Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Yoga Retreat as a Yoga Teacher

This time in Omassim I wan’t a yoga practitioner, a going to start YTT or a just qualified YTT like I had been before. I was a yoga teacher with her regular classes, additional training and a fair bit of experience teaching.

It was a bit different from going as a non-teacher. Although I have always made adjustments to suggested poses but I no longer got questioned about my adjustments. I made the same adjustments pre-teaching as I know my body and my injuries and know that full deep squats held for more than one breath are not for me.

I know that one of the teachers was a little nervous at having me in classes, she didn’t have that much experience of teaching yin and it’s my specialism. It was fine, her classes weren’t pure yin and there are things I would have changed but it still was a nice stretch and gave me ideas for some different transitions that I hadn’t tried before.

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Omassim 2018 Trip

Last week I went back to Omassim for a week of yoga, vegan food and surfing. It’s a beautiful space and now my fourth trip here. I’ve written about my previous trips in this post, this one, and this one.

It’s a easy trip for me and hence why I’ve been so many times. It’s changed a little over the last year and half since I was last here but not majorly. The days are easy, yoga at 8 or 10.30 (or both) and breakfast either before or after. The depending on the tide timings then surf was either in the morning or after lunch. The other time you could go for walks, to the beach, sit by the pool, book a massage or go on a trip. I was intending on going on a couple of trips to explore the area but in the end I needed a more relaxed week.

The evening started with a meditation session and then a yin or slow flow yoga class. Dinner and then usually a workshop or extra meditation session.

The days were relaxing and a good mix between busy and chilled. I had a wonderful week getting fully relaxed and rested. I know I’ll be back again next year to recharge.  I’ll write more about my trip next time as I’m still very much catching up from a week away.

 

 

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Retreat Typical Day

I’m gradually getting back to normal and catching up with the vast amount of work stuff that needs to be done so I can actually take time at lunch breaks to write posts about last week and the retreat. I find it a good break from my day job to spend time at lunch thinking and writing about yoga rather than my normal job.

By comparison a typical day last week when at Omassim was quite different. The schedule was written on the blackboard in the dining room and most days were similar.

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The day started with a cup of herbal tea before walking across the road to the other house to do yoga. Then a gorgeous breakfast buffet of porridge, yogurt, muesli, bread, cheese, vegetable spreads and other things.

Those that were heading surfing then had between half an hour and an hour depending on the day and tide, to get ready to head off surfing.

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I’ll cover the surf classes in another post but it was great fun.

Depending on when we left there was time for showers etc before lunch or if we left later it was a case of coming back and eating lunch straight away. Again it was mainly vegan and very tasty.

After lunch there was free time to explore the local area, go for walks along the cliffs or just chill out with a book. There also was a pool but having spent the morning in the water I didn’t feel the need to go in it. Plus it’s not heated and it’s not quite warm enough yet.

At 6.15pm we had mediation class. I made it to most of the classes but not all of them. One day I was just too tired after a particularly long walk and I wanted a nap instead. Yep it’s a hard life on a yoga retreat.

After mediation was yoga and the evening class was yin yoga. It was really nice to stretch out after surfing and being so active. I also don’t think I would have had the energy to do a more active class.

Dinner was served straight after yoga and again was buffets with lots of choice and the ability to try different dishes. A common theme with the food was that often I wasn’t entirely sure what it was but that I liked it and wanted more.

Two evenings there was an additional mediation held after dinner. I didn’t go to either of these as my hip was a bit niggly and I didn’t think sitting on the floor for so long would help it.

The days were long but good fun. In general even the nights that I stayed up after dinner chatting to people I was still in bed by 10.30pm and falling asleep shortly afterward.

 

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Tasting Meditation

One of the highlights of my week at Omassim was a tasting meditation. In generally the food was great and it really inspired me to try to cook more good vegan food at home. I’m not currently vegan and I don’t think it’s a transition that I’m going to make soon but I really appreciate when it’s good vegan food and I think I’m going to aim for one vegan day per week.

Anyhow back to the meditation. It was themed about experiencing food without your eyes. We sat with our eyes closed and some with eye masks on to completely block out the light.

Then Myken, our yin yoga/meditation teacher, came round and placed an item of food on our hand. Then you explored the item just through touch, then smell, then to our lips, then a very small bite and mindfully chewing to experience it. It was an really interesting experience and reminded me how much we eat with our eyes.

I also had a great challenge of staying calm and not panicking as this may sound strange but I really don’t like bananas to the point that they make me feel sick. I was slightly panicking about being given a piece of banana in my hand and then rejecting it and making a fuss. It wasn’t one of the four things that we tried so I was fine.

I’d like to repeat this exercise again with a different variety of foods.

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Surfing and Yoga

A quick post to say that I’m probably not going to post again till I get back home next week. I’m putting quite a few photos on Instagram so  you can see parts of my trip there. 

  
This is pretty much been my day everyday this week. 

It’s been good and it’s such a beautiful place.   
With great veggie, pretty much all vegan, food.   
I’m so happy here. 

