I love the way that yoga peels away the layers of ‘stuff’ and shines a lovely light on the real me. All those excuses of why I do and don’t do things, how I feel about what people might think about me, all those experiences that have shaped and impacted my life, all those patterns that I repeat over and over again and still expect a different outcome...
So, when I had a week’s holiday before the end of the year I decided to go away, somewhere hot maybe, on a yoga retreat. I hadn’t been on one before, so I asked my yoga teacher for some ideas:
“Why do you want to go Maddy?”, he asked.
“Well, I don’t like this time of year. I think that if there are other people there then it might be fun and I might learn something. I don’t really want to spend time alone and this time of year makes me a bit sad. And I want to lose 4 lbs! And I would like to meditate more, or even start to meditate properly...the list went on...“.
“Why don’t you stay at home and maybe sit with the loneliness and I will outline your own retreat.”
“Thank you, Richard."
So, this is what I did for ten days. Giving up coffee and going from at least 3 cups a day to none meant that I had a really sharp headache for the first two days. I felt very tired and slept for most of the first four days until my energy returned. I followed my schedule and felt brilliant by the end. I meditated and drew gratitude for being able to spend time in my home and repeated my yogi’s suggested mantra daily.
One month on I have incorporated most of the meals into daily life and I love my meditation. And I am pleased to say the 4 lbs have been joined by a few more.
Maddy’s Yoga Retreat: DEVOTION. INTENSITY. LOVE.
08:00: Wake up
- Shower + meditation (at least 10 mins) + yoga practice
- No processed sugars, no salt, no treats
- Hot water lemon & ginger
- Any choice of banana, strawberry, apple, orange, kiwi, blueberry and/or pineapple all with almond paste
- Any or all of: walking / bike riding / golfing / cooking / restorative yoga / rest
Snacks / Lunch:
- Nuts (brazil, pistachio or walnuts)
- Homemade houmous
- Homemade soup
- Boiled or Steamed Rice
- Steamed vegetables / dhal / pasta / chickpeas / lentils / pesto (not all together)
- Reading & journal writing + yoga + meditation (at least 10 minutes)
- Reflection time (at least 10 mins)
21:30: Lights Out
Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door. Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. ~Rumi