Reflections from Italy

I began writing this letter while sitting at the top of a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. I spent a few days after the retreat at a beautiful oasis taking time to reflect, ground and integrate. As I sat watching the sun reflect its light over the sea, I began to absorb all that unfolded throughout this year's Italian adventure, one that has deeply inspired and touched me; one that leaves me feeling speechless and quite honestly, changed for the better. 

The past few weeks have been nothing short of incredible, fascinating and awe-inspiring. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to witness a group of individuals *blossom* before my eyes and to see sparks of insight arise and awaken. I have witnessed courage, compassion and curiosity in action and in return, have seen yoga manifest into a practice beyond the mat.On retreat and as a group we explored the essence of gratitude, ease, compassion, joy and ultimately, embodied presence. We balanced moments of great depth with the lightness of laughter and play. We met one another, day-by-day, exactly as we were, seeing and honoring the fact that we are all one. 

I am back in San Francisco and exploring ways to best integrate all that has been shared and discovered throughout this experience. After all, on a macro level, the process of integration is what the practice and path of yoga is all about: integrating mind and body, heart and head, past and present. The work lives in carrying the ingredients of intentionwholeheartedness and presence into the day-to-day; to cultivate and commit to a consistent daily practice and to get still and quiet, even when the sounds of the city replace the sounds of the sea. To experience a state of yoga with or without a downward dog and to be in the process of grounding and arriving to a personal center of gravity amidst it all…

More than ever before I am highly committed to finding beauty within each cycle of breath and to living each moment to its fullest. I want to go to bed every night with the same sense of wonder, compassion and gratitude that I’ve woken up with. I want to dance with the dynamic nature of this heart-centered path, held by presence, patience and passion. 

May we all recognize and remember that even in the most idyllic of situations, this path requires attention and diligence— and it all begins within the practice of accepting and honoring what is, staying curious and humble along the way— as always, moment-to-moment, breath-by-breath.

From My Heart to Yours,
Lauren