• Nourished.
  • Softened.
  • Strengthened.
  • Holding on, Letting go.
  • Slow. Silence.
  • Delicious.
  • Senses, sensual and sensitive
  • Awake, Present.
  • Playful.
  • Connected.

These were some of the words I wrote down after the 3-day Yoga and Mindfulness retreat led by Lucy Draper-Clarke and Steven Heyman at the Tara Rokpa Centre in the Groot Marico district.

Relaxing by the Farm Dam

Nourished – I felt completely and utterly nourished during and after this retreat. Johannesburg can be quite a draining and dry city: I felt parched when I arrived and full, sumptuous and juicy when I left.

Softened – Learning to soften. Soften the mind. Soften the body. There was an incredible balance of actively working with the mind and the body through yoga. The yin yoga practice before going to sleep was especially lovely in softening into the body, softening into a place of compassion, softening into the dream space in preparation for sleep.

Strengthened – On the Friday we could choose between a Compassion workshop with Lucy and an Inversion workshop with Steven. I decided to do the inversion workshop which was hard work, but really fun. Strengthened in so many ways and realizing the journey of strengthening different parts of the body for ‘going upside down’.

Holding on and Letting go – Noticing – through both the mind and the body – how we hold onto things – how they should be and then consciously, mindfully attempting to let this go and be present to what is.

Slow and Silence
– On one of the last days we just walked in silence. But we walked really slowly. Like as slow as humanly possible. Have you ever done this? It is quite a beautiful thing: giving time to walking and sensing all the things involved in walking. Often we ate in silence too. Eating slowly. Noticing every bite. Investing in slowness and silence. Yes.

Delicious – While we are talking about food – the food at Tara Rokpa is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Mmmmmmmmmmm!

Jumping in at the Eye

Senses, sensual, sensitive – Listening with all the senses. Maybe its because Tara Rokpa is a really special magical place or maybe its because on retreat you really pay attention. And when we pay attention everything becomes a heightened kind of experience. Engaging the senses on this retreat was especially wonderful and something I brought back to Jo’burg.

Awake and Present – What follows on from this is a feeling of being really present in the world and really awake to what is. This can be scary in some ways (ignorance is bliss), but it can also be really enlivening and a really honest way to live. I felt more awake and energized in my body through the yoga and mindfulness practice. Thank you!

Playful – The play force is strong with these two facilitators! And that’s why I went. I often find that sometimes we can take ourselves a little bit too seriously to be the best that we can be in all the things we do. When we adopt a playful outlook on life it’s more about trying things out, possibly failing, laughing at oneself and then trying again. The contact yoga was especially fun! I was given the opportunity to lead a short experience in play on the Saturday night. We walked, we ran, we shouted, we were also zombies. It was a lot of fun and a great way to connect 🙂

Connected – not at all with my phone! With myself, with the people that I got to know better there, with my relationship to my thoughts and my mind and my body, with sleep, with food, with all the senses, with the natural world, with the earth, with water, with the air and with what is.

Thank you Lucy, Steven, Pippa, Megan and everyone else and all the dogs and wonderful wild things at Tara Rokpa.

See you soon.
Anthea Moys