Italy: REtreat REcap
Want to learn more about what we did during our week retreat in Italy?! Learn about what each day of the retreat entails and gain some knowledge about the beautiful region of Puglia, Italy along the way.
Puglia, a southern region forming the heel of Italy’s “boot,” is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline.
Before we go anywhere that we haven't been before, we may spend days, weeks even months dreaming and envisioning what it may be like. You try and wrap your head around all of the unknown spaces and all of the empty compartments of your mind that will soon be filled with memories of a time and place. When we arrived in Italy, it was one of those moments of, yes this isn't just a vision anymore, this is real. Really real.
At first, I was underwhelmed by Bari. It was overwhelmingly metropolitan and cars and highways filled the landscape. Of course I can't say too much because I only calculated this from my perspective in the taxi on our way to the retreat center in Fasano. I was just hoping that it wouldn't look like that once we arrived.
After a short 35 minute drive from the airport, we arrived just in time for sunset at the Masseria. The exit we got off of brought us into a whole new scenery of Puglia. Layers of olive trees stretch for miles and the cobble stone walls hugged the tight streets leading us to our home away from home for the week.
The entrance to the Masseria was a longer dirt road and the sign sat in a bed of hay, showcasing that yes we were in farm country, and was a gentle expression of the simplicity we would experience there. The gates opened and we entered to what felt like a white washed dream. The grounds were pristinely organized and lit with beautiful large lanterns that illuminated the gardens surrounding the building. Gentle instrumentals were playing in the background, but beyond the music, you could feel the quietness that instilled a sense of serenity I'll never forget.
Masseria San Francesco is a dream in Puglia. A must see. And "must" is an understatement.
We stayed for two nights before the rest of the retreat group arrived and what was one of the most memorable moments we experienced was having a conversation with our beautiful friend and organizer, Angela, one night over dinner and wine. She was this petite young woman who was full of energy, a gigantic metal grin (with braces), who always wore white which was such a representation of her youthful and glowing energy. We sat and discussed our lives and drew the conclusion that, yes we are so similar. Yes, there are things that are hard and there are many lessons to learn, and that the biggest lesson we must all learn is how to love and be loved in return. That night we gifted Angela a Mala Collective bracelet that we bought for everyone on the retreat, which stood for "clarity". Clarity to find the answers she and we are all seeking. Clarity to understand ourselves and what we need. Clarity to move forward and making choices that fulfill us and empower us. Clarity to see who we really are.
This was the perfect introduction to a week of healing and transformation. A week of discovery and learning about ourselves through our practice and through the course work we have developed known as, The Bow Method.
The Bow Method, is a tool, for a self discovery. The course work uses the philosophy of yoga and the chakras to help facilitate a deeper understanding of all different aspects of ourselves. We recognize that we are beings made up of light and darkness and that we are constantly seeking balance of that duality. Darkness is a choice just as finding our light is a choice. Yet we must learn to confront our darkness in order to manage in in our lives and learn to grow from it rather than be dampened by it. Arrow Yoga Retreats are a week of honestly seeing ourselves and empowering ourselves to choose what we truly desire so that we can launch forward into the direction of our dreams.
I'd love to share with you a breakdown of the course work for the week to help many of you have a greater understanding of what to expect on a Arrow Yoga Retreat.
Every retreat has a theme or intention that inspires our work for the week. Jana, is derived from the Roman God, Janus, who was a man depicted with two heads facing in opposite directions. He is known as the God of beginnings and endings,transitions, and change as one face is looking towards the past and the other is looking into the future. He represents the perfect balance between our duality. Also known as the God of Gateways, we thought Jana would be the perfect guide for us as we move forward on our journey of continual growth. He reminded us that as one door closes, another one is always bound to open.
DAY 1 >>Friday<<
Intro + Root Chakra