It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back from The Immersion with lululemon. This trip was unexpected in that, I got a media invite very last minute and had no idea what to expect. I headed to Malibu with my gal Lauren and packed every bit of workout clothing we could and hoped for the best. The past two months between getting shingles, challenging myself to leaving the phone out of my room and having to visit acupuncture again for my carpal tunnel, I was ready for a wellness kick in the butt. I clearly had changes to make and thought The Immersion would help me learn to get away from the phone and be more present. It did, but it also did so much more. Here’s the three biggest takeaways I got from this once in a lifetime experience (and some gorgeous photos that Thompson took while we were having a digital detox!). Keep scrolling for more!
We were welcomed at Calamigas Ranch in Malibu and it was stunning. They have their very own beach house on the beach so you can get to experience the canyons and the beach all within one resort. A lot of people have been asking me if this experience is “worth it” in a sense. It’s quite pricey and ranges from $3,500 – $4,000 depending on your package. The swag alone was worth well over $1,000 between new gear, APL sneakers, beauty products and more. Plus, the hotel itself is quite luxurious and the property is absolutely stunning. Food for the entire trip is taken care of and might I add, absolutely delicious. If you’ve been considering a yoga retreat that’s definitely elevated, transformative and fun this is it!
The Mind Blowing Addiction To My Phone
Before I headed out on this adventure, I set an intention which you can read here. It’s a common yoga practice to set an intention before you begin. It’s a great way to set a goal if you will and it’s a good reminder to come back to when you find your mind wandering during your practice. I was hyperaware of the fact that I wanted to not be on my phone so this was a big takeaway for me.
The addiction and habit around the phone is beyond alarming to me. Just look around, everyone is on it, from kids to adults, to the barista who probably shouldn’t be on their phone while at work. It’s everywhere. We used to live just fine without these things and yet somehow we think we’re going to die without it being within arms reach.
I caught myself on the second day that I was, out of pure habit, grabbing my phone from my bag when I was in the middle of a conversation with someone. I couldn’t believe that I was doing it out of straight habit. How rude is that to be listening to someone and just grab your phone to look at it. What the hell am I even looking at? I don’t have notifications on for social media, no one was calling me, there was no need to be on the phone. As I went to grab it and pulled it half way out of my bag, I dropped it. Right then and there in that moment I realized how much of a habit this is and it has to change. I was starting in that moment.
What I’m now trying to do in my non lululemon Malibu life, is to leave the phone down as much as possible. I’ve been much more aware of this since returning. From leaving it in my bag when out with friends, to putting it on my desk when sitting on the couch. And if you’re my friend, you’re officially warned that if we hang out, we’re piling our phones up. It allows us to actually have deeper, more meaningful conversations and experiences with everyone. If you want to take a photo, great, take the photo, then put it down. Upload it to stories later. No one will notice the difference, I promise. I also am giving EVERYONE permission to tell me to GET THE FUCK OFF MY PHONE. I will not take offense to it and I will be grateful for the reminder.
We had three amazing yoga instructors throughout the week. Janet Stone who is not only a fantastic teacher, but singer as well. Gloria Latham who instructed our Kundalini class, a new to me yoga that was SO insanely fun. She teaches a very unorthodox version of it and it was basically an amazing dance party. I was super sore afterwards from dancing for an hour straight. Lastly, Baron Baptiste, more on him below. This was a fun moment captured of learning to lean on one another during the week.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know a TON about yoga, the history or the legends that make yoga what it is today. The one person I do know a bit about, thanks to my yoga loving friend Daniel, is Baron Baptiste. He’s known for his yoga style, power vinyasa, which is my preferred type of yoga to practice. He made a slight adjustment on me and then ended up stopping the entire class because of it. It was triangle pose and it turns out we’re almost all doing it wrong. He made us all stop and stand up straight before going into it. It was the most eye opening moment in my yoga practice in understanding posture and length within a pose.
How Much I Enjoy Meaningful Conversations & An Idle Mind
One of Newtons Laws is every action has a reaction. Sure this may be a physical thing like throwing a ball, but the action of leaving the phone away from you has a reaction of meaningful conversations. In the end and after leaving my phone in the room as much as possible (god it felt SO good to do that day after day), I learned that this was the most amazing result. I thrive on deep conversations with people. I can’t stand small talk and the thing that really gets me excited is talking to people about their experiences and their ideas. By removing the phone, you can truly have deeper conversations with people. No distractions, period.
The other effect of not having the phone around is allowing your mind to be idle. Within moments of getting slightly bored it’s a natural tendency to grab your phone to stay busy. The problem with that is that you don’t let your mind be idle. An idle mind allows you to day dream a bit. Come up with ideas, explore your thoughts, it also allows you to reflect on what’s happening in your life, or around you. I know it sounds a little weird, but have you ever noticed your best ideas come to you in the shower? I’ve heard this so many times from people and it’s true for myself. Do you know why that’s the case? You’re not distracted! Your mind is idle and letting it’s ideas spur, reflection, fantasies, exploring and digesting things that are happening. It’s what makes us human. If you’re unable to take time to be idle and let your mind do it’s thing (and yes it’s supposed to do things, not just sit without thoughts), then how are you human?
Just Go For It
This was probably one of the biggest takeaways I got from the entire experience. Yes it was eye opening to see how much more present I could be without my phone, and how much I really enjoy having meaningful conversations with people. And if you’re at all into astrology, Aquarius’ are very much like that. We can’t stand small talk, we’re all about getting deep, discussing ideas and so on. So this wasn’t a shocking discovery, just a nice reminder. But the thing that I learned that surprised me the most was my ability to tell everyone around me to just go for it. Want to start a blog? Go for it. Want to quit your job because you’re unhappy? Go for it. I seem to always be the one encouraging friends to take the jump and challenge themselves. Why? Because I’ve done it myself with my previous jobs, careers and this business. And guess what, if you go for it, and it doesn’t work out exactly how you wanted to, it’s okay. You’ll learn from it, you’ll grow and you won’t ever regret trying it. I promise. But the place I never say go for it, is in dating and relationships.
I’m content you guys. I live a pretty amazing life and am so fortunate for it all. I’ve got great friends, family and I love what I do. What more could I ask for? I’m single though and don’t date as much as I probably should as a 31 year old. I threw myself into work when my ex of several years broke up many many years ago. It’s why I think I was able to start the blog and maintain my day job and grow. If I had distractions it wouldn’t have panned out the same I don’t think. But things are good and I have become content with my lifestyle.
So something I’m trying to say “go for it” more is dating, being more vulnerable and putting myself out there. This also applies to friendships and relationships. From going to that party solo, or grabbing lunch with the acquaintance in the group without the support of my closer friends. I rarely ever let myself feel vulnerable. The only way to change that and to grow, is to step outside the comfort zone. And for me, that’s hardest in my personal life. So here’s to “going for it” more!
Taking a hike with my new friend Allie. Turns out she knows Sydney (who photographed my sister’s wedding and is a friend). It’s incredible who you can meet across the country at a unique experience. Allie was so bright and cheerful and had an infectious smile. She’s a fitness instructor and turns out, is opening a studio in Vinings. Can’t wait to try her class!
Took a moment to take in our surroundings at the top of our hike one morning. Why don’t we hike more? I loved it and ended up being pretty sore afterwards as it was a serious incline!
One of the coolest things about this experience was the attention to detail. We had two yoga sessions each day and at almost each one there was something special and unique. One of those special talents was Kevin Paris. He has an incredible voice and is so talented on the guitar. He made getting through challenging poses that much easier.