Winter Solstice Reflections and 2019 Healing Retreat to Peru
I hope this finds you well. As we rapidly approach the winter solstice this week (December 21st), nature offers us an opportunity to take a deeper look at the inner layers of our being. The winter solstice marks a sacred time in the seasonal cycle; it is the longest night of the year and offers us many symbolic and earthly blessings. For centuries, indigenous societies have revered this poignant turning point. Rituals were practiced, and in places like the high Andes of Peru, sacred temples were constructed in perfect alignment with the rising and setting sun, or other celestial bodies.
Winter lends itself to inner well-being and balance. Self-care becomes paramount, as we are given nippy nudges to promote nurturing activities, eat warming foods, and quiet down the buzz of life. We are reminded of the importance of parasympathetic nervous system regulation. This is the part of the autonomic nervous system that supports the “rest and digest” function, therefore aiding in relaxation, self-care, and relational connectivity. To learn more about relaxation and the nervous system, view my last blog post to read a presentation by polyvagal theory expert, Stephen Porges, Ph.D. Presented at Pacifica Graduate Institute, November 2018.
This time of year, our coats become literally and symbolically thicker, as we protect ourselves from both the elements, and from the negative thought patterns that often accompany darkness. One can imagine how important fire was back in the days of old, when people huddled together by warm hearths, preparing hot stews for life-saving nourishment. Moving into present time, most of us reading this newsletter are lucky enough to have food on the table and heaters in our homes. And yet even with our basic needs met, darkness may still penetrate the emotional and psychological field. When this happens, the lighter aspects of the self need additional tending. For a quick tip article on self care, click here.
Right now can be a sacred time to pause in quiet reflection, slow down, and find your own proverbial nest of light and warmth. Give yourself nurturing through healthy activities and nutritious foods. Visit a beautiful site in nature, book a massage, or take a yoga class. If darkness has a bit of a hold on you, being present with sensations in the body for just minutes a day can help clear negative emotions.
And lastly, accepting nature’s law of impermanence can lend much comfort during times of stress, grief, pain, and limitation. As the short days begin to stretch open with each beautiful sunrise, we are given the opportunity to experience the transience of darkness. And no matter how much that darkness feels all-encompassing, we can always make a choice to move forward and towards the light.
Healing Retreat to the Peruvian Andes
June 27th-July 4th, 2019
with Romi Cumes LMFT, CMT
Join me this June for a special travel opportunity that will guide retreat-goers through Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley of Peru. For the last twenty years, Peru has been like a second home to me, and is where my mother Carol created one of the most beautiful retreat centers in South America, Willka T’ika. I have been leading yoga a cultural retreats to Peru since 2014 and am excited to facilitate the next journey this June. Located in one of the most stunning places on earth, the beauty of Pachamama (mother earth in Quechua) radiates throughout Willka T’ika’s grounds. From the hand-crafted guestroom design, to the breathtaking Chakra Gardens, organic vegetarian farm-to-table meals, Andean ceremonial spaces and devoted service by the local Quechuan staff, WillkaT’ika is a model of authentic artistry and sustainability.
Below you’ll find a brief overview of what we have to offer. For additional information, contact Romi
• Total Days: 8 days / 7 nights
• 2 days and 1 night in Cusco
• 1 day at Machu Picchu
• 5 days, 6 nights at Willka T’ika
• 7 days guided service
• Quality buses and tourist train
• Guided tour and enjoyment of the Seven Chakra Gardens
• Gourmet vegetarian meals
• Daily Movement and Meditation
• Authentic Andean offering and fire ceremony with Q’ero Pakko healer
• Visit to an Andean Mountain School (Willka T’ika Children’s Fund)
• Hiking the P’isaq ruins, ceremony, and shopping in the famous market
• Visit to Urubamba’s authentic market, Seminario Pottery Studio, and alpaca factory store
Total Cost Excluding Airfare: $3000
• $100 off if you register with deposit by February 1st, 2019
• $750 additional supplement for single-room accommodations