Friday, July 13, 2018

My 1st Yoga Retreat!

Crazy!, this week I was out every single day. Monday, the beer night with my friends, Tuesday and Wednesday, Mackenzie's, Thursday a birthday party and tonight I will go to ZAM in Etobicoke. What can I say... the summer time.

At work, I am at training for new software development tools, Angular UID, SOA, Maven, Postman etc... While during a day I'm learning a new stuff and at night I go out and forget everything. I also practice yoga regularly. Today is 13th July and I had 7 yoga practices. My body weight 89 kg now and the goal is 86. So I am slowly getting there.

This morning I received the ticket for my Punta Cana trip. I am going on 15th of August there on my first yoga retreat. I will stay there 10 nights and for 8 straight days I will practice ashtanga yoga twice a day. The trip costs me $3000, it is all inclusive, 5 stars, adult only resort. I am going alone and my mind is oriented towards yoga.

If you think yoga retreats are solely for people wanting to meet up, chat and practice yoga, you are mistaken. Just like my daily daily yoga, I will be alone there. 

Two practices a day requires lots of physical and mental efforts. Ashtanga yoga is a boring practice, so repetitive, strenuous for lower back and knees. The key of having a good practice twice a day is to be prepared at least a month before trip. So in July I want to have 20 yoga practices. So the successful retreat lies in combining yoga with swimming, walking, and going for a heavy lifting in a gym.

On my last vacation, on Mayan Riviera, from 14 nights I had 10 yoga practices and I felt the wish to do more. I was with my friend and his son and I went out at night, we were drink a lot and that influenced my yoga practice. I have no plans to drink this time in Punta Cana. A lot of fruits, fresh juices and lots of water is a must.

I call this trip a yoga retreat because the yoga is all I will do there. The goal of a retreat is to get in shape, mentally and physically. I have made my own schedule having in mind time to rest, nap, read, swim and take a walk.

6 a.m. - waking up
7:30 a.m. - first yoga practice (45 min)
9:00 a.m. - breakfast

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - beach and pool (swimming, walking)
1:30 p.m. - lunch 

6:00 p.m. - second yoga practice (45 min)
8:00 p.m. -  dinner

10:00 p.m. - sleep

When you read the title of this post, well, "yoga retreat", I bet the book and movie "Eat, Pray, Love" is probably what first came to your mind. Yes, the same conceit of self-discovery and awakening is here, but my yoga retreat actually is different. 

I will be alone, practicing, eating, relaxing... completely alone. In fact, it will be something new and unique for me. I have never been before on a vacation alone. And this time, I want to get away from everything, I want to deepen my practice, get in shape and get into balance.

One of the best things about this trip, aside from getting out of Toronto, is getting away from the people for 10 days. I need personal space and I will not socialize at all. I don't like to wait other people to finish their meal, spent time together talking about trivialities. 

Witnessing and being able to be alone is a wonderful feeling of freedom and calmness. And it can also be quite fun. You see things more clearly, especially your own inner states, thoughts and feelings. 

On this trip I am going with minimal amount of personal belongings. The yoga mat, 4 swimming pants, about 10 t-shirts and 2 jeans, flip flops and snickers is all that I will bring with me. There is no need for expensive shirts, shoes and other stuff, I will not go out while I am there. I am placing a special attention on the rest too, with a good 8 hours sleep at the night.

Ashtanga Guru Pattabhi Jois' most famous quote was “Practice and all is coming”. With these words, I believe he meant that by consistently practicing ashtanga yoga, truth reveals itself in time, and with truth comes a peace. The changes during practice are unnoticeable and the progress is slow but the practice is all that counts.

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