This is going to be a very deep post.

Yoga has been a very powerful medicine in my life and has always helped me find my balance, focus, and acceptance. I started practicing a couple of years ago when I was going through a low in my life, so much so that the first heart-opener I ever tried (Matsyasana/Fish) brought tears in my eyes… and so, I always wanted to go for a week-long retreat, away from the normal world and just practice!

I finally got to go on my first retreat in Taos, NM and it was a bag of mixed emotions.

Firstly- Do not have any expectations before you embark on your trip…. I had a lot, so I was initially very disappointed- with the 3-hour drive from the airport into up somewhere in the mountains, with staying at a 100-year-old retreat mansion, worrying too much about staying for 3 full days with people I never met, and finally with my inability to find peace with this disconnection. This discomfort somehow brought in negative emotions and I just wanted to pack my bags and take the first flight out.

I decided to attend one class in the morning. It went great- very intense, just like how I like it and ended in a 30-minute meditation where the instructor quoted that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional – which I think summarized life in general in one nutshell. There is so much we cannot control in life, and yet we have so much choice around what to pick and ignore- not easy but doable. And so I decided to stay. Slowly I started to just enjoy the little things that the retreat had to offer and now as I look back, I am glad I added something completely out of my comfort zone to my list of experiences.

The beautiful majestic mountains reminded me to be humble…

A walk through the labyrinth reminded me to take a journey to my own center and then back into the world and that the heart is at the center and it guides everything in life… 

The hummingbirds reminded me to just enjoy being alive…

The village by the foothills reminded me to enjoy the simplicity of life…

The beautiful sunflowers reminded me to just be happy, cheerful and let life unfold as it comes…

A 100-year-old unnamed sketch reminded me that time tests and heals everything…

A first attempt at headstand with proper guidance reminded me that its mind over body and that it’s never too late to do anything…

Painting mandalas reminded me to just live in the present…

And finally, a walk along the meditation path around the retreat reminded me a lot of things, most importantly to be at peace.

I made a lot of friends, across different age groups, and it humbled me to know how much more life they have seen, and how much my life has to offer me! There is never a full stop, never an end. Life is a journey, you can decide what you want in it, what you want to leave and live it heartfully. I found a mentor as well and was surprised at how the retreat completed a full circle for me.

Would I do it one more time? Yes. Would I have expectations the next time? No. Do add this to your bucket list!

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