Last weekend, I was done with winter. Every cell in my body was screaming for sunshine and warmth, my joints frozen. I dreamed of palm trees, sun, and white sand beaches. Since I couldn’t actually get away, I got creative. I decided to take the weekend and create a retreat for myself. Right at home. To recharge my batteries.
It was such a treat that I decided to spend at least two of the Easter holidays in similar fashion. I created a little ashram for myself. Since everyone in my family has their own room (yes, my husband and I sleep in separate rooms –I highly recommend it!), it’s fairly easy to withdraw a bit. I’d say that, come Monday, I looked and felt clear, refreshed and totally rejuvenated.
I want to tell you exactly what I did during my retreat – maybe you’ll feel inspired to spend your Easter (or any other time) on retreat in your own four walls.
Good preparation is important
First, I told my family that I would be taking some time to myself over the weekend, so that they were prepared as well. My husband was totally understanding since he knew the kids were on school vacation and I’d be spending the whole coming week alone with them.
I’m great at self-care and am generally not afraid to take the space that I need. That’s so important, as a (hard)-working mom. It doesn’t always mean jetting off to distant horizons – I can enjoy great me-time at my own pad as well.
In the end, I invited my kids and my husband to join in my project. My son participated a little, as we’re currently practicing the same Kundalini kriya.
I decided not to plan everything out. My daily rhythms are often paced so exactly that it would have felt counter-productive. But I created a rough outline for my days. First of all, I ignored my phone and chose to be unreachable for the outside world.
I turned my back on social media as well, which I’ve been trying to minimize in general. It feels so much better to cut back on the barrage of information from the outside, and instead to focus on channeling my energy into my own work.
Then I chose a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Reading helps me enormously to relax. Three essential oils accompanied my weekend retreat: bergamot for cheer, frankincense for turning inwards and sage for a change in perspective.
On Friday evening, I went to bed early so that I could begin my retreat on time. I love getting up early – it helps me feel that I’ve got a head-start on my day. I generally feel better and brighter when I get up before 6 a.m.
The alarm rang at 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday – a bit later than usual. I don’t think much in the mornings, just jump straight out of bed and into a cold shower. Sounds brutal, I know – and sometimes it is, especially in winter – but I feel so refreshed and renewed after.
I’ve been using this dry brush before showering for years now – it’s fantastic, ridding the whole body of old, dry skin and increasing warming circulation. A few drops of peppermint oil in the shower for a bright and fresh effect, and into the cold water I go!
After my shower, I practiced my kriya, which I’m doing for a hundred days, and meditated. I mostly practice Yoga by myself, online. I can highly recommend Guru Jagat and Jai Dev Singh’s online platforms. Jai Dev just started a new forty-day challenge.
Breakfast was a green juice, a kukicha latte (kukicha tea with frothed milk, sweetened with rice syrup), and a delicious porridge. After that, a one-hour walking mediation. I love going for walks.
Around 10 a.m. I felt ready for an extended Kundalini class with Jai Dev. After that, I read my book, ate lunch and chilled out extensively. At 4 p.m. it was time for the next Kundalini class, this time with Guru Jagat on Rama.tv. Her portal offers free classes and a free weekly live stream.
After two Yoga classes, kriya, meditation, good food and an inspiring book, a relaxing walk and beautiful tunes by Hope Sandoval, I was ready for a luxurious foam bath. I mixed my own bath salts using a cup of sea salt, ten drops of bergamot oil, one drop of a neutral oil and ½ teaspoon baking powder.
Early on Sunday evening the third season of The Path aired – fabulous! The lights went out early again and on Monday morning I felt good as new!
My schedule for spiritual practice was about the same on both days. And I took a bath both days, which I rarely do otherwise. It felt so good! I left out dinners, having enjoyed a big macrobiotic lunch with soup and more.
If a home retreat isn’t the thing for you right now, I can highly recommend renovating your sleep cycle. More on that here – it feels great!
P.S. If you’re interested in participating in a retreat outside of your own four walls, I’ll be presenting a great selection of options next week!
© Maria Schiffer