Monday, July 24, 2017

Day 2 - delicious

Today's theme at Sugar Ridge falls under the 'delicious category'.  Not only was the food amazing today but the learning really got us all hungry for so much more.

The day started at 7:00 am when about 10 of us participated in the first yoga class.  If anyone has been a runner then stopped for a long period of time you know how hard it is to restart and you can't believe that you can't run the distances or times you did before. Yoga is the same.  I am shocked how I have lost my strength, flexibility, and stability.  After I got over the pity part of how far I have fallen, I loved the 75 minute class because Liz was a great teacher and went very slowly.

Kurt, Liz's husband, is working in the kitchen all week preparing all the meals.  This morning's breakfast was blueberry cornmeal pancakes, fresh fruit with nuts and yogurt, and millet (which I love since we ate a ton of it in Africa).  Kurt and his staff make sure there is a variety of milk, teas, coffee, and sauces for everything.  It totally set us up for an amazing day.

Our morning "formal practice" consisted of some sitting meditation and discussion.  Everyone is sharing how their practice is going and we were pushed to a 30 minute practice.  I lasted about 15 minutes then my butt was very uncomfortable and I needed to move but never found my quiet place again.  I was disappointed but realized this is just my first day learning how to pay attention to my mind. Our discussion lead to learning about various obstacles that will get in your way of meditation success such as: doubt, restlessness, drowsiness, desire, and a sense of aversion. I am so proud to listen to others share how they are feeling and thinking.

During our practice Liz is sharing poetry and even the names of some books that we can check out once our week is over such as Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  I really appreciate the analogies that Liz shares to help us understand what we are trying to achieve.  I makes me feel like I can understand before I am able to perfect.

Lunch was amazing.  Kurt made us rice salad, minestrone soup, and delicious salad.  Not going to lie, I had two helpings and 2 buns to dip in the amazing soup.

Our afternoon session started with a short practice and I chose to sit in a chair and it went so much better than past practices.  I was so pleased that I lasted the whole time without moving and rarely lost focus.  Then we were instructed to try a "body scan" which is a form of meditation where were instructed for 60 minutes to think about every single part of our body.  We were lying down for the practice and it caused a few of us to fall asleep with some snoring.  I then started giggling which threw my practice off.  Liz did incorporate another yoga session at the end of the afternoon and it was a great way to end our afternoon.

I really like that we have all created our "nests" and have lots of space to do our yoga and meditation.  We are all trying various positions and I have discovered that sitting in a chair is the best for me to be able to be comfortable and focus on my practice.  Tonight at 7:00 pm Liz has her friend Heather here to do another yoga class but I think twice in one day is enough and three times might be too much today since I have to get up at 7:00 am and go again.

Kurt's dinner was the best yet! Garlic green beans, pink salad which was their version of a beet Caesar salad, and 7 layer dip that was hot out of the oven.  Plus he made brownies!!! They were made with chocolate and raspberries.  Everyone went nuts.  I didn't have one as I am feeling very full and need to dial back the sweets anyways but I am so happy that if you need something sweet here you can have it.

One of the observations I have made the past two days is the feeling that we are at someones cool cottage.  The location really contributes to that feeling as we are in the woods and it is so peaceful.  The cabins and communal restrooms remind me of being at a camp.  The dining hall and lounge makes you feel safe and casual.  The furniture is "cottageie" and over sized comfy stuff.  You do not wear shoes inside and they have a ton of slippers to wear and everyone is make up free and in their workout clothes as we need to feel comfortable.  It contributes to my love for this experience as you have to be real.

I am excited to see what theme pops up tomorrow but I know that I have already learned a lot and feel that I am much more relaxed which makes yoga so much easier as you are not as tense.