Enjoying Every Step On a Hiking Yoga Retreat
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Do you enjoy walking? Just walking around, without any particular purpose?
Living in the city, walking usually takes us from point A to point B. In between, our minds are filled with things to do... we even walk and text to ‘save’ time! The urban lifestyle treats walking for walking’s sake mostly as a waste of time, or at best, a quirky luxury. But is that really so?
Is there a value of purposeless walking in our goal-oriented society?
I definitely believe so! Once we get out of the city and into nature, we can rediscover walking for the sake of walking. Opening up to surroundings, noticing, being in awe of small details, and suddenly, there’s space opening for new ideas to arise. This is why I created a Yoga and Hiking retreat in Andalusia.
High in the Alpujarras mountains of Andalusia in southern Spain, this family friendly retreat takes place on a farm that not only grows its own organic vegetables and makes its own olive oil, but also has goats, horses and a peacock breeding sanctuary. Children can run around the farm safely and get to know different animals that live there!
The local area is known for its fantastic hiking, spectacular mountain views and isolated “white villages” along steep gorges and cool mountain streams.
The mindfulness practice built up during morning yoga and meditation sessions will allow us to notice thoughts but don’t dwell on them. Walking like that, each step becomes the goal, or as the Zen saying says: “Process is to goal”. It's an incredibly refreshing practice for both the body and mind.
Walking without distractions, opening up to the surroundings with all our senses – the wind on your skin, the smells and sounds around us, and the colors of the sky.
Returning from this walks, we are physically tired, but also recharged. It is a healthy kind of tiredness, quite different from the exhaustion we feel when working and living in a big city.
This type of tiredness calls for a deep surrender, relaxation and peace provided in the restorative yoga sessions that follow the hiking tours. With the body still, supported and relaxed, we are gently present with everything that is going on inside us, without reacting to it. That way, we can enter into a deeply nourishing relaxation zone, a space for the soul to discover the beauty of the inner landscapes.
At the end of the day, we share delicious dinner based on home grown fruits and vegetables. Mindful eating in a group of friends can shift our attitudes toward food, how and why we eat. Everything that happens on a retreat is grounds for mindfulness practice. We start to enjoy each step. The process is the goal, anyway!
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