In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

Yoga Retreat with Thomas Fortel

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Wow.  The retreat went so well.  It really did.  It’s amazing, that how, even if you don’t feel well, you can just trek onward, and it’s OK.  The best thing for this cold, was the pranayama practice, it really was.

View more retreat photos here.

We had a nice practice of a few hours Friday night at the Firehouse.  We basically settled in, and time flew by, as it often does in the yoga room.  There was a little bit of noise toward the end when we were resting.  The democratic Halloween party was starting up downstairs, but it was all good.  They backed off, we finished, a good time was had by all.

Saturday, we headed back to the Firehouse.  All of our stuff was already there, we were able to settle in quickly and enjoy a one hour practice of pranayama (breathing, in different forms).  It was totally awesome.  Something that I’m sure none of us take a full and complete hour for very often and we really should.  I like retreats like this, as a reminder of how important the breath really is.  It’s what it’s about, it’s our life force.  Thomas doesn’t do any yoga “tricks” or sorts.  He guides a steady, strong, practice with his gentle nature.  There aren’t that many surprises, it’s structured, it’s gentle and tough at the same time.  Like yoga should be, to me anyways.  After practice that evening, we enjoyed a potluck.  Not too many stuck around.  I feel some people were spent, some had traveled from afar and some didn’t want to be around people.  Completely understandable.







On sunday, we met at the new boathouse on Lake Springfield.  It’s gorgeous, it’s quiet and the sun was amazing this morning.  Just the drive out there, was so peaceful, knowing what was to come.  We adjusted to our new space, took it in, enjoyed the view of nature and started our practice.  Thomas is a seasoned astrologer (though I’ve never had a reading) I find it all extremely interesting.  He has lots of thoughts and ideas and I’m always open to anything, as we all should be.  The weekend was all about slowing down.  Odd.  How fast time flies when we’re not moving quickly. 

Sunday morning pranayama was followed by an active practice at the boathouse.  Lots of strong, standing postures, making good use of the legs.  I love half moon pose (ardha chandrasana) and we did it everyday.  I also love shoulderstand (sarvanghasana) but my head was too stuffy to enjoy it.  I took a quick headstand and that was it for inversions and me.  I wish I would’ve taken more photos, but I hate to be a distraction.  It’s a beautiful building.  Actually, both venues were stunning and I feel lucky to have been able to enjoy both places in one weekend.

People showed up that I did not know.  I love it when that happens.  My only regret, is not having time to make small conversation with all the people that I didn’t know and some of the ones I knew well, but do not see that often.  When you’re running this thing, you’re busy.  It reminded me (sort of, but not really) of my days at the video store, when lots of customers were in line.  Only, I felt much happier about standing on the other side of the counter at a yoga event.  Thomas brought some beautiful hats from one of his yoga trips to Peru.  I think most everyone bought one.  I bought two.  He also brought some cool berets from Paris.  I wish I would’ve got a photo of all the cool wordly stuff he brought with him to peddle.

Afterwards, I had a quiet lunch with a friend, went home and picked up a few walnuts.  It felt right to spend the rest of the day outside, reflecting on the weekend, nature and the small things.  My life is so much simpler than it used to be.  My house is way smaller.  Everything we have is old, but it’s paid for.  I don’t really want for a lot of things and that feels really good as well.  Retreats are good stuff and I feel extremely grounded at the moment.  Normally, I would’ve wanted to get all the photos off of my camera, work on the web site and start a “thank you” newsletter.  Nope.  Not tonight.  All I needed, was to get a few photos off of my camera, do this little journal entry, and head to bed.  Peace out.

Author: Kirsten

Student of life, mother of one kid, 2 cats, and three dogs. I take and teach yoga, enjoy reading, movies, beaches, piddling in my yard and a good glass of wine with or without company.

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