On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

I just wanted to share a recap of our annual Fall Yoga Retreat at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids this past weekend. 

 

We had a full house of 15 retreatants at the Inn this year to enjoy some Yin, Kundalini, Slow Flow and Ashtanga yoga classes, as well as a special ‘Shoulders, Neck & Back‘ Workshop.

 

The weather definitely turned ‘Michigan Fall’ for the retreat: some rain, some sun, some clouds, and some pretty fall colors. During our free time, some people ventured out in the chilly temps to walk the trails and the labyrinth at the Inn and mountain-bike at nearby Hungerford Lake Recreation Area. Others enjoyed sampling the local microbrewery in town and staying behind in the cozy Inn to read and nap. ;) Saturday evening we enjoyed our annual bonfire.

 

The food, as always, was a highlight, including our yearly favorites: Stuffed Squash for Saturday dinner and Tower of Power for Sunday brunch. And the best part, we all agreed, was not having to cook for ourselves for all weekend!

 

I have held the weekend of October 9-11, 2020 for next year’s retreat at the Inn. If you’re interested in coming let me know!

 

Here are what a few of the participants had to say:

 

“Once again your Yoga Retreat was a wonderful, enriching and relaxing experience. The location, the food, the company and the workshops all combine to make for a priceless investment in one’s mind-body-spirit connection. Thank you for hosting — I have blocked my calendar for 2020!” -MG

 

“I just wanted to say that I enjoyed the retreat very much. It was my first experience and I am already looking forward to the next one. You sure chose a beautiful location and it added to the experience.” – LK

 

“Thank YOU! Truly the most restorative weekend of the year for me. Don’t underestimate what you are doing by leading this retreat. I’ll be there as long as you continue to have it.” – KW

 

 

 

 

|

2013-09-28 13.33.30

 

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

 

Going on retreat is a time to cocoon, so that we may emerge ready to return to our lives with a new perspective.

 

Occasionally, we need to pause – and step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. Far more than a vacation, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit. It is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective. A retreat gives us time for uninterrupted meditation so that we may go deep within and spend time with ourselves.

 

A retreat may offer quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. Retreats often take place in humble dwellings with simple fare so that our senses may be reawakened to the beauty of unadorned tastes and the sights and sounds of nature. When we spend days in contemplation, we can more easily hear our heart when it speaks to us. We also are able to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. When we go on retreat we have time to connect to the sacred geometry of a labyrinth, discover epiphanies through asanas, or take a long, reflective walk through the woods where we can give each step our full attention.

 

Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go deep into our own solitude where we can fully reflect on our joys, sorrows, and fears, owning and releasing them as needed. We may even come to know and understand our life path more deeply. Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time alone back with us and create the space for deep reflection on a daily basis. We also may come back to our life renewed and ready to take on the world. The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you stay, you’ll always meet yourself when you get there.

 

Check out the details HERE for The Ann Arbor Yoga Room’s 2019 Fall Retreat. Join us!

|

It was a perfect fall weekend for our Big Rapids yoga retreat: crisp but mostly sunny, with the fall colors at their peak. Besides enjoying 3 yoga classes and a special workshop and meditation, the 15 participants on this year’s fall yoga retreat took advantage of the weather to hike and bike the trails at the adjacent Hungerford Lake Recreation Area, walk the onsite trails through the woods and along the wetland at the Inn, do some mindful-meditation walking at the Inn’s Labyrinth, and enjoy a bonfire under the stars.

 

Oh, and of course there was the food, which is a highlight of every year’s retreat! The plant-powered menu for the weekend included an Asian Noodle Bar, a Breakfast Burrito Bar, and our yearly favorite Stuffed Squash Saturday dinner and Tower of Power Sunday brunch. And the best part: we didn’t have to cook the meals ourselves! :)

 

It was a great mix of students from The Yoga Room, friends & significant others of those students, and people from the Detroit area and even as far away as Cleveland who found out about the retreat online. And it was a Yoga Room first that 5 of the 15 participants were men! :) I had been contemplating making this my last year for the retreat but there were so many people who said they wanted to come back again next year and bring other friends with them that I am re-considering. If YOU have an opinion, let me know! 

 

Here’s what one participant shared after the retreat: “Thanks for putting together a lovely yoga retreat. Such a special spot. I would definitely return next year if you did it again. So nice to push pause on regular life. Thanks again!”

 

Here are a few highlights from the weekend. You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.

