Revelations and Resolutions

During our entire five days at the yoga retreat, sleep was plentiful but never quite sufficient. After the morning session of yoga and the bountiful breakfast of everything healthy, I had only one other thing on my mind.

 

A nap.

 

My brain had finally begun to heed the instruction to be quiet and rest, and it took my body down with it.

I would crawl into the silky soft sheets and let myself go for two hours or more. Others would go hiking or shopping, and I indulged in sweet, peaceful sleep on top of the ten fully undisturbed hours I got the night before.

During the third evening session (and, for the first time ever), Ajan successfully pulled a heavy black veil over my constantly darting mind during meditation.

My brain went quiet for what must have been a couple of dozen blissful seconds. It was completely blank of words, and it stopped wandering over my mental to-do list. I saw blackness and thought of nothing.

yoga

 

It was amazing, peaceful, and a total breakthrough.

 

As minor as it may seem to others, it was a celebratory moment for me.

Besides the three hours of daily yoga to ease my active mind, it might have also had something to do with the vigorous Ayurveda massage that Ajan had given me earlier. I was stretched, pulled, and massaged into a state of feeling like I was finally “whole” again.

And maybe it was also the three days away from a laptop, an iPod, or any other technical distraction. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was relaxing in complete silence. I devoured a book in just a few sittings – something I haven’t done for many, many years.

And perhaps it was the fresh, electric conversation that can only be had with new friends from around the world. A change from the usual conversation topics that dominate our regular eating events of travel plans and blogs and to-dos, we instead listened to tales of hiking in Ethiopia, we played cards, we ate like kings, and even had an evening reading session of trashy smut (to everyone’s delight).

I didn’t miss the laptop at all. I found my passion for reading again that had been quite dormant. At the end of the entire five days, I was completely relaxed, I was whole, I was ready to go again. Our backpacks felt lighter as we lifted them onto our newly limber bodies.

 

The wole experience had been transformational.

 

Resolutions even emerged (from two people who never make resolutions). With sun salutations committed to memory, we will use them and other yoga practices regularly to keep our new-found balance. And damnitall, a perfect Sirsasana (headstand) will be achieved sometime this year.

Also, and this is a big one for us, no technology for one twenty-four hour period each week. No checking emails, no iPod games, no reruns of The Office. Our reliance on such things and dedication to our website became unhealthy towards the end of the year, and it needed to be broken.

I never expected that this short little retreat could have amounted to such big changes for us, but it did.

2012 could not have gotten off to a better start.

**********

Many thanks to Caroline and her staff for our stay at the Lotus Blooming Yoga & Ayuverda retreat in Marbella, Spain! While our stay was sponsored, all opinions, as always, are our own. For a full review and plenty of pictures from around the retreat, please click here.

 

37 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • January 18 2012

    That’s a prett good start for sure for 2012…. Hope everything will be great for you on this new year. Wish you all the best
    tunimaal recently posted..Cosplay Interview: Coh the newbie cosplayer – August 21st 2011

    • January 19 2012

      Thanks so much – I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year. :)

  • January 18 2012

    Awesome, guys! My one word mantra for this year is ‘balance’, and it’s neat to see that it applies to so many different lifestyles. Silence is underrated!
    Teri recently posted..Tool Love

    • January 19 2012

      Silence is DEFINITELY underrated. We need more of that as we travel.

  • jan
    January 18 2012

    What a great experience you have had. It is wonderful having a new door opened.
    jan recently posted..KICKING HORSE PASS (HOW I LOVE THAT NAME)

    • January 19 2012

      Exactly Jan. Those few days really did wonders for us, and will help us out immensely going forward.

  • January 19 2012

    That’s great that you guys were finally able to truly “let go” and fully unplug. We all need that sometimes.

    While I didn’t go on a yoga retreat, my trip to Ottawa earlier this month had a similar effect on me. Even though I had a few weeks off school around the holidays, the time didn’t feel very relaxing what with all the family meals and get-togethers. But when I went to Ottawa on my own, I could curl up in bed by 9 p.m. with my Kindle and just read and relax if I wanted to. I forgot how nice that it!

    I’m making it a point to read something for fun every day for at least half an hour this year (and no, travel blogs don’t count!) — and I plan to stick to that, as long as my grad school workload lets me!
    Amanda recently posted..Long-Haul Flights – The Longest of the Long

    • January 19 2012

      Oh man, I think University ruined reading for me. Before that I would devour books like pancakes (I like pancakes), but then during school I felt too guilty to pick one up. I should have made some sort of resolution like that to keep it alive. Even though I do enjoy reading now, it’s not with the same gusto. I hope you can stick to it!

  • January 19 2012

    I have often thought about doing a yoga or meditation retreat but I’ve always been hesitant as I neither practice yoga nor meditation now. It does sound delightful and relaxing though!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..Monday Moment: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

    • January 19 2012

      I would highly recommend Caroline’s place to anyone, regardless of experience. I was a bit nervous as my experience is so limited, but it worked out so well. It was such a relief to find that kind of relaxation after all the crazy traveling we had been doing. I am 100% sure I couldn’t have found that on my own.

