I am so filled with joy to have been able to bring together a wonderful group of people to practice SomaChi by the Sea.
It had always been a dream of mine to run yoga retreats where we could practice on the beach, go surfing and completely delve into SomaChi. I had always envisioned this would take place somewhere hot and exotic with beautiful beaches and kind friendly locals. This exotic place it turns out, is much closer than I thought. This place is actually my home. Although I wouldn’t describe it very often as ‘hot’, but the weekend of the retreat it did have a hot tropical feel.
After teaching my regular Friday early morning class I walked down to check out the beach. I was so excited to see how sensational the ocean was and how lucky we were to have wonderful weather for the weekend. These pictures show the paradise that is available to us right here in Victoria. Less than a 2 hours drive from Melbourne and you feel like you are in paradise.
The first eager retreaters arrived at 3pm and once the next person arrived the three of them made their way down to the beach to enjoy some relaxing sunshine before the first class. I continued to set up the space, welcome the retreaters and prepare for our first SomaChi practice in this beautiful home at YCW beach.
With the temperatures soaring above 35 degrees it felt great to lay down, settle and start to rest down. With deep cleansing breaths, yawning, sighing and letting go of the busy week we’d all had, we were starting to feel ready for the SomaChi foundations practice. There were 2 women who had never experienced SomaChi yoga before but I could tell they were instantly loving the fluid, artistic movement.
After the class we joined the rest of the group who had finally arrived and sat in one of my favourite places to watch the sunset and do our first meditation practice together.
The weekend was mostly silent which allowed everybody to feel comfortable in each other’s company without the pressure of having to make small talk, or needing to tell stories. The intention to maintain silence was not a forceful rule so those needing to connect with words were able to converse in certain areas which wasn’t disturbing for the others enjoying the quiet more introspective experience. The first evening concluded with an other sitting meditation practice, this time inside whilst the storm brewed outside around us.
Saturday morning began with sunrise meditation and a slow SomaChi practice together. Breathing, stretching and feeling the ‘Chi’ together was a perfect start to the day. Topping this were the delicious ‘Super Green SmoothChi Bowls.’ These were avocado, spinach, pineapple, mango and coconut milk smoothies, with plenty of toasted muesli, nuts, fresh and dried fruits for everyone to create their own bowl of goodness.
We definitely needed those nourishing SmoothChi bowls to provide sustenance for the full day ahead. After an hour slow walk and nature awareness meditation on the beach we then settled into the next epic spot for a dynamic and energising SomaChi yoga class.
Lunchtime was welcomed by all. Mum’s aubergine coconut curry with brown rice and quinoa hit the spot. Just as well our hunger was taken care of, because half the group had decided that they wanted to go surfing, rather than laying and relaxing on the beach.
Wetties on, boards under our arms we headed back to YCW beach. A super fun surf session followed. Fernando, a Spanish guy who’s been in Australia for 2 years, finally had his chance to try surfing before leaving the country. Not only did he try, but to his amazement he stood up on some waves and more importantly, had a blast. He was so pumped I literally had to drag him out of the water so we could get ‘home’ for an afternoon tea of delicious fresh Chai and bliss balls.
After already doing 2 yoga classes, 3 meditation sessions, and surfing, I couldn’t believe how much energy the group had in our final evening yoga practice. Maybe it was Claire Thompson’s uplifting Sexy Ladies of Yoga mix combined with SomaChi and free flow dance, or maybe it was the Ocean and salty air. Perhaps the combination of all these elements resulted in a thoroughly memorable, fun, highly connecting experience.
“Thoroughly enjoying the Phillip Island Yogi beach lifestyle.”
Sunday followed with just as much juicy goodness. We practiced meditation, Slow SomaChi, refuelled with ‘Berry nice SmoothChi Bowls’ and went out for a second surf together. After packing up our “beach-house” we met back up at Smiths Beach for the final practice; SomaChi by the Sea – Sunday Session. This was an energising, playful SomaChi practice right there absorbing the special Ocean energies. We managed as much focus on meditation as anyone could with the knowledge that we’d be picnicking on the beach directly after!
This ‘Sunday Session’ was my kind of Sunday. Amongst friends; fellow yogis, practicing the things we love, sharing the energy of nature and then enjoying a delicious home made vegan picnic on the beach. What more could you possibly ask for?
Almost overwhelmed with joy and appreciation of everybody’s contribution and participation I was delighted that the main question by the participants was “when is the next retreat?”
Good question. If you have seen the 2 retreats that I have now run here in Phillip Island, then you might know the answer. The clue is; what follows Summer?
I would really like to thank my teacher, Lianne Metcalf for not only encouraging me to become a Yoga teacher, but also for training me, mentoring me, being a wonderful friend and for creating this precious yoga; SomaChi.
Massive shout out to my amazing SCBTS support crew – George, Tegan and Mum. I couldn’t have done it without you and it just goes to show how when you are passionate about something, and have an idea and strong intention, just ask for a little bit of help and you may see this idea into amazing fruition.
Big thank-you to Beachwood House, (a fabulous place to stay and sleeps up to 12 people) and Linda the amazing host who so kindly supports Creative Yoga’s endeavours and also provided surfboards to our group.
Also I would love to thank everyone who attended and look forward to seeing you all, and hopefully also some new faces for the next retreat.
Watch this space. Plenty of Summer classes and events coming soon.
Namaste, Happy Tuesday.