Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday Agglomeration- Spring Yoga Retreat :)

This week yoga was on my mind.  It is always on my mind, but this week in particular because of the yoga retreat I went to this past weekend at the White Lotus Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, CA.  It was beautiful and amazing!  It changes you.  To get away from facebook, twitter, TV, texting, and just technology in general is a great sensation.  You are forced to look at your surroundings, and more importantly, yourself. Samantha and Alexis were our group leaders.  They are both amazing people!  If you ever get a chance you need to do a retreat with Samantha and Alexis (  They were extremely encouraging and inspiring.

Sometimes life is funny how it all works out.  The past few months I have been feeling stuck.  The only way I can truly describe it is that I feel like I'm running really fast, but I'm not moving anywhere.  I am just suspended while I run and watch everyone pass by me.  It is a horrible feeling.  This retreat came at a perfect time in my life.  I've had a lot on my mind.  I have been thinking about my personal goals as an artist, illustrator, author, and teacher.  Changes are happening at work...bitter sweet changes, but it has put my personal growth into perspective. I have different goals for each aspect of my life and many times they are not leading towards the same path.  I have also, been thinking about my divorce.  It happened three years ago, but clearly there was something unfinished since I was dreaming about my ex.  I had no intentions of dealing with any of these thoughts on the retreat.  I didn't know what to expect other than doing some yoga, and enjoying the scenery, but the events only brought those thoughts to the surface and confirmed what I have known to be true in my heart.  On the last day of the retreat, we had to select a mediation card with our eyes closed before our yoga practice.  This is the card I picked up.

I have always told people that my divorce was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  I'm not saying my ex was horrible because he isn't.  We were just really wrong for each other.  But that was the critical moment in my life that became the rock that fell into the water and created a multitude of ripples.  Those ripples were guitar lessons, fitness kickboxing, attempt at surfing, running, cooking, my master's degree, illustrating, children's book writing, yoga, blogging, gardening, and rediscovering my love for simple things like sunsets, the beach, waves crashing, trees, rain, and walking in the rain.  It took getting lost in order to find myself again, but walking backwards sometimes is the best way to see yourself with new eyes.  It has been an amazing journey so far.

The retreat challenged me physically.  We did a lot of partner yoga, some acrobatic yoga (which was probably my favorite), and we danced.  I haven't danced in such a long time. It was a lot of fun!

 I did poses I would have never thought was possible for me to do.

My best friend sitting on me like a chair.
I'm doing a shoulder stand on my friend's knees.
A few weekends ago, I had talked with my illustrator's group about feeling stuck.  I told them that at this point I was just playing with drawings until I was inspired.  They agreed that I should just continue being creative because it could help inspire me. One of the illustrators loved my Mizzle yoga pin that I made from the Shrink-a-Dink paper.  She recommended that I continue to create drawings of my mizzles in yoga poses.  I thought this was a great idea. Here are some of the drawings I created this week.

 These were inspired by the retreat where we did partner yoga.

My yoga instructor called this the double scoop.
Child's pose on top of child's pose
This she called backpack.

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