Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yoga and coconuts

I am lucky enough to have just returned from a yoga retreat at Kripalu in the Berkshires (Run by Lesley Desaulniers from Prema Yoga). I spent the last four days with 14 women, meditating, doing yoga, and reflecting on ancient yogic texts and how they can help us live a more powerful and authentic life.

I feel sleepy and sore, peaceful and content.

Here are some pictures from my experience.

My hope is that through viewing them you can have your own virtual retreat experience.


"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to pray in and places to play in, where nature may heal and give strength to the soul."

-John Muir, American Environmentalist.



At the end of our last yoga session, Lesley spoke to the group about how it can be difficult to transition from a retreat experience back into everyday life. To assist us in the process she gave each of us a coconut, and the following instructions: Over the course of the next week,  kick the coconut around your home, and while doing so, silently ask, "may this house be free from..." and then insert whatever feeling or pattern you want to let go of.


"May this house be free from grief." 

"May this heart be free from judgment."


As the coconut rolls around the floor, it symbollically absorbs and holds these feelings within its shell. At weeks end we are to go to a remote area, and when we are ready, throw the coconut backwards over our heads without looking, and listen for it to crack. Once you hear the crack, you simply walk away, and never look back.

I have happily welcomed the coconut into my life for the week. Though today it is being driven around by Brian. I left it in the car when I had too much to carry in last night.  I was going to go and get it but my car had trouble starting* during the retreat, so I figured the car can use some time with the coconut as well!

So, dear readers, to complete your retreat, I would like to offer you this virtual coconut. May you let it roll through your mind, your heart and your home, allowing it to absorb that which you are ready to let go of.

*Special thanks to Harvey and Jan Zimbler who hosted me during the retreat. And to Jan who picked me up late at night when my car wouldn't start!

P.S. While I do love the sound of crickets chirping, I would love to hear your voices as well! Please  post a comment and let's create some community!

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