Our day begins with a meditative walk. Heel to toe, heel to toe. Feel the earth beneath your feet, let it ground you. It’s really early, but I feel awake and alert. Maybe it’s because of the time change, or maybe it’s because of the deep sleep I had the night before. Either way, it feels great. We wind around a path left by the footsteps of those who walked here before us – but the path isn’t so much a path as it is a hint of people having walked there – clearly they are few and far between. Under the shade of oak trees, past a reservoir where bullfrogs hide in lily pads and call to each other back and forth all day long. Up a hill, where we stop and turn to take in the view of the landscape below us. The trees are so interesting here – so unlike the trees in Philadelphia. There’s a strange tree that is falling apart and covered with holes. At first my mind thinks termites, but a closer look reveals that the holes are plugged with acorns. Aaron tells us there’s a type of woodpecker that does this. I’ve never seen anything like that. I wonder what this tree, what all these trees, have seen in their lifetime. I wonder what stories they have to tell. After a meditative exercise that revolves around breathing and taking in the energy of the atmosphere around us, we head back for breakfast.
Breakfast is amazing – oatmeal, yogurt, fresh berries, eggs, tomatoes, and the coffee that tasted oh so amazing. Everything Eva and Scott serve is vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, and amazing. After breakfast…time for yoga! I felt a little bit rusty at first – I’ve been so busy I haven’t taken the time to do yoga all that much lately – but everything came back like second nature. My biggest challenge is breathing. I still tend to hold my breath sometimes, and it’s hard for me to fully relax my body and let go. I still feel a tension in my stomach and jaw. Aaron tells us this is normal. We tend to hold a lot of tension in these areas – which are actually quite connected – because this world just expects too much of us at times. Sometimes it’s ok to let those expectations fly out the window. We can only do so much. As I thought about this I mentally threw thoughts of stress and anxiety out the window in front of me, out into the California air.
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
These flowers in the yoga studio smelled absolutely incredible. Does anyone know what they are? I thought jasmine but I looked it up and I’m not sure.
More to come tomorrow!
Photos by Julia.