I Went to an Awakening Vision Yoga Retreat and I’m so Glad I did!
I’ve been involved in yoga for many, many years and even did 200 hour teacher training. Yoga has been important in my life, and yet I had never actually gone on a yoga retreat. Why not? I have no idea because I loved the Awakening Vision Yoga Retreat by Lauren Margolies and Stefani Tovar, two of my favorite yogis in Dallas.
Lauren and Stefani are unique yogis in my experience. Their yoga classes and workshops include sound meditation, mindful movement, and the expression of joy. I attended the Vision Awakening Yoga Retreat last weekend at Stillwater S Retreat Center in Springtown, Texas, and received much more than expected, in many different ways.
First, this retreat took place on a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Cancer. For those who know anything about the moon and its affect on tides and on our bodies, you will know that the element of water was hugely present.
On the way to the retreat, the DFW area offered up a thunderstorm of epic proportions. We had tornadoes a couple of months ago that did quite a bit of damage, so everyone was on edge. The storm was fierce, and when it hit, I was wandering around country roads in Springtown and Paradise Texas with my GPS not functioning. Roads were flooded, the lightning and thunder was so close I felt threatened. I felt sure I would be eaten by a tornado at any moment. I don’t scare easily, but I confess that I was absolutely terrified. The rain was coming down in sheets, and it was as dark as night on the roads. Seeing lightning strikes nearby did not help my state of mind. I kept telling myself to be calm, to calm down.
When GPS came back, it led me to the address but there was nothing there. Of course, in remote areas wifi and GPS are not exact or present all of the time. I had just about decided to go home when I came upon the gates of the Stillwater S Retreat Center. My relief was immense, but it took a while to shake off the drive. Our welcome was warm, and after settling in I walked over to the dining and yoga area.
I didn’t know anyone except the teachers, but I did see familiar faces. I’m sure I have seen some of the people in classes and workshops. We enjoyed a nice dinner with options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters, followed by gentle yoga and meditation. Now, I’m always a little nervous around people I don’t know, but everyone was very friendly. We heard about our weekend schedule, which included vision boarding, an activity I had never participated in before.
What is Vision Boarding you ask? Well, a vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life. Check out this article on Huffington Post: The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One.
Saturday morning began with Yoga, meditation, breakfast, and the beginning of making a vision board. Instead of images, I was mostly drawn to words, which makes sense since I love and revere the written word. Magazines were strewn around the room, and everyone looked and began cutting what they were drawn to. I brought magazines, mostly travel and diving based, and I put them in the general melee.
It was fascinating to watch people, and to see what they were drawn to. Some concentrated on a single goal, others, like me, had many things represented. One image I wanted was of a wild moose. Ask and you shall receive!
Why mention the photo of a moose on my vision board? For a very important reason. One of the gentlemen at the retreat approached me the last morning of the retreat. He held in his arms a gorgeous blanket with a moose design. Telling me that he had purchased the blanket in Aspen, he told me he wanted to make a gift of it to me, if I would receive it from him. I was stunned. How many times in our lives does a stranger ask you to accept a gift from them? My first instinct was to say no, that it was too lovely, that he should keep it, but he was completely sincere in his desire to give me the moose blanket. I accepted it. I have to tell you that I cried, the kindness touched me deeply, and the truth is, I have trouble accepting gifts whether they are tangible or intangible. I am almost always the giver, and it is a role that I love because giving makes me happy. This incident showed me how uncomfortable I am with receiving. ( I have been the recipient of great generosity, don’t get me wrong. We have wonderful people in our lives.) When he gave me a gift, from his loving heart, for no other reason than kindness, I dissolved into tears. I cry just to think of it. It means much more than the simple act of giving a gift, my heart is full, and I am digging into myself to see why this act of kindness had such a dramatic effect on me. The kindness of a virtual stranger has given me a gift much larger than a blanket.
So, have you ever made a vision board? I highly recommend it!
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