This past week, a coworker invited me to a wellness retreat that was set to take place at Sands Point Preserve. Knowing that I practice yoga, I thought it was very kind of her to tell me about the retreat. The retreats were designed to enhance our health by improving self-knowledge and self care. Seeing as outside thoughts and emotions have been creeping into my yoga practice lately, I thought that a wellness reset at a new and neutral location would be beneficial.
Plus, it gave me something to write about this week. (Do it for the blog!)
Pulling up to the preserve, which looked like something out of the Great Gatsby, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Once we began, the day flowed smoothly: we practiced light yoga (using our chair as a modifier), we were led through a guided meditation (which was quite interesting; I have never done savasana under a blanket and with a bolster before!), we completed a quick journal exercise, and we finished our day with a discussion on “spring vitality.” This is how I would rate the day:
- One of the things that I really enjoyed about the retreat was our quick discussion of Ayurveda (the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body and spirit). Remembering my friend Steph mention this at the studio, I was eager to learn more. During our journal session, the instructor had us breakdown the different elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and where we felt we landed within them. The instructor explained that this wasn’t for judgement, but to be used as a tool to build and strengthen our yoga practice.
- There was one thing the instructor said that really stuck with me: we often surround ourselves with statements of “I’m trying to…” and by doing this, we surround ourselves with “trying” energy. By using declarative statements, such as “I am a baker” or “I am a photographer,” we can change the energy that surrounds us.
- The coffee was delightful.
- I wish I had learned more. I felt that the Ayurveda discussion was cut much too short. Instead of the “spring vitality” discussion (aka: how to grow your own wheat grass), I wished that the instructor explained how we could strengthen ourselves within the elements. I felt like our discussion only touched upon the surface of the topic; instead of elaborating on Ayurveda, the instructor simply plugged a separate set of workshops that we could register for.
- It wasn’t home. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have truly found happiness within the community at HotYoga4You RVC. Despite trying to keep an open mind, I missed my studio (and the HEAT!). Every movement, every posture, every moment during the meditation felt unnatural. Dorothy Gale had it right when she said, “there’s no place like home.”
The way that HY4Y has become like a second home to me, I have to remember that baking is my wellness. Baking keeps me calm and in the moment, protecting me when my mind and emotions are on overdrive; it helps me connect to others, even if it is only for a second; and if my baking can brighten someone’s day, even in the slightest way, I know that all of the time and effort was well worth it.
One thing I am also thankful for is how willing my yoga fam is to be taste testers for my baked treats. With Spring just around the corner and wellness on the brain, my mind settled on the idea of making something fruit-based. This week, I decided to bake a Blackberry-Raspberry (“so good it should be illegal”) Crumble. Between the tartness of the fruit and the sweetness of the oatmeal crumbs, I feel like crumbles are a perfectly balanced dessert (and they’re almost healthy, right?).
Overall, I had an interesting (but enjoyable) adventure in wellness. I do truly appreciate that my coworker thought of me and invited me to join her. I’m glad that I was brave and decided to give it a shot. Although it is comforting to know, that no matter where you go or where you may venture off to, you can always come back home (especially when you come equipped with berry crumble).