Good day, yoga friend.

Have you ever treated yourself to an intentional weekend of yoga, rest and relaxation by attending a yoga retreat? I’ve been on just two retreats myself, and now I have the honor of saying I’ve actually led a yoga retreat for others.

I loved organizing and planning the retreat for 17 guests, my daughter and myself. I loved spending the weekend with like-minded souls and witnessing friendships being grown and all those happy faces.

I can’t wait to plan our next retreat!

Our time at El Ranch Robles in Oracle, Arizona was amazing! When the weekend was done and we were driving home, my daughter, Carrie, asked what my favorite part of the retreat was, and then we spent some time talking about all the things we had loved about our weekend.

It was hard to put my top 10 favorite things in order, but I gave it a shot…

10 – The food – Oh my goodness we were so fortunate to have a talented chef and his staff who catered to us over the weekend. Gourmet meals with options for guests who had dietary preferences, and the desserts… Everyone went crazy for that flour-less chocolate torte with raspberry sauce and fresh whipped cream.

9 – The venue and all that nature!El Rancho Robles is a 100+ year old property and is simply charming. It’s a rustic venue and was just perfect for our group of earth-loving yoga friends. We saw lots of lizards, beautiful birds including a few very large ravens and one little quail, bunnies, squirrels and thankfully, no snakes. We enjoyed a few lingering wildflowers, and those beautiful oak trees (robles).

8 – Mandala workshop – Carrie and I hosted three workshops on Saturday, and I had the pleasure of teaching our guests how to draw their own mandala designs. It’s always so fun to see the designs that take shape, as well as the calm and quiet vibe that happens when a group of yogis drop into the magic of their own mandala designs. I also had copies of some of my mandala designs for those who just wanted to color. Ah – I loved leading this workshop…

7 – Carrie’s Elements Workshop – I didn’t attend my daughter’s class because I wanted to give her space and I was also craving some resting time myself. While I don’t have photos of her workshop, I have to say that I was so proud of the information and messages she shared with our yoga friends. The rest of the weekend was peppered with talk about missing elements and astrology terms. I was so proud of my girl, and so happy our guests loved the things she shared.

6 – Journal Workshop – Carrie and I led this one together and it was so much fun! We each talked about our own journal practices, Carrie passed around some of her great-grandmother’s journals/sketch books for everyone to see, and we had a few ideas for journal prompts for writing inspiration. I loved busting out the bags of words I’ve been clipping out of magazines and seeing others use them on their journal pages.

5 – Fire Pit Friendship Circle – We gathered at the fire pit on Saturday evening for s’mores, glow bracelets, conversation and maybe a little wine. It was such a sweet way to close out our full day, and I loved this time together so much!

4 – Nature Mandala – Before we left El Rancho Robles on Sunday morning, we met near the back of the property to create a gratitude mandala using things we found in nature. We spent 15 minutes gathering items, and met back at our mandala spot to arrange the prettiest design to leave behind. Nature mandalas honor the space we’ve been in and signify the impermanence of all things in this life. It was a beautiful closing ceremony.

3 – The Yoga – Oh my goodness I loved leading yoga practices in this space! We practiced in a building called “The Carriage House” and I did my best to change things up a bit from the regular classes I typically lead. Friday night we enjoyed a yin yoga practice with Yoga Nidra to cap it off. Saturday morning was a more active “rise and shine” practice, and we had chair yoga in the afternoon. Sunday morning was a little yin, and a little yang, and my car alarm sounding loudly during Savasana. Ah…memories. Ha! Anyway, the practice space was great and I LOVED leading yoga in the midst of that beautiful natural setting.

2 – Friendships Formed – One of my favorite things about teaching yoga is seeing friendships formed on the mat. I’ve always said friends found on yoga mats are the best kind of friends, and it was just such an honor to witness a group of yoginis getting to know and love each other. (No group photo to share here on the blog because I promised not to, but it’s a sweet photo I have for my own collection!)

1 – Time with my girl, Carrie – If forced to choose my most favorite thing about our retreat weekend, I would have to say it was having the opportunity to spend the weekend doing all these things with my daughter. She’s an adult now, married with a baby of her own on the way, so our time together felt extra precious and that blessing was not lost on me.

Here we are, driving the resort golf cart to deliver guest gift bags before everyone arrived on Friday. SO FUN!

What a lucky girl I am! I feel incredibly blessed by my life’s journey with yoga and all of the wonderful people who are in my life because of this practice.

If you attended my retreat THANK YOU for being part of this amazing experience. If you weren’t able to join us this time, watch for future retreats to be announced in my newsletters.

I wish you love and light as you read these words. I’m so grateful for our connection.

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