So there I was last week out in the English countryside armed with all sorts of yoga paraphernalia: mat, strap and blocks – all set for my yoga retreat; looking forward to being up to my neck in asanas and meditation. Only it didn’t quite turn out that way. Ever signed up to do something you looked forward to doing, but come of it having done something different which turned out to be even better? Well that is exactly what happened to me at my yoga retreat.
After an initial namaste on arrival at the retreat, I was given a structured wellness programme for my stay. Nothing too strenuous I noted but something caught my eye – all participants were asked to take a vow of silence. And so began an interesting few days…
This silence idea takes some getting used to for it does not come naturally to someone as unaccustomed as I am. Every action from the moment we are conscious creates noise, this combined with our internal chat leaves little room for silence in our day to day lives. When you take out all that clutter what you are left with is actually very empowering – for in silence you can actually observe yourself.
For me, once the external chatter was gone my first instinct was to fill the void with thoughts and emotions that flooded into my mind, we were told to let them flow and observe them but not to react to them. It took some practice but I found that by embracing them they floated through me eventually. What I was left with is this awareness that left me energised. I spent a lot of time at the retreat outdoors and whether I sat, walked or practised yoga I was acutely mindful of my surroundings. Everything looked as if in high definition, sounds were sharper even the food tasted better – it was like I had this ultra perception. I felt like a bit of a superhero
At the end of my journey I felt like this blanket of peace had come over me leaving me relaxed, balanced and renewed. It was a high like I have never experienced before. I totally recommend unplugging even if only for an hour… away from technology, away from to-do lists, away from chatter… just you and silence.