By Mandy Roberts ♀
As I started to write this I was sitting in my ocean front room in Tulum, Mexico. I was alone in my room after a day of planning, beach walks and dips in the ocean. Between tapping words on the keyboard I would peek up to watch the magnificent turquoise waves ebb and flow on the secluded shore. I recall feeling the cool breeze on my skin, smelling the salty in the air and listening to the distant sound of thunder rolling in. My dear friend and retreat partner Shari was having a massage and my appointment was coming up in the next few minutes. The sun was preparing to set over the jungle and another precious day on this earth was coming to an end. Our guests for the Tulum, Mexico Yoga & Meditation Retreat would arrive the following morning and as I watched the sky darken I recall a warm and full feeling of both gratitude and humility. This work that I have the privilege of doing is simply incredible.
It’s becoming more apparent with each retreat I lead how meaningful, supportive and rich the Soul Nourish Retreat experience is. As I direct more of my attention to the transformative work of facilitating and leading these retreats I find it’s becoming limiting to use the term yoga retreat (and in fact many of our participants for each retreat have never even tried yoga).
In this specific retreat we had guests from Atlanta as well as the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf region (obviously when at the beach you categorize by bodies of water). The group was a dynamic collection of participants from all ages, all walks of life, from all stages of yoga practice from first time yogis to yoga teachers. But when it was time to unroll our mat none of that mattered. The practices were meaningful, playful and inspirational.
On the bus on the way to visit the ancient Coba ruins one of our participants, Paula, referred to the yoga as soulga, yoga with soul. I think I may keep that term in my back pocket. While we did some traditional poses on our mats we also connected deeply to each other. We practiced on each other’s mats, gave mid-class sweaty birthday hugs to Katie, we sang Otis Redding while sitting back-to-back with a partner, we had impromptu dance parties, truly this was soul….err, I mean yoga.
The Soul Nourish Retreats experience is about the interest and curiosity of our inner landscape and the reflection of that in the world around us, and the yoga is just one way we support this discovery. We step on our mat with the knowledge that the practice is a way we can deeply and intimately connect to our true self. And when we roll up our mat to go home at the end of the retreat we leave feeling deeply connected to our self and our 20 new best friends.
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