Two weekends ago, I held two day long hatha yoga retreats in Issaquah, Washington at Crystal Creek Yoga Studio. (And I am just now getting around to writing about it!) The first day, Saturday, October 23rd was Gentle Yoga and the second day, Sunday, October 24th was a Level II/Intermediate level. My idea was to be able to offer a day of complete relaxation and renewal in a peaceful environment, surrounded by nature, not far from the city. The event was held at Cathy Pierce’s beautiful home and studio in Issaquah. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Both days were precious. Here is an account of the day retreats through photos. The events were so enjoyable/successful, in fact, that I will hold them again early spring next year on Saturday, April 2, 2011 (Gentle Yoga Day Retreat) and on Sunday, April 3, 2011 (Level II/Intermediate Yoga Day Retreat).
On Friday, the day before the first day retreat, Leslie and I went hiking on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah. The weekend weather called for rain and one of the concepts of the day retreat was that we would include a 1-2 hour hike, weather permitting. Leslie and I wanted to take advantage of the last “nice” day before the rains hit. Of course, while we hiked, I was coming up with my rain contingency plan for the yoga day retreat. I came up with some yin yoga sequences we could do in lieu of walking just in case. This was taken on our Friday hike to Tiger Mountain:
Well, it turned out that the whole weekend was typical Northwest Washington autumn weather, meaning fair temperatures and ranging from no rain to lots of rain. I arrived at Cathy’s early on Saturday morning. Here is the view from her balcony. She is completely surrounded by greenery. The environment at Cathy’s, both in her house and outside, makes you feel as if you are in the heart of a healing sanctuary:
Cathy’s house was beautifully decorated for autumn and Halloween. She and her husband are visual artists and have created an artistic setting very conducive to relaxing and renewing. Their home reflects their beautiful artistry:
As you enter the Crystal Creek Yoga Studio, this wall hanging greets you. Red is the Hindu color of joy, celebration, and passion:
Here Cathy and Sharon practice Dancer’s Pose on Saturday:
As usual, I took very few photos of everyone doing yoga. It is very hard to do when I am teaching. I never think to stop my teaching focus and grab the camera. Too bad. We really did do yoga! Lots of it! Having a whole day to do yoga is fantastic! We can pace ourselves and really go deeply into our practice. Here is a photo of the Saturday group in shavasana:
Saturday’s group was really lucky in that when we went out for our hike, it was not raining! In fact, it started pouring after our return. By then, we were all being warmed by the fire from the yoga studio’s woodstove!
Leaving Cathy’s house, headed for the trails within walking distance:
Cathy and Patty:
One of the beautiful natural rain forest gardens along the path:
Patty, Sharon, and Cathy (and Willie and Molly):
Fran at Crystal Creek Yoga Studio:
And day two was wonderful, too. You wouldn’t know that by how FEW photos I took. I guess I was too fully engaged to take many photos! I am sad to say that the only photo I took on Sunday is this one of Marilyn doing a hip stretching asana in the afternoon after the hike:
We had a completely different group of retreat participants on Day Two. Once again, Cathy made a wonderful lunch for all of us. I was pleased to see that on both days, she made my favorite soups!! We had pumpkin soup on Saturday and she made lentil soup on Sunday! How could she have known those are my favorites????
The best photo of all on Day Two was taken by Rick. We started out hiking with ominous overcast skies. You know, we are all living in the Northwest, in rain forest country, so we were prepared with our rain coats and other rain proof gear. Well, not long into the hike, it started to rain, just as predicted. And then harder. Yes, a true Northwest rain. This is one hardy and hale group!!
Fran, Annette, Leslie, Dayna, Cathy, Howard, and Marilyn:
Can’t wait for the next day retreats at Crystal Creek on April 2 (Gentle) and April 3 (Level 2/Intermediate Level)!! Not too early to sign up…just email me or post a comment to let me know.