This weekend, after battling papers and books and other mountains of stressful homework all week, I headed off for 24 hours at the coast for a Yoga retreat!
While I was abroad last spring, the Bates Yoga Kula came into existence– some really enthusiastic (and inspiring!) students who love yoga decided that there needed to be more on campus! This year, there are FREE classes 5 days a week offered by different instructors in different styles of yoga to the entire Bates community. Talk about amazing.
I’d never done yoga before, but had to complete a final PE credit for graduation. I signed up, assuming I’d just go two days a week, as is required. I totally fell in love. This semester is a crazy busy one for me, with FOUR classes in the English department keeping me utterly occupied– always reading and writing! Going to yoga every afternoon at 4:30 is my daily break from my super stressed world. The classes here are really well attended– the radiant vinyasa classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays usually brings out around 90 students and staff! Thats a LOT of sweaty people manipulating their bodies and breath in one room. Very cool and very uniting. The classes are held in Old Commons, where Batesies used to dine before the new facility was built.
Anyways, the kula (or community) organizes more than just classes each day. There are workshops and field trips– one such being the retreat! We headed out to Bates’ property near Popham beach, Shortridge, on Friday afternoon. We had 5 cars full of happy yogis ready for some relaxation, meditation and serious yoga. A diverse group of students, of all class years, genders, and friend groups, we all came together and had an amazing weekend. Filled with classes, meditating, games, conversation, silence, eating, beautiful weather, and an unforgettable 7:30 AM beach trip, I am so happy with my decision to go. I felt empowered– both physically, due to my mastery of some of the more strength-intensive poses that I’d yet been able to do, and mentally, after maintaining silence for an extensive period of time and conquering barriers in my mind as well.
Such a great trip– but now i have a LOT of reading to do, and my body is aching from all the yoga I’ve done in the past few days!