It is the nature of women to look at our hearts, minds, and physical appearance and only see the flaws. We examine the pieces of us that we consider to be imperfect or broken and focus on them so much that we ultimately view ourselves as less valuable. At the Yoga Retreat we learned that although we all have weaknesses and have faced hardships in our lives we are indeed, not broken. It is natural that we feel pain, worry, heartache, fear, insecurity, and all the negative emotions that pass through our hearts and minds. They are a part of life and feeling them is not indicative of being broken.
We had a total of 16 women on the retreat and stayed in a beautiful brick laden AirBnB in North Logan. We kicked off the retreat with a 4 mile hike to The Wind Caves. The sun was shining, the women were brave, and the views were spectacular! After settling in at the house we enjoyed a delicious and healthy dinner prepared by Chef Lindsey followed by a workshop taught by Niki Olsen, a licensed therapist. We learned tools used in Mind and Body Bridging, a therapeutic approach that helps women understand that their pain and emotions have a powerful effect on their physicality. She taught us that we can, with practice, lessen that effect. Doing so can leave us feeling more powerful and in control of our emotions and negative thoughts leaving our bodies and minds relaxed and available to connect with those around us and feel joy in our lives. We finished the night off with an outdoor yoga session with Jasmine and cleared our minds with peaceful meditation as we watched the sun set over the beautiful Cache Valley.
On day two we prepared our minds and bodies for the day with early morning yoga under the clear blue sky. In this session we learned about the meaning of chakras and offered gratitude to our powerful bodies and the gift they truly are. We followed it up with a 3.5 mile hike up Richards Hollow where we stopped and had lunch at the bottom of a waterfall, giving us the opportunity to chat and connect with one another. Upon returning we were treated with a follow-up workshop with Niki, furthering our skills in bridging the gap between our bodies and minds. After another delicious meal from the chef we enjoyed a sunset yoga session and finished off the night with chatting, connecting and a lot of laughter!
Get Out There Girl retreats are intended to empower women. The Yoga Retreat did just that! Women from all walks of life made lifelong friendships through adventure, pushing ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally. We spent time together crying, laughing, and most of all learning that we are not broken after all and that none of our so-called “flaws” have anything to do with our value as women. We also learned that we have an indelible power to manage our negative thoughts and utilize them as fuel to bring improvement, peace and joy to all aspects of our lives.
When the opportunity arose to attend a Yoga/Hiking retreat with Get Out There Girl, my first thought was that I was too scared to go. I don’t love traveling (an understatement), and I feel an even more intense separation anxiety when I travel without my family. However, someone I love had attended a retreat previously and I saw the way it changed her life. My heart ached to experience a similar change in my own. The idea of reentering the world of yoga was intriguing, but I wasn’t excited about hiking. A few years ago, I had heat stroke and I suffer from PTSD whenever I am in the heat. This led to me feeling fearful about the whole trip. Going with people I don’t know, experiencing things that are hard and my fears screamed loudly that I couldn’t do it. One thing pushed me forward.
My greatest desire is to live anxiety free. Thus far in my 53 years, anxiety has been my continual companion and every effort made to conquer it has fallen short or failed completely. This time in the world with the pandemic has been especially difficult so I took advantage of a brief moment of bravery and signed up. Honestly, I almost canceled many times. But I chose to go and I will be forever grateful! There are a couple of significant things, among many great experiences, that made it worth all the worry and anxiety.
The first is that we had two workshops with one of the most amazing, talented and wise women I have ever met. Her name is Niki Olsen and she walked us through a method called Mind Body Bridging. The process was overwhelmingly impactful for me. Personally, I felt a change in my heart about anxiety. I now believe that, little by little, following this process will help me understand why I respond the way I do and allow me to move through it. Niki is a person I want to be like and I wish with all my heart she lived next door to me! When difficult things happen, I usually fall apart. However, the night after I got home from the retreat my son broke his collar bone in a severe manner and had to have surgery. There was definitely anxiety, but I put in to practice the things Niki had taught and I was far better than I would have been before the workshops and retreat.
The second was on a hike. These women didn’t know anything about my past or difficulties, as I didn’t know theirs, and I didn’t want to appear weak. As we started the hike I began to panic and my heart raced as I worried that the heat would overtake me. I had to stop a few times to breathe and put every effort into believing in myself. It wasn’t a difficult or demanding hike, but my anxiety started to overpower. My self-talk was negative and, with every part of my heart and mind, I had to push myself to keep going. I tried to tell myself I could do it and, step by step, I did it! The chatting among the women, who quickly began to feel like friends, and following them pushed me forward. There were many times that my belief in myself wavered, but I made it. At the top we rested at a beautiful waterfall and took pictures and had lunch. The others didn’t know what a triumph it was for me, but it’s a personal victory that I will always remember. And better yet….I want to go hiking again!
Our time practicing yoga was also amazing. We were outside in the most beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh air among the trees. The view of the mountains and green grass was healing and invigorating at the same time. The entire weekend was important for me and I believe a turning point in my journey through this life. Bravery and adventure are not my strongest traits, but I am a few steps closer.