As the moon rose over the mountain, our bodies moved in harmony with the rhythm of the sea.
Connecting to the energy of the full moon, the ocean, the earth, the air, and our breath, we tuned in to magical vibrations.
On the full moon June 13th, my friend and I held a healing retreat on the island of Santa Maria in the Azores. This particular full moon was referred to as the Lua de Mel, The honey moon, and it certainly felt that way.
Almost as quickly as the idea to hold an event came to our mind, we got to work. Within the span of 3 weeks, we created an organization, designed a logo, met with local Portuguese government, got permits, created a webpage, created flyers, created an informative yoga presentation, planned and held our event. All in Portuguese!!! Which I don’t fluently speak! Deep Breath! We did it!
We got permission to use one of the most beautiful parks on the island. The Parque Campismo in Praia Formosa.Camping, Yoga, moonrise meditation, Mandalas, yoga for children, and a jam session. There had never been an event like this on this island. We really weren’t sure how the event would turn out, but one thing I have learned is that when ideas come, and the universe is clearing the path, go with it, ride the energy.
On the day of the event, we decorated our space with Mandalas, sea glass art, rocks, and chalk art. Between Mother Nature’s magic and our own creative energy, I don’t think we could have asked for a more beautiful space. And the weather was perfect. It was beautiful.
As the afternoon sun began to set, we laid around, played music, shared a little Thai yoga, and slowly people arrived and set up their tents.
As darkness began to set in, we walked down to the beach for yoga. We did a soft, rhythmic, fluid yoga practice, followed by a moonrise meditation. The tide was low, the weather was warm, the vibrations were magical. It was incredibly beautiful.
After our meditation, and a blurry group photo, we walked quietly back to our camping spot and had dinner. The kids took turns singing, we cheered them on, and then collectively, we had a jam session. We created music with garbage cans, glass bottles, forks and spoons, and even my daughter’s baby rattle. The energy was sweet, like honey.
On Saturday morning, I woke up very early and did a meditation. Slowly, everyone crawled out of their tents, (One woman slept outside on a picnic table bench ). We had breakfast, went to the beach, and almost everyone went swimming. The water was way too cold for me, but I enjoyed our beach time , I sat and nursed my daughter and kept her shaded from the bright sun.
Back at our little tent village, and with a very relaxed and informal feel, we practiced arm balances, talked about yogic philosophy, and played around with some acro yoga.
Afterwards, we unrolled our mats under the shade of a tree, and I taught a stronger vinyasa flow yoga class. 21 sun salutations, along with the heat of the day, really warmed us up and left our arms sore for days. Sore in a good way.
After yoga, we had lunch, and then walked over to a place called Beach Parque for the mandala workshop and for the yoga for kids class. I had a small group of young kids, we played around, practiced some balancing poses, did some deep stretches, and of course we did Lions breath which made everyone laugh.
The mandala workshop was fantastic. It was led by Ana Martins, (friend and cofounder of Vibracaos Magicas-our organization). Everyone was in their creative zone, relaxed, happy, and connected to the sacred power of our mandalas. My sweetheart and I made one together. It is now hanging in my living room. It is so beautiful, I get lost in it. If you ever have the chance to learn how to make mandalas, I highly recommend.
As evening set in, we headed back to our camping spot, cleaned, packed up our tents, shared some big hugs, and headed home.
Feeling both exhausted and inspired, I slept good that night. In many ways, it has been very hard for me to be the new girl on the island,new country, new language, new people, young baby, And far away from my old community of friends and family. But I know that our event was the start of something magical.
It had always been a dream of mine to combine camping with a yoga retreat. And 10 days ago, we did it! It was not a huge gathering, but honestly, I don’t think it could have been better.
Thank you so much to all who helped, participated, and supported our event. I will cherish those memories always. More events soon. Building community one breath at a time.
Sending vibrations of BIG LOVE ~Yogini Tiff