by Alysha Pfeiffer
My first yoga retreat was masked as a 200-hour yoga teacher training.
I say “masked” because although it was called a ‘teacher training’, it was more like a yoga immersion, a great adventure, and a worthwhile life-experience that has stayed with me through all these years.
This adventure was back in 2003, when taking a yoga teacher training wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today. At age 18, California seemed to be calling my name. I also wanted to do a yoga teacher training, so I chose to go to the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara. I had never been on a trip like this or flown on an airplane on my own at that point. Little did I know that White Lotus was one of the most reputable and sought-out places for yoga teachers and yoga enthusiasts in the US and beyond at that time. I still remember walking from my house in New Jersey up to the post office to drop my envelope with my deposit check in it. You know, that big blue mailbox that you can’t get your mail back out of, even if you change your mind the instant after you’ve dropped it in?
When I arrived at the White Lotus I was greeted by a peaceful pond filled with, you guessed it, lotus flowers. I walked down a short trail with beautiful views to get to my super-cool yurt, and I met one of my two roommates for the week. I instantly felt a connection, like I had already known her my entire life (and in lives I had lived before that, if you believe in that kind of thing.) I practiced yoga and breathing exercises, studied yoga philosophy, and in my free time I took therapeutic hikes through the sacred land. I ate delicious vegetarian food that was lovingly prepared by the in-house chef, created life-long friendships, and looked at the amazing stars every single night giving thanks for how lucky I was. On our days off a group of us would go into town to see the Pacific Ocean, shop, and explore, and the folks that weren’t vegetarian got a much-needed hamburger at a local eatery 🙂
My time at White Lotus was an experience that I will never forget. Even though I loved my life (nothing was particularly wrong and I didn’t feel the need to escape it) it taught me the importance of taking a break from the hustle bustle of daily living, and how this helps us renew our sense of gratitude for what we have, and be inspired by the beauty of the world. I am still friends with my roommate, Bekah. I have visited her in California to study with our favorite yoga teacher, Seane Corn, and when she got married a few years ago I was welcomed to the festivities as a part of her family. Another good xenical online cheap friend I made at White Lotus, Diana, invited me to her home in Sedona, Arizona where we spent 10 days hiking, checking out the energy vortexes, and getting ayurvedic massages.
So, why am I telling you about all of these cool experiences with my yoga retreat friends from different parts of the country? I strongly believe that if we follow our intuition and inner guidance the universe provides us with life-changing experiences beyond our wildest dreams. If I wouldn’t have dropped my envelope into that big blue mailbox, and trusted this idea to fly to a place I had never been to before with a group of strangers, I wouldn’t have some of the valuable friendships that I have today. I also might not have this deep sense of wanderlust that always lives inside of me and whispers to me from time to time, “Hey you, don’t be scared go to that amazing place, and live your life to the fullest when you get there.”
This all leads to our upcoming Mexico trip, which promises to be one of those life-affirming adventures for me, and hopefully for you too! On a yoga retreat, exploring the world, trying new things, and meeting new people is paired with taking good care of ourselves through yoga and great food, resting and rejuvenating ourselves. For me, this is the perfect combination of what makes a great life full of interesting, meaningful experiences, and an opportunity for great friendships and stories to tell.
If you are considering joining Sally and I on our yoga retreat to the Mexican Riviera on March 12-18, (which I hope you are!) please come to our FREE “Retreat Sampler” all-levels yoga class on Friday, Jan 27, at 6:30pm. It will include movement, breath, restorative yoga, and reiki. We will host a short Q & A after class and answer any questions you may have about our upcoming trip. All are welcome to this free event – hope to see you there!
8 Great Reasons To Join Us On Our Yoga Retreat!
1. You will get to learn about who you are and what you like to spend your free time doing when you are out of your “comfort zone”.
2. You will make new friends that may last you a lifetime.
3. You will get away from the east coast chilly temperatures and get some much-needed Vitamin D.
4. You will practice yoga twice daily and feel wonderful in your body, mind, and spirit for doing so.
5. You will be fed. There is nothing like having healthy & delicious food prepared for you several days in a row.
6. You will deepen your yoga practice, and discover new ways that yoga can support your well-being.
7. You will get to spend time on the beach reading, resting, snorkeling, swimming, & seashell hunting.
8. You will return to the people in your life re-charged and ready to share your best self with them!