Winter Solstice at the Coast

This past weekend at Little Renaissance was stormy and rainy!  We held our annual Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat. We always hold our Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat a few weeks before the actual Winter Solstice because the following weeks get so busy as we approach the holidays.  We had the woodstove burning all weekend and the fire kept us warm, very warm, during our yoga sessions.  We braved the heavy rains yesterday and our hearty group walked and walked, all the way to the jetty and back. We got back to the house, stoked up the woodstove again,  and I collected everyone’s drenched clothing, putting some of it on a drying rack near the woodstove and other articles of clothing into the dryer.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy Winter Solstice!

I can say it was a transformational weekend.  We had wonderfully long yoga sessions.  We did headstands and it was a joy to see everyone growing more confident on the headstand bench.  Skye brought hers along so we had two headstand benches to use.  We worked with the Back Mitras, which are thin foam pads to help relieve neck and shoulders.  I also brought out the backless yoga chairs and we did yoga using these special chairs.  I am sure most people would imagine chair yoga to be easy, but chairs are a versatile prop which allow us to do poses that are modified as well as poses that are more advanced.  We did Reverse Triangles, hamstring stretches, hip stretches, core work like reverse plank and high bridges, twists, and a deep full wheel pose (a full backbend) using the chairs.

Below are more photos from our fantastic weekend at the coast.  The rain, wind, cold, and coastal storms did not bother this hearty group.   We enjoyed every second of our weekend together!

Namaste and Happy Winter Solstice.  One of my happiest moments this weekend was when Carol said, “I like to think of Winter Solstice as the beginning of summer!”  Well, it is like passing through the eye of a needle and squeezing through to the other end where days grow longer again!

Rugelach, before getting cut into diagonal pieces.  We eat well here at Little Renaissance and your sweet tooth will be happy, too.

Rugelach, before getting cut into diagonal pieces. We eat well here at Little Renaissance and your sweet tooth will be happy, too.

Our fantastic group of yogis who braved the winter storm today!!!

Our fantastic group of yogis who braved the winter storm today!!!

Kari read the bold part of the poem below.  How well this fit into our weekend:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace…..

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths … the laughter of god. ”

– John O’Donohue

Here we have the wind calling Kari and Mary to dance (very short video)..Turn up volume: LISTEN to that storm!!!!

https://youtu.be/bQ2LnGou6jQ

L1320933

Fun playing with the muted light and water reflections

Fun playing with the muted light and water reflections

Trees, Wind, Balance (we really did have strong gusts of wind!)

Trees, Wind, Balance (we really did have strong gusts of wind!)

Skye!

Skye!

Being playful in the wind

Being playful in the wind

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