Jessica Gorman joined us last December for the Belize Yoga Retreat 2012 with Yoga Peach. Fifteen of us spent 4 days on the breathtaking beaches of Belize and 3 days in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. It was truly an amazing retreat experience. If you’d like to learn more about our November 2013 retreat in Belize contact Yoga Peach.
Thank you Jessica, for sharing your experiences in Belize!
What inspired you to attend the Yoga Peach Belize Adventure & Renewal Retreat?
Honestly, it was the painful loss of a friend to cancer last fall. It sounds so lame to me to say “my friend died, so I needed to go to Belize” but it’s pretty much the truth. I needed something to break my sadness, to think, to regroup, to escape. Having created and cooked for yoga retreats as my job, but never really participated as a guest, it seemed like a good time to give one a try. I also wanted to take a trip that involved physical activity, wanting a change from the vacations where a huge focus of the day is meals, and I come back feeling like I need to recover. When I searched online and found this retreat it seemed perfect.
How many years have you been practicing yoga and what style of yoga do you most often practice?
I’ve been practicing off and on since I was about 20- so 23 years, though I’ve been more consistent in the last 5 years. I try to get to a class 3-5 times per week. Bikram for a couple of years, when it was all that was local, but mostly vinyasa, though I’ve been stepping back into less flowy classes lately, where the poses are really broken down (would that be hatha? still not clear on all of the varieties these days)- I find that I learn a lot in those classes (even after so many years, some poses can be like new), and then really enjoy the vinyasa flow classes .
Where do you live and what is a typical day like for you?
I live mostly in Rhode Island, though I do a lot of work in New York, and Vermont. With all of the travel, it’s hard to have a typical day or consistent routine. I’m generally either working a 14 hour day, or not working at all. A day off would hopefully include a yoga class or bootcamp class in the morning and a walk in the afternoon. Dream day.
What was a typical day like during your retreat?
Morning yoga. Coffee. Reading. Hike, snorkeling, massage. Swim in pool. Reading. Yoga. Dinner. Reading.
What was your most profound moment while taking the retreat?
I hadn’t realized how intense the combination of yoga and these beautiful places would be. I felt like I had an undefineable profound moment in every yoga class- trying to keep a lot of that with me as I return to daily life.
What were you mostly influenced by?
The locations, the nature- practicing yoga in these unbelievable places. Also, the soul that Keli put into everything. Small embellishments and thoughtful touches within each yoga class, always keeping an eye out to make sure that each person was comfortable and happy, constant enthusiasm and joy, and an unfailing sense of humor! I would unquestioningly follow Keli on any trip.
What were the top 3 benefits of taking the retreat?
The travel- leaving it all up to someone else, and having it be worth it (all of the little touches and surprises made it so special), feeling taken care of.
Being able to travel alone, yet in a group, and participate or not participate as worked for me. Having this amazing adventure solo, but at the same time with all of these other people. Sharing the travel, as well as the yoga, creates a kind of friendship that is unusual and pretty cool.
Feeling healthy- having some interesting changes and realizations, and growth, while not having to be too strict- I liked that there was yoga and rum punch. And lots of humor!