What do caramels have to do with yoga? Simple, take a charming small town outside Dayton, add a fabulous yoga teacher plus local caramels to swoon over perfect combination!

Every year I schlep tons of yoga props to Yellow Springs, Ohio, stay in a wonderful old farm turned B&B and study with Judith Hanson Lasater. Ninety to one hundred people gather, mostly teachers, but it is open to all. We spread out in the local gym which also serves as the Town Hall, police station, recreation hall and water department. Food is diverse and plentiful for all palates, plus there are interesting shops with treasures from around the world. The town folk are welcoming, the old movie theater shows first run pictures and you can freely walk the nearby woods to see the Yellow Springs.

This year Judith’s focus was on radical and compassionate self-acceptance and the pelvic floor. Hard to judge yourself for indulging in creamy buttery caramels with this theme! Tada drusthuh svarupe vasthanam and then the seer abides in his own true nature (Sutra V3). This practice invites us to let go, to not take on that which is not ours. This includes judgment of self and others. Reminded of the story of two arrows, we accept that life inevitably shoots arrows of challenge into us as job loss or health problems. We can then choose to inflict further pain upon ourselves with a second arrow of self-recrimination and judgment or not. “I should have known better.” “I should have seen this coming.” Sometimes the first arrow comes because we failed to pay attention; sometimes it comes just because. Regardless, we always have a choice with the second arrow.

When my hip went out, I was shocked! Yet, as I learned more and more, I came to see I didn’t need the second arrow of blame. My hip wore out; plain and simple. Without the added burden of “should,I healed quickly and was back teaching yoga in four weeks. Experiencing a yoga retreat offers many gifts: insight, new ways of moving on and off the mat. And, sometimes, in a deli in a small town in Ohio, you find the best buttery caramels ever! For more ideas, check out my classes… you might even find a caramel with your name on it!

After nearly a decade of debilitating illness, Barbara was introduced to yoga as a potential means of restoration. Yoga changed not only her body, but her life. Barbara is a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and certified by Judith Lasater as a Relax & Renew Teacher/Trainer.

Join Barbara for Multi-Level Yoga on Thursdays, 6:30 PM-8 PM and many of our monthly Bliss restorative workshops.