Yandara Yoga Part Dos

Our mornings started bright an early at 6:30am. I would wake up at 5:45, brush my teeth, eat a piece of fruit, and unroll my yoga mat. From 6:30 – 9:00 am we would do a mixture of meditation/asana. We had 3 teachers that rotated teaching our morning class, Sara, Nicolina, and Christopher. Sara’s classes were my favorite because of her teaching style and the way she structured her flow. I always left feeling full of energy. Nicolina would always do 30 minutes of meditation/mantra followed by 2 hours of asana. She focused on building the class up to a peak pose. Christopher’s classes were fun and challenging. He would include free dance and cardio. One morning we went for a silent walk up a mountain to watch the sunrise. Another morning we did a wicked partner yoga class!

9:00 – 9:45 was breakfast in silence.

9:45 – 12:30 we did philosophy workshops, and learned physical asana assists and pose breakdown. I really enjoyed learning the different assists! There are a lot ways to help people get deeper into the poses that I didn’t know about.

12:30 – 2:00 was Lunch and a break. During the break I would read, go to the beach, or just hang out. I also got a couple massages and an astrology reading during this time.

2:00 – 4:00 was practice teaching. We started practice teaching the first day! We worked our way up from teaching a Warm up to teaching a full 70 minute private class to someone. I taught my class to Beth. I really liked doing the private teaching thing and it was fun learning about Beth and her dog Mugs :)

At 4:00pm I would have another piece of fruit. And until 6:00pm we would either continue to learn about the postures or we would have a Satya. Satya, in the nicest way possible, is a “truth circle.” This translates to a circle of crying and tears haha. Christopher would go around the circle and ask us questions like how we were feeling, what we thought of being a part of the group, and what we thought of the people in our group. On our final Satya we walked to an old Fig Tree. It was so beautiful and big. The tree was too old to produce figs, but Christopher brought along dried figs so we had a snack and shared our thoughts about our experience. I didn’t make it a single Satya without crying. #BigSurprise

At 6:00pm we ate Supper and after that is usually when I would shower. The showers were “out door” in the sense that they had no roof, but they were still enclosed little stalls. It was neat showering like that. Not neat when a spider would crawl onto your towel, or a fire ant on your foot, but that’s beside the point.

At 7:30 we started Satsang. We did a lot of different things during Satsang. Most nights we would do some singing and chanting, one night we did a really long, heavenly Savasana. Another night Bolo told us the story of Hanuman. We did this circle thing one night that was really special. Another night we got to play the Harmonium and practice making the singing bowls sing. We even had a dance competition one night where we broke up into groups and had to create a dance routine with yoga moves. It was nice to get to spend some time with the group of 26 day people. We ended up giving each group a name – The 16 Day group became the “Devi’s” which I think means Goddess? and the 26 Day group became the Lotus Balms.

After Satsang it was bedtime, aside from the night a group of us went out to the Beach. We talked about a lot of philosophical stuff and then the tide came over the sand bank and we all got scared haha. Lanly took a bunch of photos that night but they all disappeared which was strange!

Sundays were our “Rest” Day. We got to sleep in an extra hour! It was pretty glorious. We went to a class with Bolo and April for an hour and then ate breakfast. From 9 – 12:30 we learned about 2 topics, 1 weekend we learned about Anatomy and the other weekend we learned about Yin. At 12:30 we took the shuttle into town, Todos Santos, which was about a 20 minute drive away. The first Sunday a bunch of us went into town and we went to a local Vegan Place called Pura Vida. They had the most delicious Chocolate Avocado Pie that a Chocolate and Avocado loving girl could have. Especially for a girl who hadn’t eaten chocolate in a few days! After Pura Vida we went to a Mexican place to grab some lunch and did a bit of Shopping. We only had until 3:30 pm and then it was back to Yandara for a class from 4 – 6. At 6 was supper and then at 7:30 we watched a Yoga Movie. I skipped the movie the one week and opted for some extra sleep.

