Dechen Chöling – Yoga & Writing

When an experience is so fundamental it is difficult to express the process, let alone the feelings in words. But that’s what I’m going to try and do. Rare time focused on cultivating consciousness, mindfulness, awareness; call it what you will, it was very precious. This is what Jasmijn and Geertje gave us during their Yoga and Writing Retreat at the stunningly-located Dechen Chöling Meditation Retreat Centre. They gave such love and support alongside a deep and meaningful toolkit for both writing and yoga.

For such a long time I have had a sore back and it has prevented me from relaxing into any form of movement; yoga, running, swimming, I was always scared it will hurt. After this intensive week of moving with breath and Jasmijn spending time working hard on the correct alignment for my body, I don’t feel this fear anymore. Although I am worried that I can’t get to Utrecht everyday for yoga practice with her!

The combination of Vinyasa yoga with Yin yoga was perfect; Vinyasa in the morning to really awaken and align the mind and body followed by Yin in the evening to heal and restore (even the tennis ball self-massage was….erm…relaxing?! 😉 ).

Writing-wise I’ve always loved it and have written for years but never had any formal training besides academic writing. I make so many crucial errors due to such practiced thoughts from academia; never use ‘I’ or ‘you’, being key. Normally, I actively try to avoid these pronouns! However, I now realise how this instantly disconnects the reader from my writing. So, I’m trying it another way 🙂

All of the workshops and new techniques we learnt with Geertje allowed us to delve deep and without judgement, ultimately producing the most ‘real’ writing since I was an uninhibited child. Using dancing to achieve this was awesome. As I read out my writing post-expressive dancing, it felt quite spacey and well, out there! But deliciously free.

Together, the two branches aligned to open up both body and mind. I felt our group of sixteen people from all over the world, really became deeply connected to each other through the combined practices, whilst at the same time I discovered ways to connect more deeply within myself. It was a most blissful week ❤

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