Oh sweet November!
It was just two years ago in 2009 when three passionate yummymummies and friends Monica, Noelle and myself got together to organize the first FLOW Surf Yoga Samba Weekend Retreat in La Union.
The micro-vacation concept was brilliant and participants loved the fact that they could tick of three things from their bucket lists in just two days. People went home to Manila feeling refreshed, sunkissed and eager to share their newly learned skills with their circles! We did too!!
Now, on it’s 6th run, things just keep getting better and bigger! The recently concluded FLOW Weekend Retreat took place last November 18-20, 2011 in San Juan Surf Resort with participants from Manila, Cebu, Prague, Columbia and the United States..and couple of backpackers from France that were in the mountains of Sagada that decided to join us for some surf and sun!
After a 6-hour van ride, we were welcomed with lunch at Lola Nanny’s- the next-door resort that serves healthy meals and has lots of options for vegetarians.
Surfing lessons were done throughout the weekend in batches and each participant got one-on-one tutorials from San Juan Surf Camp’s local instructors, including their very own Luke Landrigan, a Billabong sponsored pro-surfer. This was the perfect introduction to surfing 101.
November’s waves, as well as the weather, are excellent for beginners and pros. Noelle, being a surfer chick herself, was there to assist and take nice photos of these milestones along with our official photographer and sunshine smiling surfer chick for this retreat Elaine Abonal.
I taught the participants some samba no pe (samba on foot) moves while Toni Bernardo, diretoria de bateria (drum director) and Bogey Bernardo played batucada and samba reggae live percussion beats on their authentic Brasilian instruments to get those hips gyrating. All three of us are founding members Escola de Samba de Manila, the country’s first and only Samba school.
A repeat during sunset by the shore was an awesome way to conclude the afternoon.
Yoga teacher and Raw Goddess Imee Contreras also joined and shared her raw-food love by making uber healthy (and yummy) green smoothies and snacks for the entire group. Participants were eager to hear about raw food and its benefits for health and wellness.
To add to the celebration, we also invited my good friend Martin Lugtu- resident DJ of TIME and Frequency and producer from LA/ London- to play his deep, tech, proggy, moody house music during chill times at the retreat.
Monica and him partnered up to do a Rave Yoga class for the participants under the moonlight on the 19th. It was a first for most of us, but Monica reminded us to just feel the music and allow your body to move and dance. She is currently teaching at Tomas Morato's newest yoga ashram Beyond Yoga as well as Pulse Makati.
Each participant had their all-natural Para’Kito wristband to keep them protected from mosquitoes especially at the end of the yoga class in shivasana (corpse pose) when participants relax in a meditative state. Made of all natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals, Para’Kito pellets last for fifteen days and are waterproof to withstand rain, sweat and swimming- perfect for the FLOW weekend!
Being a green mommy myself- i love my Para'Kito wristband because it is ALL NATURAL and is safe for pregnant women and young children as well! It's light-weight and fun to wear..and it smells oh-soooo good!!
Benny does too!!
and Marnie too- our faithful FLOW-er from the first retreat!!
and Waldorf wildchild Ino too!
Two large Thai paper lanterns were launched in the clear La Union sky to symbolize FLOW’s anniversary and our well-wishes for LOVE, LIFE, and BLISS!
Sunday greeted us with more sunshine as the weekend came to a close. We had an intimate awarding session to recognize those that excelled in each activity.
Everyone went home with a prize and goodie bags from FLOW’s friends: Rudy Project, Para’Kito, Headware, Belo Sun Expert, Moringana, Beachbaby Clothing Ltd, Rawlicious Green Smoothies, Zola, Ish, Yoga+ at the Fort, Pulse Yoga, Beyond Yoga, San Juan Surf Camp, Brown Belly, Onesport Magazine and Total Fitness.
Next retreat will be FLOW: Summer of Love on April 2012! For more information, please visit www.flowsurfyogasamba.multiply.com
or follow us on twitter: surfyogasamba
and facebook: flowsurfyogasamba