by Angela Clark
Back from Guatemala and feeling revived.
Every year we do a week-long retreat away from family, friends, and the familiar. And every year we get the chance to get to know more of the Mala community much more deeply – which to us is one of the most gratifying aspects of our job.
As we pack our bags, we already know the place we are going is beautiful and healing and that the people coming with us are kind and compassionate. But, when we are finally at our remote destination, we are filled with the joy that comes as we go deeper not only into our practice, but with each other.
What does it mean to go deeper? It means getting physically stronger. Having the experience of practicing at the same time every day. Making connections in our own practice. Sharing those connections with our fellow practitioners. Spending more time listening to our hearts, and less time planning breakfast, lunch and dinner. Essentially it means we have the opportunity to become more intimate with who we are, and we have the support of our fellow practitioners to accept and be where we are at that moment in time.
During the asana part of our retreat we worked on inversions, with partners (not much wall space down there) and building the strength of our back body to help support the opening of the front body (think backbends). During the meals we shared our experiences of past retreats, funky yoga classes, and life lessons with each other. During the quiet times we got fresh fruit smoothies from the bar, buckled down with good books, got a massages, energy-clearing, or just hung out in the hammocks, chatting with new-found friends.
No matter what your intentions are when you go on retreat, the results are always the same. You go home feeling refreshed and re-opened to all the possibilities that lie ahead and a few more names to put to faces back at Mala’s home base.
Thank you to all who traveled the distance with us to Guatemala – we are humbled by your dedication to not only keeping yourself healthy and happy but to share that with those around you.