Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rocket Yoga Retreat

I'm addicted to yoga retreats. You come back feeling like you can take on the world! And who wouldn't want to feel like that on a regular basis. This time, I found a new Rocket yoga teacher, Jonathan Ewing, who really knows how to rock a rocket class.

Rocket yoga is a variant of Ashtanga. And, as we discovered during an afternoon talk, it is called that because it "gets you there faster." It combines poses from the beginning, intermediate, and advanced Ashtanga sequences...and it is fun. So a whole holiday weekend of Rocket sounded like it was right up my alley.

The retreat was held in a big, beautiful house on the Eastern shore of Maryland near Cambridge. It's a one-story house right on the water with full access to the piers. I don't think we could have asked for a nicer space. And it was nice having the yoga room in the house given that it was really cold outside!

Photo by Julie Leibee

The retreat started with a Friday evening Rocket 1 class that served as a warm-up to the weekend. Afterwards, we were served a baked potato with three-bean chili topped with jalapenos, avocados, and cilantro. There was apple cranberry crisp for dessert.

And we sat up watching videos and talking until nighttime.

On Saturday, we started the day with an hour and a half of Rocket 2 followed by 30 minutes of meditation. I'm finally at a place in my life where I appreciate and benefit from meditation.

Photo by Jonathan Ewing
Brunch was a butternut French toast casserole with pecans served with mimosas. Yes, there was alcohol on this retreat.

We had a break after that followed by a discussion about what rocket is -- the origins and where it has gone since then, led by Jonathan.

Later, we had an arm balance workshop that served to wear all of us out! And now we all understand proper form for bhakasana, in case you didn't know.

For dinner, we were served corn chowder with seasonal vegetables and fresh biscuits. There were s'mores (with vegan marshmallows!) at the fire for dessert.

On Sunday, we started the day with the Rocket 3 sequence followed by 15 minutes of meditation.

Brunch was an egg strata with seasonal vegetables and a potato crust. A tofu-based strata was also prepared for me along with delicious oatmeal scones! I should mention that this was not a vegetarian or vegan retreat, as is customary. But, most of the dishes were vegan with the option to add meat or cheese if you wanted to so it was very vegan-friendly.

Later that day, we had a nutrition discussion led by Sarah Waybright, RD followed by an acro workshop. The acro workshop was a lot of fun! That is me suspended in the air!

Dinner was a cauliflower curry over brown basmati rice with baked samosa bites and pumpkin custard parfait for dessert.

Photo by Jonathan Ewing

The retreat ended with a final Ashtanga sequence on Monday morning. We all said our goodbyes and went on our merry way only to see each other again at Jonathan's class two days later. I guess once a rocket fanatic, always a rocket fanatic.

Yoga retreats are a good way to get away from your normal day-to-day life, meet new people, experience new things, and get closer to mindfulness. I recommend at least one retreat per year. Till next time!

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