  • Trvl8dintern
    January 19 2012

    OMG it sounds so perfect. I am always so nervous with the stress and laptop and technology around me! Your experience sounds like something we should all do once every 2 months!!
    Trvl8dintern recently posted..Food You Need To Buy in Italy Part 1

    • January 19 2012

      If I could get back to Spain every two months to do this – I would! It was an amazing experience, and a highlight of our year.

  • That sounds just heavenly. I’d like to just forget about the world for a while. And sleeping for 10 hours — I am so jealous! You must have really needed to catch up, though.
    Barbara – The Dropout Diaries recently posted..Next Week Is Vietnam Week

    • January 19 2012

      Yup, I guess I did. I couldn’t BELIEVE how much I slept. But it was obviously the very best thing I could have done for myself! I don’t think I’ve ever been “disconnected” for that long ever before.

  • January 19 2012

    It blows me away how reliant become on technology. I take a break at least a day or two each week. I have to to stay sane. Happy new year!
    JoAnna recently posted..Wanderlust Wednesday: Serenity on Crater Lake

    • January 19 2012

      Thanks JoAnna – happy new year to you too! It never occurred to me before this stay how badly I actually needed to disconnect. Now, I understand. For my sanity, I am taking this Saturday off! :)

  • January 19 2012

    I’ve been wanting to start doing yoga soon! This retreat looks like it was a lot of fun and very relaxing.
    Maria D. recently posted..Getting Around Milan on a Budget

    • January 20 2012

      I wish I could make it back there every month! I really love the way yoga makes my body feel longer, I think that is my favorite part. You should start! :)

  • January 19 2012

    Aww I teared up a little reading this… It was like a microcosm of my year in Costa Rica. My busy schedule rarely allows me to go to classes, but you’re right — sun salutations can be done whenever. I tried to pop in a DVD this very morning, but my laptop rejected it. You’ve inspired me to try again!
    Abby recently posted..How to Spend the Perfect Day Trip in Toronto

    • January 20 2012

      Hope you got your DVD to work! It’s not quite the same, doing it myself versus having someone who knows what they’re doing correct posture, but damnitall, it’s worth a try anyways! :)

  • January 20 2012

    I love that you are going silent for 24 hours each week. I think I want to try that, too!! Now, to see if it’s actually possible. I think this retreat sounds amazing. I just booked into something kind of like this in Utah in a few weeks … hoping to disconnect, reconnect and recharge. And learn to just RELAX. Great post. :)

    • January 20 2012

      Oh I am sure you will LOVE it! Our first day offline was an easy one, we were in the Sahara with no hopes of communication, but tomorrow will be our first day to just disconnect even though it’s right at our fingertips. I really want to make this a part of our weekly routine so while it will take a lot of willpower, I am determined to do it! :)

  • January 21 2012

    A whole day without the internet!! I would probably die!

    • January 22 2012

      I did it again yesterday and I’m still here. :) I’m sure you’d survive!

  • January 22 2012

    Amazing! I’d find being away from my site, laptop and iPhone too very very tough too. Taking a break from these things is good I think and glad you were able to have such a transformational experience.
    cheryl recently posted..Postcards From Positano.

    • January 22 2012

      Thanks Cheryl, this had to have been one of my favorite experiences of the year just because I learned so much from it. And yesterday I took another break from everything and really enjoyed it.

  • January 23 2012

    This sounds quite familiar as we went through a similar revelation and resolution a few weeks ago. We went away for three days without the laptops and read so many books, ate great food, slept a lot and wandered around some temples and caves. It was perfect and made us realise we need to spend less time on our laptops. We are giving ourselves two days off a week to explore and stay off the internet!
    Erin recently posted..Photo of the Week: Monastery View in Chiang Dao

    • January 23 2012

      It’s like you’ve created what we all used to have before the internet – a decent weekend – haha! Good for you guys! :)

  • January 26 2012

    Awesome! Glad to hear you are refreshed. I love the internet but completely again with how it can suck the joy out of other non-computer related activities. Reading is always good for the soul. May you find more books. :)
    Tricia recently posted..Where Should We Go In….Chile – Part One

    • January 27 2012

      I am happily devouring a couple more (just not at the breakneck speed I was!) :)

  • January 29 2012

    THat was exactly the subject of one of my posts “Unusual Ways to Celebrate the NY.” Sounds like you really got to a great start and kudos to you for unplugging (that’s hard!). HNY.
    Charu recently posted..Blogger Spotlight Series: An Interview with Runaway Juno

    • January 29 2012

      Thanks Charu – it may have been unusual but it was the best way we could have thought of to spend it! It was perfect, and we’re still benefitting from how great it was!

  • Congratulations on your break through!

  • July 24 2012

    I feel like I need to do something like this, to disconnect and have a break from the modern world. While I love social media and keeping in touch while I’m overseas, I think it’s extremely taxing on the mind and body.

    • July 25 2012

      It is, for sure! It’s been 6 months now since we did that, and I think we are due again!

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