I've been reliving the magic of the Sweet Sierra Yoga Retreat through photos my wonderful friend Klare Nichols captured, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites here. If you couldn't make it to this retreat, maybe these will entice you to join in next time around!
Opening Circle, setting intentions for our weekend together and setting the tone as one of authenticity, presence for one another... as well as a whole lot of silliness and laughter. Look at all these sweet listening faces!
For our first yoga class, I taught a slow flow as we settled into our bodies after a day of travel, then moved into partner thai massage. Physical touch is so often taboo in our culture, and we wanted to start the retreat by creating a space where we could reach out and connect. PLUS, it feels amazing!
Our first retreat dinner was vegan tacos! These had so many ridiculously yummy ingredients... taco spiced lentils, quinoa, roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes and corn, cilantro jalapeno lime slaw, and the coup de grace: cashew chipotle sauce. This was probably the favorite food item of the whole weekend. Luckily we made way more of it than necessary and got to use it to top everything all weekend long. The recipe was based on one from My California Roots, which you can find here.
We finished off the night with dark chocolate cinnamon hot cocoa and some stargazing! We were even lucky enough to watch a few meteors from the Orionid meteor shower streak across the sky.
Our first outdoor practice of the retreat! Beanies and socks were necessary at first but Breath of Joy, sun salutations and some handstand playtime had everyone sweating soon enough.
Beautiful open hearts in Wild Thing.
A very cozy savasana in layers of blankets, and some sweet adjustments from Jules.
Post-yoga smoothie bowl deliciousness. These fruit filled bowls were so tasty! Bananas for creaminess, berries, cacao nibs, cashew cream, almond butter, coconut flakes, and freshly baked granola by my friend and Sweet Sierra helping hand Ana. We walked back into a warm and toasty cinnamon smelling cabin, so good!
Next we took off on a hike. Mount Ely is a steep climb up smooth granite slopes, rewarding you at the top with gorgeous views in each direction. We took in Shaver Lakes blue hues...
the Sierras steep peaks
And the wonderful company!
We held a meditation at the top of the mountain, taking in the hawks spiraling overhead, the soft breeze, beautiful horizons, and the warm sunshine on our skin... our meditation eventually evolved into a little AcroYoga playtime!
Jules taught a much needed restorative flow class that night when we returned to the cabin, and I assisted - contributing lots of massages after such a full day!
Our second retreat-family dinner! This ridiculously yummy vegan Asian-style grain bowl was awesome, we topped quinoa with teriyaki marinated tofu, roasted kabocha squash and broccoli, cashews, micro greens, kimchi, fresh mint, cilantro and basil, and a tahini-miso sauce. I loved sitting around the table with all of our participants, and appreciated the way they spoke and listened to each other with such respect, curiosity and presence. No cell phones out at this table!
Jules led the final yoga class of the retreat on the back deck, beneath pines and redwoods. A warmer morning meant a slow hip opening practice to restore and rejuvenate after a Saturday full of action!
Giving a shoulder opening adjustment to Monique
Brett back bending in the sunshine.
Closing out the class and the weekend with my beautiful co-teacher Jules. What a wonderful experience to create this weekend together, and how incredible to have each of our retreat participants arrive so fully to fill it the way that they did. Bowing my head in that moment felt like real, deep, visceral gratitude.
Then we ate breakfast wraps, played with some more AcroYoga, took a dip in the lake, and said good-byes filled with lots of hugs! Love this group of people... and can't wait for our next retreat.