. 

As I stood on that bridge yesterday with running water below my feet and rain falling all around me, I breathed deep.  I felt as if I was back at the falls in the mountains, thought about the conversations I had with new friends, the comaraderie that was developed, the trust that was born.  And I carried that feeling throughout the rest of my run.

In my personal yoga practice this morning, I found myself waking up thinking about the busy day ahead of me.  Instead of rushing to get ready or finding clothes to wear, I sat at the end of my bed, put a pillow behind my back and breathed into my mantra for 20 minutes.  Then I had a gorgeous 1/2 hour yoga practice.  When a thought came up, it was related to a new asana I had learned in Becky's class; it was a more focused thought on how my knee should be aligned over my ankle in this pose; it was remembering that in this space there should be a breath...instead of a thought. 
Retreats like this come and go.  But the healing that happened to our our minds....even though we may not have realized we needed it - will last.  Maybe it will last a week. Maybe it will last just a day.  But I know I can go right to my mat tomorrow morning and do it all again.  It's always there for us.


  1. A beautiful piece of writing! So proud of you.

  2. Thanks for putting some perspective and insight in words from a beautiuful weekend, growing practice that changes every day. Its a great reminder...from an inspiring soul. Beautiful, Jen!