I feel immensely lucky to have been one of the 20 participants at Francisco’s intimate Carnival retreat at Sitio Gloria in Brazil.
Like so many have said in previous blog posts, words are hard to describe the Kaiut Yoga experience. Between the environment, the participants and the work at this retreat, “magical” is the most fitting word that I can find.
I’ll try my best to give you a sense of all that happened on a hilltop in the countryside of Brazil
The Setting: Sitio Gloria is a beautiful retreat center 2 hours from the bustling city of Sao Paulo. Sitio Gloria, created by an art merchant who had a particular eye for beauty, color and whimsy, is absolutely charming. Paths meander through the jungle to simple yet elegant accommodations and out buildings. Art, stone statues, hidden treasures, and even a loyal swan are sprinkled along the way.
The kitchen itself was a piece of beauty that could have been found in an eco trendy magazine. All the vegan food, prepared was carefully crafted and layered with flavor. Classical music played in the background breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The environment itself, from the meals to the accommodations, was set exactly to allow our nervous systems to settle.
The Participants: Often it is the people that make a good situation great. The participants at the Kaiut Carnival came from Brazil, the United States and Canada. Each came with our own healing story of Kaiut Yoga, excited to delve into the practice in a different manner.
Some of the Brazilians have studied with Francisco for 17 years plus. Others have been with Francisco for a few years, and there was one brave participant who jumped into the Carnival Retreat without any previous experience with the Kaiut method at all.
The chemistry among the participants during the practice and at the dinner table was sweet, supportive, inquisitive and encouraging.
Truly, it was quite a sight to see all of our differences melt into one common goal - to understand ourselves in relationship to this practice that had touched all of our hearts.
The Work: As many of you can imagine, there was work to be done. We practiced between 6 and 7 hours daily.
Some of you who know the practice intimately, might cringe at that fact.
Most of us know that a 1 hour class can be intense, so how is it that we practiced for 6 total hours each day over 3 hour intervals?
It all came down to timing.
Francisco balanced the pace of the Retreat so that no one felt triggered or had a negative reaction to the work.
Yes, we went deep.
Yes, the work was focused.
And yes, all of us were held to explore our edge and our systems in an entirely new way. Francisco took us under his wing to experience the work and the shapes at a different pace, with each pose its own meditation.
The setting and the willingness of the participants allowed for the work to come through each one of us, and the group itself.
The Result: The end result was freedom. Once again, the Kaiut method brought freedom to our bodies and our minds. We swam in the water, laughed at the dinner table, practiced salsa dancing in the community room, and dozed in hammocks. All of this magic happened because we touched something deep inside of ourselves. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind how much our systems needed this practice.
Magical is likely the only word that I can find to describe it all. Writing this post just a few hours after leaving Sitio Gloria, I’m filled with hope, inspiration and deep gratitude for the practice that keeps bringing me home.
In closing, did you know that plans are already in the works for a Kaiut Yoga Retreat 2019?
If you can plant the seed and make the space to attend the Kaiut Yoga retreat next year? I have no doubt you would feel the same gratitude I feel today.