Day 1 & 2: Mount Madonna Yoga Retreat

Technically, our first day of our 3 month yoga retreat of karma selfless service and yoga started yesterday. We arrived mid-day, driving up the mountain along this crazy narrow winding path / roadway that was ensconced by towering redwood trees. It was magical and quite scary (with the hurtling traffic flowing downward, NOT hugging the curves as we were) to be hypnotically drawn to the place of our homestead for the next 3 months. Mount Madonna, a yoga retreat tucked away amidst the beauty of the redwood forest, overlooking Monterey Bay from a 2000 foot stance. Our view is unbelievably gorgeous. How lucky are we! I have to keep pinching myself every time: I glance down from the mountain and take in a breathtaking California coastal sunset; I am surrounded by glorious nature that psychologically hugs me as I wind my way through the many Redwood forest trails; I am blessed to eat lovingly-created organically grown local vegetarian foods that fill my body with nourishment and love; and so much more. Right now I need these heart-warming moments. I am so sick …. I believe it’s the flu, and boy is it ever heavy, painful and debilitating. My body quakes with each hacking cough, my sinuses are overflowing and my voice is husky and barren as I whisper my way through communicating to new-found friends in the YSC program. I’m trying not to let this drag me down amidst all this amazing goodness and vitality. I’m fighting it with all that I can muster, holistically and with much attention!

This morning I practiced my first daily ritual of Dinacharya. A daily cleansing of sorts with skin brushing, sesame seed oiling, tongue cleansing and all that goes with the healing benefits of nurturing and preparing my body for a day of yoga, service and healing.

What an incredible 3 month journey this will be … I’m so excited at the beginnings we’ve started to create within our work community. My 24 hour work week schedule is perfect in all ways. We start this on Friday after our final training tomorrow.

Here’s hoping that my cough recedes and I can participate in the 2 hr morning asana, pranayama and meditation practice (all before 8:30am). Yay! Time to load up on the ginger-lemon-honey tea and make my way to bed. 5am comes early for me!

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