UPDATE: Since this post from April 2018 retreat leader and entrepreneur, Kendall Inman, has relocated to Tulum, built and opened an incredible boutique retreat there. And, I have since become a yoga instructor as well and founded Whole-Hearted Yoga, offering Christ-centered yoga classes, workshops, and retreats.
Jungle Keva is the site for Whole-Hearted Yoga’s first ever adventure retreat in January! Registration is now open to the Whole-Hearted Yoga private FB group. Scroll down to read about my trip last year.
My heart is full of inspiration, adventure and stories. Last week I took a trip alone to a yoga and wellness retreat in the Riviera Maya for a time of renewal and rejuvenation. When I initially told my friends and family of my plans to travel alone, I received encouragement from some and fearful skepticism (and truthfully a bit of judgment) from others. As it happened, six of the eight of us at the retreat came on our own, traveling from all over the US – initially strangers and later friends for life by the end of our stay.
This trip was not just about “me” time. I had reached a point where it was important to step out of my comfort zone and take time to deeply recharge so that I could be a better version of myself – a better mom, a better wife, and a better encourager to those around me. As women, we are continually nurturing others and sometimes forget to take care of ourselves, and if we aren’t mindful, can begin to feel lost. Maybe we lose sight of our intention to spend daily quiet time with the Lord, or stop exercising and eating right. We cease doing the very things that feed our souls. Sometimes we forget what those things are. The problem with this is that we can eventually become so depleted that we are no benefit to anyone, especially in the tougher seasons of life.
As Christians, we are taught to die to ourselves, meaning our sinful nature and desires. However, there is a fine line between dying to ourselves and walking through life limping. I believe God wants us to thrive, not just survive. We are all created with unique talents and desires. When we tap into those things, we are more fulfilled, joyful, confident and healthy. One of my biggest prayers for my son is that God will show me how to help him develop his talents so that he can thrive in his true nature instead of conforming to whatever the world thinks he should do or be.
The wellness retreat was run by Kendall Inman, a yoga instructor and Ayurveda practitioner formerly from Dallas who now lives in Playa del Carmen. Every detail was meticulously and thoughtfully planned, from yoga, cooking and Ayurveda classes to adventurous daily excursions. Kendall’s heart is clearly rooted in her business with a desire to provide life-changing, nourishing experiences for each person who attends. She has a passion for helping others grow and heal, which is evident the moment you meet her. Kendall has immersed herself into the local culture of the area, which allows her to share unique, off-the-beaten-path places and experiences.
Our home base was the Bric Hotel, a quaint boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen, located in a quiet block on Calle 28, not far from the bustling activity of 5th Avenue. Each day we ventured out to different yoga studios for our classes, followed by a myriad of activities. On our first day, we took a long bike ride to an area beach club for lunch and hung out at the beach, but not before visiting a local market for fresh green juice and a homemade empanada.
My favorite excursion was to a private lagoon in Tulum, located in a protected biosphere. The clear, beautiful water was perfectly still and calm with just a gentle breeze blowing. Our group had the entire place to ourselves; it was definitely very surreal. After an hour or so of paddleboarding, we tackled a challenging SUP yoga class (that’s on the boards if you don’t know). As I lay on my paddleboard in the final resting pose, taking in the experience, a wave of gratitude and a few tears came sweeping over me..gratitude for this place, my God, my health, my precious family, and gratitude to myself for taking a leap on a solo adventure.
As my plane taxis down the runway heading for home, I’m enjoying a bit of Kendall’s homemade banana bread and feeling bittersweet – sad to leave yet thankful for the time away and eager to see my family. This experience has deepened my connection with my deepest self, not just Lori the wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend, but my innermost God-created being…the self without the pressures, labels and expectations of this world…the self I aspire to be – healthier, more peaceful, grounded and empowered by my journey so that I, in turn, can hopefully empower and encourage others.
I’m inspired to find more adventure at home in my daily life, both alone and with family and friends. I challenge and encourage each of you to do the same!
“A renewed mind is the result of a surrendered heart.” – Bill Johnson
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