Issaquah Day Retreat

Last Sunday, I gave a one day retreat in Issaquah at Crystal Creek Yoga Studio at Cathy Pierce’s home and yoga studio.  I offered the same retreat last October and the same participants came back for more!  I will offer this day long retreat again later this year, in October.

Crystal Creek is a perfect location for a day retreat.  It is only a 40 minute drive from Seattle and yet it feels as if you are completely removed from fast paced city life.  At Crystal Creek in Issaquah, Washington, we are surrounded by lush mossy forests and mountains with wild sounding names like Tiger Mountain and Cougar Mountain.

Early morning drive to Crystal Creek Yoga Studio, Issaquah, Washington

Rick and I arrived early so we could help set up, but Cathy had the spring-themed house and studio all ready for us!

Colorful tulips on the mantel. I know, the tulips don't look real, but they are!

We found the table artistically set:

Lilies and Cathy's artfully created fabric dolls showing their happy selves!

Spring view from Cathy's deck!

Cathy and Fran

The retreat participants arrived just before 9 am and we had a full morning of yoga.  What a great group!  I am reminded again and again, it is the group gathered that makes the experience precious.  The group brings its lovely energy that fills the day with both excitement and peacefulness.  As Cathy says, even long after the group leaves, the house and yoga studio is filled with the wonderful gift of presence each person brings with them.

As usual, when I teach, I have a hard time taking photos.   The beauty of a day long retreat is that we can take our time with the warm ups, go farther in our practice because we have the time to unfold slowly, and we get a longer time in the ending guided meditation, shavasana.

I began by asking everyone what their “chocolate” poses are (in other words “the feel good poses” or the ones that are delightful and easy) and what their “medicinal ” poses are (in other words, the poses that present the most challenge, but that we know are good for us).  Rick renamed the “medicinal” poses to the “cod liver oil” poses.  One would think he was made to eat cod liver oil as a child.

Leslie: Chocolate Twists  Medicinal Forward bends, hamstring and psoas stretches

Dayna:  Chocolate Twists, Triangle, Pigeon  Medicinal Chair, Revolved Triangle, Warrior III

Marilyn: Chocolate Half Moon, All Standing Poses, Twists  Medicinal Backbends, handstands

Cathy: Chocolate Downward Facing Dog, Twists   Medicinal Core strengthening, Plank/Side Plank

Howard:  Chocolate Warrior III  (seriously!)  Medicinal Monkey Pose (aka, the splits)

Rick: Chocolate Tree   Medicinal Side Bends, stretching the adductors

one of the few yoga photos I took

We did yoga from 9 am to 12:30 pm.  I think I covered all the chocolate and medicinal poses on the lists above! You can imagine how ready we were for LUNCH.  Cathy is a great cook and she had quite a spread for us made of fresh healthy ingredients.  We had a nourishing soup, whole wheat sour dough bread, salad, watermelon, plums, chocolate chip cookies, and a pear galette.

Cathy's magic touch. Why is salad 100% tastier when someone makes it for you?

After lunch we headed out for our hike.  The trail is practically outside Cathy’s door.

It doesn't get any greener than this!

After the hike, we did more yoga from 4-5:30 pm, focusing on hip stretches, twists, and other asanas that deeply stretch and are relaxing.  I can’t wait to do this again in October!  The next Issaquah Day Retreat will be Saturday, October 15th (Gentle Yoga Retreat Day) and Sunday, October 16th (Intermediate Yoga Retreat Day). These will be posted on my website and it is not too soon to sign up.


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