When I go on a trip somewhere far away, then that means I'm usually really away. No e-mailing (except to let my mom know I've made it), no phone, and no checking facebook. ;) Last spring the trip was Iceland. It was a dream of a journey that affected me immensely. Less than a week ago, I have now returned from the tropical rainforest island of Dominica...and I am still taking in its effect.
This trip was different than many others I've taken because this time it combined my work (yoga) and play (adventures & fun on the island) in the form of a retreat vacation. It brought together an amazing and intimate group. We turned out to be similar as far as gender and age range, but each of us possessed unique qualities that made the week extra special. I truly believe that the universe pulls people together at just the right times, and our small group of women proved to be an example of that.
Rising early every morning for 90 min. of yoga, then excursioning to waterfalls & hikes, then another afternoon 90 min. yoga sesh, followed by long dinners and chatting. It made for a week full of inner and outer growth, relaxation, and fun-loving energy. We allowed ourselves the opportunity to feed our bodies (with yoga and "from the earth" nourishing organic meals), to feed our spirits (with yoga and the unbelievable nature of the divine mother around us), and to feed our minds (with yoga/meditation and exposing ourselves to a different culture and discussions with the people in it). This truly opened us all up to change. And so it's no wonder that upon returning, I can go through a couple of days of feeling out of sorts as I try and place it all together.
On this journey I learned a load-full about myself (to name a few):
That I can lead twice daily yoga in a retreat setting in a fresh, creative, effective way and be open to the interpretations that the students' need. That I can learn not to doubt myself in this capability and in my intuition as a teacher. That I will always be willing to try new things...such as cultural foods, swimming across a very cold river current, a handstand on the beach when challenged by a young kid, and hitching a ride to another town in the trust of whoever picks me up. That we can all overcome discomforts and moods quite easily with more yoga and breathing. That compassion can be as simple as a roadside intention for a person's soul. That we are all capable of letting our joy and zest for life shine through with a simple smile, or a friendly "okay, alright" to a stranger. That when it comes down to it, I can really take on the "just chillin' " vibes of Dominica and that can be enough. ;) And that little kids will always make my day if I get to make them feel loved for just a moment whether it be teaching them some yoga on the beach, or buying them an ice cream cone.
I know I will be going back many times more which is exciting to think about. But in the meantime it is nice to be back to the place you call home and bring some of what you discovered to the people around you. Because how else can we inspire each other to learn and grow?
So, I'm back in action here in Somerville/Cambridge, MA. My blogs to come will be full of more Dominican stories, new reggae-tinged playlists, and most of all, more love.
Good vibes to Crescent Moon, my gals from da rainforest, Rhiannan and her peeps in Colihaut, and everyone reading.