Testimonials for Yoga Retreats
After reading the introduction on the Healing Heart Yoga Website I signed up for the retreat expecting to gain a better understanding of how to exploit my innate talents and find peace within myself. My experience surpassed my expectations and I learned one of the most precious lessons: how to love myself. This is something I find difficult, something I did not expect to learn on this retreat. I am nowhere near the finishing line, but I feel like I am at least facing the right direction on the right track now, running at a steady pace towards my goal.
Hudson is a fantastic teacher with a gift for reading and understanding people’s needs, gently encouraging each of us to listen to the truth within ourselves. During the yoga practice she always made sure that no one overstepped their limit, offering different versions of the same pose and reminding us ‘to find our breath’. I have found that breathing deeply and using my lung capacity to its full extent makes a big difference in my everyday life. I feel more relaxed and at peace. The atmosphere throughout the retreat was loving, easy-going and inspiring and after only a short time together, both in and outside of the yoga room, I felt close to people who had been strangers only days before.
To write a testimonial for Healing Heart Yoga would almost be a travesty to the retreats themselves. It is difficult to convey in words how incredibly motivating and relaxing these events are. Not only that but they tap into a universal energy that is both emotionally and spiritually healing, and give the participants a safe and understanding environment to evaluate what it is that their body and mind needs the most.
Having been to a few Yoga teachers I find Hudson to be the most intuitive and mindfully attentive. Each student is catered for, whether you are a beginner or experienced in Yoga. Every class is different and inspiring, which is a testament to Hudson’s preparation and careful assessment of the needs of the group before her.
People of all shapes, sizes, ages and walks of life can participate in the classes and activities without fear of judgment or fear of embarrassment. And each class can feel incredibly personal and in tune with your own needs and state of mind and body, and provide an overall cleansing of self.
The groups are very integrated and everyone is welcome. Whether it is a collective atmosphere you are looking for, or if you prefer quiet solitude to reflect by yourself.
Many of the retreats are in the most beautiful, inspiring places that help to take you back to both nature and our roots. And I would highly recommend for people to participate in the Native American lodges and ceremonies.
Having attended all retreats, to say that they have been life changing for me isn’t completely accurate.. Life inspiring and life motivating seem much more fitting. The comforting and nurturing environment that Hudson creates making a second home for my mind, body and spirit. I have made life-long friends and have met inspiring and beautiful souls… and I love every moment I get to re-visit these extraordinary events.
If the retreats seem daunting; don’t let fear stop you, let it guide you to a better self and motivate you to be the best you can be. You won’t regret it.
Before attending the retreat, I was nervous and thinking that I was not going to be able to physically do many of the required things within basic yoga due to the fact that I have issues with my back and shoulders. The amazing thing was that Hudson worked with me and also took the time to attend to each and everyone within room. She understood what we were able to physically do and not do. Also, the care and consideration she put into each individual was wonderful not just with yoga but also with our spiritual and emotional awareness. She dedicated her heart and soul to assisting everyone in seeing the beauty within ourselves and the importance of showing love and compassion to all. I also got to meet some amazing people as well. We all ate together, laughed together and cried together and now know I have friends for life. This retreat has changed me in ways I didn’t think it would and I can’t wait for the next one. Hudson you are an amazing teacher and are so gifted. Thank you so much for all your help and I hope to see you back in New York soon!
I feel so grateful and blessed to have been a part of Hudson Leick’s Yoga Retreat.You feel an almost immediate sense of comfort when you walk in for the first class. I never thought I could feel completely in tune with my surroundings while exploring my emotions, and yet still be within myself, concentrating on what works best for me. I learned that I am not a victim of my circumstances but a force within myself. I hope that more people choose to go to these retreats, it will start a healing process that, from what I can tell, is a work in progress for us all. We all have baggage but we also have the chance to listen to what our body and heart needs and wants. I had a wonderful time and have made good friends throughout this past retreat, I love them and hope to see them again soon.
