Wow, what a magical weekend we have just enjoyed on the beautiful island of Herm for the annual Spring Beinspired Yoga & Wellbeing Retreat. The weather was just perfect, bright sunshine and clear skies, which was an absolute blessing on an already blessed weekend!
The yoga took place in the conservatory of the White House Hotel with beautiful views of the sea and Guernsey in the distance, it was particularly fabulous for those of us who had the chance to witness the setting sun on Friday and Saturday evenings during class, let alone the little robin that kept popping up outside.
Our mornings began early and a hardcore bunch of us, 8 on the Saturday and 7 on the Sunday, braved a swim in the sea at 7am. It was a little cool to say the least but a fabulous way to wake us up with lots of laughter and some screaming and prepare us for the morning yoga class and indeed day ahead!
The morning classes were active in nature and and I enjoyed witnessing all those amazing partnered backbends on the Saturday, and the room full of birds of paradise and crocodiles on the Sunday morning - well in mind if not in body!! The Saturday afternoon restorative class was just that, an opportunity to consciously rest and restore after such active days - we were awash with pillows and props, it was very comfy indeed!!
I was impressed with those of you who joined JP and Debbi for the led run at 12pm on the Saturday and then went on to do the guided walk with Herm Guide, Lesley Bailey, on the Saturday afternoon and then had energy for the chanting and evening session! Some enjoyed the opportunity to chill out instead and I know many of you floated out of the treatment sessions with Hayley Le Marquand (holistic massage), Grace Galliott (reflexology) and Sean Harvey (Reiki), and others learned a little more about yourselves with Sophie Shand's food intolerance testing.
The Mermaid did us proud with the yummy vegetarian food, no doubt a welcomed break for many of us who cook for families on a daily basis, and even for those who don't. I know not everyone is a fan of vegetarian food but hopefully the weekend showed that it can be rather filling and tasty, to say nothing of its energetic content, but don't get me started on that just now!
Sion and his team at the Hotel were as amazing as always, making us feel very welcome, with a roaring fire and clean, warm and tidy bedrooms, some with balconies and the most amazing views out to sea and across to Guernsey. Mum made sure the snacks were constantly available so no one went hungry although she over catered as usual so we have lots of yummy snacks to eat the next few days!
Personally I loved being able to share the joy of Herm and the joy of yoga with participants. There's something rather magical and uplifting about being on Herm, it's my favourite Island in the whole wide world, you just can't help feeling that little bit more connected to nature and it provides a massive opportunity to slow life right down and see the bigger picture again.
As for the yoga, well I just love sharing as much as I can in all the classes and to enjoy pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, asana (postures), relaxation, Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation), restorative yoga and chanting. its all optional, but this year everyone was very dedicated and clearly keen to depend their experience of yoga on and off the mat.
The combination of Herm and retreating with yoga is not only healing and transformative but uplifting, energising, grounding and centring. Amazing! I am quite sure that the attendees all returned to Guernsey yesterday in an expanded state of consciousness, so that things seemed lighter, brighter and clearer. I have no doubt that they also felt a little bit more energised and calmer, stronger, centred and more open hearted than when they left Guernsey on Friday. Its magical really.
I'm very grateful to all who joined me and gave so beautifully of themselves with their energy, humour and ability to just go with the flow of things. Thank you. x
[there are more photos on the Beinspired Yoga Facebook community page if you would like to have a look]x