I took part in the Aurora writers Beltane Yoga retreat at the David Lloyd Centre in Edinburgh. We were welcomed by renowned author Noelle Harrison and taken to a large room with beautiful views out to the Forth.
There were incense and candles in the centre of the room and yoga mats set up in a circle around them. It felt tranquil and warm and I couldn’t wait to get started.
There was also a mix of people on writing journeys, some people were well practiced in yoga and others like me were there because of their interest in writing. The day felt well planned out; we were given folders explaining the history of Beltane and the itinerary for the day, along with papers and pens to write and everything that we would need for the yoga.
There was also an abundance of herbal tea, coffee, fruit, biscuits and brioches. (Which I sampled and enjoyed!)
Vanessa Rigby, who teaches yoga in and around Edinburgh, started us off with a warming yoga practice and catered it to everyone’s specific requirements with different levels. She instantly put me at ease. This was amazing. It worked out the knots that I keep getting in between my shoulder blades as well as my sore legs. I felt in less pain and my mind was relaxed and ready for the writing practice which was to come. We did a lot of different Yoga practice during the day, such as holding poses for a while, warming stretching yoga and yoga with a partner which was so funny – mostly because I was rubbish at it. This was also very useful though as I learned about the different types of yoga practice and now know what I enjoy the most.
Noelle ran us through some wonderful and helpful writing exercises. We wrote a letter to ourselves saying the kind things that we rarely say to ourselves. I found myself examining my future goals and how far I had come on my writing journey and even celebrating my achievements. This is not something I normally do and I felt happier being kinder to myself.
My favourite writing exercise came from a meditation exercise surrounding Beltane. This opened my mind and allowed me to free write about summer and fire. Amazingly a lot of the writing that I did at the retreat is now in my second novel because I was so happy with what I produced. I’m now going to incorporate yoga into my writing routine as I left the retreat feeling positive and relaxed. I can’t wait for the next retreat, I’ll definitely be going back. I met a lot of welcoming lovely people who I hope to keep in touch with.
We also had use of the spa at David Lloyd afterwards which rounded off a perfect day. I highly recommend Aurora Writer’s retreats.