Shoshoni Yoga Retreat
Since 2006 one of my favorite, nearby escapes from reality is the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat just outside of Nederland, Colorado.
In the past, I have gone with my husband and we’ve rented one of their sweet cabins and stayed two nights, or I’ve gone on my own for just 24-hours, but more recently I went for two nights by myself. It was my requested birthday present, and at 51, I no longer shrink from telling those around me what I need/want the most.
From May 1 – Oct 1, Shoshoni offers Anytime Retreats, and if you’re willing to share a bathroom and have a simple private dorm room it’s only $115 per night. An incredible bargain because not only do you get a peaceful room, three delicious vegetarian (or vegan) meals, but you also have the option of attending two yoga classes, a meditation class and/or a spiritual art class. And if you are really motivated, you can get up at 5.30am and attend the Yajna Fire Ceremony. It’s one of the only places in the U.S. that has a traditional Vedic fire temple built according to ancient principles and in constant practice for daily for the past fifteen years — that’s every single morning at 5.30am every day of the year!
Or you can do what I did this past trip, which was absolutely nothing. No yoga. No meditation. It was a miserable rainy, cold, grey mid-May spring weekend, so I opted to just read and sleep. I left Boulder around 4pm on Friday afternoon and arrived at the ashram less than an hour later. I didn’t bring my computer and stowed my cell phone in the glove box of my car. I told my family if there was an emergency they could just call the office at the ashram and someone would find me. Thankfully, there were no emergencies.
On that bleak Friday afternoon, I bid the world goodbye and sunk deep into that snug little single bed for nearly 48-hours of blissful detachment. A bag of books (true confession — I was/am absolutely obsessed with The Neopolitian Novels by Elena Ferrante), an extra pillow, two liters of fizzy water and my favorite slippers were the only things I brought with me. The only reasons I left my room were to indulge in the love-infused, deeply nourishing organic veggie meals and to retrieve endless cups of tea. One afternoon I did venture out and curled up on a communal couch and watched the snow fall and saw one of the sweetest sites ever — a hummingbird at a feeder with snow falling gently all around her. Spring snows are my favorite with their fat wet, heavy flakes blanketing tender green shoots — they can certainly betray us and the delicate buds peeking up, but for me, they are reminders to remember to take nothing for granted and that life can change in a millisecond, yet rebound in ways unimaginable.
So yes, I went to a yoga and meditation retreat and participated in neither activity. Nope – no yoga, no meditation. And I felt totally at peace with that decision. Unlike when I was younger, I might have felt guilty, but not anymore. For me, age brings with it the full realization that you just have to do what you need at that moment in time, and not feel compelled to participate in the agenda at hand. I also realized that 24-hours is not really enough to completely unwind, but 48-hours certainly started to make real inroads into complete decompression. I came home refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Shoshoni Yoga Retreat is a Colorado treasure. It’s made for everyone and anyone who needs to just hit pause, refresh, reflect, take from it what they need, move on, whatever. No judgment ever, it’s just a place in the beautiful mountains filled with pure kindness and love for all.