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6/09/2011

My Soulful Yoga Retreat


I moved to Tucson, Arizona from Los Angeles California a year ago to retreat on a journey of self discovery. Allowing myself more time to submerse into the natural adventures of exercise and healthy living, I have been blessed to be able to blog for Evolve fit wear along the way. 

This past weekend I was able to attend a yoga retreat for the second time in the high desert of Winkelman, Arizona.  Set 15 minutes off the beaten path, a long and winding sandy road takes you from route 77 into a small desert oasis named ‘Wind Spirit’.  Here a small group of year round residents take pride in their land, living modestly and graciously in small houses and utilizing natural resources like solar power and compost practices.

The community welcomes visitors and hosts ongoing yoga retreats about three times a year. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a blurb in a local magazine that read ‘‘A Journey with Your Heart’ Yoga Retreat, Come build community on a weekend immersion in a yogic paradise!  After looking up the retreat and finding out it was pleasantly affordable, I signed up with no expectation or idea of what I was getting myself into.

The first time I arrived at Wind Spirit, I was greeted immediately by a man named Ben, who with great pleasure and optimism showed me around the community. Sandy paths shaded with drooping trees led me to a my slumber den for the next two days : an abandoned school bus furnished with a futon and fresh blankets! Glorious!

The retreat began with an opening ceremony on a yoga deck - tucked underneath smiling trees and the slight sounds of chirps and whistles from the branches above. Joanna Carichner, a reputable and beloved Tucson yoga teacher, facilitated the weekend and asked us from the beginning to come with open hearts and open minds. 

During opening ceremony she asked us to gaze into eachother’s eyes without movement or verbal communication. Enough to make anyone quiver to succumb to such vulnerability among strangers, surprisingly we all made it through alive and formed instant bonds overnight. The rest of the evening was followed by a wholesome vegetarian meal served outside amidst the setting moon and the laughter of night birds and crickets. If anyone was up to it, the remainder of the night was concluded with a cleansing sauna or gather around a bonfire, maybe both.

The weekend was a mix of a strong yoga practice coupled with community building and self nurturing activities. The combination of the wind spirit energy and Joanna's passionate spirit, provided a catalyst for extraordinary healing. She challenged everyone to break down barriers within themselves, making space for self love and appreciation. It was the kind of experience that stays with you a few days after you have returned home from the retreat.

I am planning to go back to Wind Spirit when Joanna hosts another retreat in the fall. If you are interested in learning more about Wind Spirit community and Joanna's Yoga retreats please visit: 


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May you find a retreat that gives you as much joy and healing as I did!

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