A few weeks ago I taught a workshop at Visao Futuro near Sao Paulo in Brazil. What a spectacular venue for a yoga retreat!
Between the scenery, the people, the spirit and the food – Wow! (or should I say “Oi!”) my heart is filled with the sublime kindness of this place. I’ll be teaching there again next November, so if you’d like to come and experience the sweetness of the people, and the natural beauty of the land and wildlife, maybe you’d like to start thinking about planning to do some Subtle Yoga and enjoy the November spring in the southern hemisphere?
But Asheville’s pretty wonderful too. And the good news is that I’ll be teaching the same course I led in Brazil (Yoga, Positive Psychology and Neuroplasticity) here in Asheville the weekend of April 1-2, 2017. What people find useful about this work is that it can help you understand and explain why these subtle practices are so powerful and how they can benefit your students or clients.
At the end of the workshop, one yoga teacher came up to me with tears in her eyes. “For so long,” she said, “I knew that teaching this intuitive, intentional movement, was right but I couldn’t explain why. So many people want to do power yoga and they didn’t see the value in what I was teaching. But now I know how to help others understand.”
This is my life’s work! Helping yoga teachers and mental health professionals understand how to explain not only how to do and teach these practices – but also why they are useful and will make a tremendous impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing.
But back to Brazil – the workshop at Visao Futuro was held in a large hall with panoramic views of a beautiful green valley. While I was teaching, I saw several pairs of parrots flying across the meadows, and once a huge dark bird with white tipped wings soared around the building.
Gardenias and jasmine planted along the foot paths make walking through the center a subtle aromatherapy experience.
Mango and lime trees welcome you to the kitchen and orchids are grafted to many of the trees. I got a chance to swim in their pristine lake fed by cool springs, and to stretch out under the wide blue sky on an insland in the middle of the lake.
The Ayurvedic spa is homey and relaxing. I had a shirodhara (warm oil on your forehead, it’s amazing) treatment and the tandem abhyanga massage was almost overwhelmingly relaxing. I felt totally wrung out after my red-eye flight.
Oh, I don’t think I mentioned the food yet.
Chef Liiladhara must have been my big brother in a past life because he showered me with love expressed through his endless culinary gifts. His food is delicious and sourced from his own farm and orchards. Fresh milk, (from which he makes ghee and yogurt) is delivered daily from the neighbor and a horse named Gray.
During breaks I got to spend some time in the meditation hut as well as an outdoor meditation cathedral made of bamboo.
The participants were so exquisitely kind, welcoming and grateful, and the staff at Visao Futuro is superlative. It must be an amazing place to live.
I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but life calls. I am amazed by all my students back home in the southeast, and I’m so happy and honored to add so many wonderful people from Brazil to those I’ve had an opportunity to share this work with.
In this time of divisiveness and struggle, when so many people are suffering, physically and mentally, a heart felt thank you, to all of you, for sharing yoga and making the world a kinder place.