My rekindled relationship with yoga has ignited an insatiable appetite in me to learn more about yoga and I was eager to embark on a journey of discovery. I knew that a yoga/detox retreat is on the cards but never did I thought that I would sign up for one on a whim. On hindsight, it was really quite an impulsive decision to sign up for a relatively expensive yoga retreat with a group of strangers from a studio that I have never even visited! Then again, my spirit of being sporadically spontaneous has, thankfully, brought me nothing but great adventures.
The 1st day of the retreat was, as I could vividly recall, pretty intimidating as I soon found myself mingling with other students who could effortlessly jump into all sorts of funky inversions and arm balances. All of a sudden, my sense of self-worth and ego were being questioned. What an irony, considering the fact that we are supposed to cast our ego aside during our yoga practice. However, as time would quickly tell, my sense of self-doubt was absolutely uncalled for.
Over the next 5 days and 4 nights, the group of us – 20+ strangers from all walks of life and different nationalities – came together and bonded over the common language of yoga. Some of us came for the retreat with the intention of developing a stronger yoga practice; some wanted time off for self-reflection and others? Just a respite from work, stress and daily issues. That’s me and many of us, actually!
I jumped with glee and excitement during our fun-filled acro-partner yoga workshop as I attempted to defy the law of gravity and “flew” off the ground! It was, in my humble opinion, the impossible made possible! 🙂 Our mind is constantly on the go and filled with clutter/ noise/ ideas so in order for us to seek the clarity and stillness to deal with these mind chatter, our instructors – San and Fabrice – had arranged for a few mornings of silent meditation. For someone who detest awkward silences, I must say that I actually enjoyed the moments of solitude and peace. There was simply no need for the unnecessary small talk. Having said that, I cannot imagine going on a digital detox (whatsapp, YouTube, surfing the net!) and having nothing to entertain me but myself and my mind for hours at a go, let alone days like what some people do during silent retreats!
The nightly satsang (also known as a heart-to-heart sharing session) was an unexpected surprise. In fact, I had initially contemplated forgoing some nights of satsang in exchange for an earlier bath but as life would have it, these nightly sessions probably gave me the best takeaway from this trip. It was amazing to see how easy it was for the majority of us to break the barriers and start sharing our personal stories and life experiences with one another. Well, I’m a closed book so I was relatively particular over what I chose to share during the sessions but some of my counterparts were extremely open about sharing their utmost fears and challenges in life with the rest of the group. Their stories provided me with a new perspective in life and made me realized that my fears and obstacles are just part and parcel of life, not uncommon to those that most others have faced.
In a nutshell, while others might deem a yoga retreat as too hippy-dippy; I, however, was glad to have taken this opportunity to immerse myself in yoga under the guidance of the truly inspiring San. Unlike most instructors who tend to be technical and a bit “robotic”, San enjoys injecting emotional elements to her classes. To her, yoga is more than just being physical … Instead, it was a way of life and it was through her that I had learnt to grasp a better understanding of the value of “Acceptance“. To accept oneself – our capability, vulnerability and flaws. Accept it. On an ending note, I would also like to express my gratitude to my bff, Soy, who, despite not being a yoga practitioner, agreed to accompany me on this retreat without any hesitation. Let’s just say that living so close to nature and bugs are not exactly a city girl’s cup of tea and I’m glad we survived each other and our quirks! ♡
most pics credit to anahata yoga
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