The Path of Beauty: Yoga & Writing Weekend Retreats

pathofbeauty

Yoga has altered my life, for the better, for more than two decades. I’ve been teaching for the past sixteen years. I’ve also been writing pretty much since I can remember. Diaries, journals, blogs, poems, essays, articles. So I’m beyond thrilled to be offering a few weekend retreats in August & September that are all about yoga and writing — and gratitude and practice and community and love and kindness and laughter and the path of beauty.

YOGA & WRITING WEEKENDS at Villa Sumaya in August & September!

{2 day/1 night, Saturday & Sunday affairs} * Suitable for ALL LEVELS!

Join me at the divinely inspirational Villa Sumaya for a weekend getaway to relax and recharge with a heart-opening yoga practice designed to accommodate all levels, ages and body types. Participate in a writing circle, focused on introspective journaling and optional sharing, clarifying your life goals by tapping your creative muse and inspiring new growth.

AUGUST 18-19        SEPTEMBER 1-2        SEPTEMBER 22-23

We’ll start Saturday at 11am with the opening circle, followed by lunch, free time, afternoon workshop, dinner. Sunday we’ll gather together for morning practice, breakfast, and finish with a closing sauna ceremony.

About the Instructor

Michelle Margaret Fajkus is a longtime yoga teacher, writer/blogger, and heart-centered human being. She has been  joyfully teaching yoga for over sixteen years and has facilitated yoga and mindfulness retreats in Guatemala since 2010. Her classes are suitable for all levels, ages and body types and incorporate hatha, vinyasa flow, dharma yoga, yin yoga, pranayama/breath work, chanting, mindfulness and relaxation.

Details: http://villasumaya.com/event/group-retreats-michelle/

Discounted day passes available for lake friends!

The Poetry of Retreat

Wake up well before dawn.

Set an alarm, just in case. I don’t want to miss a moment of the five a.m. sadhana.

Under the veil of darkness, stroll along the starlit, lapping lake to the candlelit temple where White Tara beams down upon us all every day and night.

Location: Sumaya, which means “a long awaited dream come true”; a.k.a. paradise found.

Akasha shares his personal practice with us, in such a down-to-earth, accessible and friendly way. Casually imparts the wisdom of years and decades of practice. So humbly, with the authenticity of actions and the nebulous precision of words. The time flies by.

Breathing, chanting, moving, holding, listening. Paying attention.

Sun rises, pastels paint the sky. We invite the morning light. The lake’s daily awakening. All the sounds, the water, the boat motors, voices, birdsong.

And now, a series of seven-minute chants. I read from the sheet and marvel at all the people in the room who has these long strings of Sanskrit syllables memorized.

Mid-morning Ashtanga practice. Powerful. Right effort. Knowing boundaries, challenging limits. Mountain men and women gaining strength, vitality. Soaking up inspiration from our teacher and his teacher’s teachers.

Just one week, and yet we go so deep, transforming energy on all levels. Strangers swiftly become sangha, friendships are forged over meals and spirit animal tarot cards.

Healing circle, full moon, New Year’s Eve evening; glowing hearts, positive energy, splendid synergy. Giving and receiving.

Inner transformation, outward evolution. Deep bow of gratitude, dream come true. The closing of one chapter leads to the opening of the next.

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Thank you. I love you. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Namaste.

Summer 2017 Weekend Retreats @ Lake Atitlan

Retreat at Lake Atitlan, one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, surrounded by lush flora and fauna, colorful Mayan villages and three volcanoes.

Here are eight great reasons for us to create the time and space in our lives for retreat, whether it be a single morning of silence in our own backyard or a week of yoga in Guatemala:

  1. Unplug from devices and reconnect with the simple perfection of this one wild and precious life, right here and now
  2. Deepen our formal and informal practices of yoga and meditation
  3. Connect with the glory of nature and the elements of earth, fire, water, sky and space
  4. Be empowered by group energy to cultivate with greater discipline and focus
  5. Do our own inner work for the benefit of all beings without exception
  6. Learn more about our mind’s habit-patterns and escapes
  7. Forge bonds with new spiritual friends through laughter, tears, sharing stories
  8. Devote our time, money and energy to holistic healing and self-love

I’m thrilled to announce the following group retreats for the 2017 rainy season —

 

SUMMER 2017

3-Day/2-Night Weekend Retreats
June 3-5 ~ Wellness Weekend @ La K’zona (Saturday to Monday)
June 23-25 ~ Seven Sacred Directions @ Villa Sumaya
July 7-9 ~ Writing Down the Chakras @ Villa Sumaya
July 21-23 ~ The Path of Beauty @ Villa Sumaya
August 5-7 ~ Seven Sacred Directions @ La K’zona (Saturday to Monday)
August 18-20 ~ Writing Down the Chakras @ Villa Sumaya
September 1-3 ~ Seven Sacred Directions @ Villa Sumaya

Themes

Wellness Weekend: Chakra Yoga, Art & Cooking ~ 

Workshops will cover mindful eating, walking meditation, chakra basics, creative practice (writing, visual art, music, etc), incorporating seeds, nuts, ferments, preparing easy, minimally-processed, highly-nutritious and delicious dishes, making sprouts, growing greens/radishes & making delicious green smoothies.

Seven Sacred Directions: Yoga, Ceremony & Celebration ~

We’ll be practicing yoga with a focus on the 7 chakras and 7 sacred directions, celebrating and reflecting with a cacao ceremony and a fire ceremony.

Writing Down the Chakras: Yoga, Meditation & Journaling ~

This will be a weekend to practice conscious being, breathing, moving, relating, expressing, and creating. We will share in the group practices of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, writing and also allow plenty of time for reflection and integration.

General Schedule

Friday arrive & settle in / 4:30 opening circle / 6:30 dinner

Saturday 7:30 tea & fruit / 8am yoga / 9:30 breakfast / 11:00 workshop or ceremony / 1:00 lunch, free time / 4:30 learning circle and practice / 6:30 dinner

Sunday 7:30 tea & fruit / 8:00 closing circle & fire ceremony / 10:30 brunch

To get more info or join one of these sacred circles, please write to Michelle via yogafreedom at gmail dot com!

Namaste~

Perhaps You Need a Little Feminist Poetry

flowerpetals

Women, liberals, reasonable people. Our collective heart is broken. When we look at the world, the nation and our society as a whole, it is obviously broken. What can be done?

How can we take action at the personal, family and neighborhood levels in order to cultivate awareness, compassion, understanding, and ultimately, peace?

I don’t know. Maybe poetry. Poetry so good, it can make us tear up when we read it aloud.

Poetry, as in beautiful, terrible, intense, calming beads of words strung together that somehow make sense of life.

Poetry, as in yoga—as in love.

Last week, the day after the Trump inauguration, which I chose not to watch or read about, I began day one of giving my first week-long retreat ever. I’ve led or co-facilitated lots of weekend retreats over the past six years, all of which have been wonderful and three days long. This one was eight days. We dove deep within.

In the safe space created by our intimate circle of brave women, we practiced heart-mindfulness, asana, breathing and looking at our lives—at Life—, through the lens of the chakras. And we read poetry. Mostly, I read to them while they were in a yin pose or savasana.

I read Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver and Sandra Cisneros. Their words welled up in me and stirred emotion, awe, gratitude, solidarity.

Women, powerful women, soul sisters: por favor, read these poems aloud in their entirety. Often. Some of my favorite excerpts follow. Viva la revolucion!

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