Heather Alexander's fall retreat at Mariposa.
It is so amazing to me how a group of strangers can become great friends just through the love of a shared activity. This can happen on a flag football field, at an art class, or at a beautiful yoga retreat by a lake.
Everything about Mariposa is both lovely and cozy. From the comfy couches around the fireplace to the dining room with a view of the sunset to the candlelit yoga studio, everything is designed to be far, far away from our high-pressure day-to-day.
The lack of clocks and schedule is amazing to me, yet still there is a rhythm. Waking, yoga sessions, meals, sleep...all create a flow. And that warm sisterhood formed by a love of yoga creates as much beauty as the setting.
As we were sitting around a fire outside on Saturday night, I was thinking about the things that make each woman special. Sylvie is the epitome of joie de vivre (appropriate since she is French). Cynthia is a calm, quiet spirit (probably forged through her work as a nurse and having two sets of twins). Lorna has deep compassion...the person who rescued all the injured animals as a child and worked to make sure they were loved. Jane is beautiful....lovely complexion, soft gray hair and a light in her eyes. And of course, Heather who brings us all together with a belief that yoga can change lives--which is good, since it is actually pretty hard to make a living as a yoga teacher...
Of course, one of the most wonderful parts was spending three days actually doing yoga. Some of the sessions were outside and others at the studio inside. And in between we hung out on the porch, drank hot tea and read Yoga Journal magazine as Sylvie worked to figure out how to do the really really hard poses (and in some cases talked Heather into demonstrating.)
If the idea of a retreat is to step away into something different, then Mariposa offers just that. A different setting, rhythm and friends just for a weekend. It was perfectly wonderful and restorative.