My Mostly At-Home Yoga Retreat was perfectly imperfect.
When it came to the Magical Leek Broth fast that I had planned, I quit. I made it from 5:45 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. subsisting on leek broth alone. I’m grateful that I tried, because it helped me notice elements of my eating choices and patterns that may have gone unidentified. Also, I had no idea that leeks are amazing. I used the remaining broth to make a vegetable soup on Sunday.
Why I think I failed at the fast:
- When fasting, it’s probably best not to take on a rigorous workout schedule. I love working out and was unwilling to cut back on it.
- I chose to continue cooking for others, because I wanted to work on my self-control in the kitchen. I tend to snack while I cook. It’s one of my bad habits.
- Lack of preparation. I lost control of my schedule on Saturday and went too many hours without more broth.
Electronic Communications Detox:
Detoxing from electronic communications (social media, texting, emails, phone calls) was the most perfect, wonderful, and delightful part of my retreat. There has never been a time that I have intentionally let go of and avoided social media, etc. The weekend flowed with such ease. I didn’t feel so scattered.
It was as if all of media interruptions let go of the tug-of-war rope in my brain (that I didn’t even know they were holding) all at once. When it was time to water plants, I watered plants.
Sometimes watering plants goes like this:
Thought: I should water the plants. Actions: Check emails in all three of my active accounts. Read an email that prompts me to check out an upcoming event, information on a site, etc. Notice Facebook notifications. Check Google Analytics, Gourmet Ads, and Medium to see how my content is progressing in the world wide webosphere. Instagram notifications. I wonder if I should take a picture of any of my plants to IG. Scroll. Get water from sink. Text. Text. Text. Go outside. Messenger Message. Facebook Notification. Water Plants.
Now I have a deeper understanding of what experts are talking about when they advise people to manage their social media time. With wisdom – not to sound too high and mighty – comes deliberate change.
One thing I missed without my phone was listening to an audiobook or music as I walked with Lucy. I spent the entire walk noticing my surroundings. It was different and kind of delightful.
Doing Lots and Lots of Yoga:
About 6 months ago I was in a yoga funk. I’d stopped going to class. Sometimes I’d do a vinyasa flow or two at home. Then I overheard a friend and another woman chatting in the Rochester Athletic Club locker room about how it was so nice to be in such-and-such an instructor’s class. So I interjected, “He’s back?” They confirmed. I was in class the following Saturday.
A couple of months later, I kept on seeing ads for a Fit and Fierce Over 40 yoga class offered on DailyOM. I wasn’t sure if it was for me. At $10 it was worth a try. While my body does not yet look like the woman in the photo for the ad, I enjoyed it enough and felt transformed enough to give Yoga Shred a go.
Then, I found out about YOGA IS. Seeing Shiva Rea’s and Sadie Nardini’s names on the list along with Deepak Chopra’s inspired me to give it a go. I used to attend classes based on Shiva Rea’s Prana Vinyasa ™ . The instructor moved. I missed being guided through that flow.
During my mostly at-home retreat, I took classes on DailyOM, YOGA IS, and at the Rochester Athletic Club. I did three full sessions of yoga each day and listened to additional instructors share ideas about incorporating yoga into daily life and on being spiritually independent. Yoga is my new sugar. Now that I’ve had more, I want more. The good news is that it’s way healthier for me.
Post-Retreat Changes to Daily Life:
- Yoga first thing in the morning. Even if it’s just 15 minutes.
- Whenever I’m writing or doing a task that requires focus, I will turn off all notifications and my phone.
- I can survive being hungry, so I do not need to snack while making a meal.
I’m so glad I did my perfectly imperfect retreat. Have you ever tried an at-home retreat? I’d love to hear your stories! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to know what the initial yoga retreat plan was? Check out Mostly At-Home Yoga and Writing Retreat.