A retreat gives you time to explore your practice at a deeper level than usual, sinking into the disciplines of both the body and the mind. Pam structured her classes to explore the body in the morning, always staying mindful of the purpose behind each asana, moving gently amongst the students to correct, encourage, adjust.
Then in the late afternoon as the sun started to move towards the mountains across the bay she took a class in relaxation and meditation, sometimes in utter silence and sometimes with a guided Nidra practice. It was both serious and playful, with opportunities to share stories and have fun at the same time.
In the later classes Pam introduced partner yoga. The first pose had the students standing together with arms around each others’ waists in tree pose. Everyone moved around, changing partners and balances. The next pose had students sitting back to back and doing a spinal twist, bringing their arms up and over to opposite knees in time to their breath. The final pose was simply synchronized breathing: sitting back to back, one person inhaling as the other exhaled, experiencing the unity of being.
She also used one session to delve into the philosophy behind yoga. In a regular class there’s often very limited opportunity to do this, but in the setting of a retreat there’s time and motivation to stop, consider and discuss.
And in between the workshops, there was a regular stream of students returning to the yoga shala for one of Kalo’s magic massages.