• 5 Ways A Yoga Retreat In Sedona Helped Me Recharge My Life

    5 Ways A Yoga Retreat In Sedona Helped Me Recharge My Life

    After life events early in 2017 left me physically and mentally exhausted, I knew it was time to unlock myself from survivor mode. I finally registered for  “Awakening Hope ~ Yoga, Hiking, & Healing Retreat” in Sedona, Arizona, led by my friend and yoga instructor, Hope Knosher.

    The yoga & hiking retreat in Sedona helped me recharge in five specific areas in my life that had gone AWOL. Here’s how it happened:

    The Awakening Hope retreat in Sedona got me back outdoors.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaIt’s called the “great” outdoors because being outside makes you feel great: Science can back this statement up. Lately, travel was something I’d been doing for others: holiday duty visits, life events like birthday parties and funerals, and planning our daughter’s destination wedding.

    With Hope’s infinite patience, genuine joy, and steady voice, this retreat in Sedona got me out of survivor mode and back into living life.

    In Arizona, I was on the road for me, and it was empowering. After a smooth flight on Southwest from Atlanta to Phoenix, I arrived on the road I’d obsessively Google-mapped. Flatland desert and saguaro cacti gave way to higher elevations and the rough-cut red rocks that mark the otherworldly landscape of Sedona. It was a thrill to unlock the joy of traveling in the great outdoors.

    The retreat home base is at an inn on a green oasis along Oak Creek Canyon north of uptown Sedona.  I quickly settled onto our cabin full of Southwestern art and charm, with a full kitchen, high ceilings, and a peek of the red rocks. There were plenty of outdoor spaces to relax in, featuring comfy hammocks and giant wood-hewn chairs by the creek.

    I spent my free time napping, thinking, and willing the outside world to take a number and wait until I was ready to return. I also got to experience my first outdoor massage in a rock-walled cocoon of a spa room which was right beside Oak Creek. That’s my ultimate definition of taking in nature.

    The Awakening Hope retreat in Sedona gave me a challenge that I was able to answer.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaI’ve always enjoyed hiking, but negotiating the jagged red rocks of Sedona was a first for me. We hiked three of the best-known trails in the area.  While I didn’t make it to the top of every single butte, it was still exhilarating to test my limits.

    At the first trail, we met a man who gave away carved rock hearts as a symbol of all that we took with us from the hike. At the second, I blazed my own trail around the base of the first vista and let my heart open up at the vast sky.  And at the third, I experienced sunrise and sunset and a Vision Walk that helped me bring the true “why” of this trip into focus.

    During a quiet moment alone on a canyon vista, I leaned back into the warm red rock, finding a niche that felt like it had been worn over the years just for me.

    With Hope’s guidance and enthusiasm for the healing magic of Sedona, I was able to push my limits in a way that was challenging but attainable.

    The Awakening Hope retreat in Sedona helped me get back to my breath.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaHope’s yoga classes have always been a place for me to refocus, but this year I have not been able to attend on a regular basis. I was having trouble steadying myself. On the retreat, I relaxed into yoga and stretching and a meditative state in a way that I had not been able to experience in many months. I regained the mechanics of focusing on the breath to contain my mind and relax.

    The Awakening Hope retreat in Sedona inspired me to do things I hadn’t done in years.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaI lost track of time. I fell asleep outside. I sketched. I read for hours. I was able to stay open to whatever the moment offered. During a quiet moment alone on a Canyon Vista, I leaned back into the warm red rock, finding a niche that felt like it had been worn over the years just for me.

    My mind opened up, and then the wind whistled around me. The wind’s magic called to me all week. Something I would have missed had I not been able to be open and amenable to the music of the great outdoors.

    The Awakening Hope retreat in Sedona returned the gift of laughter and new friendships.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaI knew of two of the women on the retreat from Hope’s classes in Atlanta, but I didn’t know them. The other two were strangers. It is often said that life puts you in front of the right people at the right time, and this was inimitably true on this retreat. We lifted each other up on the trail and in the yoga studio.

    We laughed at shared mishaps drooled together over the delicious food (yes, we had our own chef, aren’t we fabulous?) We cried when the retreat was over and we had to go back to the business of real life. The “Sedona Seven” will always have each other’s backs.

    A yoga and hiking retreat in Sedona isn’t just an escape into the magic of the red rocks. It’s about being able to reset your compass, test your mind and body, and play like a kid. It’s hearing the wind and feeling the warmth of the sun and new friendships.

    Hope's Yoga Awakening Hope Yoga and Hiking Retreat in Sedona ArizonaA yoga and hiking retreat in Sedona isn’t just an escape into the magic of the red rocks. It’s about being able to reset your compass, test your mind and body, and play like a kid. It’s hearing the wind and feeling the warmth of the sun and new friendships.

    With Hope’s infinite patience, genuine joy, and steady voice, this retreat got me out of survivor mode and back into living life. If you want to welcome yourself back, stay tuned to Hope’s website and Facebook page and get the latest news about dates for upcoming retreats!

    About the Guest Blogger:

    Nancy Van Patten is a longtime wife, mom, and accomplished kitten-herder. She works as a social media specialist and writer. Her blog, Nance Travels, is squeezing its way into existence. It will feature travel stories, tips, and plenty of food and wine photos.

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