 

 

|

This past Saturday a lovely group gathered for a contemplative day of yoga, meditation, journaling and self-reflection centered around the Chakras. We began with a little warm-up Kundalini Yoga kriya for our aura. From there retreatants spent time with each chakra–or energy center in our body–as they chose: listening to readings about how life situations affect our chakras, journaling, spending time in Yin yoga poses best suited for balancing each chakra, meditating, and some even gave their chakras a nice rest by taking little cat-naps! ;) We broke up our quiet time with a delicious plant-based lunch of Curried Red Lentil Coconut soup, hummus, crackers, bread and my favorite chocolate cupcakes with salted (vegan) buttercream frosting. It was very much an opportunity for rest, relaxation and self-reflection, which is so often missing in our day-to-day lives. I am so happy that this group took the time to invest in some uplifting self-care! If you are interested in doing the same, keep an eye out for upcoming Immersions and 1/2 Days Retreats HERE

 

Here’s what a few of the participants had to say: 

 

“I haven’t felt that blissful in a long time.  Learning about the chakras and their governing areas all in one day really made me feel as if my energy was bursting, yet there was a calm center. The delicious lunch was an added bonus!” -JW

 

“The half-day Chakra Retreat was so worthwhile. If you need a day to relax and reduce your stress this is the event for you. We learned, in detail, about Chakras, had time to meditate and think through things. The lunch was vegan and superb.  Do this if you need to take a break and slow down your thoughts and body, it is so healing. Also, Christy is a great cook. ” -SM

 

“Thank you Christy, I so enjoyed the Chakra Immersion day. The Kundalini warm-up was invigorating and the time to reflect and meditate were helpful. Your lovely lunch and conversation in your beautiful home was special.” -GJ

 

Here are a few pictures from the retreat. You can click on them for a slightly larger view.

 

|

chakras

 

The New Year is the perfect time to let go of what no longer serves you and make room for what will. Join me during this 1/2 Day Retreat to dive deeper into the chakras—or energy centers—within your body, and use them to resolve any issues holding you back from being the best version of yourself.

 

We will spend time examining our physical and emotional relationship to each chakra and work with them to find balance and healing through: 

 

*KUNDALINI & YIN YOGA

*MEDITATION

*CONTEMPLATION

*JOURNALING

 

Healthy vegan lunch included. Invest in some self-care for the New Year. You are worth it!

 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

10:30am-2:30pm

$105 by 1/13; $115 after

Click HERE to register!

|

Seven retreatants came together for a Day of Mindfulness at The Yoga Room this past weekend. They came for a variety of reasons: Two couples attended–one of which have a 7-month old baby, so they were looking forward to some peace, quiet and relaxation; a middle school principal wanted to deepen her own mindfulness practice so that she could bring mindfulness into her school; one woman is a caregiver for a friend in the last stages of cancer so she needed the retreat to re-center and ground herself; others were looking to deepen their meditation practices in a supportive setting.

 

After some brief introductions we began observing Noble Silence as a way to deepen and intensify our mindfulness experience. We did a Yin yoga practice to prepare our bodies for the 20 minute sitting meditation that followed. After a short break we enjoyed a simple vegan lunch of lentil soup and bread, where we continued our Noble Silence practice for 20 minutes to be mindful of what we were eating, where it came from, and all the effort and love that went into it, and then chatted for 10 minutes while we enjoyed our cupcake dessert. We then shifted back into silence for a mindful walking meditation to a small, old cemetery down the road where a Civil War soldier is buried, spending a few minutes in contemplation there. Upon our return we did a longer, 30 minute seated meditation, and then closed with a group discussion where we each shared our experience of the day.

 

Some of the most important things we tried to keep in mind during our Day of Mindfulness: connecting to our inner stillness, shifting into the witness/observer role, practicing present moment awareness, and practicing non-judgment toward ourselves when our mind wandered off. 

 

Everyone agreed that having a full 4 1/2 hours to commit to our mindfulness/meditation practice was very beneficial. (In fact, I shared some information on a recent study on meditation that showed that although a short, daily practice is good, the most beneficial effects to our brain occur during more intensive meditation retreats. So…needless to say, we are all looking forward to more Days of Mindfulness here at The Yoga Room. Stay tuned and join us for the next one!

