(Written on July 25, 2013 while on a yoga retreat in Italy)
A week has gone by since I started my travels to Italy. For the entire trip, I have been with 18 other yogis. We share common areas in our villa-farmhouse, practice yoga together, eat together, travel together. Our excursions only take us into larger crowds of tourists admiring the wonderful sites around us. The experience has been worthwhile and amazing, but for me, it was time for a little break.
While some of the group took a 2 hour drive out to the beach and the others got pampered at a nearby spa, I stayed at Ebbio for a little R & R. For me, it was time for a little stillness and silence. An opportunity for me to reconnect to self and my surroundings.
So, while sipping an expresso, I enjoyed some time to read and write. I listened to the sounds of nature: the nearby crowing of a rooster, the the cackling of chickens, the rustling of the evergreen leaves of the olive tree, and the scratching song of the crickets. I enjoyed the solitude while feeling the cloud-filtered sun as my light and the occasional breeze as it blew gently through the open windows.
It is very easy to get caught up in things, even when you go on vacation. I invite you to take a moment out of your day to surrender to stillness. Maybe it's just sitting for a few minutes on the sofa with a short magazine article you've been wanting to read. Or taking a walk down to that flower shop you drive by everyday but haven't yet visited. Or looking out at the city scape while sipping a cup of tea. Or closing your office door, popping in your earbuds, and listing to your favorite song. Or....the list is endless. Make it simple, make it short, just make it your own. Honor yourself today, by giving yourself that gift of stillness and silence. This, TOO, is an effective yoga practice.