I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible the Montauk Magic Retreat was. First off, a huge thank you to Fern Olivia for having me for the day, Alyson Charles for making an amazing smoothie in the morning and for sharing her wisdom, and to Jacqlyn for ensuring a successful day for the attendees.
If you saw Friday’s post, I mentioned that I would be heading to the east end of Long Island on Saturday for a wellness retreat with Fern Olivia, the founder of Thyroid.Yoga. The day was both a transformative and restorative experience for me.
The morning began around 8:30 am with breakfast smoothies at a private home in beautiful Montauk. Alyson, a shaman and the co-host of the retreat, whipped up some delicious berry smoothies with avocado and cacao, while Fern served us a very healthy chia seed pudding. I’m no fan of avocado, but after one sip of the smoothie, I was sold! It may just be my new summer drink of choice. The morning smoothies proved to be a great time to meet the other attendees, all of whom welcomed me with open arms. After some brief conversations and getting acquainted with everyone, it was time for our yoga session at The Surf Lodge, a beachy hotel and restaurant on the water.
If you ever find yourself in Montauk, The Surf Lodge is well worth a stop for either an overnight stay or, at the very least, lunch at its scenic outdoor dining area. Its funky exterior and coastal interior will give you lots of cool decor ideas while you take a break from the summer heat.
For our yoga class, Fern and Alyson took over the outside patio area. The setting was ideal — the sound of the waves lapping in the background and the steady breeze made the July heat dissipate.
I’ve been taking a hiatus from my regular yoga practice, so I was thrilled to start the morning in such a rejuvenating way. I managed to secure a small piece of shade on the deck and laid out my colorful yoga mat. No detail was overlooked to ensure that we enjoyed the practice — including having refreshing WTRMLN WTR, a cold-pressed watermelon juice, and Supergoop! sunscreen on hand.
Our yoga practice began with chanting before breaking into a cat-cow sequence, moves that are beneficial for thyroid health. We also did a series of twisting poses, another fabulous way to relieve tension in the throat chakra.
Fern created a beautiful Morning Thyroid Sequence Book, which includes poses that are conducive to stimulating your thyroid, adrenals, and glandular system.
After getting our circulation up, we partnered with whomever was next to us. The exercise was for us to sit facing each other and to study the other person’s left eye — in silence. At first, it felt a bit strange to be staring deeply into a relative stranger’s eye, but after a minute or so, it began to feel tranquil and natural. The woman whom I partnered with, I later learned, also had a thyroid condition and we bonded over our similar treatment plans.
As if the morning could get any better, after yoga we all sat by the water and took in the sights. The Surf Lodge has this incredible area in back with chaise lounge chairs…and even a swing. I could have sat there all day.
Fern brought her essential oil, Grace Alchemy, which includes rosehip, geranium, patchouli, and sandalwood, ingredients which are beneficial for overall health and healing. (Click here to watch Fern mix up my very own bottle of Grace Alchemy!) I’ve been using the essential oil in place of my perfume. The scent is calming and perfect for wearing during the day and before bed.
The afternoon activities were just as enlightening as the morning session. Alyson led our group on a guided meditation to find our spirit animal, which is an animal that embodies our traits. I’ve been hearing lots of things about spirit animals lately, and I always wondered what mine would be. Now I know. Alyson did a fantastic job laying the foundation for us to connect with our animal. As she talked first about being in a meadow and then seeing this large tree, which led to a jungle, I began to feel an animal walk alongside me. It was large, powerful, and graceful. The more Alyson talked about the scenes around me, the more I could visualize this creature. It was fast and slender, but tender and gentle. Before long, it revealed itself. It was a cheetah, and it was both playful and shy. My intention for this guided meditation was to be given strength. And in my mind, there is no better animal for me to connect with than a cheetah. These large cats are majestic creatures that not only captivate you with their beauty, but also their speed, agility, and strength.
Our time at The Surf Lodge was ending and we were ready to head back to the house for lunch. But the day didn’t end there. Stay tuned for more about the retreat and what the experience taught me. Part III will come later in the week!