Last weekend we returned from our yoga and writing retreat at The Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island! It was sold out in the lodge and one person camped! We've done retreats before, but this was the first time we decided to combine our talents and we got wonderful feedback! The yoginis/writers arrived on Friday night and got settled into their rooms.
At 4:30pm there was orientation and Yoon's Yoga. This is where the "opening" segment of the retreat really happened. My husband Yoon's classes are not to be taken lightly. His classes are challenging, but anyone who is reasonably fit and mobile can do them. The point of his classes are not about flexibility or how much you can do. His classes are about opening up to what is already there and really going inward. They are about facing one's self and moving through one's self imposed limits. Yoon is a gentle teacher, but a strong teacher who is able to guide each person to their edge without pushing them there. At this edge there is a very deep opening that happens.
A few days ago my husband wrote a Facebook Status update that sums up how I feel about his classes and our retreat:
"Life is a magical, but it doesn't mean it is easy. If life is too easy, you can't see the magic because it is not necessary. The magic comes when you have a brave soul and will to explore deep within. Magic is a reward for that."—Seong Yoon Lee
Another great reward was the wonderful group of people who attended the retreat. This time we had several people come from out of state. There were people from Colorado, San Diego and two friends from Marin County, one who came to my book event at Book Passage.
The food was also outstanding! It was prepared by a chef on the island and brought in fresh everyday!
On Saturday, I had a writing workshop. I spent the hour sharing my publishing journey from blog to book and had my book on display for purchase and signing. I gave a few writing prompts, but didn't anticipate all the writing that would happen during our four hour break in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day and everyone was in their own little worlds. The sun was beaming down and people were planted at picnic tables, under trees, in lounge chairs and on blankets and all of them appeared to be WRITING! I think all the opening that had happened during our yoga sessions had inspired them to get something down on paper! It was very inspirational, especially after hearing quite a bit of that writing on the last day when we all regrouped to share what had transpired that afternoon.
On Saturday evening, we all met for a collaging session. Collaging and intentional writing have proven to me to be very powerful tools for seeing my own ideas and dreams come to fruition. These free writing and inspirational activities have helped me move away from a rational/thinking mindset to a more creative mindset where I am able to allow things to be as they are and where I am free to create and to dream without inhibitions or without allowing the thinking process to get in my way.
On many occasions, I have been shocked to discover that things I have collaged or written about years prior have actually occurred or are happening in my present life.
On the last day of the retreat, it was clear that our group had really bonded. It was a tremendous opening experience for me and there were lots of revelations and tears on the last day right before we departed. I don't believe these were sad tears necessarily, but tears of gratitude for what each of us had discovered about ourselves and what we will take with us on our journey forward.
I am happy to announce that we have another yoga/writing retreat coming up in Sedona, Arizona October 25-28! For more information about that, please see the Facebook event page! Space is limited and the spots are filling up really fast. We are offering 20% off the entire retreat if you register before August 15th. To inquire more about this retreat or to reserve your spot, go to firstname.lastname@example.org! It's going to be amazing, I can feel it!