Another busy happy season at Sewall House passing quickly- our 19th! New friends and old finding our historic homestead in northern Maine..from United States to Canada our guests travel to experience the simplicity of a small retreat away from the crowds and scenes of life to the healing scenes of nature among supportive new and old friends..sharing yoga, rehabilitating physically, mentally and emotionally – receiving the benefits of FRESH AIR, FRESH FOOD and yoga/meditation techniques for all of you- beginners to experienced! Hikes- kayaks- swimming- walking – porch sitting- hammocking and simply sipping tea, we are here to serve as we look ahead with gratitude to our 20th season in 2016! THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH!
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evening swims and yoga
There is still snow on the ground but the days are getting longer and the birds are singing a little louder! We are offering our training in JUNE, writing JULY 30- Aug 2 and happily offering ongoing retreats from May 28 to Columbus Day- as usual, personalized with a schedule of nature outings and R & R that we help you create while you are here.
F is for February..And Also? For FALL!! (not as in the season!)
In January I had a decade birthday. I turned 60. As a few of you know I went on silence for twenty four hours, a great time to contemplate and slow down the hectic pace that is our life.
I love practicing and teaching yoga. It helps me deal with the changes in life and in our body and self. Because I believe so strongly in the benefits I love sharing it with others. The feedback about backs (and other body parts) helped, hurts (emotional and physical) healed and much more makes it one of the most gratifying jobs I can imagine. It is a great way to meet new people all the time, develop longterm deep relationships with others over time. And it extends, hopefully, into all areas of our life.
I was walking to a client three days after my birthday, on a rainy wet day, which was causing black ice to form. I chose the wrong shoes, thinking an umbrella would keep me dry. My sopping wet thin leather boots went out from under me as I found myself flat on my back, letting it sink in for a moment. A cab driver and man walking nearby both (not rushing because of the slippery conditions) approached and asked me if I was ok. I sat up, a bit not happy with myself, and responded ” I am ok ; I am used to doing stupid things.” ( like jumping out of airplanes and breaking my back and getting hit by cabs on my bike!) I went on my merry way, only to find the client had cancelled and was sick, but glad to be able to get home to dry socks and the right shoes before I ventured to visit my 99 year old father (who turns 100 on feb 15 if you think I am old!).
So what does all this have to do with yoga? Well, before I had these two things happen (the next is coming up) I had already decided I would write to you about this new condition that has been named hypo kinetic disease. Since most of you do yoga (I am assuming!) and may be active in other ways I hope this does not apply to you. We have an epidemic in our society based on jobs where people sit all day, which can easily be remedied by at least standing up and walking a bit, intentional breaks for movement, during the day. Even as I sit at my computer writing this on the “snow day” in New York City, I know I have been at my desk far too long catching up on office work for the past few hours- and I move every day! I attended Loma Linda In Riverside California for my Masters in Nutrition in the late 70’s and have just started to read the magazines they have been sending me for years. It may mean I am slowing down a bit, because being too busy to sit is another issue (!), but it also means that I am realizing how similar their (Public Health) school mission is to the life path I have chosen after leaving my Nutrition career many years ago. It is in one of their publications that I discovered the term hypo kinetic disease. It really made me think! (and be glad I do not have an office job).
Well, the second part of my story has to do with the letter f again! Where my father lives with other seniors the joke is that the F word is FALL! (as one woman puts it – oh those 4 letter words!) The day after my fall I get a text from my dear friend who was on her way in from a retreat out of town, carrying her luggage and also not great shoes. Guess what? She fell too on black ice- only her fall was much worse than my bruised sacro-iliac joint, which did not impair my ability to practice or teach yoga. She has been staying on my sofa (or the floor when she cannot get up) for over a week now. Her badly bruised arm, it turns out, is a hairline fracture.
It has given me such an opportunity to see what I am so blessed to do and teach (yoga) every day. She, on the other hand, has an office job, does not exercise and has developed diabetes as well as being overweight. Her retreat was a sitting one- not a yoga one!
I am looking forward to getting back to the walks (which luckily we can do in NYC but not as pretty!), the hikes, the lakes and the yoga in Maine and especially to share these healthy habits with the great people (you!) who find Sewall House and venture there.
In one of the kundalini manuals Yogi Bhajan says that the cumulative effects of not exercising start to show up around 60- and hard to catch up. When the pharmacist where I went to get arnica asked if my friend was elderly I said that was relative. She is only four years older than me! (and he agreed saying some 40 year olds are old and some 60 somethings are young!)
I am not saying we do not age. We do! (I am doing a workshop on Aging Gracefully at PURE YOGA WEST in NYC FEB 22 2-4! Come if you can!) and I am not saying that i do not have great compassion for how much harder this is for my dear friend, who cannot even get herself off the floor because her whole body is not fit. I am simply saying it is amazing the lessons we are given daily, how we can be grateful for learning from each and every one- and that if we do take care of ourselves there is nothing selfish in taking care of our most important commodity so, when the time comes, we can help others too.
So f is for FEBRUARY ..and it is still winter so please please be careful and do not make it about FALL for you! Hope to see some of you in the Spring and Summer at Sewall House!… where we can FLY with some FUN in the SUN!
Al, Loon Ledge
If you want to come spend a quiet introspective time in Maine with us WED is the deadline to let us know! Otherwise we look forward to our full season starting in May! (teacher training in June)
Fall is a beautiful time to experience the colors of New England while doing yoga, taking a sauna or booking a massage with healing healthy meals in between! Come experience this time of transition..as the seasons change…
OR step away from the crowds and into the quiet solitude and comfort of our Winter Holiday Retreat DEC 26- Jan 3
Winter Retreat Snowshoeing at Sewall House
We went to the Sewall House for a “girls vacation” and it was a wonderful venue to reconnect and reinvigorate our friendships. It gave us a wonderful set of shared memories (and even a new vocabulary with which to talk about them).
The food was a big, amazing part of our experience. Not only was it delicious, plentiful, and healthy, but it was also educational and even inspiring. The chefs sat and ate with us at every meal and many of our conversations ended up being about what we were eating, how it was made, what flavors compliment each other, etc… (who knew you could do so much with cashews!?! Turmeric in a fruit smoothie?!? Strangely delicious). We learned so much and all were inspired to go home and be more creative and healthy with our cooking!
Donna and the other instructors were a delight – so warm and welcoming! We felt like we had joined a family by the time we left. The yoga is a little different than the standard fare taught at most studios. The exposure to different types of yoga and their different techniques and perspectives was an enjoyable part of the experience, and we all left intrigued to learn more.
Also, Island Falls is a BEAUTIFUL area! The town has many delightful walks and little special spots. There are many hikes within walkable distance, and several worthwhile day trips within an hour. We had a blast!
Lisa, Rachel, & Beth
We are pleasantly surprised by the requests for winter bookings- this winter Amrita(Donna) has been teaching in NY City but wishes she could be in two places at one time as her heart is always definitely at Sewall House!
Please do keep us in mind for retreat and always ask- we do our best to accommodate you whenever we can in our small personalized offerings.
If interested in Training in JUNE please go to our training page- application and information there..
summer retreats for SURE! Book ahead with us for JULY and AUG..try our new online booking system!
and if in NY do join us in class or for a tea..or the writing workshop-see above! We hope to offer the writing workshop with Maria again this August..