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  • Writer's picturehello@kanukayoga.co.nz

Memories from Inner Compass Yoga Retreat - October 2023

Inner Compass was the only Yoga Retreat we were able to host in 2023 and we put in extra time and effort to make sure it was memorable one.


Once again we had the privilege of using Kula, Muriwai as our stunning, West Coast venue with panoramic views, comfortable living areas and facilities like sauna, spa and ice bath on-site.


We (Tanija, Stu and Megan) facilitated this Yoga Retreat as a new team which meant we were able to take a slightly different approach to how we ran the weekend. We love the power of different teachers and guides when it comes to Yoga, yoga philosophy, movement classes and general hosting as it provides every person that joins a fresh experience.


Take a look at our memories from Inner Compass Yoga retreat - October 2023.


We have created a beautiful video which you can find at the bottom of this post if you're more of a visual person!



Group photograph during Inner Compass Yoga Retreat, held at Kula, Muriwai with Kanuka Yoga Space


Why Inner Compass?


We landed on this theme as it just felt right; spending the weekend in Muriwai with amazing coastal views, nature walks, and a weekend filled with yoga classes, meditation and philosophy chats - what better way to provide structure to your own, inner compass.


Imagine your own inner compass through the years; at an early age our compass mostly consisted of the key directions, North, South, East and West. We probably didn't have the skills, experience or confidence to go to the places in-between - our compass was simple back then.



Yoga Retreat Schedule - Kanuka Yoga Space


Throughout the years, as we learn through relationships, career, travel, tough situation and the good times, we start to add more bearings to our inner compass, giving us a better ability to navigate situations.


This weekend was about refining our internal compass; deepening the ideas we were already familiar with, and perhaps adding some new ideas and experiences (like adding new bearings to the compass) into our journey.


Inviting us to navigate the map of life with more options.



Friday Arrival


We have such a fun time showing people around Kula, Muriwai - this is truly a magical place, and the owners have done such a fantastic job of curating this space to suit Yoga Retreats. With multiple living rooms, amazing vistas and a full-equipped Yoga Studio on site, each guest was immediately dazzled and excited for the weekend ahead.


Debs and Ti from Sister Sei catered the weekend with their delicious, colourful vegan meals and platters. This amazing duo are our go-to for all things food on weekend Yoga Retreats - super reliable and the food is always 10/10!


A few welcome platters were ready just as guests congregated in the main dining area; snacks, unofficial introductions and chats eased us into the weekend.


It's very important for us at all events and retreats to ensure everyone feels nourished and that there is more than enough food to go around. Food is such an integral part of daily living and is often a very memorable element of any given day.


Dinner followed shortly after with Sister Sei treating us to vegan enchiladas with a green side salad.



Sister Sei grazing platter at Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


Once we had time for food to digest a little, we made our way into the Yoga Shala for our offical opening circle; creating time and space for everyone to say their name, what brought them to Inner Compass and to share a small token from home; either a photograph or special item that has meaning for them right now.


Each item was placed into our mini-shrine that we kept in the yoga studio for the weekend:



Items that guests shared with each other during Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


Ending our sharing circle for Friday night, the food had well and truly digested and we moved, slowly, into our Friday night Restore Yoga Class led by Tanija, accompanied with live, acoustic melodies from Stu.


Winding down the first evening in a very relaxed fashion, everyone was ready for a restful sleep ahead. A few of us decided it was a great time to enjoy the sauna and ice bath before heading to sleep - again, everyone having full freedom and encouragement to choose what felt best at any given time.




Saturday


A self-serve breakfast greeted guests in the main lounge space and everyone chose a light snack, tea or coffee - anything that helps them start their day on the right foot.


Tanija hosted the morning meditation practice, followed by a Yin/Yang Yoga class. A practice to create space to pause, to reflect and to expand physically and energetically.


Starting slowly and mindfully Tanija grounded the group with the breath, feeling and noticing the body, welcoming space and expansion with each inhalation. We moved through gentle Yin postures and intentionally setting up this time to observe the body and thoughts in the longer poses that Yin offers.



Tanija leading Yin/Yang Yoga on Saturday morning at our yoga retreat


We then transitioned to a gentle vinyasa flow. Observing the asanas (physical postures) creating space the in the physical body and beginning to explore more movement options within a pose, or choosing to find stillness.


Sister Sei had brunch all ready to go by the time we arrived back into the main homestead, with Buda bowls; filled with falafel, quinoa, hummus, roast veges and a green salad. Something slightly more substantial to take us through the next few hours.


