The Yellow Brick Road led me to a Yoga retreat deep in the jungle with ten other midlife yogis. Isolated from all distractions, we follow a narrow, well-lit path each day to our place of practice, place of replenishment, and place of rest. It’s all so simple here where pura vida (pure life) is the way of life not the multitasking, profit focused, sleep deprived way of the Western World.
I, along with my midlife yogis, am blessed to be in the Goddess Garden near Cahuita, Costa Rica. Each morning we will rise to the roar of the monkeys, tap our chests and limbs to get the Chi moving, and look deeply inward to find what may be missing or undernourished in our current lives.
During this yoga retreat we not only lift each other up during partner practice, but support each other as we frog hunt, zip line, sloth pet, flute play, beach comb, tea sip, and other forms of midlife bonding like going to the healing hut and becoming one with the jungle.
I adore each of my midlife yogis for their unique gifts, energy, wisdom, and grace. I wish I could show you images of the light that shines so brightly within each of them, but photos of their physical beings will surely suffice.
The body that you can see and touch is only a thin illusory veil. Underneath it lays the invisible inner body, the doorway into Being, into Life Unmanifested. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to this unmanifested One Life – birthless, deathless, eternally present. Through the inner body, you are forever one with God. Eckhart Tolle
Same Path, Different Destinations
During this Puravida Yoga Vacation, we are 11 souls on the same path all seeking that one certain something that will bring our lives into balance or shake it up in 2012.
It’s amazing to be linked on one path that leads to so many different destinations. Yoga is our common nucleus as we, as neutrons, circle to find our place in our 2012 transformation. We work as a team to eliminate the deficiencies and excesses in our lives so we can live pura vida — without sickness of inhibitors for the next 50 years of our lives.
Our instructors, Dawn Justice and Dylan Hunt, serve as spiritual guides to open our physical and spiritual energy that has somehow become blocked, stagnant, or over taxed. They guide us to breathe, align, and open ourselves to time tested poses and meditations used for centuries to unite the body to the soul.
As we practice yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong throughout the day our higher selves rise to peek over the rim and see what our lives are becoming as we stay diligently on the well-lit path.
Like the Lion in the Wizard of Oz, I came to find my heart as well as celebrate my 50th birthday. The time has come to move from pen and paper to flesh and blood. From isolation to engagement. I have learned to manifest monkeys in Costa Rica. Now I will manifest my ideal primate and companion for life.
Like the Tin Man, Stephanie came to find her courage. Her journey began when she bought a ticket to this third world country solo. Stephanie rose above her fears of traveling alone despite the lack of support from family and friends. Each day you can see her warrior princess breaking through as she stretches her comfort zone doing things that her old self never would dare.
Like Auntie Em, Karen bravely left her maternal side at home to break routine, shake up her life, and manifest passion as she approaches her 50th birthday. As she allows her most feminine side to rise to the surface again, she’s manifesting a high voltage life in 2012 filled with intensity and passion.
Somewhat like the Scarecrow, Charles came to engage his right brain and give his overworked left-brain a break. Already deemed the wisest man on Wall Street vs. Oz, he came to vacation “with” instead of their frequent “apart” vacations from his yoga-loving wife Virginia. This week Charles is replacing analysis with asanas as he continues his journey of being a meeker, milder, full-brained version of himself.
Later this week please return and learn what the other half of my midlife yogis are seeking on their journey down the yellow brick road to their best selves. I guarantee you will learn from their wisdom just as I have.
For now, I’ll leave you with five big lessons my midlife yogis and creatures of the jungle have taught me.
Midlife Yogis Offer 5 Philosophies
1. Relationships are the B-12 of life that allow you to live vibrantly. Without them you can live but only anemically.
2. Each day, each step, each move, each effort is a chance to “check in” not “check off” something from your list. Life is about listening, feeling, taking note, and making adjustments, not speeding through a check- or to-do list. Our yoga instructor checks in with us before class to see how we’re feeling, how we’re doing. We should be so kind to do this for ourselves, too.
3. What appears to be imperfect or flawed from one Vantage point, is absolutely perfect from another. When someone commented on our less than perfect circle we formed as a yoga group, Dylan reminded us that it was the most perfect oval he had ever seen.
4. We are too hard on ourselves and too hard on the world. Be gentle, be kind, and be conscious.
5. Let go of any broken appendages. A sloth that lost a leg because he was electrocuted on a power line is fully content without it and happy to be alive and loved in his sanctuary.
A male Howler monkey swings through the trees with ease despite his paralyzed left leg. He has overcome and moved on. We can do the same with our physical and emotional impairments. Let it go. Pura Vida!
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Category: Vacation Ideas