port aransas

What I Learned at Our Yoga Retreat

Last week’s Yoga Retreat was such a great growth experience… for me. Don’t get me wrong, after 4 years doing this, I’ve gotten pretty good at organizing a retreat. And Angela, Stacy, and I prepared our hearts out to deliver interesting and relevant content to our participants.

The logistics were fine and everything went (pretty much) according to plan, but the difference this year is that for the first time, I was able to check out every once in a while to recharge my own batteries.

When we come back from our retreats, people always ask me, “How did it go?! Did you have fun?!” and “How was your vacation?!” And the truth is that it is fun, but it’s also a lot of work. There’s a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.

And this year, maybe because I’m more experienced at running a retreat, or maybe because I’ve grown in my personal practice, or maybe because we had three teachers instead of two, or maybe because of all these reasons, I was able to take some breaks.

I spent quiet time drinking tea and reading on my balcony. I took a nap. I hung out on the beach. Initially I felt a little guilty not being present with the retreat participants every single minute, but then I realized I was doing both me and them a favor. By taking care of myself, I could do a better job teaching and facilitating discussions with them. My brain was sharper, I was a better listener, I was more dialed in.

This reminds me of a story I shared at the retreat. When I worked at HP many years ago, I had a French manager. She was a very smart lady and a gifted leader. She had a unique philosophy for our team: She wanted us to NOT be busy 100% of the time. She wanted us to have downtime so that we could think and dream and de-stress and recharge our batteries. At that time I thought it was pretty cool and revolutionary. Now, I realize she was teaching us good self care.

And that’s why this retreat was such an important growth experience for me. For the first time, I experienced first hand, with immediate consequence, the result of checking out and taking a short, deep rest. It’s made me rethink my whole over-scheduled existence. It’s even made me ponder the quantity of my children’s extra-curricular activities.

Our society values productivity and accomplishment over everything else, but what about happiness, contentedness, peacefulness, and enjoyment of life? Just like everything, there needs to be a balance. (Just like in the Yoga asana practice - a balance of effort and ease.)

So I’m going to keep an eye out for myself. I’m going to pay attention to when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and I’m going to look for an opportunities to take breaks. I’m going to look over my schedule and make sure there’s a balance of work and rest. And I’m going to plan a week at the beach, this time for my family, so that we can have a good dose of downtime before the school year starts up again.

I’d love to hear about how you keep an eye out for yourself (or how you’re going to start!). How do you create a balance of effort and ease in your life?

zelinda hat XO, Zelinda


Why You Need a Vacation

This summer I’m looking forward to a couple of good getaways. In recent years I’ve gotten much better at taking real breaks, getting out of my house and away from my day-to-day responsibilities. I even (reluctantly) took a break from my kids for Spring Break this year, and you know what? It was the best break ever. I got good sleep for the first time in years and my mind became sharper and more creative. I caught up on a lot of work. I felt balanced and peaceful.

I’ve learned that there is HUGE value in taking a break and claiming some time just for yourself. It’s an opportunity to let go of stress you may not even know you’re carrying around. It’s an opportunity to HAVE FUN. It’s an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. It’s an opportunity to spark your creativity. It’s an opportunity for peace and quiet so you can nurture your dreams. It’s an opportunity to get clarity about situations in your life, then become inspired to take action.

Beach Rules

With all these benefits in mind, I have two trips planned (so far) this summer.

One is a week-long getaway to South Padre Island with my husband and our good friends. My parents (bless them!) are keeping all three of our kids for the first half of the week so we can relax and enjoy some adults-only time.

The second getaway is the studio’s Renewing Your Spirit Yoga Beach Retreat in July. And while the retreat is technically “work” for me, there will still be a lot of opportunity to relax and have fun.

I’m looking forward to stepping out of the car and being enveloped in the warm gulf breeze that makes hair styling products and appliances obsolete and makeup melt right off your face. Yay! No need to worry about hair or make up for a few days!

I’m looking forward to a whole schedule designed for wellness. Lots of yoga, lots of downtime, lots of fun activities with like-minded folks.

I’m looking forward to spending time with and getting to know these like-minded folks. Folks who lead busy, interesting lives and who have chosen to take some time off for their health and well-being. I love hanging out with like-minded folks because they invariably provide inspiration for some aspect of my own life.

Have you thought about joining us at the retreat? It’s going to be awesome. We’ll be staying in two and three bedroom condos at the La Mirage Resort. It’s a nice, but not too fancy, venue right on the beach. You can choose to have your own room or have a roommate.

You and your condo-mates will prepare most of your meals in your full kitchen, so every person can make sure their dietary needs are met. You’ll also have a living space, a dining space, and a large balcony. The resort features two pools, three hot tubs, two saunas, a basketball and volleyball court, daily maid service, washers and dryers in each unit, shaded barbecue pits and picnic tables, and much more!

Angela and I are looking forward to offering daily yoga classes in our own signature styles. Angela, with her light-hearted, easy-going, anatomy-focused classes, and me, with my therapeutic and methodical (but fun!), highly customized classes.

On the first and last days we’ll have one class per day, and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, you can choose to attend any or all of the two classes and one workshop that we’ll offer. All classes will be held in the La Mirage meeting room, which is a large indoor space that overlooks both the beach and the pool and features large windows and wood floors.

When we’re not practicing yoga, we have fun activities planned for daytime and nighttime. For daytime, we’ll hunt seashells (I know a great spot!), compete at building sandcastles, and take a ferry to explore a nearby private island. In the evenings we can go on a nighttime beach walk with flashlights to look for crabs (it’s fun, I promise!), enjoy a beach campfire, or have dinner in town.

If the day’s scheduled event isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a ton of other Port A activities you might try. You can find a long list of options on our retreat page. We designed the itinerary to provide lots of options and flexibility so that each person can create a schedule that suits their interests.

The retreat is a full 10 weeks away, and we’re already at over 35% of capacity. We anticipate a rush just before the Early Bird Discount expires on May 31st. If you’re interested in joining us, please register soon to reserve your spot and secure your desired bedroom configuration.

We’ve set up an easy payment plan, so you only need to pay the deposit to hold your spot and take advantage of the Early Bird Discount, then you can pay the balance by July 1st.

This retreat is a really special opportunity to focus on your health, wellness, and happiness. You’ll experience the enormous value in taking a some time off just for yourself. You’ll gain peace, calm, clarity, and perhaps most importantly, inspiration to make positive changes in your life. I hope you can join us!

Beach Retreat 2014 XO, Zelinda

P.S. If you'd like to attend the retreat with your non-yogi friend, family member, spouse, or partner, ask us about our special non-yogi rates :)