Hope Springs Institute
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A Yoga Retreat in the Middle of Nowhere
When my sister dragged me on a yoga retreat far away from my precious Internet, I was less than enthused. I'm a weightlifter after all, so yoga is stupid and pointless and boring compared to squatting your own body weight. Or so I thought. We trekked a few hours into the remote Appalachian countryside, complete with corn fields and hilly, dusty roads. About a half hour from our destination, our phones stopped receiving signal entirely. My heart sank. This was going to be a long weekend. When we arrived, we were greeted with the friendly staff of Hope Springs Institute, a large reserve where people go to get away from it all and recharge. We stayed in a large house that was the definition of cozy, and we were fed some of the most delicious, healthiest food I've ever eaten. There were plenty of hammocks all around the property as well as meadows and footpaths. My skepticism ended at the labyrinth, however. "This is gonna be laaame," I thought. As I started meandering through the small maze, I let my thoughts loose and relaxed. A mile later, I exited the labyrinth a believer in meditation, and enjoyed the rest of the retreat like I was a yogi myself. When I explained this revelation to my instructor, and how much better I felt overall, and how wrong I'd been about everything, she said, "Often, the people who dislike yoga are the ones who need it the most."
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