Arriving at Peace Retreat it is funny how it instantly hit me that the reason for my travel is to have some peace. Since my accident life has seemed so hectic and overwhelming, the choice to do this training was principally a safe space to work on my healing. I recognise that this place is perfect for what I need.
Unfortunately, on day 2 I came down with the flu – unable to practice, I curled up watching the day from the side and sleeping through meal times and breaks; I felt awful physically yet so happy emotionally. I felt better the day after and joined the physical class – oops, the following day was an overwhelm kick back. Ten minutes into class I started feeling very physically unwell. When I sat outside, tears of overwhelm hit me and I was unable to stop for 90 minutes. I sat by the communal toilets for necessary access to toilet roll, and watched the beautiful dancing butterflies and birds as I sobbed.
I wasn’t crying for any reason, I just had this pile of emotions to release. I felt frustrated at my health stopping me from being a lively sociable part of the group, and realised that this has been the last part of myself to address. Accepting that I now lead a quieter life, with less social interaction, or a quieter place in groups had not been something I had addressed to date.
Once I calmed, I re-joined the group for the afternoon and went for a walk with one of the ladies. The walk exhausted me and back to bed for me, the advice from the tutors was REST and chamomile tea – this familiar pair! I accepted this and went to bed.
14 hours of sleep later, I was calm and feeling better. Having embraced this new approach to social me, I have been enjoying listening to the excited chatter around me while I meditate on the beach. Listening and watching the others interact almost like a privileged fly on the wall. I opted out of the group activities on the day off, enjoying sunbathing, a massage and eating avocado and fish twice! I treated myself to chocolate and ice cream, washed my clothes and walked the roads alone to find dinner.
Being a Yogi
I’ve realised through the studies that I have learnt much of the teachings through my healing. I am already a ‘yogi’ if this is how we define being a yogi. The community created is phenomenal and the power of positivity contagious.
We always look at each other through the ‘lense of love’, our first group teaching was only positive feedback – a crazy experience of overwhelming nice words flowing in the room. The energy was so supportive and people were on a high for the entire day. There is always someone noticing if someone is missing, or to give the crying person a hug – oh my god the tears are insane!
Yet, I feel a bristle every time the application of movement techniques (used in Pilates and Alexander technique) are taught as ‘yoga’. I dislike the label of yoga on everything, the categorisation and haughtiness of this world. I want to break away from movement labels, work with holisitic approaches and openness to helping all. I always yoga and Pilates are like cats and dogs – you can love both, but one is always your preference. I guess I am still a Pilates girl at heart, but there is another week to sway me…