Our Iceland Adventure
23 of us set out for an unforgettable mini retreat to the majestic island of Iceland. After 4 days of fitness, mindfulness, outdoor adventure and inner connection, we all left feeling full on what it means to align with our joy, our hearts and our truth.
All photos are taken by Anna Meyer Photography
We started off our retreat meeting at the airport, and set out for the Blue Lagoon. This was ideal after a red eye flight and we all got to bond over face masks, jet lag and morning mimosas.
We took off for our 45 minute ride into Reykjavik, settled into our rooms at Hotel Odinsve reconnected at the studio we would be using for the next few days. Our intention was to integrate slowly into the week and decided to offer a restorative yoga practice to reconnect to our selves before we opened up to some of the work we'd be doing. Post yoga was our "welcome circle" where we get to know each other, and introduce our journal everyone receives. Things got a little vulnerable and we welcomed the week with a sense of authenticity, openness and generosity.
Thursday morning, we began our day with our fearless leader, Esther on an invirogarating 3k. We moved together as a team, meaning no one was left behind. In the cold damp weather, we worked through our discomforts and awakened to the meaning of community and confidence. It didn't matter what pace you were running, just as long as you kept going.
Our run was followed by an invigorating power yoga class led by Dani. A fluid practice that tapped into a greater understanding of the fundamentals of the yoga practice, how to create a deep sense of stability on and off the mat as well as learning practical tools for mindful attention.
Thursday was whale watching day! We had fun getting dressed in our gear but were definitely confronted with our discomfort zone as the water was super rough and we ended up seeing no whales. A great lesson in non attachment and being in the process of whatever comes, or in this case, doesn't!
Friday morning we ran 2 miles in the rain to get to a local gym, where Esther, with all of her power summoned over 75 people to her spin class. There were hip thrusts, hair tips and lots of screams in this class and in true Esther style, she brought the fire!
We didn't run back to the hotel but took cabs which none of us felt ashamed of. We worked super hard and couldn't wait to get back to our warm hotel breakfast that was always abundant with eggs, fruit, cereals, pastries, you name it. Friday was our golden circle tour. Remember the rain I mentioned earlier that morning? Yep, well it never let up. We spent the whole golden circle tour cruising around in the rain but it didn't disrupt our spirits. We got to witness so much of this tiny islands beauty and learned about it's history with our local tour guide.
Saturday. Our final day consisted of a 10 k run to the nearby lighthouse. We watched as the water crashed up against the sea wall and got to connect with the scenery by foot. We passed Bjork's house which may have taken away from the challenge of the run, for like two seconds, and continued on with the view of the light house as our compass. It was a hard run and we made it through. Just another reminder that when you shift your mindset to yes I can and we're in this together, what becomes possible for you.
The rest of the day was more of a free day for everyone to visit places they were interested in. We met back earlier in the afternoon for our final yoga practice and discussion which consisted of 108 sun salutations. We've been doing this on every retreat for three years now and the results are always the same. A sense of connectivity, clarity and receptivity. We moved as one, breathed as one in a circle and offered gratitude for the stories we realized don't define us and for the lives that we have chosen. After 9 sets of 12 sun salutations, all dedicated to the 9 aspects of our being, we held hands and cheered and hugged out all the old parts of ourselves that we left behind. This week we stepped into our unknown. We dove a little deeper and did the work it takes to grow stronger and even more in love with ourselves. This last practice was symbolic of all that, the restoring and reclaiming of ourselves and our potential.
Now, every Arrow Retreat ends the week with an epic celebration. I love the surprise factor so we didn't tell our group where we going, what we were doing, nothing. We hired a private ferry to take us over to an island just across harbor where we dined at one of the oldest historic homes of Reykjavik. We had the most magical experience. Speeches were given, tears and laughs expressed, and at the end of all it, we couldn't help but feel so appreciative for the wonderful people that we each opened up to, befriended, and connected to.
What does it mean to Find North? It looks like unearthing all the parts of ourselves that limit our connection to ourselves and the world. It feels like reconnecting with the incredible human we already are. It means knowing that we have the ability and the power to write our own story, and to make it magical.