I can’t believe I was anxious about going. That unrelenting anxiety is why I need to go to more yoga retreats. By Sunday afternoon I was as relaxed and peaceful as I could get or had been in a very long time.

Hope Springs is a peaceful oasis just a short drive from Cincinnati. The space was perfect for this retreat. I stayed in a room in the Studio…shared with 2 other ladies (there were 4 sleeping rooms and 4 bathrooms in the Studio). The farmhouse held the other attendees…there were 22 of us all totaled. And, surprisingly, there were 2 men in attendance. I guess I’ve gone to so many woman-only retreats that I just assumed this one would be too. It was a refreshing change…and both men were wonderful…peaceful, respectful…honestly, I didn’t feel as if they were anything but a great addition to the group.

We spent time at the Spirit House in meditation as a group…but I also spent time there alone…often in meditation or journaling. I consider it a sacred place though it was just as welcoming of the women who wanted to sit and chat and laugh!

And there was a labyrinth…since we had a break in the rain for a few hours, we were able to walk the labyrinth as a moving meditation. It was beautiful…lush with little flowers…and quite magical.

The menu was very good…clean, often local and organic…I ate vegetarian, but there was a chicken option at one of the lunches. We ate a lot, it seemed. Breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon, and dinner at 6pm. I don’t really like my meals spaced that way…I’d prefer to eat lunch between 1-2pm…I’m a little hungrier then and not starving by the time dinner rolls around. 

The yoga was fantastic. I really enjoyed Crystal’s yoga sequences. I liked the music and I liked the mixture of static and slow flow. I especially loved the Saturday afternoon class. Crystal was well prepared and offered classes that were challenging to me but also rejuvenating and restorative. I was a little worried about being able to physically do 5 classes in 2 and a half days. But, I don’t know what I was worried about…I loved it and really want to figure out a way to do yoga daily (in addition to my cardio workouts).

There was also massage! On Saturday, there were massages after lunch and into the evening…this gave us plenty of time to sit around and talk or, in my case, read. I sat on the porch and read for awhile or went over to the Spirit House to meditate. It was a rainy weekend…perfect weather for such a retreat. My massage was fine, if a little too hard and hurried. The room was a bit chilly too but, you know, as a massage therapist, I’m probably a tough critic. Looking forward to the massage I have scheduled for Friday (at the Four Seasons!).

All in all, I had a really good time. It was the perfect birthday present from Cathy! I am going to have to schedule another one of these for the end of the summer.

Hey, if you want to see more pix from this trip go here.