I've had a busy week and just now trying to catch up on this post! This past weekend I held a Vinyasa Immersion Retreat at Camp Amnicon on Lake Superior just outside of Superior,Wisconsin. This was held through Yoga North Studio.
The retreat ran from about 6 pm on Friday to 5pm on Saturday. We were warmly greeted by our hosts Kellie and Matt, and Kellie ran us through the facilities orientation and familiarised us with the buildings and grounds. They had set out a table with hot cider, hot water for tea and cocoa. Our group brought the Friday evening snacks.
There were six enthusiastic attendees. After orientation we dug into the snacks and started out with an introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. We discussed terminology, cast of characters, the setting and some of the history behind this work. This also gave us the opportunity to digest the great munchies everyone brought: olive tapanade, homemade flatbread, fresh fruit, fresh baked ginger cake, hummus, veggies...yoga folks know how to eat! That's for sure.
Wrapping up our introduction to the Bhagavad Gita, we then segwayed into a restorative vinyasa sequence. While it seems contradictory, it is possible to do a very gentle, relaxing flow. This prepared the group for an introduction (for some) to meditation in the yogic tradition and some breathwork. By the end of the hour and a half/two hours, the group was smiling contentedly and we ended up just sitting around talking until nearly 11:30p.
Saturday morning started out with an invigorating vinyasa practice and a few moments of sitting in stillness. Then it was off to brunch as provided by Camp Amnicon. What a fantastic spread! Potato frittata, fresh fruit, English muffins, grapefruit, yogurt, granola...nobody went away hungry. We reconvened after brunch and picked up on our Bhagavad Gita introduction for another hour or so. Then the group had an hour and a half of downtime to walk the trails, gaze over Lake Superior, nap, or just veg out.
In the afternoon, the session was opened to the group for technique class, and they got to pick what they wanted to work on. We covered such things as plank pose, upward facing bow pose variations, tippy-toe fish pose, childs pose with a partner, tripod headstand and crane pose; at least that is what I can remember off the top of my head. I don't know about the rest of the group, but my arms felt all that isolation work the next day! We ended the session with an introduction to a guided Buddhist meditation to demonstrate the subtle difference between the two styles. Which also had the purpose of showing folks that there are different ways to meditate so if one style isn't working for you, try something else.
This brought us up to the evening meal, packing and our karma chore. We wrapped up the session by sitting together and just reviewing the weekend. It is our intent to try and carry on the "Gita" discussion beyond the workshop, so we'll see how that goes.