Day Retreat Memories from Kula, Muriwai - Rest, Restore, Reflect
We're always very grateful to spend time at Kula, Muriwai; this very special place, nestled on top of a hill with gorgeous views of the West Coast, a calming energy and well equipped to host Yoga Retreats!
We're equally grateful to share the space with the amazing humans that decide to join us; our paths align and we're able to share and learn from each other throughout the day.
Our latest one-day Yoga Retreat in July 2023 was as special as anything we've done before, and was a beautiful reminder that human connection, moving, breathing and being intentional has such an important place in our modern worlds.
Join Raquel, Stu and Tanija as we share our memories of this magical day retreat!
If you're more of a visual person and want to watch the highlights of the day in a short video, scroll down to the end to take a look...
Our main theme for this day retreat was; Rest, Restore and Reflect.
Morning Nature Walk
Starting our day (as we always do) with an outdoor nature walk. Many parts of coastal Muriwai are still inaccessible due to the recent cyclones, so we felt lucky to spend time on the beach soaking in the brisk morning breeze, the rising sun and ocean air!
A chance for people to be outside, wake up with natural light, take a gentle stroll and break the ice with a few others attending the day.
Opening Circle with Cacao
Arriving into the cosy Kula Yoga Shala, with the fire rumbling away in the corner and hot cacao on the stove top ready for everyone to share as we officially opened the day.
Allowing space for everyone to share their names, why they're decided to attend the day and their totem (personal item from home; something that holds some meaning, or that they just like). Place each trinket into our colourful centre tray which was safely put to the side for the days activities.
As the hot cacao was being shared around the circle, Raquel talked a little bit about the origins of cacao, how it was traditionally used and how it is being used in todays world. Being half Mexican, Raquel shares a unique bloodline to a part of the world where cacao has been shared for thousands of years.
We kept this part of the morning very relaxed, and wouldn't necessarily call this a 'Cacao Ceremony', more of honouring some traditions of the plant medicine, sharing song during it's preparation, how it can be prepared and consuming it mindfully with a guided instruction.
Morning Restorative Yoga with Live Music
First Yin/Yang yoga session of the day was led by Tanija, with Stu sharing soothing, instrumental melodies on guitar, with singing bowls, chimes and other calming sounds.
The intention of the practice was to create space, to pause, to reflect and to expand physically and energetically. Starting slowly and mindfully she grounded the group with the breath, tuning into the physical body, welcoming space and expansion with each inhalation.
Gentle yin postures were offered and during the longer holds, guidance was provided to observe the body and thoughts. Tanija then shifted her focus to the Yang element of the class, which was a gentle vinyasa flow, still with the theme of expansions and creating space.
Blu Poke Shed for Lunch
Our good friends at Blu Poke Shed once again delivered the goods, with their take-away catered poke; fresh ingredients, tasty proteins and all the sauces and toppings to make a personalised, colourful poke bowl.
With plenty to go around, and enough for a few seconds, we enjoyed some downtime to refuel in the yoga shala as we listened-in to the windy conditions outside.
Overcoming Obstacles Chat
Raquel, a psychology major and trauma-informed yoga teacher, shared a discussion on samskaras alongside a modern perspective of how our mind and bodies can shift out of a pattern that’s not longer serving us.
Oftentimes we can be unaware of how much Samskaras can influence our thoughts and decisions, however the practice of yoga, of mindful breath and movement, of meditation; these practices are all inviting one to become more present in the here and now; more aware of the moment; more aware of the thoughts that arise in each situation.
We can learn to make new choices and come back to our true nature, so we can continue on a path towards freedom of suffering.
During the chat, she weaved in attachment theory and polyvagal theory and how that could be related to a yoga practice.
Yoga Beats with Raquel & DJ Stu
Starting with slow, grounded movements after our philosophy chat, Raquel guided everyone through her fun and groovy Yoga Beats class, with DJ Stu spinning the music!
We love sharing this class as having fun is such a vital part of being an adult, and is something we can often forget. Yoga doesn't always have to be strict alignment, and focus and attention - we can also bounce and move in creative ways that feel good, and share a few laughs along the way!
Closing Circle & Snacks
Our closing circle was an opportunity to share some nibbles, gratitude and takeaways for integrating our experience. With Stu on guitar, we sang "Om Gam Ganapataya Namaha" to inspire us to remove obstacles and move forward with intention.
Everyone shared reflections on the day and we sealed our time together with 3 rounds of Aum (/Om) - leaving with good vibrations all around.
Here is a short video of the memories we captured during the day:
Thank-you for taking the time to read our memories.
We look forward to hosting you at our upcoming Yoga Retreats.
The Kanuka Yoga Space Team