Day 2 of our retreat started with a mindful eating exercise. Students enjoyed breakfast in the cafeteria...silently...slowing down their pace by placing their utensils down after every bite. A little awkward at first, we slowly got the hang of it and actually began to focus on the experience of eating rather than on our cell phones, our friends, and everything else but what we were doing. It's a tough exercise by yourself, let alone in a room with hundreds of people. The kids did a great job.
Our physical practice today was at Bikram Yoga studio in Concord. As in most Bikram classes, the room was a balmy 105 degrees, and we stayed with it for 90 minutes. Needless to say, it didn't take long to warm up as our bodies quickly responded to the heat with profuse sweating! The physical practice of yoga is only one of the eight limbs as we learned on Monday. The movements however, are all very intentional and specific, each with their own health benefit. The breath work involved allows the practioner something to focus on. By the time we reached shavasana, one hopes that their mind has stilled enough to achieve some level of a meditative state. There is no way to be mindless, however, in this kind of yoga because if you are, you are likely to get hurt. Lots and lots of challenging postures...26 in all. Our NHS yogis did a great job with this today too, working up quiet a sweat, ending with a measure of peace and fulfillment after a challenging physical release.
We finished our time in Concord with a late lunch at the Concord Co-op, an essential stop for a conscious eater. The hot food bar is to die for... lots and lots of organic choices. Yummy!!!