Casa Tara New Years Yoga Retreat

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I went on a New Years yoga retreat last week, and this was the view I had to suffer from the yoga room.

And this view from the pool. Guys, it was, like, really hard.

I’ve traveled for the past three New Years, and I was on my own this year and couldn’t decide what to do/if I’d do anything. In early December, I decided that I did want a short getaway between Christmas and starting school. (I start this Thursday, eeeeep!)

My criteria: had to be within the budget I’d put aside for a trip, really wanted it to be outside of the US, and I wanted it to be a relatively quick flight.

This New Years yoga retreat at Casa Tara Retreat, with Ingrid Yang, fit all of my criteria. Casa Tara is in Baja California in Mexico — on the east coast. It was an easy two-hour flight from LAX…but I kind of flew into the wrong airport. La Paz is closer to Casa Tara, in the La Ventana area, but the Cabo airport had better prices. Oh, but it was also a 2.5-hour drive. (Maybe don’t text your friends your location with “I’m in a cab alone in Mexico” without giving them context.)

I podcasted last year about depression trying to hitch a ride on vacation with you. It suuuuucks. You know how lucky you are, but your brain doesn’t register that or the majesty of any of the places you’re seeing. You’re looking out through foggy glasses.

The morning I was leaving, I did.not.want.to.go. The idea of packing and getting myself to the airport felt insurmountable. I was in a dark place. I wanted to do nothing but sit on my couch, but I knew I’d regret that. Still, I was afraid of still feeling really depressed on vacation. I called my supportive cousin and just hearing her voice helped the clouds in my head part a bit.

The structure of the retreat was this: morning vinyasa, breakfast, free time, meditation, lunch, free time, yin or restorative yoga, dinner. I ADORE Ingrid. She’s also a doctor, so she’s really freaking smart, and not spouting out bogus claims like twists will detox you. She also knows that it is one VERTEBRA at a time, not one VERTEBRAE at a time. In short, she commits none of my yoga pet peeves. And she’s also hilarious. 11/10 would Ingrid again. If you’re in the San Diego area, look her up and take her classes/workshops.

As for skill level, it felt just right. I have a pretty regular practice these days, but also I am a runner, so I will never be super bendy. I worried it was going to be one of those retreats, but I was about average in terms of what I could do.

I am queen of (unnecessarily) filling my days and my calendar, so I really wanted to use the rest of the time to do absolutely nothing. In my opinion, some trips are for vegging and some are for exploring. We did intention-setting every morning and set intentions for both the year and the decade. I kept finding myself writing “to be more open-hearted.” I primarily meant that romantically, but also in sharing myself with friends and in online spaces. In the past year, I have wildly vacillated between being open-hearted and entirely retreating. Maybe that’s normal. (I started writing hormonal? and also yeah probably.)

I spent most of the down time either hanging out in the hot tub with the other retreat guests or reading. (I have recently become hooked on thrillers after reading Verity. Some other recent faves: The Wives, The Silent Patient.)

Yoga, food, downtime, sunshine—the retreat was exactly what I wanted and needed.

lilly pulitzer gizelle maxi dress

Perhaps most importantly, though, I got to wear my fave dress ever.

I had accidentally booked my flight for the day after the retreat ended, so I had an extra day in Cabo. I didn’t do much research, and apparently I booked myself at an all-inclusive. All day drinking and music was not the vibe I was going for after a yoga retreat. My first day, I just laid and read by the pool.

The next day, I was feeling pretty depressed again and tempted to just lay in bed/lay by the pool, but once again, I knew I’d feel better if I got out a bit. Well, I did some quick googling and found The Arch, a natural rock formation shaped like an arch.

But BY FAR, the highlight of the trip is several locals telling me my Spanish was good. I was really proud of that. I was a Spanish minor, and I’m always so pleasantly surprised how much comes back to me.

Lowlight? My flight down was two hours. I couldn’t get a direct flight back, and I had an hour flight to Guadalajara followed by a three-and-a-half hour flight from GDL to LAX. OK fine, annoying, but whatever.

Because of Volaris’ rules, I had to check my bag—a carryon. At the Cabo airport, I had such a sinking feeling about checking it. We landed around midnight at LAX, and I waited until after 1 for my luggage before someone came over to have me fill out an incident report. That was Thursday night, and I just got my luggage back today, Monday. I’m so happy I got it back, though. I was really missing my makeup.

What about you? Team explore on vacay or veg on vacay?



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