I was a happy participant in Byron Yoga Centre’s 8 day ‘New Year Renew and Revive’ retreat.
John Ogilvie founded the yoga centre in 1988. His aim was to create a sanctuary (ashram in Sanskrit) for people to come where they can connect their body, mind and spirit – in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. John’s vision is to increase the number of yogis who practice all aspects of yoga and thus making the world a better place.
The schedule for the retreat was full with yoga/mediation classes, informative talks, massages and treatments. Most days we had three yoga classes to choose from, different styles, luckily one was restorative. You could do as much or as little as you wished. We even had an impromptu aqua yoga class in the 30m heated pool. In the water we stretched our hamstrings, twisted our torso and supported each other in the Tree pose (not all of it at the same time though…).
The food at Byron Yoga Centre is Sattvic which aims to calm and purify the mind. It is delicious vegetarian with vegan and gluten free are available. Some of the vegetables are grown organically on site, instead of carbon print it takes a few footprints to get the vegies to the kitchen.
One of the highlights was the New Year’s Eve fire ceremony. A couple of days prior to it we were asked to think and write down the issues we want to let go off, baggage we don’t want to take to 2015. Once the fire was burning we released our issues by throwing the papers into the flames. Some papers stubbornly stayed outside of the reach of the fire, we had to push them in, we were all eager to let go. It was a very moving ceremony under the Australian summer stairs.
On New Year’s day we were asked to set our intentions (sankalpa in Sanskrit) for the year ahead. We visualised our ‘new’ life, what we need to change to achieve it, what are the obstacles.
I have been home from the retreat for day and a half now and cooking healthy meals and not munching between meals are presenting a problem. Who is preparing my customary 10.00 o clock fresh juice? One of the issues from last year is still pocking its head up – no one said it would be easy to let go!
I suggest you do a stocktake for 2014. Be grateful for what was good and have gratitude towards the people who helped you along the way. Make a list of the issues you do not want to carry further and have your own little burning ceremony with a candle, make sure it is safe!
Once you let go set your intentions for the year ahead. Apply some discipline to make the changes happen. Be flexible and alter your plans if required. Sometimes we over analyse things instead of listening to our gut feeling (speaking about myself now).
Photos are courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
In with the new – out with old!
Have a great year!