Recently, my schedule allowed a week long yoga retreat at Kripalu in Lenox, Massachusetts. Kripalu is one of the largest yoga retreat centers in the U.S. and a lovely place to slow down and unwind. My program was an immersion with Shiva Rea that included meditation, ayruveda for summer, fluid power yoga, kalari martial arts, trance dance & time in nature. Learning to flow without constraints around time was a main focus of the week. Kripalu is an Oasis for many. No need to worry about meals as they are all prepared with love and abundance. Took a few days to recover from the long ride (7 hrs from Frederick) and needed to pull back and rest more before my energy returned.
First night, lights out by 10 pm. The next night was 4th of July. Disappointed when the much acclaimed fireworks from nearby Tanglewood did not appear. However, when returning to my room that evening some loud noises out side my bedroom window caught my attention. And there they were, beautiful & spectacular fireworks right from my bedroom window! Splendid weather appeared the next day as well so a bike ride through local Lennox was a must. The beautiful New England mansions were so enthralling, I did not see the pot hole. Still too far to walk, kept riding while the air slowly leaked out of my back tire, feeling the sensation of wheel to pavement without the cushion of a tire tube. Fortunately, a local gardener heard the loud noise my flat tire was making. She insisted on hoisting my bike to the roof of her van and taking me the remaining 2 miles back to Kripalu.
The next day was again gorgeous. The evening agenda called for a fire pit ceremony creating a sense of anticipation for many of us. However, shortly after dinner the wind picked up and a thunderstorm rolled in forcing the fire event to be cancelled. Some of us stood outside to watch the clouds blow over, witnessing a beautiful summer storm. All let out exclamations of joy when a double rainbow appeared! The next day was very slow with built in time to to spend some alone time in nature. A grassy place off the beaten path caught my eye to throw out my yoga mat and lie under a tree. After all the yoga & meditation during the week a sense of sifting was happening within me, unnecessary gunk dissolving and finally washing through me into the earth as I lay there quiet & still.
Lessons from the week included an awareness of what happens when one learns to wait or stay. Something will always shift. Trust in this process. Even when life brings disappointment something else is just around the corner even if the exact timing is unknown. Learning to stay or shift one’s attitude will carry us through. Returning to the seasonal flows can help as well. Summer seems like a more active time but it is really when we need to rest or slow down more especially during the hotter times of day. Learning to pay attention to our own energy levels is crucial to preventing burn out, fatigue & malaise. So as the “dog days of summer” approach, pay attention to your energy levels, create space for rest and stillness, play or move but in the cooler times of the day, find joy in summer’s simple pleasures and flow at a slower pace.