Zihuat Yoga Retreat
As it turns out, doing yoga in sunny Zihuatanejo, Mexico overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean every morning can be pretty darn distracting. To be sure, it’s a first world problem. But, a problem is still a problem. I challenged myself to reign in my gaze from the horizon, bring it closer and closer towards my mat so that I could focus on the movement of my bones as I breathed. What I discovered (thanks to my teacher, Scott Anderson) was that I was holding a fair amount of habitual tension in my sternum. Even though I was exhaling pretty deeply, my ribs were still in a metaphoric holding pattern circling over LAX in coach class. As soon as I gave them the message that they’re on vacation too, I was immediately bumped up to first class. Now with my ribs moving more freely, I was able to groove to my own inner ocean rhythm. To the extent that I could maintain that awareness, I opened my gaze to the ocean, the sound of the birds, the breeze on my skin.
No matter where you are, there will be distractions. Like the incessant parrot next door to the yoga studio or the tiny bugs who feasted on my shins. There are bugs in paradise. True paradise is found within. Likely, this isn’t new information to you. We all have a first class ticket with our name on it. The price of admission is a willingness to turn the senses inward and with loving attention, notice whatever is there to notice. Pack your curiosity, leave your concepts behind, and convert your dollars of judgments and assumptions for the pesos of appreciation and awe. Once you’ve landed in the inner realm of contentment, a very different kind of adventure begins to unfold.
I’ve been back home in Eugene for almost a week, and I continue to return throughout the day to that inner ocean rhythm of breath…. inhaling… exhaling…. Paradise is within… each breath…. Zihuatanejo was a lovely place to visit, and it afforded me the opportunity to release several layers of unnecessary tension and play with a handful of similarly committed human beings. I remember once again that distractions are not a problem, but an opportunity.
Here’s a link to view pictures from our trip to Zihuatanejo
Here’s a link to view representative pictures of birds I saw in Zihuatanejo (these are NOT my pics)