It’s almost the fall equinox and Soul Candy Retreat has come to a close. Those five days were filled with a deep sense of community as we challenged our bodies and minds and invited in Spirit in its many forms.
When I awakened on the last day, my eyes were filled with tears as I reflected on our time together. As I sat in meditation, giddiness built up inside me. In those short days, we became a family: enjoying meals together, finding solidarity as we walked through the darkness of our shadow selves, surrendering to the blackness of lava caves, traversing the winding trails of the forest and lava flows, trusting in ourselves and in our bodies, and expanding our perceptions as we played with our senses. Our differences were cast to the side as we found laughter between the folds of conversation.
Expanding the Village
Soul Candy gave us an opportunity to create friendships and to share intimate moments. We dug beneath the layers of ourselves and laughed . . . oh, did we laugh! We played with the idea of letting go and surrendering when we were nervous. We learned about each other and about ourselves. We trusted that our experiences would be held in a sacred space. And we dared to be ourselves without apology.
Soul Candy was my first time hosting a yoga retreat, and although I have many years of experience organizing events, even my imagination could not have painted a picture colorful enough to represent the energy of Soul Candy. This is why the Yoga Sutras teach us to let go of expectations and resist the urge to control situations. When we do, we may be surprised at the way the Universe helps bring our greatest joys and passions to fruition. Thank you to everyone who was a part of Soul Candy—the sages, the students, the hands, and the land.
Retreat Thank Yous . . .
- Mindful Life Project & JG Larochette for bringing mindfulness into classrooms so the next generation can bring more light into the world. Thanks also for giving Soul Candy and Vitality Yoga a bigger purpose!
- The Mindful Mats & Janet Roberts for providing thoughtful mats with soulful sentiments, and for offering warm support over the last several months.
- James and Sarah Fink of Wild Oregon Foods for catering nutritious, flavor-bursting vegetarian foods, and for a loving friendship, without which Soul Candy would not have been the same.
- Kailey Stevens for sharing her enthusiasm for Central Oregon, knowledge of nature, and zest for life with the Soul Candy gang during our meditative cave and lava adventures.
- Katie “Pinto” LeBrun for bringing her vibrant energy for life and playful knowledge to Soul Candy in the form of hula hoop yoga.
- Jeremy Stuart for joining me in this courageous undertaking as we picked up our lives and started a new soul journey together, bringing Vitality Yoga’s Soul Candy retreat into the light. I couldn’t have done this without his 16-plus-hour days of construction and hard work over the last nine months, and for cooking, prepping, and schlepping as needed before and during the event.
- Adrienne Singer for her friendship and creative, feminine charm while organizing, decorating, and cleaning the yoga studio and house. Thank goodness for her also for picking up the slack wherever I left it!
- Kyle Robertson and Shane Chatham for general assistance while getting the property up to snuff, for patience during the chaos, and for providing me with unyielding friendship.
- Chen for his dedication and positive attitude while finishing the renovations of Pele’s Playground, including helping to install the yoga studio floor, preparing meals on long days, and too many other tasks to list.
- Khalid, SU, Robin and Ron Chatham for installing bamboo flooring, painting, yard work, and for offering companionship and insight.
- All of my teachers who have infused me with their wisdom and lessons, shared their experiences, and encouraged me to break out into the world to shine my light.
- All the workers, friends, and family who not only came together through 2017 to help turn Pele’s Playground into a blossoming haven of peace and love, but lent an ear, a hand, or a heart during this process.
- The attendees of Soul Candy for their trust, curiosity, verve, and willingness to go deep. Thank you for sharing your stories, your struggles, and your greatest joys with me!
YOU made Soul Candy possible. It is your energy, your love, your participation that enabled us to create this beautiful experience together. Truly, it takes a village! There aren’t enough words in the world to express my gratitude for you and your energy.
2018 Soul Candy!
I am so excited for the 2018 chapter of Soul Candy! Visit the 2018 Events page and email me at Andrea@VitalityYoga.us if you’d like to be included on the waitlist. Those on the list will have first dibs as soon as tickets go on sale this winter (it’s a boutique event and space is limited). Namaste, my loves!