 

Here is what a one retreatant shared about her experience:

 

“It was a wonderful day. I enjoyed the Yin Yoga to start the session. It got me back in touch with my body and also relaxed and loosened my muscles so that I could sit still for the first sitting meditation of the day. The sitting meditation was easier than I had expected and the time seemed to go quickly which surprised me. The Mindfulness Walking Meditation was enjoyable and helpful. It is something that I can see myself practicing even as I walk my dog. Probably the most enlightening and surprising experience of the day was the Mindful Eating we practiced at lunch. What an eye opener!! There was quite a bit of discussion about that. BTW–the lunch was wonderful!! I also appreciated the Noble Silence. It was something that I had been looking forward to. I hope that you will  be repeating this workshop in the future. I will definitely be there. Just a little story about the day after the workshop. That next day I found myself in a very frustrating situation. It started to get the best of me. Then I said to myself, “Look you were at a meditation workshop yesterday–for heavens sake use what you learned”. So I found a Deepak Chopra  meditation on YouTube, sat down, closed my eyes and settled into it. It had a tremendous affect on me and allowed me to be open in a different way to the experience. I had a dramatic shift that day and was very surprised by all the positive moments that ensued just because I took the time to be still and meditate.”

 

You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.

|

I just wanted to share a few pictures from our Fall Yoga Retreat at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids this past weekend. 

 

A lovely group of 10 joined me for Yin, Kundalini, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga classes, as well as a Yoga ‘Potpourri’ Workshop that consisted of meditation, a Posture Clinic/Ask the Teacher Q&A Session, and even a little Thai Yoga Massage! 

 

During our free time, some people ventured out to the local Amish communities to buy apples, baked goods, sauerkraut and more, while others enjoyed sampling the local microbreweries in town. A few of us stayed behind in the cozy Inn to read and nap. ;)

 

While we didn’t have the best weather this year, it was still good enough to be able to get in some mountain-bike riding at Hungerford Lake Rec Area, and take some short hikes on the Inn’s 150 acre property. And of course, take my annual labyrinth walk. 

 

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the food. It is always a highlight, especially the Stuffed Squash for Saturday dinner and Tower of Power (if you’re curious, ask me what’s in it–or see if you can figure it out from the pictures below!) for Sunday brunch!

 

Feedback from one participant: “I wanted you to know I enjoyed the weekend and learned some things that will help my practice and improve my poses. Your skill and thoughtfulness made it all a great a experience. I enjoyed meeting and talking with all of the participants. It was a warm and friendly group……and the innkeepers were wonderful, too!”

 

(You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.)

 

|

We had such a good time at our first ever R&R 1/2 Day Retreat here on The Yoga Room grounds. The morning Yin yoga class set a peaceful, relaxing tone for our day. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a lovely plant-based lunch al fresco (prepared by yours truly, with help from my awesome husband!). Then there was time for hanging out by the pool, reading and chatting with friends before getting into the warm 85 degree water for a fun Aqua Yoga session. I think everyone would probably agree that the floating Savasana at the end was the best part. So relaxing! 

 

 

(Click on each picture for a slightly larger view.)

 

|

2017-06-11 13.23.41

 

 

SATURDAY, JULY 22, 10:30AM-2:30PM
My first R&R 1/2 Day Retreat of the summer is sold out and students have been asking if I’m going to host another ‘spa day.’ The answer is yes! As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and relaxation during this 1/2 Day Retreat:
*Light-hearted Aqua yoga class with floating Savasana*
*Free time to relax by the pool*
*Light lunch on the patio*
*Meditative Yin yoga practice*
This retreat only has 7 spots available, so click HERE for more details and sign up soon to reserve your spot!

|

2017-05-08 16.19.04

 

Finding Time for Rest & Stillness:

A Half-Day Retreat

Saturday, June 24, 2017

10:30am – 2:30pm

**SOLD OUT**

 

It’s not ‘how do we make time for rest and stillness’ but ‘why are we not committed to that, and what stands in the way of that?’ As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and stillness during this 1/2 day day retreat.

 

Relax, de-stress and enjoy an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You will create space to show yourself compassion and lovingkindess so that you may leave here feeling a greater sense of well-being and be more in touch with what really feeds your soul.

 

Our retreat will begin with a light-hearted Aqua Yoga session and relaxing floating Savasana (bring your own floaty) in the heated pool. Afterwards, enjoy time for poolside relaxation and a light lunch on the patio. Our retreat will close with a meditative Yin yoga practice.

 

|