The 2nd Sunday a group of girls went to a local surf beach, Los Cerritos, for some surfing lessons! I was planning to go and hang out on the beach, but the day before I got the worst sun burn of my life. Like seriously. Sun scorched on every part of my body that was not covered by my bikini. I had the chills, a fever, and at one point I felt faint. Tylenol really helped. I may have layed out in the sun too long. Ok, I definitely layed out in the sun for too long. In fact, I’m still peeling on my calves. #Gross Anyways. Because of the Sun Burn from Hell, I opted to go into town again and ate lunch at THE Hotel California with my girl Bri, and then ate some more chocolate avocado pie. Then I got an iced latte. Possibly the best Iced Latte I have ever had.

Our days at Yandara were full. Full of acceptance, yoga, learning, fun, laughter, sometimes tears, and most importantly love.

Part Uno

Part Tres

Yandara Yoga Part Uno

Remember me? Bit of a blogging hiatus over here. I’ve been home for over 2 weeks now, and I guess the reason it has taken me this long to post is because I wanted to do it all justice. I wanted to find the right words to express the experiences that we had. But as time goes on, it’s becoming clear to me that I don’t think that’s going to happen! So here we go.

I woke up really early the morning I left. Like 4am early. But I still managed to feel rushed and I sped the entire way to Calgary without enough time to pick up a Coffee. I flew with United…. and I can honestly say they are now on my Boycott list. Their planes were really small, older, and I was unimpressed with their customer service. Not to mention they left my bag in San Fransisco. So yeah. That was fun. Haha

Instant stress when I found out my bag wasn’t arriving for another day. Thank goodness I carried my Yoga Mat onto the plane and had packed an extra t-shirt and pair of pants in my carry-on. But I didn’t have any shower supplies or toiletries. You read that correctly. No deodorant. In Mexico. I left the arrival terminal to go find the shuttle and that is where I saw two girls with Yoga Mats sitting and waiting. Riley and Stacey, my first 2 friends. We had to wait for another hour for the next plane to arrive and while we waited to chatted and got to know one another. Once the 2nd plane got it we all piled into the shuttle and set off for Yoga Camp.

I met my next friend, Rebecca, on the Shuttle. Ok guys, but seriously, what a small world we live in. Rebecca is a RN who lives in a close by city and is friends with a nurse I work with on Postpartum. Of course I had a hypoglycemic attack/motion sickness on the shuttle ride. Riley had peanuts and saved the day :)

tentSarasvati greeted us when we arrived. She was one of our 2 main instructors. Sara is a beaming ray of sunshine. She is relaxed, grounding, welcoming, happy, and inspiring. I gravitated to her energy and her morning asana classes were my favorite.

Yand

We were shown around the Yandara grounds, and then picked our tents. I picked one on the north side, close to Jess (my 4th friend) and Rebecca. Then it was time to eat.

I feel like I could do an entire post on the food at Yandara alone, but I will try to sum it up into a few sentences. Breakfast was always Oatmeal, Papaya and Banana’s, with fresh nut and coconut granola. We always had eggs – either scrambled or hard-boiled. Lunch and Supper had a giant salad and was mostly vegan/vegetarian with the occasional pescetarian option. Yandara has a garden and all of their food is local, and as much as possible Organic. There was no sugar or coffee. Fruit and tea were always available (the pears were amazing!). I ate large portions and 2 snacks of fruit per day and I was pleasantly surprised that by 5 days in I wasn’t craving chocolate or coffee.

After our first dinner we went to our first Satsang with the 26 day group. Satsang is when a group of people get together to talk, sing, chant, and learn about the history of Yoga. I remember feeling very out of my comfort zone during that first Satsang. I rarely sing in my car when I am alone and now I have to spend an hour and a half every night singing with 40 other people?! My voice was very quiet that first Satsang.

Sats

Pretty much after every Satsang I went to my tent, wrote in my journal, read a book, and I was passed out by 10pm.

My group had 21 beautiful women in total. Ages ranging from 20-50. About half from Canada and half from the US. I was most worried about making friends. What a silly thought. We are a family. I feel so exceptionally lucky that these women chose to attend Yandara at the same time as me. They are what made the experience as wonderful as it was. My heart overflows with love for all of them. Words can’t even begin to capture how truly blessed I feel for meeting them.

groupRiley, Stacey, Lindsey, Rebecca, Kate, Jess, Lani, Richelle, Niya, Monica, Melissa, Heidi, Lanley, Bri, Gaye, Sarah, Amitha, Kim, Carrie, and Beth. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you.

