Refreshed from the fall yoga retreat

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We are refreshed from a lovely week in the north country, on our annual Fall Retreat. Upon arrival at Camp du Nord, we had gorgeous sunny days in the mid-70’s, Lake Burntside was cool, calm and clear, the birch trees golden, and the last of the maples were brilliant hues of crimson and burnt orange. Being in nature- away from the noise and pace of the city- has a profound effect on the mind, nervous system and heart. It is easy to forget how greatly we shape and are shaped by our environment. Much like traveling to a foreign country gives greater insight into your homeland, being on retreat brings incredible clarity to our daily lives- how they are shaped by our choices, needs and desires, and what is of real importance.

With full yoga practices in the mornings, we spent the rest of our yoga time working through a process laid out by one of our teachers, Rod Stryker, in his new book “The Four Desires”. Based around the Vedic teaching that “Our life is the product of our deepest driving desires”, we examined the universal human search for dharma (purpose), artha (prosperity), kama (joy) and moksha (freedom), and how these shape the course of our lives. Through teachings, journaling, meditation and group work, students explored how they aspire to each of these universal desires, and what limiting tendencies prevent them from being fully realized. Just as when we had completed this work in ‘The Yoga of Fulfillment”, I was inspired by the universality of the teachings, the personal relevance, and their potential to be a catalyst for transformation in those who were fully open to the process.

After four days of deep internal yoga, hiking, paddling, sauna, and eating and living with like minded yogis, most seemed cracked open. Less interested in the life of survival mode, and more compelled to a life of thriving. It has been said that what is necessary to realize any goal is that the desire for its realization and the energy we put into it, must be greater than the resistance that holds us back. As always, it is the continual balance
of harnessing what we can control (abhyasa), and letting go of trying to control that which we cannot (vairagya). Desire is an extremely powerful force. As humans, we can elucidate our desires through contemplative practice, and channel their power for a greater purpose. Even in challenging social and economic times – especially in periods of great transition, we have great capacity to shape our lives, our destinies, and the world we share.

Be bold. Be conscious. Be well.
Angela & Ben

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