This past weekend I brought one of my favorite yoga teachers to town. This marks the third year Thomas Fortel has visited our area and it’s been a real treat every single time.
We’d originally planned to meet at OTC so we wouldn’t disrupt our meditation group that meets on Saturday mornings. But I had a last minute change of heart. Our group was smaller this year and the space at OTC was gigantic. And we didn’t just have one space reserved over there, we had two. The other space was reserved for our catered lunch.
We moved to the studio with no regrets. The feeling at the studio was amazing and everyone agreed. We settled in on Friday evening with pranayama, soft spinal twisting and restorative postures. That evening pretty much set the tone for the rest of the weekend, which was slow, steady and quiet.
On Saturday we enjoyed over a full hour of meditation and breathing. This is the total treat of the whole weekend. The quiet and the focus that happens when meditating in a group field is amazing. When the lights come up, everyone is so relaxed. Eyes are wet and black with mascara that’s left the lashes and bed hair is abundant. And the best part is that no one cares that they look this way. After that we eased into an active asana practice for a couple of hours. We took in some partner work, inversions and vinyasas.
After our active practice we enjoyed a catered and extremely healthy lunch. Candi Davis, caterer extraordinairre, served us some wonderful yogi wraps, quinoa salad, white beans with butternut squash and fruit with an assortment of hot teas. We took in gluten free brownies and raspberry oatmeal bars with our tea as our after lunch sweet. She brought all glass dishes, cloth napkins and real silverware and carted it away afterwards. It felt very good knowing we had no trash or extra clean up on our part. I have her number if you want it. She really puts her heart in the meal and you can taste it.
On Sunday we all arrived at the studio happy and a bit sad to know this was our last day together. We engaged in that quiet group field again for over an hour. After that Thomas stepped it up a notch with a very active practice including inversions followed by a much shorter relaxation. As always, there were a couple of people that showed up that I’d never met and that’s always really cool. It’s work getting all of this together and happening. It takes more than just me and I am so thankful for the help that I receive in order to make this event and others happen. View more photos here.
There’s something about really diving in for more than an hour or two that soothes the soul. I’m still receiving positive feedback and I would really like to thank those that chose to spend their weekend in this way. Thanks Thomas, for giving us a wonderful retreat and we know we’ll see you next year if not before.
Kirsten and Thomas on Sunday at the end of the retreat.