Cataract Canyon Yoga River Retreat
"Let it Flow"
With this much goodness, I feel I'm bound to get gushy, write some bad jokes, and over use some dramatic adjectives. Be warned.
This trip was something beyond unforgettable. It was....transformative. It was something I'd never done before. I'd done retreats before, I've done rivers before, but a tangibly powerful group of women-only (except Marcus and Andrew, our trusty guides) powerhouses was something I ended up stepping back and marveling on more than one occasion. I'm humbled by the waters that brought us together for this experience, both literally and metaphorically.
The trip began in Moab. I had so much nervous energy about the 'how's' and the 'what's' of it all. How am I going to incorporate this beautiful symbolism in the second chakra that I feel is so perfect for women, for the river, for the times....?
The theme 'Let it Flow' correlated with the second chakra, the pleasure center. In essence, the trip was about remembering the sweetness. Remembering the grace that is true strength. What does that look like? How is that abused in our world today? The element for the second chakra is (get ready for it...) WATER! The color is orange, the place in the body is the pelvis/reproductive organs, and it embodies the right to feel. Does it get any more perfect?
The theme integrated beyond my control, which is also obnoxiously perfect. We had amazing and terrifying storms the first 2 days. Actually, nearly every day. It created this power, this force in our group as we would practice yoga and immediately during or following this powerful thunder and beautiful, warm, cleansing rain would shower down on us.
I knew from the very first day, some of the first moments the idea of 'letting it flow' would be more for me than anyone. I had no idea to what extent.
The moments when I would release, let go of my grip on how this trip was 'supposed to' go, the power and energy of these women, freed by love for each other, the transformative power of the river, and the absence of competition....they changed me. What flowed in and out of our time together was ups and downs, connection and hard realizations about self. But mostly I just felt the power. Power fueled by grace and the sweetness.
Women have always fascinated me. Their intuition, their natural empathy, the beyond magical female body. Time and time again on this trip, I saw talents and gifts come out in these women, these mothers who are sensible. Not in that they are stoic, or unfeeling. No, just the opposite. They are full of their senses....sense-full, or sensible. Realizing that when we allow our emotions, our intuitions, our senses to guide us, instead of shutting them down as nonsense or 'dramatics,' we become our most true self. When we shut them down, we are in fact becoming 'senseless.' Beautiful. These women taught me so much.
We hiked, we sang and danced so hard I lost my voice for 3 days after. We ate delicious, healthy food, we played in the storms, we reveled in the sun that would follow right after. We made jewelry, put on tattoos and henna. We did yoga and breath work in one of the world's most treasured and beautiful places. What is this life?!
This boy. He not only puts up with my antics, he guides them! I never knew what this sort of love could look like. It's when your boyfriend not only shares his love of rivers with you, but then guides your dream trip and even cooks all your fresh, healthy meals. Keeper.
Our other guide Andrew had a birthday on the trip. You can tell he's thrilled with the attention. We also sang taylor swift to him at the top of our lungs and carried him around in his chair. If that doesn't bring about a pretty dandy next year of living, I don't know what will.
The storms and the flash floods turned the water bright red and then this wonderful burnt orange color. Made for less than tasty looking swimming water, but the image is neat and makes me get all biblical....something about moses? Not sure. Let's say I nailed it, for posterity's sake;).
Nighttime antics got, shall we say, intense...? I'm such a fan of a good game face. These girls win. They just win.
Here I was, this naive turd, thinking I was going to inspire these women, with yoga and the river I love so much. The river changed me, again. Why I ever think I've got it 'figured out' I don't know. This group of women showed me what the second chakra and the power of the sweetness, divine grace and owning your power unabashedly looks like, embodied. See the mush I am?! Go on a river yoga trip and see if you don't turn into the same puddle, just you wait!
Ok, but really do come next time. It was better than I could have ever dreamed, and my dreams are lofty and dramatic. Just ask Marcus;).