This past Saturday I had the immense pleasure of going to a mini-retreat at Wild Acre Farm. I’m going to apologize up front for the lack of photos in this post. I went with the intent to snap a few photos for the blog, but I was so relaxed that I forgot! Hopefully, the link to their website will give you some idea of beauty of the place. It was a wonderful day, and I’d highly encourage anyone in the area to keep an eye out for Angela at MSY to do another one.
Wild Acre Farm Mini-Retreat
I only got to see a small portion of the property. However, what I did get to see was absolutely beautiful. The owners have created a tranquil place to soak in the beauty of the West Virginia countryside. The farm is bursting with life. Buzzing bees, singing birds, wild rabbits, a sweet farm dog named Ida, and a few lovely old farm cats roam the grounds. Wild blackberry bushes line the paths and walking trails, nestled in among crabapple trees and honeysuckle. Walking trails are dotted with benches, so that there is opportunity for rest and reflection. There is also a labyrinth for meditative walking.
During our short time at the farm, I got the chance to walk up to the labyrinth. The gladiolas were in bloom, adding pops of fuchsia and red along the pathway. As I slowly made my way around the path, I saw spiders, moths, and tiniest little toad ever. The sun shining brightly and the cheerful chirping of birds made the walk every bit as idyllic as you can imagine.
The owners have also made a space for guests on the second floor of the home. The space is just gorgeous. It’s full of fragrant pine flooring, airy skylights, lush plants, and cozy quilts. There’s a small kitchenette, a living area, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. It’s the perfect little hideaway for weekend guests.
Morning Yoga with the Birds
We started the retreat with an outdoor yoga session in the field right above the house. Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great session. I started out in the shade of the trees, but little by little, the sun crept overhead. Even then, though, there always seemed to be a little cloud cover or a light breeze just when I thought the heat was getting to be too much. We moved slowly for most of the practice, but there were a few more vigorous sequences to get our blood flowing.
Perhaps the loveliest part of the practice were the birds. At most of the classes I have attended, there is a carefully chosen playlist designed to compliment the practice. Saturday morning, Mother Nature provided the playlist. I really enjoyed listening to the birds singing and chattering in the trees around us, especially during savasana. Laying in the grass with the warm sun on my face and the birds chirping in the trees felt so peaceful. It was nice to take the time to slow down and really listen to the world around me.
An Afternoon of Relaxation
Judy and Charlie, the owners of Wild Acre Farm, provided a lovely lunch to the retreat attendees. There was a fresh green salad with red peppers, mint leaves, fresh yellow fennel, and light dressing. We also had salmon salad, German-style potato salad, and a corn and bean salad. Rounding out the meal were orange and almond muffins and buckwheat and date muffins. It was a nice, light lunch that was a welcome refreshment from the outdoor practice. We had a pleasant time eating, drinking our mint iced tea, and chatting.
After a lovely lunch and wild blackberry cobbler for dessert, we had the opportunity to have reiki and tarot readings. Judy provided the tarot readings. She uses a lovely Thoth deck and a simple, but effective, eleven-card layout. We had a really nice reading and a good conversation about the upcoming opportunities in my life. She also gave me some insight into how to turn my propensity to worry into a more victorious attitude. I really enjoyed the time we spent together with the cards.
A friend of hers named Susan offered reiki sessions in tandem with the tarot readings. I’ve had a few reiki sessions before, but never one quite this powerful. Susan uses a more hands-on approach, and she told me she likes to do full-body work. She went from head to toe and back up again on the other side, stopping at major joints and points of energy she felt along the way. I’m generally a very high energy person and it takes a lot for me to be able to relax. Susan was able to make me feel like I’d taken the most refreshing nap of my life. The feeling of relaxation and calm lasted all throughout the next day as well.
Finishing with Yin
We ended our mini-retreat with a relaxing yin session. Judy and Susan joined us for this practice. Since more than half of the participants were experiencing a yin practice for the first time, Angela stuck with mostly simple poses supported by bolsters. As simple as it was, it was extremely effective and it was the perfect ending to the day.
We were able to do our yin practice in the sunroom where we had eaten lunch. Judy has the room filled with a variety of lush plant life, from hanging ferns to tall cacti. The cool tile and the light afternoon sun capped off the atmosphere for a tranquil end to our time together.
As we packed up to leave, our gracious hosts sent us home with tasty muffins and invitations to come back at any time. I have to say that I spent the evening dozing on the couch, and come 9:30 I decided to give in and go to bed. I was just so relaxed and peaceful from my day. If you have the chance to visit Wild Acre Farm, don’t hesitate! Keep an eye on MSY’s website and Angela’s accompanying blog for possible future retreats!