I´m gonna write this one in english. A first trial. As this is not my mother tongue I feel kind of limited especially when it comes to emotions and expressing feelings. Let´s see how it works. Which puts us just right in the middle of the topic.
FACING FEARS. LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
So I went on a yoga retreat. One week on the beautiful croatian island Brač. Sea breeze, sun and detox.
What a clishé one might say. And yes. There where only women (except for the photographer). And yes. We had green smoothies and vegetarian food. And yes. We sang Oooooommmm.
But besides the yoga, the meditation and the energetic work -which is great!- a retreat is much more than that! It´s about meeting new people from all kinds of different places with different backgrounds in very different stages in life but still sharing a certain will to take a deeper look at themselfs and find a new perspective. And among that - you meet...YOURSELF. And guess what - that can be pretty tough! It´s much easier to keep on swimming with the current, don´t ask questions, don´t look for a deeper meaning and simply be satisfied and happy. I am not saying this is bad, I am not judging. Quite in the contrary - I sometimes wish I could be like that! Promise me. But whoever out there is in charge for how we are, wanted me to DO ask questions, to DO take a closer look and to DO think. Being quite conservative, reasonable and responsible-minded at the same time, this really drives me crazy from time to time. But there is much more than black and white, much more than plan A or B. We don´t fit into clusters. Thank god we don´t.
So back to clishés. What´s this retreating thing? What are you retreating from and why?
The practice of retreating is actually pretty old, and found in some form in each spiritual tradition. You take a step back from your daily routine in order to rediscover a stillness and restful ease that we often lose or simply forget about while running through our crazy daily life. Of course, you could go on this journey without changing your outer circumstances. However sometimes a shift in perspective can be a powerful trigger to find back to your inner sight.
Ideally your daily activities at a retreat are pared down to a few, and these activities aim to nurture your slowing down, your feeling of the body and a deep listening to yourself.
My day at SuperSoulYoga started with a run through the pine forests, a jump in the fresh adriatic sea, freshly made juice and an energy ball (ok, I had more than one actually :-) - fell in love with them). And then of course- YOGA. Wonderful Nina Vukas took us through warming, strengthening Vinyasa classes, focused on the 7 chakras so that at the end of the week you really felt like it somehow all connected and somebody just pushed your reset button. "Retreated", I guess.
While practicing with sea view we could watch lovely Lana (best chef in the world!) collecting fresh fruits and vegetables in the garden of which she created the most delicious brunch and dinner for us every day.
The rest of the day was free for relaxing by the pool, lazing around on the beach, walks to the pitoresque towns of sutivan and supetar, finally finishing my book and last weeks newspaper and of course talks with the wonderful people I got to know. On top of that Jo Lewins offered REIKI sessions and massages - NO WORDS!
The evenings where all about calming the mind, body and spirit with relaxing sunset practice and meditation.
Our week ended with a ceremony (next clishé, as this sounds like crazy people dancing around fire) Well I have to admid..... We were asked to take three pieces of paper. One for a positive thing about the week we spent together, something we take with us or will remember. The second paper for what we want to leave behind on the island, something we want to let go of. And the third for a blessing. While singing a mantra we then burned the papers with the things we wanted to leave behind. For each paper burned, everyone took a blessing, not knowing who it was from.
When I booked this week in Croatia, I was looking forward to sun, sea and relaxation. I didn´t even think about any special intention. It was my body, my mind that brought up things. Like it said "Hey thanks for listening, there is something I wanted to tell you for the longest time".
Back home I feel like this piece of paper I burned was a hole paper factory.
So most of all, a retreat is about giving yourself the gifts of deeply listening, of clearly seeing, of mindfully moving and feeling yourself alive and radiant. About burning down what´s in your way and creating space for the new.