Recently I find myself reflecting on the ways that the universe is aligned to give you what you need at the perfect time. Two months ago I went on a yoga retreat. For the longest time I talked about it with a friend but never did anything about it. I have always been in and out of yoga, and up until the retreat I used it as a way of exercise but never anything further. It’s always nice to see that the universe has your back, and this retreat was no expectation to this. This retreat manifested into my life at a time that I needed guidance, and without knowing it my friend messaged me and says ‘let’s do this yoga retreat for the weekend’. Luckily, I was open to the idea and it opened my eyes to what I needed.
The retreat was run by the two beautiful instructors: Ali & Cass. Both these beautiful women were so present and evolved in every little detail of the retreat that the effort that went into the weekend really came through each moment. Because of their inspiring effort I came back with a lot more than just a stretched body, and great memories.
My takeaways from the retreat:
Self care is necessary
I have always been someone that is willing to try something new, but of course there is always resistance around it. The two biggest excuses I go to are: time and money. I’m sure this isn’t uncommon, and many people actually have the same excuses. As I laid on the dock, reading and soaking up the sun (well as much as my pale complexion allows for of course), the true reason came out: not making myself a priority. The moment I realized I wasn’t making myself a priority I started to understand the point of self love! This is a very hard realization to come to terms with and even more difficult to write down for everyone to read. But why am I writing about it and putting myself out there? Because it’s more common then we all think. Taking time out out our day for acts of self love, by doing something for yourself, is the very act of making yourself a priority! Self love is an expression of love to yourself, when you take the time to do an activity that makes you feel great! Take a moment and answer this question: “When was the last time you did something for yourself?” And I mean truly for yourself, not because your friend/ husband/boyfriend/ dog or cat asked, not because you wanted to post it on Instagram, not because you had to do it for work and not because you felt as it was the right thing to do! If you couldn’t think of an answer instantaneously, then you may be someone that needs to think about doing something for yourself!
We all need a little more yoga in our life
Yoga! Man where do I start! During our opening circle, we were asked to share when your yoga practice began. Of course, I was the second person to go and I was frantically searching my mind because for the life of me I couldn’t remember! (How typical). Yoga was something I tried 10 years ago as a form of exercise. I had joined a gym and wanted to try some various forms of exercise because, let’s be honest, I had no clue what I was doing. Over the years, yoga continued to be a form of exercise so much so I would only do hot yoga as I felt I had actually gotten a workout, as oppose to a regular yoga class. Over this retreat something changed. Instead of seeing yoga as a form of exercise, I started to see it as a mental escape. Ironically enough I got a little taste of this last year when going through a stressful time. I had attended a Mohksa yoga class and within that hour I found the only 20 minutes of peace I got from my internal vicious thought cycle. However, I never consistently stuck with it. Fast forward 1 year later, and I was experiencing a stressful time yet again, but this time I was in a place where I was ready to make a consist change, and I had already been laying out the foundation to being open to meditation and mindfulness. This weekend only strengthened this belief that yoga is a God sent for dealing with vicious mental cycles. It has taken me 10 years to realize this, but trust me I finally received this message loud and clear and will be sure to listen going forward. As I write this out I can’t help but smile to myself at how life gives you exactly what you need when you need it, and sometimes it may take a different form until you are ready to fully embrace the true intended purpose. Do I believe that this will be the final form yoga takes in my life?- NO WAY. This is just the point of realization that yoga has different aspects for me to explore apart from the physical, including a mental, emotional and spiritual aspect.
Self discovery is key
This self care realization may not have come to me if I didn’t give myself the opportunity to attend the retreat. I wouldn’t haven’t come to this realization if I had thrown myself fully into this weekend. Now I’m sure that the daily meditation, yoga practice and loving energy surrounding me helped me dig below a superficial level, but even on a basic stance I realized that I truly enjoy talking to people, and I’m generally a social person, that likes to build connections with people. I was able to experience this revelation about myself as I was receptive and open to this adventure. Thankfully, I had a very positive experience and discovered things that I want to include more of in my future. But even if I had gone and found something I didn’t like it would have still been worth the experience. I say this because it’s still leads you to learning about yourself. If going to this retreat resulted in the realization that I hated being social and meeting new people, that is completely cool too because then it would have been a discovery that going forward I knew I didn’t like those situations. That doesn’t mean, I would start to avoid the situation like the plague, but it would mean that it would be something I would work on, to handle in a different manner. Bottom line, trying new things is very important, and kicking those excuses to the curb are necessary as making yourself a priority will help you get to know yourself better. There is no one in this world that will love you more than you, and there is no better way to love yourself than spending the time to get to know yourself.
Let me know if there is anything you have tried lately that has taught you something about yourself!! And share you self care routines!!!
More info on the retreat & photography: