Issue 4, 31 October 2011
Autumn Retreat 2011, Suffolk – Tomoko Mori
Link to: Autumn
Retreat 2011 Photo Pages
‘Seamark’, a holiday house on the Suffolk
coast, opened once again at 7pm on 13 October (Thursday) for an Okido Yoga
residential course. We have been doing it
there since 1987. After a light supper was served, self-introduction
circulated, followed by an explanation of the course’s purpose and guidelines.
Then, the first gathering was for ginger
compress, 8:45-10:15pm. Pairs were made in order to exchange ginger compress.
There is no need to be unconfident in non-experience. It is not technique, but
respect and a caring mind, openly and humbly asking your partner if what you are
doing for him or her is alright. At the end, all together thanking the grace of Nature for the day,
a day of long journey was over.
The second day (Friday) started at
7:15 am with a wake-up call, a bell ringing gently several time, but no urging human voice or alarm clock at your bedside. We
made a late start, considering on importance of good rest after
the week's hard work.7:45-8:30am,
morning exercises and chanting. 8:30-9:00 am, walking or jogging
followed by a shower.
10:00am, breakfast. 11:00am-0:45pm, asana. 1:00-3:30 pm, lunch and a
a lesson on posture. 5:45 -6:45pm, pranayama and
and a break. 8:15-9:15pm, natural movement, and a sleeping pledge.
On the third day (Saturday), the waking-up bell rang at 6:30am.
7:00-8:30am, morning exercises.8:30am, shower and fresh air. 9:00am, breakfast.
When I inquird their condition, nearly everybody had ups and downs by then since arrival. Well, it was almost inevitable because we were, in a sense, in a detoxification
process. Some helpful drinks were suggested. These are purely natural
food such as daikon radish drink,
ume-sho-bancha, warm diluted apple juice, to be taken after trying
differnt ones as listening to your inner voice by life force. 10:00am, preparation
for a long walk and cleaning the dojo and blankets.11:00am, starting a long
walk to Snape, carrying packed lunches, tea, water, and first-aid kits. We
followed the footpath about 7 miles in the beautiful English countryside.
Marianne and Sonia, whose physical conditions didn’t allow such a distance,
were driven by me to the best spot and, at a slower pace, still enjoyed the
country walk in a small loop. *
* After a couple of unexpected happenings, both groups joined
together at Snape Maltings on River Alde.2pm, time for awaited lunch, on the
river side on a very lucky sunny day. All the food was healthy and filling, and
made people genuinely grateful for Nature's gifts. Maria’s unique pear tart was
said by Trish as divine, the highest-ranked praising word! We naturally
enjoyed and relaxed there till 3.30pm, then drove back. ‘Thanks’ to Anna, Kiran
and Trish, who made an earlier car trip with me to leave their cars prepared
for the return journey.
Seamark, after resting,4:45-6:45pm, there was a yoga lesson with a lot of
stretching, corrective exercises, exercises with partners we had never worked
with before, and pranayama. 7:00pm, supper. 8:30-10:00pm, ginger compress for
the second time, and a sleeping pledge.
The last day, Sunday16 Ocober, started earlier at 6:15am.
6:45-9:00am, morning exercises, longer chanting, silent walking on the beach or jogging and a
shower. 9:15am, breakfast. It seemed as though Thursday evening was far-off in
the past. Everybody’s
face looked like
they were ‘shining with new-born skin’, and laughing voices
everywhere. 10:25-11:20am, Q & A for the staff to sit in a panel
style. 11:30am -0:45pm, asana and meditation. 1:30-2:30pm, lunch and
socializing. 2:30-3:30pm, whole house cleaning, in order to return our
thoughts through positive action, starting with a cleaning pledge.
final gathering. Just in 70 hours, participants, both students and
teachers, achieved to experience fundamental joy and appreciation
of being healthy, or I mean 'healthier', and a basic happiness of
living and sharing a simpler life with other people, even
with somebody we had never met before. I hope we will practice
some learned lessons, even a small part, whatever and however, when we are back in our normal life.
Okido Yoga is a karma yoga,
discipline through daily life activities. This intensive yoga
course was directed towards an enjoyable experience of life-style with
essence of Okido Yoga, offering opportunities for participants to
their daily routine, whether physical or mental, to become
both happily and creatively, and to become more harmonious with other
people as well as
the environment. Participants were expected to attend all programmes
taking in only the food that was served, or otherwise to inform staff
rest, or discuss about difficulties for a solution. This brings
awareness to listen to one's inner wisdom given by life force. Meals were prepared with
sugar-free organic vegan ingredients as well as responding to
allergy problems, and menus were carefully planned to help cleansing at
beginning and build up towards the end. At each meal time, we did a
absorb the nutrients. The staff members were
Mizue Tamaki, HansJeunhomme, Junko Maria Furugori, and myself.
2012 will be on 11(Thursday) -15 (Monday) October 2012.
Link to view more photos
Autumn Retreat - Marianne Henderson
Just over a week ago I arrived at Seamark in Thorpeness to attend the
three day Okido yoga retreat. I am quite new to Okido yoga, not having followed
classes at all, except for last year’s Autumn Retreat. I arrived, feeling quite
frazzled by the last minute rush to ensure I would arrive in time. My back did
not feel right on arrival. The ginger compress we applied to each other,
combined with an excellent massage helped me to relax that evening. However, I
started the next day feeling in considerable pain, feeling vulnerable and
anxious about my physical and emotional state and loss of ‘familiar state’
of being. A large muscle in my back had gone into a severe spasm. I had been
looking forwards to this weekend to 'have 'time out' which I hoped would allow
me to surrender deeper into the seasonal energies and rest. In autumn the
energies make a U-turn by moving down, back into the earth, to gather into
their core root system. Looking back, and reflecting, I realise how well I
succeeded in doing just that.
The consistent gentle attentiveness in which
all the classes were run, the delicious food prepared with so much care and
consideration, encouraged and supported me to have that same approach to my
well-being. This meant that I listened carefully to what I needed: I sometimes
left a class to take a hot bath as that felt better. I sat in silence in the
sun, or I did not join the group for the full walk, but meandered back in my
own pace. In a nutshell I explored ‘the road less travelled’. The result was
that by the end of the retreat, besides my back feeling healthy, I felt a much
stronger sense of what it means for me to go about myself and life ‘in ease’.
And how achieving that then percolates into a more profound feeling of inner
peace and joy! Thank you, Tomoko, Maria, Mizue and Hans.