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Planting Seeds in Paradise & the Joy of Growing: A Testimonial on the Transformative Power of A Yoga Retreat

image: Enkel Dika

“We are either growing or dying there is no in between.”

I’m not sure where I first heard that little aphorism, but it has certainly stuck with me over the years.

Even at times when my life and yoga practice seemed static and stagnant, times of frustration and uncertainty when I had lost faith in the yogic process and even the hope for a more harmonious future, one simple truth remained: no matter how wealthy or poor, young or old, clever or dull, flexible or stiff, strong or weak, calm or tense, happy or sad and inspired or depressed we may be, it seems that we are all subject to the fundamental law of constant transformation, known as change.

Change in itself is neither positive nor negative; the never-ending dance of creation and destruction known as change is simply a necessary and natural universal force.

Like the push and pull of gravity, the rise and fall nature of the breath, our subjective positive or negative, painful or pleasurable experience, here on earth, will be determined by our decision to either embrace or resist change.

If unwanted or fear based tension is the result of resisting natural forces, then our experience of freedom, joy and the fulfillment we feel as we grow and evolve into a more conscious and loving person are all dependent on our ability to embrace change. For us to embrace change and engage with the universe, in this amazing path of conscious evolution, we must first be able to open up and trust the process of transformation.

Every tree was once a seed that had the courage to take a leap of faith and open to the possibility of growth; of course, while every tree was once a seed, not every seed will become a tree.

If a seed opens in barren soil without access to water or sunlight, then that seed cannot grow. But if seed chooses to open in deep, rich fertile soil, where it will be bathed in both pure water and radiant sunlight, well then, that wise and courageous seed is almost guaranteed to engage in the process of constant positive transformation as its roots grow ever deeper and its branches reach ever higher.

This is the reward for showing the courage to trust and the wisdom to choose the richest and most fertile soil for that crucial and delicate first opening.

The roots of my yoga practice run deep and the experience is constantly transforming, expanding and growing, each day, every day.

photo: flickr/Mish Sukharev

But as complex and expansive as my relationship to the amazing art of yoga is today, it all really began with my first weeklong immersive yoga retreat in an amazing place (just like Blue Spirit in Nosara, Costa Rica). It was in a place of natural beauty away from the demands and stresses of my daily city life that I made my decision to trust, open my heart to process of yoga and life.

And, each year, I return to that initial experience to renew my commitment to trust and to embrace the universe in the transformational dance of change.

So let’s be courageous and wise and embrace the power of conscious change and evolution with Pat Harada Linfoot and I in Costa Rica, in March 2013!!

Join us for a week long immersive yoga intensive, exploring asana, philosophy, meditation, community and our ability to trust and change, all while being bathed in sunlight and surrounded by the natural beauty of an ocean front tropical paradise!

To grow strong and tall and to keep growing, a tree needs deep roots—and there is no place on the planet that provides a richer, more fertile ground to feed and grow the tree of our yoga practice.


Written by Jesse Enright

Jesse Enright’s teaching style combines deep breath work, powerful flowing movements and meticulous alignment with a fun and lighthearted approach. He emphasizes anatomical education to both empower and instill in students a love and respect for the amazing design of the human body. He has been a student of hatha yoga for fifteen years and a full time yoga instructor for the past twelve. He has studied and practiced under senior instructors in India, Australia, Canada and the U.S.. He was a full-time instructor at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre for five years and completed their teacher training and apprenticeship program in 2000.

Jesse has completed additional teacher training programs in Vijnana Yoga with Gioia Irwin and Yoga Therapeutics with Doug Keller, trained in Craniosacral Therapy and is certified in the Muscle, Balance and Function system of biomechanical re-education. He has developed extensive curriculum and taught alignment and anatomy for teacher training programs since 2003. In 2004, Jesse applied his keen interest in anatomy, biomechanics and hatha yoga to found SmartYoga, an approach dedicated to an objective and scientific study of the amazing technology of yoga postures and their effect on the human body. He has a private yoga therapeutics practice working with individuals, doctors, massage therapists and chiropractors to develop personalized yoga programs for people with pain and injury.

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