We began each day last week with yoga at eight o’clock in the morning, arising to rooster crows, the beat of the loom next door, the bark of the dog upstairs, the donkey brays. There were eleven of us — all women, joining together to lift our voices through the written word, through the sonorous sounds of chanting, and to flexing muscles that would build intellectual and spiritual strength. I can’t remember feeling so euphoric and inspired.
Nine of the women traveled to Oaxaca from various parts of the United States. Many had never been to Oaxaca, and for some this was their first visit to Mexico. All traveled solo to get to our women’s writing and yoga retreat.
We gathered for yoga in the altar room of Casa Elena, then had breakfast under the pomegranate trees at Las Granadas.
We all loved the fresh papaya and mango, the scrambled eggs with sauteed chiles, and especially the fresh tortillas made daily on the comal in the outdoor kitchen by our host Magdalena.
Robin Greene, our incredible instructor, started each writing session off with meditation. Then, we went off on our own to write, inspired by the culture, the food, the art, and the landscape. Many of us brought current projects underway. Some created poetry and memoir anew.