Jaya Ganesha Jaya Ganesha
Jaya Ganesha Pahimaam
Sri Ganesha Sri Ganesha
Sri Ganesha Rakshamaam
I never thought I’d be waking up to the sound of my four-year-old singing this (or any) mantra, but that is just what happened yesterday.
“At least one of us will be zen this summer” I thought, still drowsy, but with a smile on my face.
Ironies aside, waking up to that mantra truly made my day. It was such a sweet reminder of our recent experience at a yoga retreat in the Spanish Pyrenees.
A Yoga Retreat for Families?
I was immediately drawn to it, but wondered if the rest of the family would be as excited about the plan. I knew the girls would enjoy being close to nature and meeting new friends, but how would they deal with vegetarian food? Would they like to do yoga every day? My husband, who’d maybe done a single yoga class in his life, was surprisingly open to the idea. Still, I couldn’t picture him in shared dorms and bathrooms, waking up at 6:30am to meditate.
After asking him “are you sure?” about a hundred times, we signed up. We’d spend a week in the Spanish Pyrenees, practicing yoga, hiking, enjoying the simple life. There were bets among friends on how many days it would take my husband to flee to the nearest 5-star hotel…
Casa Cuadrau is a retreat center in Vio, a tiny village in a beautiful corner of Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees. Surrounded by spectacular mountains, this special place is a reflection of its owners. One look at our hosts, Katya and Dani, and you’d understand what I mean. Their love and serenity are contagious. Their dedication and enthusiasm absolutely inspiring.
For this family retreat, they brought the most special facilitators from Austria, Boris and Renee Georgiev and their sweet little girls, Kaiya and Yuki. As Katya describes, “they are a big inspiration on how to live a family life following the teachings and practicing yoga, always giving love, joy, serenity and light.” I couldn’t have put it better.
The staff was perfect. Kind and genuine people, reminding us that our greatest gift to the world is to be who we are, and live our purpose.
We were joined by four other families, moms and sons, father and son, a family of four. Families from different backgrounds, with kids ranging in age from two to eleven.
Not surprisingly, the kids bonded right away and were happiest exploring on their own while their parents slowly let go of their fears and resistance. By the end of the week, those feelings of apprehension had given room to spontaneous joy and a remarkable sense of community.
A typical day would look like the following:
6:30-8:30 Ashtanga practice for the adults
9:30 – 10:30 Meditative walk
10:30 Yoga class for kids
11:45 – 12:45 Karma Yoga activity for families (meditative work in pairs helping with easy tasks of the house)
15:00 Activity for the kids (baking, painting, etc)
16:30 – 18:30 Acro Yoga for families & Kirtan
20:30 Satsang with singing, storytelling and sharing circle
22:00 Lights off
Ashtanga yoga with Boris was an experience in and of itself.
The hikes were absolutely incredible. The views were breathtaking and we all learned so much with Dani.
Swimming in the river felt invigorating. Watching the kids explore, bake cookies, broaden their horizons was heartwarming.
But perhaps the most uplifting part of the whole retreat was indeed the mantras, the chanting. The whole week seemed to be filled with music. My girls were entranced by Renee’s beautiful voice during Kirtan, an ancient form of devotional chanting.
I had never heard of Kirtan before. Looking it up upon our return, I can understand why it touched us so much. A quick google search tells me “Kirtan is a form of Bhakti Yoga (yoga of devotion) that has the power to open your heart. There is a sweet sound vibration that permeates through all layers of coverings and makes God dance. That sound vibration is Kirtan. It is a mysterious connection that draws people to each other.”
So, yeah, whether or not this experience or lifestyle is for you, we can always fill our lives with music!
Check out the video for a closer look into our retreat.
We can’t wait to offer this magical retreat as one of our experiences. Sign up below to be notified of our launch!