As far as professions go, teaching yoga is a pretty awesome one. But sometimes even as yoga teachers, we need to recharge our batteries. In July, Drishti Yoga Centre collaborated with Lululemon to offer the Toronto stores’ ambassadors the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. Once the details came together, 9 beautiful teachers, 3 awesome Lemons (1 of whom is an amazing cook!) and 1 gifted thai massage practitioner, met in Muskoka for 3 days of bliss. Here are a few take aways from our time together...
When we arrived Monday afternoon we were warmly greeted. The personal touches and wild flowers that Adam and Lisa carefully laid out, made the place feel like home right away. After everyone settled in, we walked to the locks and took a swim to wash away the city. Actually, we all jumped off a bridge into the water! It was exhilarating and terrifying. Our bodies flailed through the air before landing in the water, which was beautifully warm. Finally, we landed.
After our adventure to the bridge we settled in for a quick round of popcorn practice. (This is when each teacher guides a posture or two, then passes the lead on to the next person)... Two and a half hours later we emerged! The practice was fluid, “juicy” and magical. We all wished we had filmed it to capture its essence. Prior to our practice we opened our sacred space by sharing 3 things about ourselves as well as a former nick name. Some stuck more than others : )
When it was time to come together for our first meal, Lani prepared an incredible spread which included grilled corn, fish, tofu, summer salads, stuffed peppers, and sweet potato gasm (an instant favourite). It was incredible! AND we had wine!! Officially the best retreat ever! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we had ice cream and yogurt parfaits with grilled pineapple, chocolate covered almonds and cookies for dessert. The campfire down by the dock was the perfect end to the evening, and with no alarm to set for the following morning, the bliss was officially settling in.
After morning coffee, smoothies and fruit we moved down to the dock to practice. The weather turned chilly and it began to rain, but it was so beautiful. The sound of the rain on the water and lily pads was enough to keep us all out there, and eventually the sun came out again. We shared some of our favourite assists and practiced them on each other. Afterwards we feasted for Brunch and spent the afternoon relaxing. Drew Hume, creator of Navina Thai Yoga Therapy, offered each of us 30 minutes of thai massage, and every second of those thirty minutes were pure bliss. Later in the afternoon we returned to the dock to meet our future selves through a visions and goals exercise.
We shared another beautiful meal together at dinner and before digging in, we each shared a word or something that we were grateful for. Following dessert we settled into the yoga room for a delicious restorative practice. It was the perfect end to a beautifully healing day.
We began our final morning in silence. It was wonderful to be away from the city, sipping on tea and smoothies, sitting by a crackling wood fire (yes, it was cold enough to make a fire in July!), and simply BE amidst the company of other beautiful people. After a peaceful Mysore style self practice on the dock, we broke the silence and came together for our final brunch. Breakfast nachos anyone!? YES PLEASE!! As I acknowledged that I need to do this more often because of how important it is to refuel, I wished so badly that I could stay for another day.
The teachers in this community are so wonderful and have so much beauty to share. We all love what we do so much that we’ll do it to the point of exhaustion and forget (momentarily) about the balance we preach. We’re human and we aren’t perfect, but it’s our vulnerability that makes us true warriors: brave and determined, albeit fragile and sometimes apprehensive. We will continue to forge our path and support others, knowing and trusting that there are others who will assist us when we need it most. I feel full of gratitude and blessed to belong to a group of people who value community and who believe in the importance of nurturing it.