"This is my last retreat" and other lies I've told

I’ve declared my “last retreat” several times now. In the lead up to the event, I always feel stressed with the amount of marketing and logistics that a part of me always feels like I’ve had enough. And perhaps there is an authentic desire there to put my energy elsewhere, however, when I am actually leading the retreat, I always get shockingly and sweetly surprised at how wrong that decision would be. Every time, I get blown away by the experience. 

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There are many things I have declared and claimed that were bs. Like that I'd never open a yoga studio or I'd never run a yoga teacher training, and then something inside me gets this magnetic pull and I can't help but do it. It's as if the external world has already plotted and planned that this is what I would do and then lays it out in front of me so that all I have to say is yes. 

I will not lie to you now though, I will admit that the amount of time that goes into running a yoga retreat is huge. Setting it all up, preparing marketing material, registration, the back and forth emails and then actually running the retreat, is a lot. It is much more complex operation than you might think but I've never been afraid of a little hard work. Because that work always leads to something bigger than the sum of its parts, and this is why I can't let go of retreats, just yet. 

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What unfolds on a retreat is hard to put into words because it is something so much more than a holiday with yoga. Yes we relax, yes we do yoga, yes we eat (a lot), but then there's something else that transpires. A little family gets created. Here we are, in a far off land, maybe knowing someone, maybe not knowing anyone. And yet for one week our attention, energy, love, support, and care is fully present with these new friends. We sweat together in the morning vinyasa practice and get snoozy together in the evening yin practice. We eat together with each other's undivided attention as we start to learn of one another. We climb volcano's, swing across rice fields, get wet under waterfalls, and discover the Balinese people together. We share stories after dinner until we are dozy at the table, we experience what a day of silence feels like and celebrate the Balinese New Years, together. Organically, we start to unravel and unfold into a little family from all over the world, brought together by yoga and the Balinese land. And this is the feeling that I can't quit. To create something that wasn't there before. Would we have all met and shared these experiences together if I stopped doing the retreats? Probably not. Would I myself get to experience the dynamics of beautiful people creating meaningful relationships under the Balinese sun? Nope. Would I get to have these students as (hopefully) lifelong friends afterward? Don't think so. 

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You cannot place a value of time or money to an experience like this. So sure, maybe a retreat is a lot of work to prepare but if that work equals something that you can’t place a value to, then why wouldn’t I do it? So until I run an event that doesn't light my fire, until I no longer feel nourished by retreats, I will continue to keep creating this space for us to unfold, discover and connect. Because somehow, every time, I think it means more to me that the students themselves.

Join me on my next retreat in Bali! March 3rd - 10th, 2019 

There is no light without darkness. There is no sun without the moon. Our invitation is to learn how to live our lives without preferring one over the other. Our work to living a full, conscious life is to honor both sides and see all aspects of ourselves and the world around us. The shadow and the light. 

Join Steph for this transformative and alchemic week in the Balinese Jungle. Centered around Nyepi Day, Bali's New Year's Day, we will explore and honor the infusion and merging of the sun and the moon, the masculine and feminine, the fire and ice, the yin and yang.

Through our yoga practice, we will explore both vinyasa and yin yoga to discover the dynamic play of these two forces within our inner landscape. By celebrating the New Years Eve Festival and participating in the silent day that follows, we will see and observe the dance of the masculine and feminine in the external world as well.