Mariposa

:: Photo is the view looking up at the tree I was lying under near the lake: :
This weekend I went to a yoga retreat at Mariposa just north of Fort Worth on Eagle Mountain Lake. The setting is beautiful and serene and the style of the retreat center is something I can only describe as "cozy Zen".

Heather Alexander--who teaches restorative yoga in North Dallas--led the retreat.

I've never been to anything like this before and probably one of the most amazing things about the experience for me was the complete stepping out of time.  My whole life is lived on a clock, so it is a powerful experience to spend two whole days where time doesn't matter. 

We took yoga classes and did meditations that lasted however long they lasted.  We sat on a porch and listened to birds while drinking tea.  We took walks with no destination.  We ate whenever we were hungry (some of the the most delicious vegetarian food I've ever had). And I spent an awful lot of time under this tree just looking skyward, feeling the breeze and listening to the sound of the water.

The other women who were there were interesting, vibrant people.  Keani runs the center...and I was continually surprised by all the tiny details she'd thought of in arranging the experience.  Heather organized the program which taught us about breathing, quieting our mind and embracing our hearts.  Hailee--another yoga teacher who came for the experience--loves birds as much as I do and taught me about yoga you do with your fingers to help focus or express intention.  Cynthia and Judy are nurses.  Barbara and Rheanna, paralegals.  And Sylvie is an interior designer with a gift for life and laughter.

As I was driving home, I started thinking about the parts of the weekend I get to keep with me: everything I learned about yoga and being still; the sensory images of the lake and the center;  but most profound are the conversations that happened in the margins--when a group of people with nothing more in common than an enjoyment of yoga and a need for tranquility shared their stories and their lives for a space of 48 hours.

Luckily, there is more to come. Keani will host retreats throughout the summer, and Heather is planning another in October.  Heather--if you read this--you'd better give us all a window for priority registration.  The center only hosts small groups of 10 - 12.  I couldn't bear to miss it.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall