December 2, 2012

In Which I Go On a Yoga Retreat

You'll have to forgive the length of this post, but I wanted to get this out there for all those who helped pay for it. Just so you can see what a wonderful experience all this was for me.

I flew out to Santa Barbara on Friday (from Wichita to Chicago to LA to Santa Barbara) and caught a taxi from the airport up the side of the mountain (don't know the name of the mountain range), where I was greeted with this:

Gorgeous, no? The center is nestled at the top of a canyon, and you can pretty much see all the way down to the ocean from there. It was so... peaceful. And nice.

Because I was there early, I got the pick of my yurts, and I picked one down in the "yurt village". It was a bit of a hike back up the hill (mountains! hills! We don't have those in Kansas!), so I would pack a backpack with everything I needed for the day, and head up once. It seemed to work.

My yurt! I ended up  not having to share, which was nice, actually. Especially since I was still on central time, and crashed really early on Saturday night.
We will pause a moment to admire the yurt village's toilet:
And the view from said toilet
Yes, even going to the bathroom was an incredible experience.
So. We had a yoga class on Friday night, an unwindy thing, then some lovely vegetarian meal, cooked by our amazing German cook, Beatrix:
(She always explained things beforehand.) And then we sat in a circle and introduced ourselves. 
Saturday was more yoga (well, it was a yoga retreat!), and now's as good of time as any to show you the amazing instructor/yogi, Kent:
Seriously. He was kind, funny, adaptable to our needs, and encouraging. I wish we had more like him out here.   
Then, after some more amazing food (including the best. soup. ever.)
a group of us went on a hike led by the center's maintenance/jack-of-all-trades guy.

This was Jess, an English teacher from Prescott, Arizona. We got along swimmingly.

Then, on Sunday, we listened to a talk/had a discussion with Ganga, the guy who founded the center:
It was all very interseting; I really appreciated his/the center's philosophy toward yoga -- it was very practical, open, and not hokey at all. (Though we did do some om chanting, and I have decided that I would like more singing in my yoga practice. It was quite cool.) And, then after more yoga, we ate more yummy food
(The group of women I ended up sitting with and talking to most meals. From left: Karen, Margo, Jess, Jerry, Terri and me.)

And said our goodbyes.

From there, I headed down into Santa Barbara. An on-line friend, Cathy (who happens to be an old college friend of Hubby's) drove down from her home outside of Fresno, picked me up from the center, and we headed down to the ocean front. We ate some Mexican food (I had mahi mahi fajitas, which were pretty good), talked an awful lot, went down to the warf, and spent too much (well, I did, anyway) at some quirky local stores.  It was a wonderful way to end the weekend!

The hotel Hubby arranged for me.

That's Cathy. We had a nearby security guard snap this one.

The bums in Santa Barbara were quite creative in their panhandling.

This is the one that got my money, though:

The view from my balcony.
Do I look relaxed and happy?
It was an incredible thing, a wonderful birthday present. Thanks to all who helped make it possible! (And to Hubby who organized the whole thing and manned the fort here at home. He's a great husband!)  


Amira said...

The whole thing looks amazing. I'm so glad you were able to go.

Corinne said...

So, SO glad it was wonderful. You deserve it :)