California Spring Rejuvenation Yoga Retreat
January 29, 2019
Taking time away from “life” is never easy. Whether it’s obligations for family, work, or extracurricular, many of us are profoundly good at coming up with reasons not to “hit pause”and take some time off.
Oftentimes we think about how taking a retreat means missing out on something – that, perhaps, slowing down is something that will take away rather than add to our wellbeing. Sara and I offer retreats (local and international) to create a context for our students to take this space in their lives as an act of radicle self-discovery and self-care. There’s a moment when you first arrive at a beautiful locale for a retreat and you suddenly exhale, sigh, and arrive. “Wow” you ask yourself, “Why was I even questioning this in the first place?!” It’s worth it – always. Take the time, slow down, and everything back in ordinary reality will be more clear. When we take retreat, we receive the opportunity to reframe our life from a different vantage, one that is more grounded, relaxed, and with a connection to our core values of what matters most. In this way, following a retreat we often see our lives with more spaciousness and in general bring more skill to working with our hardest problems given some proper re- contextualization.
This year, we return again to bring students to [The Land], a small farm and retreat center just outside of the Northern California town of Philo located in the Andersen Valley. Other than it’s natural beauty, this center provides superlative cuisine, bon fires, quiet, river-walking, and redwood groves. Just being there is half the practice; being there to receive “nature’s medicine”. Just being in nature – walking from our beautiful cabins to the yoga space, to the dining hall, and through the gardens – allows our nervous systems to recalibrate as we breathe into our being is part of a whole web of energetic networks. Ecosystems are how nature orders herself at various echelons. For us, going into nature is like doing a hard reboot on a computer/device that’s acting glitchy:
when we get back to our being-ness as part of nature, all of what/who we are functions better.
In addition to operating better, this retreat is a significant opportunity for students to signal to themselves how much they value the yoga practice in their lives, which makes the practice itself more powerful, activated, and transformational. Growth arrises when the proper context for it exists. The context of a deepening yoga practice is life itself. By experiencing the practice in a novel setting, away from the usual distractions of modern life, we see how deep it can go – we can really drink it in. And as we share this depth with a great group of like-minded, inquiring colleagues we’ve seen amazing friendships manifest easily – a priceless reward. In addition to making new friends, resting deeply and reflecting on our lives in synchrony with the quickening energy of spring, Sara and I find practice of co-teaching these retreats to be fresh and exciting.
Sara and I teach in a collaborative way, assisting each others sessions (flip-flopping) and planning the course of the retreat together. Our styles are synergistic, deep, therapeutic and playful. One teacher can never know it all, or for that matter share all of what they’ve gleaned from their years of studentship. Moreover, a teacher’s style, manner, and the techniques they use to support a yoga class can never maximally support all the students in class all of the time.
For this reason, having a co-teacher in retreat settings is the quickest way to cast the broadest net possible in a class; to therefore facilitate growth for the largest number of student in the most efficient, timely way. Yoga means something different to each student who practices on the regular and it’s vastness is one of the things that hooks the “lifers”.
We find ourselves brought back to the yoga mat again and again as we discover the freshness, clarity, and joy that’s core to our most authentic selves. There is no better time to commit to deepening our practices than now! The first best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago and the second best is now. It’s the same with our yoga practice! We are looking forward to sharing the beauty of [The Land] with you and your friends. Please sign up soon, as the interest for this retreat has been strong from the outset and we’ll most likely sell out. Thank you and we’re looking forward to celebrating spring together!