I’ve recently returned from leading a yoga retreat in Sayulita, Mexico. En route to Mexico, my luggage decided to take a detour, never to join up with me again. Alright, no problem – except that everything I needed (or so I thought) was in that suitcase. There’s nothing like showing up to a beach in pants and a sweatshirt. Although I tried to play it cool with my students, they saw through my feeble attempts. Before I knew it, the group clothed me from head to toe, matted me in sunblock and forgave me for the absence of their retreat gifts. Community had been found.
In a group of 15, it’s often a challenge to get everyone to simultaneously agree on a particular activity. To my surprise though, our entire group settled on paddle boarding in town. When we set out on water, many couldn’t find the confidence to leave the stability of their knees. The entire group was outrageously supportive and encouraging though, which eventually helped every single individual get up. As I turned back to see all of my students standing, paddling toward the horizon, I was filled with such warmth. Confidence, strength and trust had been found.
An F5 hit a suburb of Oklahoma City while we were on this retreat. Lives and homes were lost; the city was completely devastated. This event left our group feeling helpless and a bit guilty for our absence. In a state of shock, we held a candlelight meditation that night to acknowledge all affected by the tornado. Immediately following, we shared cake from a local woman and ate it on our mats. As we participated in this “breaking of bread” together, all of our differences seemed to disappear. At this moment, we had everything in common; fellowship had been found.
Our last night in Sayulita, a group of us went dancing at a local hangout. Initially, I resisted for a variety of reasons. As I often do when it comes to dancing though, I caved. Once we arrived, I quickly located some hula hoops and went to town. (Many thanks to Cara Dikes for teaching an old dog new tricks) Hooping turned into dancing and dancing turned into an evening of heart opening. It was a seriously stellar evening. Without even knowing it had been misplaced, I found my essence.
Sometimes in loss, space is created for something even more wonderful. I am incredibly grateful for my students who made this clearer to me.
“Turn me around so I can be everything I was meant to be.” – Michael Kiwanuka
Lovely picture, wonderful story. We hope everyone in Oklahoma is doing okay!