  

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Leaving on a jet plane 

A slightly frustrating morning. I’m on my way to Omassim for a week of yoga and surfing. I left my flat at 5.30am this morning and at 9am I’m still in Edinburgh. 

  
We’re waiting for a take off slot and are on the list for taking off at 10am when we should be landing in Lisbon. 

  
I’m going to be arriving at about 1pm and then need to get on a subway and then bus. I’m not sure when I’ll actually get there as buses are a bit irratic on a Sunday afternoon. 

Still it’ll be good once I actually get there. 

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Breathe and Smile

The week before going away is always a busy one and this week is no exception. I’ve not made it to class this week as I’ve been super busy at work and trying to be organised and doing laundry etc before going away.

Also I’ve had some news about my job that should be fine longer term but that means that the next couple of months may be a little more hectic than I want them to be. It’s all about learning to be patient, leave my ego at the door and keep smiling. Oh and spend 5 minutes meditating at lunch time, that also helps.

Two more working days then I’ll be off to the coast for a week of yoga and relaxing. The instagram post that I posted on Monday certainly sums up this week.

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Packing Lightly

I’m getting excited as it’s only 46 days until I go back to Omassim for a week of (hopefully) sun, surf, yoga and a lot of yummy vegetarian food. I also have been considering packing, yes this far in advance. When I booked flights I didn’t book luggage as I thought I’d be ok without it. So I’m attempting to go for 7 days with hand luggage only.

It’s going to be a challenge in minimalist packing, which isn’t something that I’m that good at. I usually do just wear a few items lots while away but I like to have the option of more things. I think it’ll be fine once I’m there but I’m currently having a bit of a stress about it.

I also know that I have plenty of clothes to keep me going but the fact that I’m trying not to buy any more before May is making me nervous. Usually I buy at least one new outfit to wear when on holiday. This time I’m not going to be able to do that. Though I do actually have a very cute playsuit that I bought last year that I haven’t worn yet. Maybe that can be my new holiday outfit.

Plus it means that I can take my time and go into Lisbon on the way to Ericeira rather than needing to be collected if I just have a backpack.

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Easter Yoga Retreat

As I’m injured and not practicing much yoga for the next three weeks I’m attempting to cheer myself up. One of the things that I’ve done to help with this is to book an Easter Yoga and Surf Retreat. I’m heading back to Omassim for a week of yoga, surfing, very yummy vegetarian food and relaxing in hopefully some sunshine. One of the girls who was there last time is also hopefully coming but she needs to confirm that she can book the time off work. Even without her going I know that I’ll have a great time and will meet some awesome people.

Only 132 days till I get there and I can’t wait. I wrote quite a few posts about my time there in July last year and looking back on the photos make me smile.

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Yoga Retreat – The Non Yoga Parts

I’ve written about the yoga part of my retreat at Omassim already but this is about the mediation, massage and evening events/activities.


Every evening at 6.15pm there was meditation class. The exact type of meditation varied each day and each session lasted about 20 to 30 minutes. It was good to try new types of meditation as it’s not something that I practice regularly. I’m not that good at clearing my mind of other thoughts so it’s something that I need to work on at home.


Included in the yoga trail package was a 60 minute massage. This I had on Friday my last full day and it was super relaxing and helped release off my shoulders and back. Edwardo who gave me my massage doesn’t speak much English but he gave excellent nonverbal cause for when to turn over etc so it didn’t matter and made the massage even more relaxing.

On Monday night there were two people who came to give an extra meditation class. It was a more singing style than the other classes and lasted for an hour. It was enjoyable but difficult after the first full day.


On another night there was a healing singing performance. This really isn’t my thing so I gave it a miss but others enjoyed it and said it was really nice music.

On Thursday night we took a short trip after dinner to visit Skeleton Sea, a nearby art collective that makes art primarily from rubbish collected for beaches. It’s a fascinating place with great art and a lovely chilled out artist running it. A few weeks before we arrived they were involved in a beach clean up in the local beach and they made a video about it, which can be found here.


It’s a shame as earlier in the week I’d commented that the beach and cliffs were very clean and there wasn’t much rubbish about, the reason being that it had all been collected only a few weeks before.


Friday is Lila and Edwardo’s night off so the surf school arrange for a dinner outside of the guest house. This is held in a few different places but when we were there it was held about 10 minutes walk away. It was mainly sea food which as I’m allergic to fish wasn’t so great for me but it all was very fresh and excellent. It was I think €20 for sea food and €15 for vegetarian food, which included quite a lot of wine and beer. Then we went into Ericeira to go see one of the surf instructors who was DJing at a bar. Let’s just say it was a late night and the last of the group arrived back in time for breakfast… It was really good fun and a nice change for the end of the week.

I met some really nice people and enjoyed the week doing yoga, relaxing, taking trips to the beach, walking along the cliffs and generally chilling out. I hope to stay in touch with some of those I met while away and one of the girls is planning on going back in Spring so I may try to co-ordinate going at the same time as her.

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