Hello my loves
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go on a three day yoga retreat in the North York Moors, run by Emma Leaf and Ryan Smith. I had been wanting to go on a yoga retreat for such a long time and I can honestly say that I am a changed woman. If you are considering going on a yoga retreat then please do! My entire perspective of my life and the world has transformed for the better in just the space of one weekend. Everybody I met there is incredibly inspiring and beautiful, with life stories to share that really make you think. I’ve connected with strangers in a way that humans never really do anymore. I feel stronger, more empowered and I have the knowledge that no matter how tough life gets, it does go on and always works out well if you are determined enough to let it.
I arrived on the Friday afternoon, where I was instantly welcomed into the group. I popped upstairs to find my room (I was sharing with the lovely Chloe – a yoga teacher from Manchester), where I was greeted it’s a face mask kit, some yummy goodies and an om yoga magazine. After getting o know the group and relaxing in the sunshine with some fresh juice, we had an opening circle of chanting, meditation and a yoga practice focusing on the 3 gunas – tamas, rajas and sattva. These are most easily understood as forms of energy within us. I love learning so delving deeper into my yoga practice focusing on not only my physical body but my inner being was very insightful and rewarding.
Following our opening yoga practice, we were provided with a delicious vegan meal. I’ve never eaten vegan properly before but the food was so healthy and varied and I feel like my entire body really did get a full on detox. Before bed, it was time for deep relaxation and yoga nidra which is an experience like no other, instruments are used to create sounds in a deep meditative sleep like state and the strange thing is that the sounds feel like they are within your head, rather than externally in the room around your body.
Saturday morning began with a vinyasa flow yoga session before breakfast. The sun was shining beautifully so our session took place outdoors, surrounded by lush green countryside and blue skies. Yoga first thing is honestly the best way to wake up and I felt like it had set me up for the day ahead, like I could take on the world. After more yummy food for breakfast, we had out first spin art class outside! Ryan set up his spinning machines and showed us how to create our work, then it was time to throw paints and inks onto some paper and spin it round to create unique and mesmerising artwork. I really enjoyed the spin art, it was therapeutic and meditative whilst simultaneously being fun and creative.
Free time in the afternoon meant that a few of us popped into Hutton-Le-Hole village to pay a visit to the Ryedale Folk Museum. The museum was vast and we had just about enough time to get around the whole thing. I love museums and I feel like they are a window to the past – seeing how humans used to live in their village communities and how their way of life has shaped today’s social world and interactions. Of course by the time we got back it was time for partner acro yoga. We did this in groups of four and it was so so much fun. I’d never done acro or partner yoga before and it is definitely something I would love to try again in the future. Yoga was followed by food and another yoga nidra session before bed.
Sunday went by like a flash. A vinyasa flow sequence took place before breakfast (in the barn due to cold rainy British weather), followed by another spin art class, this time using canvases which were so much better at absorbing the inks and paints and some beautiful pieces were created by the group, we even did two altogether just throwing as much colour as possible onto the canvas to see what would happen. The result was a representation of the whole weekend, all kinds of people mixing together in the shared joy of yoga and meditation, sitting back and letting life happen and being present, getting lost in the moment and creating memories. We then had a closing circle where we each shared a positive word about our time together, it was truly wonderful.
In total, we had 4 yoga classes, 2 yoga Nidra classes, 2 spin art classes and 5 vegan meals. It was a wonderfully peaceful weekend and gave me a total break and detox from my everyday busy life. I loved it and will 100% go on another yoga retreat in the future. If you are thinking of going on one, DO IT.
Thank you for reading,
Peace and Love xo
*disclaimer* – not all of these photos were taken by me, most of them were not.