If you haven’t figured out by now that there is a lot more to Yoga than just the poses, well then please take a dig into the archive of my blogs 🙂 Even if you aren’t sure what that feeling is, something has happened to you at some point while on your mat that inspired you to dig a little further. To question or read or keep going back to class to continue to peel back these layers of discovery. There is also a statement passed through the yoga community: “Yoga finds you when you need it the most.” I can certainly say this about myself, as the tools from Yoga were invaluable to me and my family after my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Since then my Yoga practiced has provided me great solace through darker days and inspiration every day to keep shining my light forward and to live from my truth.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are only a few short statements surrounding practice. Sutra 1:21 “The time necessary for success further depends on whether the practice is mild, medium or intense” speaks specifically to the effort put in, will bring the corresponding results. If we are curious to deepen our practice, what does this mean? Essentially if we practice or go to class every now and then when we remember or dedicate our self to a weekly or better yet a daily practice, we will experience the benefits of Yoga on a more profound level. Certainly, this makes sense as we can say the same thing about anything at that level, the more I practice a certain sport or art form the “better” I will get. But if we really want to take our understanding of Yoga deeper, we must truly immerse our self into the practice. Stepping away from our daily life and responsibilities into a retreat-based experience. I have had a few opportunities to do just that through the years with trainings in other cities and a 10-day journey to India and each time I come home a little softer, a little more reflective and much more connected.
I had the opportunity to be on retreat last week in the middle of paradise – literally, at the Navina Retreat Centre in Costa Rica. 30-40 minute morning meditations to the sounds of the jungle, asana (poses) practice surrounded by nature, communal living, re-connecting with friends and forming new bonds of friendship, satsang (philosophy discussions) on the many aspects of Yoga theory and how to take our practice off the mat and into the world and of course not to be denied the opportunity to warm my bones with a break from winter in Canada. I have many moments while teaching when I pause in gratitude to be able to share the gift of Yoga, but there is certainly something to be said when leading a heart opening practice on a private beach in the middle of a jungle on your birthday. These experiences allow for a deeper appreciation of what the practice of Yoga brings to our life, to essentially cleanse our mind, body and soul in a natural and organic way. The ultimate recharge and re-boost to come back to our daily life with an objective eye and the confidence to make changes if needed. To set us on the path of inspiration to continue a daily practice, so we have time each day to pause in reflection of the imprints made from our more intense based practices. To connect deeper to our true Self.
If you are at all curious in taking your practice to the next level, whether you have no interest to teach Yoga or perhaps you are a teacher and need a boost of inspiration, I would highly recommend taking this time for yourself even once to go on retreat. I am excited to pursue my new journey of leading retreats going forward and will be returning to Costa Rica next winter (dates TBD) as well as taking a group to India Nov 1-15, 2019. There are also many centres and leaders offering shorter retreats closer to your home all over the world. There are few other experiences as powerful as retreats in the Yoga community to deepen your practice, now the seed has been planted who knows where the journey will take you.