Along with an importance of food and scheduled activities, we also love to include large chunks for free-time, especially at a place like Kula, Muriwai.



View from the main living room at Kula, Muriwai - Yoga Retreat


Before the retreat, we had pre-arranged two professional massage therapists to join us, offering one-hour, full-body massages to those interested. For everyone, we offered up beach/forest walks, time in the sauna, spa and ice bath.


Or, time to chat and connect with others, or choosing to take some independent time to journal, reflect and relax.



Kanuka Yoga student enjoying a day time spa at Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


We commenced with our planned day at 4pm with a Yoga Philosophy chat from Megan; talking about The 5 Koshas as a roadmap for the Inner Journey while casually sharing a hot cup of cacao.


We explored this yogic metaphysical map of the 5 layers of ourselves - from the physical / most tangible to the deepening / more subtle. We looked at what comprises each layer and how they can be experienced when in balance or when out of balance.


We contemplated the human experience and the highest goal of yoga; spiritual union. We were able to examine pitfalls on the path that could cloud perception or suppress our energy - like diet/nutrition, lifestyle choices, societal factors.



Megan guiding a philosophy talk - the 5 koshas - at Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


Having studied the map, our starting points and the highest goal of yoga, we looked at the 8 fold path of the yoga system as the art and science, the yogic technology for exploring, balancing and integrating these layers of self (koshas) and expanding consciousness.


Though having a map and the tools, more clarity around how to set out on an intentional yoga practice could be achieved.


Following the philosophy talk we practiced the Yoga. We moved through the layers of self via asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditations. This was an opportunity to embody the teachings and philosophy.


In particular we used a meditation technique for accessing our Wisdom body and spent time here allowing insight into personal situations, accessing our inner compass for life guidance.



Megan guiding Savasana at Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


We also spent time in our heart centres, cultivating deep bliss and peacefulness. Many commented they had a much clearer idea of what yoga really is and felt more empowered and inspired with their personal practice.


Everyone enjoying the beautiful West Coast views during their yoga practice; a chance to connect with nature whilst moving indoors. Such a treat!



Luxury Yoga Retreat with Kanuka Yoga Space, at Kula, Muriwai



Our dinner for the evening was homemade ravioli, with pesto and a side salad. For desert, Sister Sei treated us to a lemon cake with berry compote! So yum!



Sister Sei creating homemade ravioli for Inner Compass Yoga Retreat


Saturday is always our biggest day, with an early-ish start, a decent amount of scheduled activities, time outside and two yoga practices, we knew that people would have mixed levels of energy left.


So, we offered a few different options for people to choose from; either free-time to enjoy the facilities again, or time spent in the Yoga shala, exploring some different practices we don't normally do int he studio, like eye gazing and group games.




Sunday


After our self-serve breakfast on Sunday (with a slightly later start time to give people extra sleep time) we began our day with Stu leading a meditation, followed by a Slow Hatha Yoga class.


Our last shared meal for the day was potatoe hash cakes with cream mushrooms and salad. Probably my personal favourite! We even had a sweet treat after brunch to top of the excellent food service for the weekend.


Worth mentioning that in-between all our scheduled meals, we had platters out in the main living area for people to graze on anytime they felt peckish. Always more than enough food to go around!


Our last group activity was a playful partner yoga sequence led by Stu and Megan, followed by gentle, Thai-inspired partner massage. Again, prioritising things we don't normally get to do in a yoga studio environment, and offering up new experiences for people to take home.


Moving into our final sharing circle for the weekend, it's hard to think where the time went. Everything flowed so smoothly over the weekend and if we could turn the clocks back to start it all again, I know everyone would have!



Gannet colony at Muriwai - experiences from a Kanuka Yoga Retreat


Kanuka Yoga Space was inspired by the beautiful NZ coastlines and, specifically, the rugged Auckland West Coast so it was important that we all made time to get outside and enjoy the natural environment. For many, the simple act of being outside in nature can encapsulate a mindfulness practice.



We had a magical time, and we hope some of that magic shines through on these shared memories.


Memories from Inner Compass Yoga Retreat - October 2023






If you're interested in joining our next yoga retreat, pop us a message at hello@kanukayoga.co.nz or keep a look out on our website and social platforms.


We look forward to practicing with you soon!


Kindly,




Boutique Yoga Studio in Northwest Auckland, Kanuka Yoga Space

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