After having some time to reflect on our 2012 Cowgirl Yoga Retreat, here’s what I know for sure…..I wish we were all still there, laughing and visiting, riding our horses, being fed wonderful meals and listening to the inspiring and motivating things that our yoga instructor said to us.
It has been over a week since we took the time for our second annual Cowgirl Yoga Retreat at Turtle Lake, Saskatchewan. The food was fabulous and the riding was beautiful. The yoga relaxed and stretched our bodies, and the facilities were great!
Early fall is a wonderful time to enjoy a riding retreat. The leaves are changing color, but they haven’t fallen from the trees. The weather is lovely. The bears have full bellies and are looking for a place to spend the winter. Harvest has usually only just begun, without the full steam ahead momentum that comes a few days later, giving us a bit of time to get away before the fast pace begins. This year, the combines were already getting pretty busy, but we left anyway knowing that we would hit the ground running after a rejuvenating weekend with our fellow cowgirls.
We added an evening fireside social to our retreat this year. However, after returning from a long day of riding, yoga and eating, we decided to skip the fire part of our fireside social, and go right into the social part in the living room of one of our cabins.
Our ‘fire free’ fire side social gave us the opportunity to share and discuss socially relevant and highly intelligent topics such as…
Red neck wine glasses – just how do they attach the crystal stem to the bottom of a mason jar?
Sunscreen – is it really necessary to apply it to our skin, or is carrying it in our saddle bags good enough?
‘Push Up’ undergarments and why they aren’t the best choice for a riding retreat.
Phobias – which is crazier – being afraid of birds (which are usually miles away from you in the sky)…or being afraid of spiders (which are usually lurking somewhere very nearby, just waiting to run up your arm and bite your face).
Jewelry – “You should never cut grass without a bracelet,” according to Sherry.
Taxidermy – Is it appropriate in the bedroom?
There were so many topics to discuss and world problems to solve that we were unable to get to all of them in only one fire side social…with no fire.
As a result, we have decided that it’s important to plan for one more night in our 2013 retreat, leaving two evenings available for our ‘fireside social’….probably still won’t be any fire….
‘Getting away from it all’ doesn’t have to mean hours spent in an airport security line up followed by more hours spent sitting in an airplane seat. There are local venues that are beautiful, fun and relaxing. Chances are good that you won’t need to endure a body scan or have anyone digging through your luggage to get there either.
There are many people who work together to help us create this special retreat. This was the second year that our trail guide Murray agreed to spend his birthday weekend leading eleven cowgirls through the beautiful trails and forests near Turtle Lake. You can imagine how relaxing this must be for him, while he tries to keep up to the many different conversations on the trail, that are all happening at the same time. Murray’s wife Linda once again welcomed us onto her cement patio for our picnic lunch, and into her yard with our horses, trailers, trucks and panels. Maybe one day we will be able to talk her into joining us on the trail.
Brad and Brenda at the Blueberry Hill Golf Course and Restaurant make our meals, and provide us with a venue to practice yoga….which may have been somewhere near the 5th tee off – our apologies to anyone who was hoping to play through. However, I feel pretty confident that your wait would have been entertaining as we cowgirls/contortionists coaxed our bodies into some of the most relaxing pretzel shapes you have probably ever seen.
The food at Blueberry Hill Restaurant is the best. Brad takes pride in his menu and in his ingredients, treating us to beef and chicken, home cut fries, melt in your mouth cinnamon buns, savory breakfast wraps, pizza and more!
The cabins at Turtle River Campground are perfect for a retreat like ours. They are simple, clean, and the hosts Darcy and Marg are very accommodating.
Our yoga instructor this year was Michele Rogers. Michele’s Yoga studio is called “That Relaxation Place” in Turtleford, Saskatchewan. Michele is skilled in Yoga, Reiki, and Reflexology. After each one of our yoga sessions, we were treated to a gentle massage and essential oil aromatherapy. During our sessions Michele would enlighten us with quotes and phrases meant to encourage us to push ourselves physically and psychologically a little further out of our comfort zones to see what we are capable of.
So, it is with happiness and a few laughs that we recall our second annual Cowgirl Yoga Retreat. It’s important to take the time for yourself, to enjoy the company of new and old friends, away from the everyday habits of work and phone calls, meals and the management of your life. It’s fun to allow someone else to take the reins for a day or two.
Yes, the retreat is over and it’s back to reality. There are meals to prepare and a lawn that needs mowing. However, the effects of the retreat linger, and I feel a sense of happy contentment while I put on my bracelet and head out to mow the grass.
“Don’t be afraid to come out of your comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens.” Michele Rogers, yoga instructor for Cowgirl Yoga 2012