Yoga retreat – the aftermath

I have a lot of catching up to do here.  First, the Calistoga Yoga Retreat.  Me, Shmoopy, our Yogi Tim Floreen and 22 (or so) fun and flexible women stretched, twisted and ujaya-breathed our ways to a weekend of fun and relaxation if not utter bliss.

The weather was fantastic last weekend – sunny and mild the whole three days we were up there.  No traffic on the way either, and little on the way back to mar the experience.

The first night I dined with a trio of self-described “wild girls” – one from SF, one living in Walnut Creek, and one now living in Folsom.  They had all met at a previous job and were all close friends, still in touch, and out for a fun weekend.  One was now a Mom, and had little yoga experience but was up for whatever – and she seemed to do great.  One girl was doing Bikram four times a week – the most yoga of anyone I met during the retreat.  She was the one who seemed to really have a wild life out in the suburbs, with stories of dating and parties.

We went to bed pretty early – tired from a great Yoga practice.  I didn’t hear any noise from the wild girl group so I think they did too.  Saturday morning we had a second Yoga practice then spent the main part of the day walking around the ranch trails, taking photos, talking with other guests and just relaxing until the evening yoga practice.  Which was excruciating – and we were all expecting a lighter evening practice (well, I was!) instead of a real heavy-duty one.  I did manage to do the peacock posture though – which is apparently somewhat advanced.  I didn’t know anything about it and just followed what Tim was saying – I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had known what it was.  Mind over matter – and sometimes it is just the opposite.

We also each had brought for the retreat a particular posture that we wanted to work on.  I had crow, Shmoopy had plow.  Crow was the most common as it turned out, and I so we had a good bit of yogic focus on that one (yea!) but we had a go at each.  And I will say this was the first time I was able to touch my toes to the floor doing plow.

That second night we had homework – to write ourselves a letter about some new insight or mindset from the retreat experience.  We wrote them overnight for Tim to collect the next day, with the promise he would mail them out at some undisclosed future date.  So that will be interesting to get a letter from myself in a totally different headspace – not caught up in the normal daily life frustrations, or more importantly not caught up in the minutiae and worries of making a living, as opposed to  living a life.

At dinner I got to talk to some women living in different parts of San Francisco – other than where we all hang out, such as like The Castro and SOMA.  One girl lived in North Beach, several in Russian Hill. It was interesting just talking about the experience of living in different SF neighborhoods, and what people liked or disliked about them. Everyone talked about how as small as the City physically is, people do tend to stick very much to neighborhoods.  I find that very true – I have to make an effort to get out to other neighborhoods more – much more!  Now, I have some cafes to try out in North Beach.

Me and Shmoopy after the retreat, at Lyon Street Steps

We closed the weekend with one last yoga practice on Sunday morning before we all said our goodbyes, hugged and headed back.  The wild girls were stopping at an Outlet Mall in Napa on the way back. “They have BCBG!” one mentioned.  Others had kids or husbands to get back to.  Shmoopy let me drive his car back and once we were back in SF, I drove us over to Lyon and Vallejo and parked.  That’s where the little park is where we got married.  So we went in and took some pictures and kissed and watched the view.  And then we went home.


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