Tales From a Tuscany Yoga Retreat
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN
I will admit, I signed up for the Tuscany yoga retreat on a whim. I had been feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by life’s demands — work life was in no way balanced with my personal life and a recent health scare had taken its toll. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed searching for some mindless distraction, a photo from Italy caught my eye. The rolling green hills of Tuscany looked so serene that I almost instantly felt nurtured by its fertile earth and the long light of summer sun.
The link under the photo led me to a description of a Tuscany yoga retreat designed to reset, recharge and rejuvenate – exactly what I needed! After practicing yoga a couple times in the past, I had felt great, yet never managed to make it part of my regular routine. (Remember that work/life balance issue I mentioned?) This particular retreat also incorporated something called Ayurveda – a ‘sister science’ of yoga – that uses tools such as food, herbs, and breathing to bring one back into balance. I was intrigued.
Without fully realizing what I was doing, I clicked the ‘Book Now’ button. And boy, am I ever glad that I did!
After six days under the Tuscan sun, I felt reset, recharged and rejuvenated. Each morning began with meditation – and though the first days were challenging, it became increasingly more calming as the week progressed. The daily yoga left me feeling strong, integrated and open in a way I hadn’t felt in years! After identifying my ‘dosha,’ I learned what foods and herbs to incorporate into my meals – things that naturally support my airy, easily-agitated disposition. And my breath! I had no idea that just remembering to breathe a certain way could so significantly shift me from frazzled to focused.
The food, in general, was nothing short of delectable. Most of it came straight from the surrounding farmland. And because we ate mindfully – truly enjoying each savory moment – I left feeling completely nourished (and without the guilt of overindulgence!).
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy a glass or two of wine, too. I mean, I was in Tuscany! The wine was local, organic, and I swear I could taste the exact same scent that was gently wafting in from the neighboring vineyards on the evening breeze. Have you ever had that experience? It’s divine. (And I am now in love with the idea of healthy hedonism – appreciating all the ways in which life tantalizes my senses.)
The whole experience was so much more than what I expected of a yoga retreat. We enjoyed daily strolls through the surrounding countryside – one day, I felt so energized I even ran for a bit! It was like a swell of joy bubbled up from within and I just couldn’t contain myself to a walk. I spent more that a few hours lounging by the saltwater pool and floating in true mindlessness. We learned a little bit about Mediterranean and Ayurvedic cooking – stuff that I’ll easily be able to incorporate now that I’m home.
Lastly, the connection I felt to the past – not just my past, but the past of all the people and traditions who have called Tuscany home over thousands of year – well, it left me feeling so much more grounded. I feel so connected to the elements and simple elegance of life again…rooted in a deeper understanding of myself and what brings me joy.
If you’d like more information about this Tuscany yoga retreat, you can find it here. (It’s happening again soon!) Thank you so much, Exotic Yoga Retreats! You really helped me reconnect with ease and delight in life again.
— from a ‘special guest’ blogger