Memories from Spring Soul - Kanuka Yoga Day Retreat
Take a glimpse at a few memories from this short video...
The alarm struck 5.30am and I (Stu) was out the door, picking up our catered lunch for the day. Racing the rising sun, I drove toward the West Coast and I could see the remnants of our Full Moon fading away into the sunny, blue skies. Even my somewhat sleepy (/slowly waking) eyes couldn't stop the huge smile spreading across my face; I couldn't wait to get the day started!
Lake Wainamu Car Park
Twenty retreaters gathered in the car park to start our day with a leisurely stroll around Lake Wainamu. Some were eager to take a brisk morning dip, whilst others were more than happy staying on the path and taking in the stunning surrounds; mist on the lake, lush native flora, a majestic waterfall and moon-like sand dunes of Bethells Beach.
For the last third of our walk, we took our shoes off and experienced mother earth beneath our feet, fully embracing the feeling of the cool, water stream with each bare-foot step. Truly the most magical way to begin a day honouring Spring and the soul.
Using Cacao to give thanks to Mother Earth
A warm batch of cacao was waiting for us back at the Temple. We gathered in a circle to receive our cups, as we learnt a little more about cacao's long and rich history stemming from the lands of Central and South America. This sacred plant based medicine is used as a tool to connect us closer to earth's frequency when consumed in gratitude and openness. Ceremonial cacao is made with mindfulness and love from the moment it's planted to when we're ready to consume it with positive intention.
With every sip, we shared thanks to all the beautiful gifts of nature and set intentions to grow with the Spring season as we welcomed new beginnings, transformation, and the light into our day.
Feeling the uplifting energy of a sunny spring day and the warmth of the cacao in our hearts, we made our way down to the Temple...
Soul Flow with Raquel
The fireplace had a few hot embers burning away as Raquel guided the group through the morning's Soul Flow. She shared her upbeat class with an intention to move and express yourself in each yoga asana (postures). Smiling faces and a few laughs were shared throughout the class and we settled into the Temple space.
Here's the upbeat Soul Flow Playlist
Towards the end of this fun-loving Soul Flow, we grounded ourselves back down with Kanuka Yoga teacher, Sam McKenzie sharing her carefully crafted Yoga Nidra with the group, accompanied by Stu on acoustic guitar.
About the Heart Song Dance Temple
The Dance Temple itself is a 12 sided dodecahedron womb space. She is shaped like a huge spiders web, symbolic of weaving new designs for ourselves and for a new way of life on this planet.
The temple was built using non-toxic sustainable materials. She is nestled in-between large Totara trees and has a special alignment with them; Totara represents self-empowerment, self-love and perfect self-expression. Once we fully express our true selves, then we can step into conscious community with others.
The Altar in the centre is a powerful vortex of energy. All the flow lines gather into the centre. Here is where we lovingly placed tokens from Kanuka Yoga Space, to share some of our studio's energy and acknowledgement to the community which has brought us together.
Time For Lunch!
After a full morning of nature, cacao and yoga we helped ourselves to the delicious, fresh taste of Poke; diced raw fish and tofu options served with rice and salad with a variety of colourful toppings; like seaweed, edamame beans, mango, beetroot and more.
Fun Fact - Poke is one of the main dishes in Native Hawaiian cuisine.
Blu are based in Albany and are a must visit if you're into fresh food!
Check them out on Instagram Here
While we're talking about food... we were also treated with two delectable grazing platters throughout the day from Succulent Cakes. The perfect mix of vegan savouries, fruits and sweets to help everyone through the day.
You can check out their Instagram Here and feel free to contact Meghan, a Greenhithe local, with any request for sweet treats.
Journaling By The Fireplace
Learning and connecting to others using the Chakras
To let the yummy food settle, we broke off into small groups in the temple as Raquel guided everyone through discussion starters based on each Chakra...
We self-reflected on how our past experiences shape our energy and left with some insights on ourselves and others. Deep discussions were shared between retreaters with kindness and care as we explored our beliefs with open hearts and minds. It was a profound reminder that we are all teachers and have inner wisdom to guide us along life's journey.
What Is A Chakra?
Chakras, or energy centres in the body, are focal points used in a variety of ancient practices. The concept is found in the early traditions of Hinduism. The chakra system gives us a framework to relate our internal world with the external world.
Mandala Flow with Stu
Explore The Mat!
We settled back onto our yoga mats, placed in a large circle in the temple, and were guided through a grounding mandala flow by Stu. We took in 360 views of the forest and smiling faces as we traveled in a full circle around our mats.
From the start, it was highly encouraged for those with lots of energy left to take a more advanced option, whilst those looking to take a little more rest had space to do so; something for everyone to explore.
Here's the Spring Soul Mandala Flow Spotify Playlist
Trying Something A Lil' Different
To solidify new connections made throughout the day, Megan Blennerhassett and Stu led the group through a light-hearted partner yoga practice. It was a gentle exploration of yoga flows sharing balance, strength, and flexibility.
It was almost 6pm when we sealed our day retreat with each other in a closing circle, with final words shared by everyone and three last Oms.
Yoga Retreats are a beautiful way to connect with others and form new friendships with like-minded people. As individuals we are constantly evolving our thought processes, and developing (in our own way) new practises to better serve us in life..
We are extremely blessed to have a strong community of people lifting each other up.
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