SYNERGY OF TRAVEL AND RETREATS
How do we open our heart and body to adventure?
Words by Wendy Martin
June 9, 2018
There is something so profound about the synergy of travel and yoga retreats…when you step out into the adventure of travel your senses are heightened, crisper even. There are a freshness and clarity to the sights and sounds of the landscapes around you.
The yoga practice helps you to fine-tune your inner compass… It gives you the forum to pause and sink into the present moment by setting your mind to a state of calm.
It reminds you that everywhere you go, you are home.
I believe that geographic places hold energy.
When you are in the mountains you can feel the palpable stoic grounded energy of them. In a way, you become that energy and a new perspective arises. We can become a real reflection of that essence.
When you can cast your vision outward and spread your mind into the open and forever widening, unending sea – you become spacious.
You can feel the sweet calmness of the ocean just by standing beside it. And to look at the moon in a brand new place reminds you just how connected life is, that all of us who gaze at the moon see the same one.
When you experience life like this you start to understand that everywhere you go you are home, that home resides deep within…
Travel unveils unique landscapes and experiences you could have never even imagined, providing opportunities to attune your attention to the presence of each moment, to the mysterious click and cadence of other languages, to the rhythm and pulse of a different culture. To be open to how other cultures interact with each other is a humbling practice in listening and feeling with our whole selves. Learning the Flora and Fauna of a new place can explain many things about its unique environment and synergy, how it thrives.
If we are open to it, we can receive great insight into our life paths through our travel experiences. In 2016 I hiked an incredible route on the island of Santorini in Greece with a handful of our yoga retreat friends, It was a breathtaking experience, rugged, challenging, and at times left me speechless, the Aegean sea is a force and the land that has been shapeshifted around it is mysterious, simple and magical to be honest. The unfolding of that hike stirred this insight within me – it made me ask myself, “ How do we learn how to love the necessary hard work?” The work that requires our deepest attention, you know the work that comes from the combination of effort and surrender. How do we persevere through resistance, fatigue and doubtful thoughts? As I hiked that precarious cliff face in Greece I was reminded to adapt, to rest, to stay steady with my breath and to remember how the land was shaped by the sea, that all parts work in union. That all I needed to do was keeping walking forward, with one conscious breath and step at a time. Nature gives us so many brilliant examples of coexistence. I love when I can receive this appreciation from a new place I am traveling to. When I can hold gratitude for the contrast, for the edges that remind me to soften, for the obstacles and friction that remind me to step back and pause and sink in for awhile. I feel whole and connected when I travel. I am Inspired by the sweetness of the human heart – and when we connect with each other from across continents and countries my love for humanity grows wider. I am equally grateful for the sticky trap doors of life that lead me down the narrow pathways with no light at all – only to show me that I can see in the dark. Everywhere I go I am home.
To be fully alive is to feel it all… every wave and ripple, each directional change of the winds and the sweet quiet hum of peaceful days. Travel & living mindfully just requires that we pay attention and say YES.
Plan the retreat, invest in your happiness and health and let the adventure of travel inspire your deepest living. I hope to see you on the mat or the trail one day soon.