The Central Iowa Yoga Retreat is a day for yoga. It’s a day to ground in community, to grow your knowledge, and to let curiosity bloom.
Martha and I bundled up on a very snowy morning in early January, and drove to the Hotel Pattee in Perry Iowa. Lopso, the resident dog greeted us warmly at the back door. His name complements the fact that he had three legs, making him lopsided. He became a caring presence to us and the students. Lopso wandered in and out of our session, and paused only for his hotdog lunch.
Carol Spaulding-Kruse had asked us to facilitate three hours of yoga with Drake students during a J-Term class, focusing on the intersection of yoga and writing. We focused our session on Hanuman, the monkey-faced god of the Hindu myths. Even though Hanuman’s story is centuries old, its lessons are still relevant today. The Ramayana is one of India’s most popular myths. In it Ram asks Hanuman to complete several difficult and challenging tasks, that he believes are impossible. Each and every time, Hanuman tells himself that he cannot accomplish such enormous tasks, and yet, he always does. He’s been telling himself a story that simply wasn’t true.
As we told Hanuman’s story, we asked the students to consider the stories they tell themselves. Martha and I urged them to note which stories are true, and which are not. Sometimes in our minds, we tell ourselves stories like, “I’m not funny” or, “I’m too shy.” Because the stories aren’t always true, necessary, or helpful, they limit our capacity to experience our full humanity. We told the Drake students some stories we’ve told ourselves, and how they’ve not always been helpful, true, or necessary.
Yoga asks us to occupy space, to relish in the full capacity of our humanity. Hanuman reminds us we can do hard–even impossible–things, even when we’ve been telling ourselves we can’t.
We’re less than six months out from the 11th annual Central Iowa Yoga Retreat. Check out the early bird pricing now through November 26th, 2022! We can’t wait to see you all there!
Whether we need to run away, stand up for ourselves, or have a good cry, rushing away from “bad” feelings might keep us from experiencing life in a healthy way.
And now you know that “cool as a cucumber” really IS cool–20 degrees cooler than the temperature outside the cucumber. This made cucumbers the perfect STEAM snack on a hot Iowa day!
It’s hard to believe, but some people say our smallest actions have an effect on our world; it sure can’t hurt to develop a positive relationship between our minds and our bodies.
We can return home to the basics whenever we’re ready to revel in their joy–we can stand outside with our toes in the grass, we can watch the clouds pass by, we can balance in tree pose and remember.