I just got back from teaching on the Solyoga Trips spring wellness retreat in Guatemala.
It was…so. fucking. awesome.
I only said fuck once the entire time I was there (which is interesting too, maybe for another post) so I had to get that one out.
I feel better than I have in years. Physically my body feels open, clean, electric, at ease, balanced. Mentally and emotionally I feel so much gratitude, I’m overwhelmed with it, I feel calm, trusting, less guilt, more open and more like myself.
And just downright happy.
I also don’t feel angry, something I had been feeling towards a lot of things recently.
Guatemala is full of sweetness. The people of Guatemala have a sweetness about them like no one else, they will smile at you and say good morning like they mean it, like they really hope you have the best morning of your life. And I don’t know why or what it is about them, but the children of Guatemala are the damn cutest things I’ve ever seen. Their faces are adorable looking, but on top of that they act adorable too. When visiting one of the villages along the lake, the kids were let out of school and they started walking up the hill I was walking down–it was a cuteness parade. The little boys would hold hands and play jokes on each other, the girls would smile big and wave at me. I found myself squealing and melting and making that high pitched noise that girls do when they see a puppy. Too much cuteness, those kids. So much sweetness in Guatemala–all I’ve been trying to do since I got home is imitate it.
Lago Atitlan, the lake whose shores we stayed on, was the one of the most in-your-face energetic things I’ve been around. I could feel that lake for miles before we were near it, I could feel its pull. The lake was surrounded by three volcanoes that were equally as energetic, they were firey and powerful. All of it together made for a place that shook you up a little, got stagnant things moving, sucked the bad shit out of your heart, drew out the hurts that were ready to get a move on, and instead of leaving you feeling open and vulnerable and empty, it gifted you with healing and a sense of fullness.
If I could hand-pick a group of women to teach and hang out with every day, I would choose the ones that came on the trip. I had never felt so much acceptance and straight up love from anyone else before, not only towards myself but towards everyone and everything around them. I went into the trip thinking I would only teach yoga, like the way you would think of yoga–poses, meditation, breathing, philosophy. But these women were so open, so down for anything, the week turned into partner yoga, yoga nidra, chanting our little (big) hearts out, laughter meditation, and blind folded dancing to the music stylings of the Queen herself, miss Gaga.
I did blind folded dancing during teacher training and it was probably the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. It’s what you think it is, you put on a blind fold and dance with yo bad self. You let it all go–worry, self-consciousness, desire to look cool. Yeah, it’s super hippy and weird and woowoo but it’s amazing and it works. It’s a complete loss of inhibitions. Because even when you’re in your room dancing in your undies there is still that thought of how silly you look, how funny you’re being, how you hope no one walks in. But when you’re in a room with a bunch of other people who are also dancing, not being able to see themselves or you, things get crazy. Shit gets real. Especially if you’ve got Bad Romance bumping in the background.
Blind folded dancing is like taking five shots of tequila and having the DJ play your favorite song–except everyone else in the room has had 10 shots of tequila so they can’t see you and won’t remember it in a few minutes anyways. Minus the hangovers and thoughts of, oh god…did I really do that last night? Because yes, you really did it, and it felt damn good.
I admire those women because they have learned how to open their hearts in a world that encourages us not to. And I’m a complete sucker for that.
I have felt off recently, I have felt guilt and anger. But after this trip, I feel like myself again, the me that isn’t angry and loves the shit out of everything, that’s grateful for everything, even the not so fun stuff because it gives me a chance to get to know myself better, to practice yoga. I’m feeling connected again, sweet again, trusting, more loving of myself–and damnit do I feel divine.
I went into this trip as the teacher. For me this was all about serving others, my students. But I came out of it feeling like I attended the retreat as a student. I don’t know what I was thinking a few weeks back–I’ve got the whole world and everything in it as my yoga teacher.