Updated: Nov 10
When I was raising my young daughters, I read, "It takes a village to raise a child." And, truly it does.
But, I often joke with my friends, "It takes a village to be a grown-up." Because I honestly don't know where I'd be without my "village," my community.
I was fortunate enough to spend the last weekend with a wonderful community of women, teaching and practicing the tools of yoga a mindfulness. A practice so instrumental to a healthy body, mind, and heart.
Yoga, as you may already know, is an "Eight-limbed practice" and the postures of yoga are just one of the 8 limbs. The rest of the limbs; Yama and Niyamas (the "ethics"), Pranayama (breath work), Pratyahara (where is your attention?), Dharana (focusing your mind), Dhyana (Meditation), Samadhi (Pure Contemplation). A retreat provides an opportunity to dive deeper into this rich practice of self-care. I like to think of yoga as a toolbox of practices that can help us stay healthy, strong, flexible in mind and body, and grounded when life gets bumpy (as it does).
My time spent in a few Zen centers in California and one in Japan, and a variety of Theravada Buddhist trainings have taught me more tools that can help us quiet our minds and heal our hearts.
My variety of secular mindfulness training; from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to Positive Neuroplasticity workshops with neuroplasticity expert and Psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, has grounded me in the science that supports these practices.
My approach to my retreats is grounded in the tradition of yoga, as well as the science of how mindfulness can "rewire" our brains for more cognitive skills and more emotional resiliency. It's a time to move, breathe, and practice tools for our health and well-being. We don't take ourselves too seriously at my retreats. There is always; humor, fun, and lots of laughter (and an occasional jump in a mountain stream.)
The community at my retreat this year was another example of how "it takes a village" to be a grown-up but also to be healthy and happy in body, mind and heart. If we've learned anything from the pandemic, it's that nobody heals alone, we heal in community. It's the friends and family who listen, support, and offer hugs and care (as we know how to do so well). Research shows that loneliness is as bad for our health as smoking. We suffer when we are alone. We heal and get stronger in community.
My retreats are an opportunity to reset, gain mobility and flexibility, find strength in the practice of yoga and mindfulness but also strength in community. A true reminder that it takes a village (and perhaps a good toolbox of tools from yoga and mindfulness) to be a grown-up.
My next retreat is March 22 - 24, 2024. Sign up early to reserve your space.