Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fueling the fire for adventure travel with relaxing yoga retreat at Mount Madonna

Just when you thought that I'm a non-stop, globe-trotting adventure travel journalist, you get to glimpse this other side of me, pictured below — Extreme Rest and Relaxation!

Karen blissed out on a chilly spring afternoon at Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, California. I took the opportunity to do some serious Rest and Relaxation - in the photo, I am positioned in a "restorative reading" pose!
Photo credit: Karen Cooper, new friend from the weekend and fellow cyclist!

I returned for a second year to an annual yoga retreat for women that is hosted by two of my favorite yoga teachers: Laurie Broderick Burr (based in Santa Cruz) and Kelly Blaser (Bay Area). I have known each of them for 10+ plus years and they have been very influential in the yoga practice which I started in 1995. I try to practice daily asanas by attending classes at several local studios - Pacific Cultural Center's Ashtanga Yoga Institute and Yoga Center Santa Cruz.

The women's yoga retreat April 10-12, 2009, started Friday afternoon and stretched into Sunday (Easter Sunday). Our group of 23 women and 2 instructors bonded over several yoga classes a day (full disclosure: I slept through early morning sessions!) a fabulous hot tub, delicious vegetarian meals and planning for our next getaways.

Laurie and Kelly will host a co-ed retreat at Mount Madonna in the fall! Check out their websites for details or to join their mailing lists.

The yoga retreat helped me gear up for the following 3 weekends:

April 16-19
Sea Otter Classic, including mt. bike race on Saturday, April 19. - NEXT BLOG ON THIS!

April 25-26
Women's mountain bike clinic all day Saturday and Sunday with the Dirt Series.

May 1-3
Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race - I am on a women's relay with the Go Go Go Girls Team!
Race happens in Cool, California (east of Sacramento!)

Happy Trails!

Henri (left) greets Karen after her race finish Saturday at Sea Otter Classic. Karen and Henri will be on the same women's relay team at Coolest 24 Hours Race coming up first weekend of May. Photo Credit: Winona Hubbard