FingersPart Dos

Part Tres

2013 in Review

2013. This was a huge year for me. It’s really hard to even begin to explain how much this last year has impacted who I am, and who I hope to become in the future. I am entering 2014 in a much better head space than I entered 2013, so I know things are only going to get better from here!

Highlights:

  • Travel!!! Mexico, Palm Springs, Toronto, London, Italy, Germany, Las Vegas, and a quick trip to Grande Prairie.
  • Marrying my favorite guy (and no, I don’t mean Tucker).
  • Getting a sweet new kitten, whose actually a freaking psycho <3
  • Spending more time with Blog Friends :)
  • Running!! A Marathon, and a Half Marathon in Vegas.
  • Changing Jobs, then Changing Jobs Again.
  • Buying a New Vehicle.
  • Working on my self-esteem and acceptance.
  • Letting go of the numbers related to the scale.
  • A Kick-Ass Bachelorette Party
  • One of my best friends getting pregnant – She’s due January 14th!
  • Working on my Home Gym
  • Starting the process to get AFLCA certified
  • So much professional growth! Including my week at the Betty Ford Center and being voted in to be on the CARNA Provincial Council
  • Growing a Garden at Home
  • Joining Soccer (again)
  • Lotsa Crossfit & a more versatile training plan
  • Having a period for 1 full year (even if it was a week late this last time)
  • Much needed improvement with my relationship with myself.
  • Winning 10 thousand dollars at my Work 50/50
  • Sunday Night HBO at my Dad’s House

It’s been such a great year. I am so humbled and thankful for all of the opportunities and support I have. I am one lucky girl and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for my family.

Acceptance Update

Welcome to DECEMBER.

Seriously, where did this year go? I can’t even believe that I am writing this post and that it is the END OF THE YEAR. I need to start thinking about a word for 2014!

2013. The Year of Acceptance.

Truth: I started 2013 at a real low point in my life. My self esteem seemed non-existent, I was gaining weight, I was apathetic towards everything (including my relationships with my loved ones), and I just had this awful feeling something bad was going to happen.

Truth Number Two: Something bad probably would have happened if I hadn’t gotten help.

I started seeing a counselor at the End of January. I saw her three times in total. That was all I needed. My friend Annette suggested a book for me to read called “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” and that really was the catalyst for my change.

I read the book, I did the homework, I reflected, I journalled, I made my mental health a priority, I made my relationships a priority. At the end of a 2 month period I felt back on track with the life I wanted to live. I had rediscovered my strength and my worth.

Since that time, honestly and truthfully, I have felt very good. I no longer stress about overeating, about skipping a workout, or about the possibility that I might be a shitty parent one day.

I have come to terms with the re-gain of weight, and I can see that it stemmed from old habits, emotional instability, and poor coping skills.

I have strengthened the relationship I have with my body, I treat it with the respect it deserves and I practice positive self talk. The negative thoughts are almost non-existent, it is refreshing and freeing. :)

I have grieved the loss of relationship with my biological father, and my biological mother. I am at a point of peace with the fact that I didn’t have an ideal childhood, but I have come past that with triumph and strength and no one can take that away from me.

A list of Truth’s going forward from here:

  • I am strong, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
  • I am loved, by my husband and adopted father, Matthias’ family, my sister, and my friends.
  • I am beautiful and unique, both inside and out.
  • I am a good person.
  • I am smart, funny, and mature.
  • I have a body that has done so much for me despite my lack of consistent care: It has run more miles this year than any in the past, it has lifted heavier things than I ever have before, and it has taught me that other peoples ideals aren’t my own, and that is Ok.
  • I will be the best mother I can be one day when I have kids, I will be in charge of making my relationships with them, not my history.
  • I don’t think I have a happy weight. But I can have a happy lifestyle.
  • I am healthy, and I make healthy choices.

2013 started out as a struggle, but it is ending the happiest I have ever felt. I am so incredibly lucky. I don’t know how next year could ever be better than this one!