By Cacinda Maloney
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” – Dalai Lama
Birds flying high in the sky are of stunning colors.
Macaws, I think. I can’t seem for the life of me to get a photo of a single one of them as they soar. Actually, they run in pairs and someone told me if you see three of them together, that two of them are the parents and the third one is their baby. I think that is sweet.
I sit and stare on the tropical grassy grounds and wonder, “Why I am here? ‘ I find a wooden bench and stare.
Walking out to the ocean, I find it rocky and sandy, there is no one around, except for the house dog Pete, who stares at me. When I finally get up and go in, he follows me, but paddles so close to me that enviably I have to reach out to him and hold him. He is cute as a button, so I don’t mind sharing my ocean swim with a dog. I paddle and swim around for a while, holding the dog as he won’t let me let him go and eventually we grow tired and retire back to the beach.
Blossoms on the tree fall on the ground, so I pick up the flowers and twist them nervously in my hands. I have never been on a yoga retreat before and have quite a bit of anticipation about what it means to stay here. I have done a bit of yoga, but I am no yogi and I was anxious to see if I would be able to keep up with the group physically, as many of the attendees are younger than myself.
However, after the first yoga session, I was relieved, as much of it was instructional, and allowed for me to keep up at my own pace.
But what is a yoga retreat? Well, it is not what you think.
It is a week of clean eating “farm to table”. (No meat, except for the last day)
It is yoga, yet it is an inward reflection of who you are. (They talk about why people use yoga in their daily life)
It is silence in the morning. (That’s right, pure silence until 7:30 am)
It is spa services for your body’s needs. (Especially after daily yoga and excursions)
It is adding in an adventure to your weekly routine. (They have all kinds of excursions)
It is a community. (Sort of like communal living: scheduled, eating together, camaraderie)
It is beauty.
It is stillness.
It is joy and love, yet change and repair.
It is making time for yourself. And we all need a little bit more of that!
And as Nina Simone says:
“It is a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me… and I am feeling good.”