It’s the first day of spring!
I’m not quite sure I’m ready for spring. I love winter! The boots and fleeces, the romantic snow globe-esque ski towns, the powder days, Christmas, the excuse to consume hot cocoa at any time… There’s so much to love about winter!
But between last weekend in Sonoma and this weekend at home in North Carolina, I think it’s safe to say that I’m getting ready for the warmer days ahead.
I got a little sneak peak of spring down in Sonoma last week for our EMPOWER yoga and trail running retreat. I haven’t spent much time in California, other than the fact that I almost moved to San Diego instead of Portland. I was SO excited to spend the weekend in the sunshine, drinking wine, and sweating away with some amazing girls. And I was not disappointed…
We kicked the weekend off a few days early with a little pre-retreat retreat. Jamie, Nicci, and I left Tuesday before the retreat for the drive south, planning to take our time, enjoy ourselves, get in some running, rest, and fun. And what a day for us to leave Portland; packing up the car with all the retreat goodies and supplies and driving south on the 5 in the rain made it easy to head out.
We drove the 5 hours to Ashland, where we stopped for the night. It was so fun having a delicious dinner at pie + vine…
… sleeping the snuggliest of sleeps…
…and running ALL THE HILLS the next morning!
Caffeinated by only the best, we hit the road for Rocklin armed with our arsenal of road trip snacks and a playlist of 90’s and early 2000’s dance hits (to which Jamie and I absolutely rocked out to!)!
Staying at Jamie’s mom’s house, we were met with a houseful of people, dogs, and sushi.
We were blessed with a full day on Thursday in Rocklin. We got to run and lay in the sunshine, have a yoga date with Alyse, have a delicious and productive coffee/work date at Bloom, unpack swag and pack up swag bags, hit up the best Whole Foods ever, binge on Thai food, and bake! Alyse joined us for the baking party! Amazing Grass and Designer Protein were two of our sponsors for the weekend. Armed with wine and delicious ingredients (and IG stories to document every move), we put together some delicious pre- and post-sweat treats for our attendees. [ Recipe 1: Designer Protein; Recipe 2: Amazing Grass ]
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On Friday, we headed out to Folsom Lake for a 5 mile trail run before hitting the road for Sonoma.
Yeah, that’s right, all that and we haven’t even gotten to the actual retreat yet! We immediately kicked off the retreat Friday night with a sunset power flow class with Jamie and a delicious dinner by the pool.
Saturday was the most amazing and most exhausting day. Many of us were up at the crack of dawn (aka 6:15am) for the first trail run. Which turned into part trail, part running up a huge hill on the road next to the ranch. Only a three mile run, but it sure got us up, sweating, and at ’em early!
After breakfast and a mid-morning power flow class, we headed to the Sonoma Overlook Trail for trail run / hike #2. The sun was bright and shining for this one, ensuring we definitely got our sweat on!
The afternoon was full of downtime / playtime. We laid out in the sunshine by the pool talking, sunbathing, daring each other to jump in the freezing pool…
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The relaxing afternoon morphed back into kick-butt mode. Jamie led us through an intense hour of bootcamp and HIIT yoga. The sweat… Oh, the sweat, y’all… We ended with a mountain climber interval: three rounds of jog, sprint, rest. Jamie offered to the OG HIIT yoga’ers the option to continue to mountain climbing during the rest intervals. Of course I was next to Kristina during this class, who is one of the most badass women (and mama of 2!) I know, who of course mountain climbed during the rest intervals. I just held my plank and stared at her with sweat dripping off my nose, happy to witness the moment and loved being close enough to hear all the things she was muttering under her breath.
I ended the sweaty day with a juicy hip-centric class. It wasn’t necessarily restorative, but the entire room positively groaned in appreciation when we got to pigeon! Wine tasting and hanging out after dinner didn’t last long for us as we all collapsed in our beds in sweaty, smelly, greasy piles as soon as we could.
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Sunday, which was also Daylight Savings Time, started off with 6am (aka 5am) yoga with Nic. My sore and stubborn body absolutely did not want to move, but she coaxed the flow out of me. As rough as the practice started, I was definitely moving a lot easier by the end of the class. We headed straight from class to the trails. Exploring Sonoma Valley Regional Park was gorgeous! Quite a few of us decided to hike this one, myself included. I so badly wanted to run it, but my body just wasn’t having it at this point. About two thirds of the way through the hike did I feel warmed up enough to even think about running.
After yet another delicious meal (seriously, the food was amazing**), we ended the retreat weekend with a two hour inversion workshop. As I said to the workshop students during our closing circle, this is how I fell in love with yoga, the empowerment and playfulness, and why I love teaching. Getting to see the “clicks” that I experienced in my own practice happen for others, helping students do things they never thought they would be able to do, watching their expressions of delight, amazement, and empowerment. It was the perfect way to end the weekend, two days full of challenging ourselves to go further than we all thought we could and feeling the strength in ourselves upon reaching the other side.
Smiles for days …
The drive back to Portland was a little less energetic…
But after a week of running and yoga, of being in the sunshine and around high energy and amazing people, we came back energized and soul-deep happy! And ready for spring…
Need more proof of how much fun we had?
**Seriously, the food was so good. The food comas were real. Thanks for the french toast on the last day!