In three short days that will feel about three years too long, I will be enroute to Mexico to attend my first ever yoga retreat. That’s right, I’ve joined the elite of beautiful people who do things like take a vacation to stretch. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go get an Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte before I pick up my load of Lulu Lemon leggings from the dry cleaner. This isn’t something I would normally do. It was a series of random events that materialized into the perfect storm that afforded me the good fortune to go. It all started when my friend Katie, whose retreat it is, started badgering me. Like an adorable child you can’t get mad at, she repeatedly poked my ribs politely asking with an innocent urgency. When I told her I simply didn’t have the money, she offered many suggestions of how I could do so, shy of selling one of my organs. Instead I settled on doing some freelance work, because I’m quite fond of having two kidneys.
This in collaboration with the fact my employer realized they’d been shorting my paychecks for an entire year, is the reason I will find myself sipping margaritas and meditating on a goddamn beach. The idea of a yoga retreat seemed bananas to me – a vacation for myself with no other purpose than to live my best fucking spiritual, emotional, and physical life? How ridiculous! Go to paradise with like-minded people to relax and restore? That’s crazy talk. As I grappled with the reality of feeling guilty about taking such a seemingly outlandish excursion, I began to think maybe the truly insane part of it is feeling as though this isn’t something I deserve. Traveling in my adulthood has always been synonymous with some defined purpose – whether it be to see family, go to a wedding, or for work. I’d honestly never considered the fact that I’ve spent most of my hard earned PTO hours, making time for other people. Which is great and all, but shits about to get real – cause this is ALL ABOUT ME (I feel like my Mom definitely has a sequined tee-shirt that says that and I’m going to need to borrow it)
The cast of characters features Katie, the protagonist of this asylum, whom I more or less met though my friend James. James is another instructor, the very one in fact who was my gateway drug to yoga. I stumbled into his class every Tuesday after my shift at Uinta Brewing, always in a tee-shirt featuring a different beer which he always noticed. Back in those days he had dreads down to his ass and always played his ukulele in savasana. As a result his classes were always flooded with the same dewy eyed women who undoubtedly stared wistfully through their legs at him in downward facing dog. Much to their despair he eventually met Sharon, or Shazzy as she’s affectionately called, and settled down.
James, Shazzy, and Katie will all be working the retreat and the only people I know out of a rather large group. Unless you count the girl I’m sharing a room with, Brooke, who I met briefly at Katie’s house and said: “Hey, I hear we’re sharing a room in Mexico – don’t worry, I’m not too weird!” I then looked down and realized I had rolled my flannel sleeves down over a set of tiny hands I’d forgotten I was wearing. I may have even gestured at her with them.
That’s one thing I’m legitimately concerned about – people. I feel like I’m going to spiritual summer camp and what if I don’t make any friends? I rotate wildly between being an extrovert and introvert, I believe it’s called an ambivert, and I worry I’ll be in one of those moods where I’ll want to dig a hole on the beach and hide in it for five days. If you see a straw poking through the sand, please don’t step on it – it’s me trying to breathe (you may slowly and deliberately pour tequila down it though) I used to thrive on social interaction, loved being the center of attention, and had no problem finding my place within a group. To quote the great British Alt Rock Band Chumbawamba: “I’m not the girl I used to be.” That’s the name of one of their other songs that’s not ‘Tubthumping’ in case you were wondering. Life’s happened and I’ve changed. Not for the better or for the worse, and I’m not sure we should necessarily measure shit like that. If we’re the same versions of ourselves our entire existence, we’re probably doing something wrong. Life has dealt me some stuff I’m moving through but while I get knocked down, I get up again, it’s never gonna keep me down, I get knocked down, but I get up again, it’s NEVER gonna keep me down.
I swear I’ve heard that somewhere but I just can’t remember. It’s catchy though, I should copyright on it or better yet – maybe write a song. Besides spending my retreat in a hole, I only have 3 other anxieties: 1.) The amount of Power Yoga it entails – I visibly flinch when the word “power” is next to the word “yoga.” It’s like I have this metaphorical boner for yoga that retracts and goes inside of me like an alligator penis every time I think about it. However, most of my worries stem from me being self-conscious that I’m not in great shape. I’m perfectly capable of doing a more endurance based practice – this is entirely what I like to call a “me problem” and I need to get over it. 2.) There’s an open bar on the all-day whale watching excursion we are going on and then glow in the dark yoga (which is not to be missed) at 8pm. Katie has suggested if I imbibe too much, that I come and paint myself and then just lay on my mat in my luminescent lush glory (these are the kind of yogis I need in my life) 3.) I’ve spent a lot of time lately binge-watching a series called “Disappeared” on Hulu. Therefore I’ve workshopped every scenario in which I get kidnapped by a drug cartel and am never seen or heard from again.
Okay, so only ⅓ of these fears are rational and I’m mostly just excited and not too scared. Unless there are sharks in Mexico, does anyone know if there are sharks? Cause if that’s the case I’m asking for a refund. I don’t know what I’ll get from this experience, but I do know no matter what it will be just what I need – whether it’s profound & conscious shifting, or tequila down a straw. I plan to write while I’m there although I’m not sure what that looks like right now – whether it’s micro blogging daily or I journal and save it all up for after. One thing’s for sure, I’m ready to w-o-r-k it like Missy Elliot, drink a shit ton of kale smoothies & soak up the sun. Namaste for now bitches.