Yax Yoga Concepts Retreat, Gratitude

Yax Yoga Concepts, Day 6

A  Special Thank You to the Yax Family

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When I first set out on the journey to Costa Rica to attend the Yax Yoga Concepts Retreat, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had planned on giving a sort of bird’s eye view of the trip, the accommodations, the classes, the instructors, and the overall experience as it happened.  Of course I had looked forward to enjoying the beautiful scenery, spending time with my girlfriend Jennifer, practicing yoga with the best around, meeting new people, and having tons to blog about. And while all of those things occurred and were amazing, the other things that happened on this trip are what I am truly grateful for.

At the beginning of the week all of us in attendance were asked to write down a word to help describe or sum up the week. Each day in my blog entries, I chose a different word to represent the day. Words like balance, realistic, and play all seemed to fit the trip well. As the week came to a close, I was overwhelmed with every positive emotion a person could have. I knew how to best describe my journey to others. I was full of gratitude from so many things on this journey. I first started to feel gratitude during my first session of practice on Sunday afternoon. John and Chris were instructing every session, and as they took turns cueing they would walk around and help adjust and assist people in poses and postures. I was thankful for any assistance given to me. I am new to practicing yoga and appreciate the individual instruction from the guys and their sister Sarah and sister in law Kristen as well.



On Monday morning we began to learn the art of mediation. I have always had trouble silencing my own mind and my own thoughts. I almost thought that meditation was an impossibility for me. Each morning we learned new techniques to focus on breath and clear the mind. Meditation is something I have taken away from this trip and plan to implement into my daily life.

Being an “eater” I was excited to indulge on some gourmet vegetarian cuisine throughout the week. The food was amazing. The fruit was so fresh, sweet, and vibrant in color. The daily vegetables and salads featuring beets, heart of palm, and lentils were a welcome treat to the body after 1-2 intense yoga sessions per day. I was thankful to be fueling my body with such amazing and nourishing food.

During meal time, while enjoying the finest plant based nutrition, I was fortunate enough to visit with many of the other yogi’s in our group. People of all walks of life from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, and North Carolina. There were doctors, restaurant owners, newlyweds, mothers and daughters, politicians, and more. During a few of the meals I was able to spend time talking with different members of the Yax Family. It became more clear to me that this family was put on this earth to share the gift of yoga and their teachings with others. The conviction and wisdom that they have is refreshing. I truly believe that this family is giving others the gift of peace and the tools for others to build a more tranquil life through the practice of yoga.


The last day of the trip, I became curious of what my fellow travelers were feeling grateful for. I had the opportunity to chat one on one with a few of them and they were gracious enough to share their feelings with me.

Dr. Millie Lee, Norfolk

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“I am thankful for the Yax Family. They made each of us feel like one of their family”

Courtney Simons, Richmond


 “At the beginning of the trip, each of us set an intention for our week long experience. My intention focused on connection and gratitude. The connection piece of my theme spoke to the undeniable humility and wholeness that comes from deep introspection, connection to the beautiful souls all around and breathing in God’s gracious creations in all of nature’s blessings. Naturally, the second fold of my intention centered around gratitude. Gratitude, in my eyes meant a shift from the unconscious, hustle and bustle pace of life over to one that was present and intentional, discovering pockets of pure awareness and brewing precious memories. There’s something to be said about being present with an open heart and giving people permission to imprint a lasting mark on the heart. I’m extremely grateful for the experience to have had my minds eye and my heart open and present to receive all of God’s gracious beauty. But this is just the beginning. The work starts here. It’s what we take from our life experiences that truly matters. It’s how we manifest those newly gained perspectives and apply them to a life of purity and righteousness. Pura Vida!”

Julie Lefton, Richmond


“I am grateful when the bliss of the situation takes over. These special moments are so quick and are not measurable, but they are amazing. There is a lack or reality here…no tv, no makeup, no styled hair. It is great to meet all the new people, not just from Richmond or even in Virginia, but from everywhere.”

Jasmine Moore, Richmond

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“I am thankful t=for the schedule and agenda we kept this week. Before this week, I would not have thought my body was capable of doing 9 yoga classes in one week. Not only was i able to complete the week, but I feel stronger, more energized, and at peace with myself. I was able to create a safe environment where my own spiritual growth was able to flourish”

Josephine McCrane and Dawn Avent, Southern Pines

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“We are grateful for the laughter through the entire trip. The true belly laughter that comes from within” 

Jennifer Goff , Virginia Beach

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“I am grateful for the people on the retreat. Every single person who trusted Yax Yoga Concepts to come experience this. I am grateful for every story, every smile, every tear, every laugh, every drop of sweat, every om ~ thank you!” 




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