There is something you notice about Ana when she walks into a room. Her radiance. Quiet confidence. Well-measured sense of grace. She has been a regular student in my Yoga District classes. She joined me and Eric on our final day retreat in 2016, during an emotionally intense time for many in the District. It was just four days after Trump’s election as the next U.S President. In the midst of the storm, she retreated into calm .
This is her story.
The retreat was a great program all together.
It started with a mini tour of Dupont Farmer’s Market, where I got some delicious veggies and cheese, while following Dahlia around. We were a small enough and big enough group to keep it at the same time personal and entertaining.
After wandering around all kinds of apples, radishes, mushrooms and greens I had never heard of before, we took a short walk to Rock Creek Park. Simple introductions and a few minutes in silence followed our arrival at the park, and then we started to silently walk along a small path by a creek.
The day was perfect, the air was crisp and the sun was shinning through the autumnal leaves. There’s something magical about being in a group and being by yourself at the same time. There’s the singularity of each person’s energy, and a whole bunch of sensations and feelings brought by the dry leaves cracking beneath your feet, the sound of the running water, the wind, and the always inspiring trees.
I had had a difficult week and my mind kept turning in unpleasant circles, but there I suddenly remembered Mary Oliver’s poem When I am Among the Trees and that ending:
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine”
And that was it. I was happy again, because it’s hard but it’s also that simple.
Could I have done that by myself? Yeah, eventually… but Dahlia, Eric and the whole group were the ones that made it possible that day. Sometimes we forget what we already know. Sometimes we need others to quietly remind us.
Then we had some awesome yoga practice on the grass while the sunshine kept us all warm and one last short walk to Studio Q for a yummylicious lunch.
I am not a cook, but the simplicity and yet amazing results of Dahlia’s cooking formula has inspired me since then. I am certainly eating way healthier now and also not starving myself, which I just can’t anyway.
Seriously, what a great day! I got so much more than what I was expecting. Thank you!