We all relish the ability to get away. Our restoration time allows us to return to the world ready to meet all of our necessary tasks and obligations with a lightness of spirit and clarity of mind.
I have enjoyed hosting retreats for those preferring a journey inward on a modest budget.
Budget Friendly NC Retreat
We’ve found a wonderful way to create a budget inclusive experience in Cashiers, NC. 2015 was our first Fall in the mountains. And even though it rained during our 4 days there, the environment was stunning.
- Hiking to waterfalls
- A morning yoga / pilates practice
- An evening movement and meditation practice to get us ready for bed
- Communal pot luck meals
- Spending time with other adventurous women.
We returned again in 2018. The weather was dry, and we literally watched the leaves turn during our stay. We worried, and prayed together about Hurricane Michael as the storm devastated our fellow Floridians and other communities in the southeast.
Prior to the storm’s landfall, we enjoyed a few additional activities on our second trip to Cashiers such as the following
- Pontoon boat ride on Lake Glenville
- Franklin Method practice
- Board games at night
- Local BBQ.
Our awesome lodging allows us to have 3 individual full kitchens. Plus, each room has a mini-fridge and micro-wave. Some women choose to share rooms or suites, others prefer a private room. The time of year that we go, most women pay under $100 per night for lodging. And some pay as low as $50 per night.
With affordable lodging, carpooling, and pot luck meals, we have discovered a gem of a retreat location. As well, the spirited women that gather are a delight and easy going.
Local Mini Retreat
Yep, sometimes we need to getaway, yet we can’t physically leave town. In August 2018, 40 women gathered for a local mini retreat. The event was only four hours, yet participants stated they felt refreshed, relaxed, and totally recharged.
We slipped into “the space between” all of our obligations and tasks and enjoyed the following
- yoga asana practice
- walking the outdoor labyrinth
- quiet contemplation
- a vegetarian meal
- a digestion practice
- chanting / singing
- yoga nidra.
The setting for our local mini retreat was the former Center for Spirituality in Jacksonville, FL which was nestled on a wooded lot near the intracoastal waterway. While the retreat had a modest registration fee, net proceeds benefitted the Volunteer Life Saving Corps.
Anusara Yoga Retreat – Samavesha
I have had the pleasure to teach at Samavesha – the Anusara Yoga Festival. Samavesha attracts yoga practitioners from around the world and is held yearly. We gather in diverse retreat-like locations such as mountain tops in California to spa town’s in northern Italy.
Check out the past locations for Samavesha.
- Vineyard Arts Project, Martha’s Vineyard, MA – USA
- Mount Madonna Center, Santa Cruz mountains, CA – USA
- Kurhaus Merano, Merano, South Tyrol – Italy
- La Buena Vibra, Tepoztlán, Morelos – México.
Samavesha is a light-filled gathering will multiple international presenters. Anusara yoga does a fantastic job with this global event. The event also hosts leading yogic philosophers, meditation teachers, and kirtan bands such as the following:
- Sally Kempton – meditation
- Bill Mahony – yogic philosophy
- Carlos Pomeda – yogic philosophy
- Shantala – kirtan
- Jack Harrison – kirtan.
I have loved being a Presenter for Samavesha. Here’s a few video excerpts from me teaching in Merano.
Lunge Leg Alignment for Gait
Vasisthasana at the Wall
What’s been really interesting for me is that at Samavesha, we will have a primary language and a secondary language for each event.
Volunteers help translate the teachings into the primary language. Usually, the primary language is English with a translation to say Italian. Yet, what’s really awesome, since it’s a global gathering, is to hear all of the yogis continue to privately translate to friends in other languages.
It always makes my heart feel even fuller when I when I hear others helping create deeper understanding. While I don’t understand all of the languages, I feel connected by the shared experience to create clarity and build connection.
While in Tepoztlán, the primary language was Spanish. It was really a unique experience for me to patiently wait for the English translation.
As well, teaching internationally has helped me develop a new skill. I am able to slow down and wait for a translator. Preparing for those events helped me to really create concise language that could be easily digested by a world wide community.
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