So this past Sunday was the first mini "urban retreat" I hosted here in NYC with the company SideTour. Like I mentioned in the last post, SideTour brings together local enthusiasts and guests for interesting "experiential" tours. From beer-making classes and private dinner parties to graffiti art walks and intimate concerts - these tours connect NYC locals and visitors with a unique experience in the city - past the traditional tourist activities. Plus, the groups are small leading to a more intimate experience.

Carl Schurtz Park

The one I ran this past weekend was a combination of - what else - eating, praying, and moving! A handful of guests joined in from various parts of the city, and I even had one person visit all the way from Boston just for the event! She'd come on the Tuscany retreat last year and it was so nice to see her again.

Peter Pan - our meeting place
We started at the beautiful Carl Schurtz Park in the Upper East Side of the city. Here we enjoyed introductions and then I spoke about the practice of meditation before we headed to the water promenade to experience first-hand a time of walking meditation.

walking meditation along the river

Next it was off to a nearby yoga studio for a private small-group lesson to get our heart-rates up. Finally, we ended the afternoon at a lovely vegan restaurant where we each enjoyed some tea and a couple healthy courses before saying goodbye.

It felt like a small family for the day - like a mini version of the friendships forges on the week-long retreats. Everyone seemed to have a great time and I'm looking forward to more meetings like this locally. In the meantime...off to plan some new Mediterranean retreats...

au revoir!

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