Yoga with Rebecca Santillo

Yoga Instructor


Winter Retreat

Posted on February 9, 2018 at 3:10 PM

Words can not even begin to explain how good I feel right now. I feel light, free, joyous. I feel creative, clear, and energized.

What's my secret?

A one day retreat.

Maybe you're like me and you tend to get the winter blues. Not full on depressed, just stagnant, melancholy. Ok, maybe a little depressed. The shorter days and more time spent inside takes a toll. You try to negate this low energy with more caffeine. And maybe just one donut to go with your iced coffee. Your diet is so poor, you think your body might actually reject a piece of fruit. You pour the second glass of wine or maybe, because it's the weekend, a third. And before you know it, in addition to the winter blues, you are a few pounds overweight. Ok, maybe like 10. Fine, 15.

Maybe you're like me and you are on a device allllllll the time. When I'm not on my phone, I'm on my iPad. When I'm on my iPad, the TV is blaring in the background. You are checking feeds, posting, liking, sending, emailing nearly every moment of your day. And then there's the news. Screaming heads on cable news, fake news in your social media feeds, and NPR News in your car. And just when I thought I couldn't handle much more, here came the onslaught of #metoo. As a survivor of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, it was all just too much. From Roy Moore, to Matt Lauer, to the USA Olympic team women and girls were under assault.

So here I was. Depressed. Overweight. Emotionally exhausted. Physically depleted. Inundated with noise. Desperately trying to distract myself from myself. And as a yoga teacher, feeling empty and unable to give my students what they needed. I needed to get away.

I desperately needed silence and introspection. My body needed yoga, to melt in a sauna, the healing power of a massage and to chant and dance during kirtan. I needed to sit in meditation and watch my flow of thoughts come and go. I craved to be the student, learning new ideas and different techniques. One day without devices and hearing or reading the word "Trump."  Twenty-four hours that included nourishing food eaten in a slow, mindful way and a long walk in the crisp mountain air. One day of tears, reading and journaling.

Upon my return, I continued in "retreat" mode. I kept the devices off. I cooked a healthy dinner (no wine!) and enjoyed a long conversation with my husband, catching up. I cuddled my dogs. I read. I journaled.  I created a schedule for the next day that included yoga time, meditation time and device time, among other things. I went to bed early and woke up with the sun, feeling blissful and rejuvenated. 

With my creative juices flowing I decided on the theme of the next weekend retreat I will be hosting.  There will be yoga, of course, but I want to focus on meditation. I'm thinking mindful hikes, mala making and space for you to find clarity, compassion and creativity. Stay tuned....

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