This year’s annual Stretch Heal Grow yoga retreat brought 23 young women from our community together in the Muskokan woods. The wonderful thing about connecting in a retreat setting is that there really is time to get to know and trust each other in a way that allows you to open up and share your experience. There was laughter and tears and lots and lots of learning.
No one really knew what to expect upon arriving: some women had done yoga before, some not at all. Some were comfortable giving and receiving support, some were nervous about the prospect of speaking about their experience. And at the end of the retreat, everyone reflected on the ways that they were grateful and pleasantly surprised by the whole experience.
When each woman checked in to their cozy cabin they found a special care package containing items to pamper and to soothe – many of them donated by women who had attended the retreat in years before and wanted to give back. Participants enjoyed daily therapeutic yoga and meditation sessions. Mealtimes provided healthy and delicious nourishment, and spa treatments were just that: a treat. There was also ample time to connect: group circles, one-on-one discussions, and free time to explore the beautiful surroundings. Many had a chance to try something new: swimming across gorgeous Devine Lake, getting up on a Stand Up Paddle board, howling at the full moon, dancing in the rain – or maybe just having a conversation they may not have had.
All of this made possible by the gentle and inspirational retreat founder, Jasmin. Her vision has brought together so many women and continues to be one of Rethink’s most impactful partnerships.
We can’t wait until next year….
*Photographs by MelanieGordon.com