For the last 7 months I’ve been working on my 300 hour yoga certification. Each month we do a long-weekend intensive. Two of those are 5 day retreats somewhere fabulous, for us to bond, practice our yoga teaching skills, and work on ourselves. January 10th was the date for our second retreat, and we decided to forego the mountains of Northern California (the location of our first yoga retreat) and we opted for the ocean town of Newport, Oregon.
Bright and early on Wednesday morning we set off for LAX. Michelle our organizer extraordinaire (and the photographer behind some of the pics in this blog) had a shuttle to pick us all up and we arrived at LAX for our morning flight with 45 minutes to spare. Driving to LAX is nightmare at the best of times but add on morning commuters and it can quickly turn into a nightmare. So glad we opted for a shuttle and not to drive ourselves! Thankfully I planned ahead and had some documentaries to watch on my iPad, as the small plane offered zero entertainment aside from people watching.
Destination Newport, Oregon
After getting our car and starting our journey to Newport, everyone began exclaiming how beautiful and green Oregon was. Now let me remind readers that I am originally from England. That little island where it’s cold, grey and raining a lot of time. Guess what Oregon reminded me of? England! We landed to cold, damp and grey skies. However, yes it was beautifully lush and green with trees that followed deep onto the horizon.
VRBO beach house
After a short stop for some food we found our VRBO location and settled in. The house was amazing and beautifully decorated with 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, and a hot tub. Plus it was a literal stones throw from the beach, and a short walk to the local grocery stores, which made it very conveniently located. Honestly, I fell in love with it, and it very quickly became a home from home.
Schedule and events
The next 5 days passed in a blur. It’s always amazing how quickly these yoga training retreats fly by. We had intimate chats over breakfast in the morning while planning our days events. Mornings were usually lectures, or a hike to the lighthouse and surrounding woodland parks. Afternoons were lectures and practicum followed by dinner and a documentary about Indian culture. We managed to squeeze in a couple of walks on the beach also, and as the beach is my happy place I was in heaven having it so close by.
Doesn’t sound like a Yoga retreat?
When people think of “yoga retreat” I’m sure they imagine a bunch of women in yoga pants and sports bras getting their bendy poses on. The reality is that yoga practice is mainly done on the other 23 hours OFF the mat. This is done in the hours you spend reflecting on who you are, and more importantly who you want to become. It is the part self study that is usually done in small group setting (in our case sometimes sitting around in your pajamas) and allowing yourself to open up and be vulnerable. This is the work that cannot be done alone, it needs a witness, compassion, understanding, love, and above all support, knowing you are not alone on this journey.
5 days goes by fast
Coming home from these trips is always bitter sweet. While I loved our beach house, and the ocean, by day 4 I was missing Bob, Pixel and my home comforts. Yoga retreats are invigorating, inspiring and motivational. This trip was no different, honestly I’d say it was the best one so far as we’d spent 7 months bonding together as a group and now we are completely comfortable opening up and sharing our self doubts, fears and potential for growth. By day 4 that motivation was beginning to bubble, and I quickly found myself wanting to return home and take action. Thanks for an amazing 5 days Oregon, I’m sure I’ll be back someday.
Have you been to Oregon?
Would you go on a yoga retreat?
What’s your preferred method of self-improvement?