As we continue to enjoy the summer season, we are noticing the long days of light getting shorter. We are once again preparing for school to return and taking advantage of any opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
This summer has been an overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions. As a nation and as a local community, we are still reeling from the horrible tragedy of the Park Ridge shooting on July 4th. We are extending our grieving hearts to all the families that will forever be changed by that horrific event. Life is a daily reminder that we can choose to harm or heal depending on our willingness to be conscious of our thoughts, actions, and habits. And we can choose to be better at healing.
I am once again offering an opportunity to inspire a sense of community with yoga retreats. My greatest joy is bringing souls together to share in belonging and nourish the deeper parts of themselves.
Celebrating life is not a luxury. It is mandatory for humanity to move out of the mind of rage and anger and feel a true sense of peace. Being able to experience belonging to a community and cultivate a week of healing yoga is my gift in offering retreats.
This September, I am taking a group to Portugal and spending the week reminding myself that life is full of blessings. I just have to leap into the unknown and enjoy the uncertainty of letting go and letting the adventure of life unfold. I am always humbled by the amazing beauty the world has to offer.
Traveling offers experiences that have enriched my life beyond what I could have imagined. And being together with the shared intention of healing the heart has been one of the greatest joys of Yoga Among Friends. This is why our community has survived throughout these turbulent times; we are a center for the heart. Welcoming and belonging are among the most necessary elements for humanity to thrive. To feel included, to be seen, and to be heard are important elements for all healing.
At Yoga Among Friends, our mission is to offer a safe place to fall apart and be seen for the depth of being enough. There is no competition to strive for but to be willing to release the armor of learned habits and enjoy the beauty of living a fully vibrant and healthy life. When we attend a YAF retreat, we are opening ourselves up to going deeper to love and get nourished. I am forever grateful for all the ways yoga has inspired a lifestyle of living in loving kindness. We can all use a good hug.
Taking even a day retreat can make a huge difference in our health. A day spent reflecting on “What’s good about this day?” helps us heal. Reflecting on this thought allows us to notice the beauty around us. And instead of seeing the world through a lens of agitation and frustration, we are choosing to take the time to find the qualities of peacefulness that remind us to slow down, take a breath, and choose a kinder thought. We are willing to become aware of the small little moments that inspire us to choose appreciation for the blessings in our lives. We can always experience frustration by comparing our lives to anyone else’s and setting ourselves up for disappointment by desiring a particular outcome to ease our constant, chattering minds.
At times, the process of healing begins by simply noticing the tension in my physical body and getting onto my mat. Just making the effort to lie down and put my hands on my belly and take ten full diaphragmatic breaths. I didn’t change the outer world. Just chose to shift my perspective and allow for the wonder of what is being presented to flow into my conscious mind. I do see and listen better, allowing me to appreciate the simple graces.
Life is a gift, and it does offer us every opportunity to celebrate. If we ever feel lost or overwhelmed, all we have to do is become still and listen to our hearts. Find our north star. This allows us to embrace an inner smile, which if we share throughout the day, there is a chance we will get that smile back. We can choose to offer more empathy for the pain that most people are living with. The pain of physical, emotional, and spiritual grief.
If we invite life in on our inhale and then on our exhale, let go of taking anything personally. we can choose to hold space in our hearts for all souls that are suffering. We can choose to extend that heartfelt belonging even in the midst of sorrow. We can move forward with the possibility that life is presenting miracles.
These are the teachings of yoga. It starts on a gross level and moves the mind deeper into a refinement of ease. We do have the ability to come inward and heal. Yoga is living in a state of mind and heart that can feel balanced. And so we all need to retreat. Each time we step on the mat, we are giving a restored renewal into ourselves.
Now, imagine an entire week of this gift. It brings great joy to feel alive. A courageous heart will go forth and engage with life despite confusion and fear. The invitation awaits…
With love and light,