Friday, May 24, 2013

Yoga Retreat for Women of Color

Presenters Gail, Robin, Kick-Ass Assistant Betty, Founder Maya, Kick-Ass Assistant Rose, and Me

This year's Yoga Retreat for Women of Color at Kripalu was May 17-19, 2013.

It was the single greatest weekend of my life.

I've had a hard time putting this weekend into words. While I was there I felt nourished, supported, whole, and complete. It felt like coming home. I felt the same as I do when I am with my family in Atlanta, Detroit, and North Carolina. I'd only met Maya once, and had never met any of the other women. But as soon as we gathered together on Friday night, I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

I knew I belonged there as a participant. In honesty, I came in nervous about being a presenter. Along the way, Maya, Gail, and Robin had told me that they had my back. And they did. Right before my presentation ("Change Your Eating, Change Your Life") I looked in the mirror and said, "God did not bring you this far just to drop you. They got you." I invited my Mocha Angels to come up there with me. And I killed it. I barely remember what I said, but I do remember the booming, loving reception I received afterward.

The weekend was what life should be like all the time: communal, supportive, loving, gracious, honest, and SAFE. We felt safe speaking our truths. We also had big FUN! I can't remember the last time I had so much fun! I've haven't danced in public in years (my living room has seen me dance the most). I let my hair down and boogie oogie oogied with all the other sisters. We had an "Over 50" vs. "Under 50" dance-off. The "Over 50" women kicked our butts, but we gave it the college try!

If the retreat was a luscious, sexy, decadent, rich ice cream sundae, then meeting Danny Dryer was the cherry on top! Danny is the author of Chi Running, a book I reviewed last year. I knew he coming but forgot about it in the haze of preparing my workshop. I got to meet him Sunday and told him how his book taught me how to run my 5K last year. This is us together! Sweet!!

If you are a woman of African, Hispanic, Asian, Aleutian, and/or Native American descent, all or some of the above, this retreat will leave you nourished. That is the best word I can find. I felt wholly supported and energized by the retreat. The theme was "Spirit and Joy." I left so happy and joyous. I cannot over-emphasize how important this retreat was to my spirit. When registration opens up again, register early as all of Kripalu sold out last weekend. So if you wanted to come last-minute, there was no room. It'll be back next Spring. As soon as I know about it, I'll let you all know!

Althea ◦

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