Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Things I Learned on Salt Spring Island

I arrived home from my yoga retreat on Monday night and only now do I feel ready to talk about it. It was so incredible, but so much to take in. I’m not gonna say my time at The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga was life-changing (I’ve had enough of those experiences this year) but, I do feel I found what I was looking for. With so much to say about my time away, I find I can’t do it justice writing on my little blog. If you ever wanna ask me about something specific, please do. Here, a list of some of the things that I learned on the island:
  • I love yoga. Okay, I already knew that, but it was reaffirmed this weekend. Practicing makes my body and my mind feel so damn good.
  • I am yoga philosophised out, for now. I learned so much about who I want to be as a person and was fed so many inspiring quotes and life affirmations. But, I think if I read one more motivational citation my head will explode. Time to sit back and let everything absorb!
  • Speaking of being fed - I realized that I can easily go four days without any meat (the vegetarian meals they fed us were phenomenal), but I can’t go as long without a drink! Caesars for breakfast anyone?!
  • Everybody has a story they carry with them, deserving of our compassion and understanding. Just because that beautiful girl over there seems like she’s really got everything going for her, doesn’t mean she’s not battling an eating disorder.
  • People in BC think you’re weird if you’ve never been on a ferry before.
  • Salt Spring Island is a healing, magical place. Ancient folklore says the Natives of BC would never live on the island, but would come over and stay for days when in need of both spiritual or physical healing. I certainly could feel it’s magic working on me.
  • I want a simple life. I want to live quietly, surrounded by those that I love, and those that love me.
  • I want to teach. I’m not sure if I’m drawn to kids, or they’re drawn to me (or both), but I found the best conversations I had while away were with the children of the island. I prize their honesty and the way they can look at life and just see things they way they are. I want to be around them more.
  • Many believe that, during your first three days of menstruation, you shouldn’t do inversions (i.e. handstands, legs-up-the-wall, etc.). The instructors at the centre’s point of view was that it can mess with both the natural flow of energy and the natural flow of, well, your period. Kinda makes sense to me …
  • I can do poses I never thought I’d be able to do in a million years, like Firefly Pose. (Okay, so I had blocks under my hands and my legs weren’t straight, but I was still thrilled). Imagine what YOU can do with a little practice!!
  • I can meditate! I find it really hard to let my mind be blank and really concentrate on … nothing. But after some breathing practices, I found I was able to meditate for real (not just sit with my eyes closed while wondering what to make for supper). I only became conscious I was truly meditating after snapping out of it and realizing my mouth was gaping open and I was drooling, but I did it!
  • Participating in Kirtan was a moving and humbling experience. It was wonderful to see the community brought together to praise whoever or whatever it is each of them believes in such an open and accepting way.
  • There’s no place like home.


  1. Hi Leah :) It's Kimberly from the retreat - not so anonymous anymore :) Hope you enjoyed your last day to yourself on the Island. It was a pleasure meeting you and I'm sorry to hear about your son, keep being strong. Your blog is brilliant, keep it up :)

  2. Thanks Kimberly :) It was very nice to meet you too. My last day was really nice. Very peaceful. It was great to get back home though! Thanks for reading :)