Now it is a while ago since I said good bye to the participants on the last Yoga retreat in Tuscany, in Chianti. It took me a while to come up with one thing I wanted to share here - not because there was nothing to talk about, but because I wanted to share something everyone who wasn't on the retreat can straight away benefit from.
To experience Yoga - an experience of union with self and the world, that peaceful yet joyful experience - we experienced the importance of "real" relaxation followed by contemplation.
After having arrived in our villa with pool and a garden full of roses, surrounded by a fairy-tale like rose garden, everyone got welcomed in the evening with a delicious meal followed by a centring evening meditation.in our beautiful villa surrounded by a fairy-tale like rose garden and pool - with a delicious meal followed by a centring evening meditation.
The aim of the retreat was to have participants truly relax and recharge and having a personal "break-through" on something important to them.
The first three days were taken up with getting into the routine of the regular Yoga sessions - morning....... before lunch Yoga Nidra.......... evening reflection meditation and silence until after breakfast.
This time instead of a cleanse of the bowls (which we did on the "detox body and mind retreat" in September) I gave participants the space and time to "cleanse the mind" with a day of silence, which was openly welcomed by all. When we don't distract ourselves with any form of media or with reading an interesting book, or even with "house work" (participants were not allowed to help in the kitchen), we allow ourselves to just be and things can come up allowing us to truly reflect and then let it go.
If you have a day or even just half a day fully to yourself, try to just sit and listen and breathe, see what thoughts come up, which ones are good to entertain and which ones you can set free. The SWAN practice might come in handy at some stage on such a day. Just contemplate or write dot points down about how you see your: S - Strengths, W - Weaknesses, A - Ambitions, N - Needs and you'll end up with some more clarity.
And there is of course another retreat coming up in Tuscany in September.