A Retreat Within a Retreat

Yesterday I returned from a 4 day retreat with Sandra Sammartino, which was held at the Sylvan Lake Bahai Centre.  I’ve been to Sandra’s retreat twice prior to this one, but this one was a totally different experience for me than I’ve had in the past.  The retreat content was very much the same as others I’ve been to.  Sandra focusses heavily on the energy body, the unconscious and past wounds that become stored in the body as armour.  This is rich, deep, extremely intense work that, in the past, has been a life saver for me.  This time was different.  Not that the teachings are less important, but they felt just slightly to the side of the channel in which my authentic life flows right now.  Sandra said a number of times in the retreat to sense where our lives are being taken.  Ironically, I felt like my life was being taken on a different path from the content of the retreat!  What a gift I was given.  The retreat, for me, served as a crucible through which I could better define my authentic self.  I bumped up against the teachings, the exercises, the content and this bumping served to sift out a still inner voice that was leading me elsewhere – I hear it still.   

I come home with some incredible gems of knowledge from Sandra and her 40 years in yoga that I can’t wait to bring to my classes.  I honour these teachings deeply and Sandra will continue to be a sacred teacher for me. But even more than these wonderful tidbits of wisdom I come home having experienced a retreat within a retreat.  Within the context of the work presented by Sandra, I experience a subtext that included deepening a friendship both with myself and a long time yoga friend.  I made new friends and ate great food. I breathed in the stars that shone at night and revelled in the music of one of the yoga community’s beautiful musicians.  I spent time away from home and motherhood and reawakened another dimension of my self.  And most importantly, I come home with a more clear understanding of where the “slender threads” of my Spirit are trying to guide me.  I continue to listen for their message, with great curiosity.