Riots, COVID, lonliness…. So much is happening in our world. So much negativity. I’ll admit, I really miss being with people. I miss the freedom to move about, to travel, to play with my grand girls. I am sad about the political climate in our country. And on this gloomy winter day I miss the SUNSHINE!
Luckily, I am part of a wonderful group of women who meet once a month to hike at a park somewhere in the Tri-State Area. During COVID we social distance and wear masks, but we share time together in nature. I find that being in nature helps me clear my mind and offers me a fresh perspective on life. Nature grounds me. And as my yoga students will tell you, I am a tree nut! I love trees!!! My favorite balance pose is tree pose. My favorite tree is a pin oak. They are so solid and strong with roots extending outward a great distance.
In yoga we talk a lot about being grounded. If I were to define being grounded I would say that it is feeling connected to the Earth. It’s having quiet energy rather than flighty energy. For example, when I was a sixth grade teacher I would feel the energy the students brought with them into the room. It was palatable. In order to calm them down to focus, I would ask them to place their books on the floor, put forearms on the table in front of them and close their eyes. Simply by taking three deep breaths they calmed down…they got grounded. I could actually feel the shift and they felt it too.
I encourage you to check in with yourself to to see if you are feeling like the students…do you need to practice getting grounded? Are you overwhelmed with isolation and COVID and politics? Consider spending more time in nature…absorb the energy of nature, of the trees.
Never in a million years would I have dreamed of holding a yoga retreat in Sedona, Arizona. Yet six years ago I was invited to do just that. The invitation was to rent out a B&B that had six bedrooms and a beautiful great room. It would mean finding 12 people to join me for a week in beautiful Sedona. For some reason I instantly knew I could make the retreat happen.
The first retreat happened in 2016. Each year since then I’ve had the good fortune to spend a week each fall with a wonderful group of people. The retreat is mainly women, some returning more than once. They seem to be drawn to the beautiful landscape that is Sedona and for the opportunity to unplug from daily life commitments and simply relax.
We currently stay at a B&B that backs up to wonderful hiking trails. Our tasty (and healthy!) breakfasts are eaten outdoors on the patio – the meeting place for most of our activities. We share meals together, hike or shop or find a quiet place to read and each evening gather around the outdoor fire to share in our day’s adventures. There are many extra activities available to us - hot air balloon rides, massages, visit the Grand Canyon and others to choose from. Then there is nature….need I say more?
I’ve come to look forward to this retreat each year. I search out new things for us to see and do, new restaurants and new yoga poses. However, the bottom line is this…everyone seems to enjoy kicking back and having little to no agenda and letting life just happen. Yes, it is a yoga and wellness retreat. We do yoga, eat healthy breakfasts and enjoy nature…all healthy things. The other healthy things are sharing meals with like-minded people, laughing, getting our nature fix and focusing only on ourselves for five glorious days.
Perhaps one day you’ll consider joining us. Check out the Destination Retreat page or the page for the Sedona Retreat on my website. Let me know if you have questions. Speak with someone who has previously attended. Find out what you need to know…then come join us!
I feel like I am a creature of the Earth. I dislike being cooped up, whether it is in the house during inclement weather or stuck in a room with little access to the light from outside. I NEED nature. I also need reminded from time to time of the lessons nature shares with us, if we are open to the experience. One way I connect to those lessons from nature is by reading Medicine Cards. I own a set of Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson. The set includes a deck of animal cards and a book to help interpret how we are connected to the animals. Today I pulled three animal cards from my deck and read the "meaning" of the three animals as described by the authors of the book. The grouse is the one I really related to today.
Grouse “medicine” is about recognizing how we move in our world. What kind of energy do we project? If we are grumpy do we project those feelings onto others? If I as a yoga teacher am stressed and harried, do my classes project less of a feeling of peace? Does that drive people away? On the flip side, if I project calm and peace, do students leave my class feeling a little more at peace in their own world? What we say, do, and how we act affects others more than we know.
Bottom line for me is, when I realize negative feelings in myself, it is an invitation to step back and look at what’s happening in my life. It is a chance to PAUSE…. To reassess…. To learn how to let your energy flow in a way that puts you in harmony and balance with body, mind and spirit.