Integrative Wellness Retreat

When the gears shift from Summer to Fall we have the opportunity to change with the season. Here in LA I hear a lot of people saying, "we don't have seasons" or "here comes another heat wave"! While sometimes this may feel true there are definitely noticeable changes. I look around and I see trees of brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. They may not be on every street, but they are there! I see the leaves falling in greater numbers than I had seen in the preceding months. I feel the slight temperature change (even though it may be a micro change). I definitely feel it in the amount of light we have during the day (sunset is now at 5:00pm)! So there are changes and I see it as an opportunity to slow down, to draw inwards, to take extra care of ourselves and celebrate the natural changes that are occurring outside and within.  

At the beginning of October I had the great pleasure of documenting the Integrative Wellness Retreat led by Amanda Ramirez and Jenn Marks. Amanda is a licensed doctor of physical therapy while Jenn has spent most of her career organizing events for large corporations, anything from sporting events to concerts. Both of them are certified yoga instructors (that's how they met) and combine both their love for food, movement, education and travel to create a unique experience. The retreat took place at a beautiful house in Malibu,CA and focused on teaching Ayurvedic principles about how to align ourselves with the Fall season. For instance, we can begin to eat warmer foods and teas to keep our digestive fire alive during the cooler months. We learned about how important it is to slow down and be still with nature. We had the space to integrate all the Ayurvedic principals so there was no excuse not to try. While we may not have done all 19 recommended daily practices we did do some and they left us all feeling really wonderful. The reason I even found the retreat was because my friend, coach and holistic chef, Claire Raggozzino cooked us Ayurvedic meals for the entire trip. I learned a lot from all three experts and went deeper into my own wellness practice. 

This retreat allowed me to set my focus and intentions for what I wanted to get out of this Fall season. It's been a little over a month and I can say with great satisfaction that I am living those dreams and feel stronger than ever. It really helped to set my focus before stepping forward.  As the the Winter solstice (12/21) draws upon us we can all refocus now. What goals do you need to rededicate yourself too? Mine are to strengthen my commitment to my health and education as a holistic wellness instructor and to be gentle towards myself and others. It's time to do the things that you've been avoiding. Don't overthink. Just do it.