Going into the Desert

In two days: a new journey.

Farfara Oasis with it’s famed White Desert is known for the expanse of chalk white and curious rock formations sculpted artfully over time by the rough desert winds. Once a sea-bed, and then a savannah of lush green with herds of roaming gazelles, giraffes and elephants, it is now a living monument of ever changing time–a fitting place to practice yoga.

Free of distractions, the wide open areas of the desert, is a symbol of the clarity and purity that can be achieved by regular yoga practice. Slowly day by day, we are clearing away the debris of stress and tension, attachment and expectations, of our own preconceived ideas and cultural conditioning.

Going into the desert can also be tough, a harsh landscape, full of trials, bringing out the most innate of survival instincts. This is also true about the yoga practice. It can be full of struggle, pushing one to his/her limits, initiating one into the process of birthing and dying, of receiving and releasing, finding that oh-so-difficult balance between holding one’s center and simply letting go.

And so we plan…There’s no harshness built into the program as we have excellent guides, only one day of camping, a very modern, very comfortable trek into the desert, but the foray into the Great White is built into the yoga practice, into the asana-s, into the meditation, inner dancing and the satsang, each in its own way an opportunity to observe who we are in this liberating landscape.

PHOTO: Care of Freedom Travelers, who are expertly organizing this trip. Ashtanga in the Desert: A Yoga Retreat is on Thursday March 27-30. Co-teaching with me is the lovely Iman Elsherbiny.

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