Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spain 2: Yoga retreat.

Sunset over the Sierra de los Filabres.

The first half of my vacation was spent at the Casa Blanca Yoga and Reiki Retreat, in the Andalucia region of southern Spain. A small, family-run, private studio in a traditional Spanish farmhouse, this rural getaway was a restful time for stretching mind and body. A lovely young Londoner and I were the only clients for our five-night stay, assuring us personal attention.

Two hours of yoga in the morning, an hour of reiki in the afternoon, two more hours of yoga before dinner ~ and the time in between filled with reading, writing and chatting over the views of the Spanish countryside, orange and lemon groves with the mountains beyond. Amazing homemade vegetarian meals, served al fresco. Vivid sunsets.

One afternoon we made a side trip to a mineral springs near Baza. I was expecting a hot springs spot within the nearby lake. Instead, we found a lovely 1930s-era pool built to surround the natural springs, jutting out over the lake beyond, surrounded by the Sierra de Baza mountains. A restful, peaceful afternoon.

The retreat was more work than I'd expected ~ not so much the four hours of yoga a day as the slowness of the yoga pace, holding only a few repeated poses for much longer than the athletic flows I'm used to. It was taxing not only physically but mentally. I liked the change of pace. Slow down. Be only in the moment.

Who knew life could move more slowly than it does in Morocco?

Yoga instructor Liz in front of her lovely home and retreat.

Rural Andalucean views.

The hammock where I read away the afternoons.

The (manmade) lake around the hot springs near Baza.

The springs pool.

With Eleanora, my new yoga friend from London.

Stretching out the kinks first thing in the morning.

Walk-up headstand (she only caught me coming out of the pose,
so my toes and back aren't straight).


cortney linn said...

Spain sounded so magnificent. I am glad that you got a chance to step out for a while. That yoga retreat also sounds so ideal. Thank you also for your support and I am looking forward to seeing you in Rabat soon.

Anna Jo said...

this is beautiful - happy imagining you here