I just returned from a weekend long yoga retreat at Sagrada Wellness in California. Words can not fully express how incredible and enlightening this weekend was, but throughout the week I’ll share my daily diary from the experience. The retreat, run by an amazing couple named Scott and Eva, took place on their ranch just outside of Santa Margarita, California – a historic piece of land off the central coast. It has the look and feel of an old cowboy ranch, with western decor sprinkled throughout. An instant calm washed over me when I walked through its iron gate. My flight had been delayed so I missed the first yoga class. As I waited for it to end, I explored the house and land a bit before joining the meet-and-greet after the class. Our yoga instructor is Aaron Ogden – a warm, gentle being who instantly made me feel at ease. We sit in a circle and introduce ourselves, talking a little bit about what brought us here. It’s a small group – only 6 other people. I like it that way. It gives the retreat an intimacy and allows you to really form bonds with the other people and become a close knit group. Aaron tells us that the following night we’ll have a fire ceremony with a speaking stick – whoever holds the stick can speak and everyone else holds silence for them. If you choose not to speak, that’s fine too – you can sit in silence for as long as you need. He says we can bring something to throw in the fire, maybe something we want to release. A thought, a goal, or something we’re letting go of. My mind instantly starts to wander. What will I bring, what will I write down? Of all the thoughts running through my head, which are the most urgent? What is my body trying to tell me? These are the thoughts running through my mind as my tired head hits the pillow.
The California coastline is breathtaking.
Wild animals roam the ranch freely – these two rabbits hang out by the hammocks.
The yoga studio is breathtaking – full of natural light with windows overlooking the mountains.
Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!
Photos by Julia.