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The Gifts of Retreat

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

What a gift it is to have a passion! For a lot of us, that passion is Yoga.

Gifting yourself the opportunity to retreat to an exotic location to study and practice your passion is the ultimate present. I’m thrilled to offer this retreat to Costa Rica, to see who comes, and to be a part of the magic that we’ll create together.

I’ve had the unique experience of facilitating retreats prior to me even going on one for my own pleasure.

I served dozens of women, coordinating the details of the retreat, booking all the things, cooking, cleaning, and supporting all the moving parts.

My time doing this was an integral part of my own healing. I felt purposeful in my duties;

create a sacred container, support the healing work of my teacher, and take care of the beautiful souls who show up. Got it…, I can do that, I’m good at that. That feels good to me.

So that’s where I started.

Fast forward four years later to when I went on my first retreat, where I didn’t coordinate a thing, or have to work a lick.

It was glorious.

It was my turn to be supported in all the things, lay down all my worries, stresses, and responsibilities, and just enjoy. Someone else was offering their gifts of service to the group and all I had to do was lean in. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

I knew retreats were powerful having led and supported them but being on the receiving end gave me a whole other perspective, both I’m truly grateful for.

Now, after almost a decade of retreat experience, here are the top two things I’ve learned..

One, if you are a person that has a lot of responsibility ie, you have to keep to a tight schedule, you have to report to someone else, you have deadlines, you have to cook, clean, do the shopping, coordinate, drive; in general, have your shit together because if you don't, who will?????

A retreat may serve you beautifully.

While there is a bit of front loaded coordination you’ll have to do, ex. say YES, pay, book your flight, get yourself to the airport… Beyond that, for four days you’ll be completely taken care of. That, for some, can be the best medicine and what we really need….to put our armor down, let loose, get a little undone and give permission to someone else to take care of all the things. You won’t have to decide how, when, where, or what to eat and no one there is gonna ask you to hit a deadline or perform in any way. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything you don’t want to do. It’s your time to rest, relax, replenish and enjoy.

You’ll be taken care of without it being overbearing or weird.

It was always so amazing to me how at first (on retreat), it can be so uncomfortable for people to just relax and allow. It’s not always a switch we can just flip because we don’t do it enough, but we should.

What if we allowed people to take care of us more? What if we leaned into giving up unnecessary control and let ourselves just flow and experience pleasure?

It’s worth exploring.

Two, the PEOPLE.

I think it’s a rare opportunity to vacation with humans that you don’t really know. You get to have an adventure, eat, drink, play, and practice with others who, just like you, are there for intentional purposes. The common thread is that everyone participating is a student of Yoga. This shared reverence of the practice generally shows up in people interacting with each other in kind, considerate, open, loving ways.

Real human connection beyond a screen is often limited in our hyper technological social world.

Of course, you don’t have to make friends or build bonds but, you just might. So often we go at life alone or stay really close to the familiar and limit our interactions with others. It just happens like that if we don’t step outside our normal habits and routines.

Going to Costa Rica with others breaks that energy up.

There’s a lot that we can learn from one another when we take the time to sit, listen, and share. Whether it’s in a class, at the dinner table, on a horse, or in the pool, interacting with others on a retreat bears a lot of fruit.

Like minded, soulful exchanges fill up cups.

If you’ve been feeling isolated, lonely, curious, and are open to meeting new people but have a hard time doing so, retreating is an opportunity to lean into community and real time connection. It could feel risky, a little scary, you could have fears about being social but what if you felt all those things and still leaned in?

This is your invitation to trust that who shows up is meant to be there and that the synergy that we’ll create together will be nothing short of magic.

It’s been a long time coming. This retreat is already meaningful in so many ways. Year number eight for AUM is going to be profound. I’m pumped for Scorpio season, I’m over the moon thrilled to go back to Costa Rica and I’m intrigued to see who joins me on this Pleasure and Prana Retreat. Please reach out if you have any questions!

~ Melissa

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