Today’s Woolness & Me post was written by Allison Adams, who is here to talk about ‘woolness’ in the context of the yarn and yoga retreats she organises
A few years ago, I helped my yoga teacher learn to knit. We would sit together before or after yoga class, and I would show her my favourite cast-ons and bind-offs, how to pick up stitches, and mistake fixes. Soon the wool was flying through her fingers. We both longed for a time when all we had to do was knit and do yoga.
“I wonder if that’s a thing?” she mused.
And so in 2015, the Southeastern Yarn and Yoga Retreats became a thing. We weren’t sure anyone else would appreciate the pairing of knitting and yoga. We needn’t have worried—all five retreats we have offered so far have sold out. We organize these four-day retreats twice a year now. There is something magical and restorative about setting aside a generous block of time to replenish your body and mind with knitting and yoga.
Knitting, like yoga, is a form of meditation. While you are knitting, you mind must settle and center on your hands, your fingers, the patterns that form, the precision of your work. The kind of yoga we practice, Iyengar, is also about precision. For the hour and a half of a yoga class, all you can think about is where exactly your physical body is in space—the way your ankle bone is sitting, how your pelvis is positioned, the turn of your upper arm bone. Like learning to knit, practicing yoga requires focus, attention, and commitment. In the same way we learn a sequence of stitches, we practice the poses over and over as a form of meditation until we are comfortable doing them for long periods of time. With both, the rest of the world falls away.
We build other woolly pleasures into the retreats — a fiber farm tour, to bury our fingers and noses in warm, living fleeces while they are still on the sheep. We set up natural dye vats for some colorful fun. There is time for napping, hiking the walking trails at the retreat center, and a massage. Woolness becomes wellness during these experiences. We leave restored. Kquvienyoga.com/yarnyoga.
Important Information: images used are © our woolness contributor, unless otherwise specified.