Friday, February 26, 2010

A Delightful and Enlightening Yoga Retreat

Came back from the Bali yoga retreat on Monday night and had such a wonderful time there. It was such an enlightening trip and the yoga retreat was all the more fun with four lovely Malaysian celebrities along.

Before the trip, I had wondered how the retreat would be like as looking at the schedule, we would need to get up at 7.30 a.m. every morning for the full yoga practice with another yoga workshop session at 5.00 pm in the evenings. I was amazed to find the high energy level as everyone came back for more each day even though our bodies were aching and sore from working our psoas (pronounced "so-az") and gluteus maximus for the yoga asanas as well as from all the walking for our shopping trips in Ubud and Kuta. We had also stayed up late most nights as we were having so much fun getting to know each other.

It was a perfect group of 10 pax with a yogini, Ade from Indonesia joining our group as Azmi was able to make the necessary adjustments that each of us needed and when we needed to partner up to do some of the poses like headstand.

The theme of the yoga retreat was “An Art of Letting Go” and there were Pranayama sessions where we learned breathing techniques which included Ujjayi, Anuloma Viloma (Nade Shuddhi) and Kapalbhati. We also started our morning practice with a 10 minute Meditation session each day which help us to find inner peace and balance before we did the full practice. For the workshops, we learned the fundamentals of grounding our foundation. balance and focus, awareness and letting go, using our breaths to help us go deeper in the poses, working our core and facing and conquering our fears. We were taught on how to use the psoas which is critical for balanced alignment, proper joint rotation and full muscular range of motion. By engaging our psoas muscle, we are able to lift our legs higher with the least effort, with our legs feeling light as it lifts up. As we use the psoas muscle all the time, it is important to keep it limber in order for it to function smoothly with the other muscle of the body to support an upright posture and a flexible lower spine and hips. When the psoas is strained or contracted, it can lead to an increase in lower back pain, knee pain and tightness in the hips and inner thighs. We should regularly engage in stretches which will help to address a tight psoas and poses such as the triangle pose, warrior poses, forward bends and bridge pose helps to awaken the psoas.

On the last day of the retreat we had a sharing session before the certificate presentation and everyone agreed that we were bringing back what we had learned at the retreat not only to our yoga practice but also to our daily life.

The retreat ended with a spa outing where we had an exhilarating full body massage to relieve the soreness in our body before it was time to leave for the airport to catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur. It was such a fantastic retreat where new friendships were made with a handsome yogi and 8 beautiful yoginis sharing the same passion of learning from a great teacher in the beautiful and enchanting island of Bali. I have all the lovely memories of the retreat entrenched in my heart.

Thank you Azmi (for your patience and guidance and opening your home to us, we had such a wonderful time there!), Erica (for enlightening us with our life paths!) Daphne, Attila, Hani, Sazzy (for all the craziness; it was such fun watching you gals doing the “whose line is it” at Induz, you are all so talented!), Bee Yen, Nick, Michelle and Ade (for just being there!). Hope to be with you all again at the next retreat!

1 comment:

azmiyogi said...

That was a very light-hearted, fun and yet sufficient description on how the retreat went. Thank you too for being such an avid passionista of yoga. Your energy will always be felt in a room.