Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yoga Retreat, West Virgina - May 2013

I bet you think I'm a hippy just from the title of this post, don't you? Well, I'm not. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But, over the past two years, yoga has become an integral part of my life. Since committing to 2-3 classes per week, my flexibility has improved greatly, I've become much stronger, and I've become a much calmer person. I can honestly say that I've become a different person, a greatly improved person, since discovering yoga. So, when one of my instructors, Steve Abate, told me about a yoga retreat in West Virginia, I decided to go.

This was a very short retreat that began on Friday evening and ended on Sunday morning, but the benefits of it are long-lasting. The retreat was held at the Claymont Society in the "barn" in Charles Town, West Virginia. Because there were only 25 of us, even though the barn is set up with 2-4 beds per room, we were all able to have our own rooms, which was really nice. Besides being overridden with stink bugs inside and out, it was an awesome spot for a retreat. There was a huge room that was perfect for yoga and trails outside that were great for hiking.

Why am I writing about this on this blog? Two reasons: (1) to encourage you to go on one of these if you ever have the opportunity, and (2) because the food was vegan and it was awesome. Prepared by Erika and James, who could be chefs, the breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner spreads were fantastic.

For example, Saturday's brunch consisted of vegan mac and cheese, quinoa salad, a green salad, white bean dip and Carr's crackers, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The white bean dip was to die for. More on this at a later time!

Saturday's dinner included ginger red lentil stew, roasted potatoes, garlicky kale, flatbread, and mango lassis.

Saturday night, we roasted Sweet & Sara marshmallows around the fire while we got to know one another. We had vegan chocolate, but were unable to find vegan graham crackers. Mary's Gone Crackers - hurry up and release those crackers you've been working on!

Sunday's brunch consisted of chickpea soup, greens with a lemon vinaigrette, black bean and corn salad, lentil cranberry caper salad, and tofu scramble.

Besides eating, we also did lots of yoga. In fact, I discovered my limit is 4.5 hours of yoga in one day. I was just a tad bit sore on Sunday. :) But, I worked on my tripod headstand and finally figured out how to go from 3-legged dog to wheel seamlessly.

But, the real benefit was putting aside the cell phones and computers, and getting away from day-to-day life. We meditated on Saturday morning and it was truly the first time I've been able to meditate with a clear head as I had no responsibility on this retreat.  I left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the week. And I was so thankful to meet the awesome people who spent their weekend with me as well. Last, but not least, I'd like to thank the yoga teachers, Gracy Obuchowicz and Steve Abate, who really gave it their all as I am so thankful for their generosity during this retreat. Next time, I want to go for an entire week. Now, that would be so wonderful.

I'll leave you with Steve's famous mantra: "Clear mind, peaceful mind, peaceful speech, loving speech, loving heart, clear heart." Om, shanti, shanti. Namaste.

For more info on events, check out Love Supreme Yoga.


  1. Wow, this looks amazing! I've always wanted to go on a yoga retreat, but also wanted something a little closer to home. I live in VA, and had no idea WV had such a wonderful offering.

  2. It was wonderful! I hope you can join us for the next one! More details to come!