I have wanted to go on a yoga/spa retreat from the moment I first read about them in a fitness magazine. You know the ones: yoga, hiking, walking, healthy food (prepared for you!), all in a beautiful setting like the Arizona desert or the Rocky Mountains. The photos in these articles are always serene, the descriptions idyllic, the prices…out of my league. But when I realized I desperately needed a break, I did a search, and was thrilled to find there was such a thing right here in Alberta! And I only had to wait 10 weeks to go.
I left on the morning of October 12 for a yoga retreat weekend at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The itinerary (all optional) included a reception on the Friday night, two yoga classes, a mindful walk and discussion on mindfulness on the Saturday, followed by an evening activity, then yoga, a walk and a talk on the Sunday, before saying good-bye. The agenda was just what I needed; the timing was great (not too long away from my family), and the cost was really reasonable.
Other than meeting some really wonderful people, what I took away from the weekend was more of what Chris has been talking about—the importance of mindfulness, living in the moment. I learned tips and tricks about mindful walking, mindful eating and meditation. I slept. A lot. It was so good for me: body, mind, and soul. The massage didn’t hurt either.
For the first couple of days back, I kept thinking about what we learned and meditated here and there, whether while walking or sitting quietly. But as the week has worn on, it’s been tough not to get back into old patterns: eating while driving, while making lunches, etc., and constantly thinking about what needs to be done next, rather than focusing on the moment. It’s tough.
The one thing I have managed to do though is to focus more on my family when I’m with them and let work go, and focus more on work when I need to and trust that whoever has my girls is keeping them safe and happy. That is a big thing.
Here’s what I did this week. There were more rest days than I would have liked to have seen (partially due to a three-day headache that nearly drove me crazy!), but there was seven hours of activity in the week at least.
Day 1 – Rest (drove to Lake Louise, with stops along the way)
Day 2 – 2 x 90-minute yoga classes (one Flow, one Gentle); 45-minute mindful walk
Day 3 – 1 x 90-minute Flow yoga class; 60-minute walk
Day 4 – Rest (travel day home to Edmonton)
Day 5 – Rest
Day 6 – Brisk 45-minute walk
Day 7 – Rest
From a nutrition standpoint, there was a lot of food in Lake Louise. It was really delicious—and nutritious—but more than we needed. I indulged a little; I made some healthy choices; it evened out in the end.
Slowly, but surely, a little weight is creeping off here and there. And I was pleased to see last week’s progress photos, as you can see a difference in my profile shot for sure. That is so encouraging! Part of that is actually being able to engage my core (after two c-sections, that was nearly impossible before), and my posture is also better, thanks to a stronger back from my Blitz sessions, without a doubt. But more importantly than losing weight, I’m learning some larger lessons, which I think will really benefit me in the long run.
Starting weight: 211 lbs (size 14/16)
Current weight: 206.2 lbs