Healing Heart Yoga is an awesome organisation with caring, knowledgeable and experienced instructors! I’ve been attending their yoga retreats for several years, and each has led to positive, lasting changes in my life. You make friends with people from all walks of life, in an environment where you can feel supported and safe, whether you need a place to retreat to and get through bad stuff, or kick back, have fun and expand your horizons.
The physical yoga techniques will strengthen your body so that you can sit still. Then the chanting and meditation will focus your mind. When the mind becomes calm and your daily distractions are forgotten, you will become aware of your emotions, especially if you normally shut them down. Whichever level you are at, Healing Heart Yoga will help you grow and change, so you can adapt as your daily life changes. I know I’ve changed a great deal in the last few years, as Healing Heart Yoga has opened my eyes to so many new ideas and experiences. If you’re thinking, “I don’t know what I’m letting myself in for…” just make that big jump into the unknown!
When you’re 60 something, life doesn’t change easily. The Healing Heart yoga retreats I attended changed and improved my life. Because of an atmosphere Hudson was so good at generating, I leaned I could improve and heal myself for myself without comparison to other people or their imagined ideas of being “successful” at a yoga retreat (or anything else). She also helped decrease a kind of internal chatter that creates self doubt and fear. Being free of those things lets me pour energy into what I am doing without talking myself about how impossible it is, and what I can’t do. The kind of energy she seems to naturally generate, and the advise about breathing deep an not ” checking out ” helped me get past what, for a while, seem like impossible barriers.
All of those things; (1) me improving me, (2) me not limiting me, and (3) me getting “to the other side” of barriers, have played a definite role in gaining the confidence and patience to attempt and do things I would normally hesitate to try, and knowing how to energize rather than limit myself. The most difficult barrier I ever crossed was smoking. I wanted to quit, but didn’t think I could. It was what I learned from Healing Heart Yoga retreats about not limiting myself , getting to the other side of barriers, and gaining the confidence to try things that seem impossible that led me to stop smoking. I smoked for 48 years. After the second retreat I quit.
~Martin (Retired Microbiologist – Currently an Artist)
When I think of the times in my life I was most nourished, and times of emotional and mental growth, I think of the many Healing Heart Yoga retreats I have attended. It was there, under the teaching of Hudson Leick, that I was propelled to be more open and accepting of the things around me. I have had several yoga teachers, but none are as capable as Miss Leick. While practicing yoga, you can experience many things, both emotional and physical. It is important to have a teacher that has the ability to be in tune with not only you, but the energy of the entire class. There is also a chance things can come up that you did not expect or are not ready to handle. With a compassionate teacher like Hudson you feel held and supported. Not only is she in tune with the spiritual side of yoga but she is more than knowledgeable when it comes to the mechanics of each pose. Her ability to read you and your needs is an invaluable quality. She will attend to you personally and teach you to take care of and listen to your body. After attending so many retreats I have really seen a change in myself; one I didn’t think was possible. It is an experience that is hard to replicate anywhere else.
~Marina (Pharmaceutical Worker)
Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for one day or one decade, your yoga practice is just that, “yours”. Healing Heart Yoga retreats are well designed to benefit everyone’s practice. I remember my first retreat. I had only been doing yoga for about 9 months, I was a little nervous about keeping up with everybody else. Then that first class started. Hudson teaches yoga from the heart and honors everyone’s individual practice. Always reassuring you that the only one you have to keep up with is you. Other than being an amazing yoga teacher Hudson has many other gifts to share. She will take the time to sit down to talk AND listen to you. You can see it in her eyes what a loving and caring soul she is. Wes Hamil leads sweat lodges that are life changing and I think everybody should have the opportunity to experience at least one. Anita is a divine light that leads sessions to help you rediscover yourself. Every retreat is different, but they always feed the body and the soul. You know its a beautiful thing when you can watch others heal and grow right before your eyes. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve relaxed, and I’ve sweat all over my yoga mat, but in the end I always come out with a sense of release, an open heart, and feeling a little more, “me”. I have grown so much and in so many ways that I am forever grateful to the staff of Healing Heart Yoga Center. May you continue to bring peace, love and light. My heart thanks you. Sat Nam.
I had practiced yoga for a few months on my own without a teacher, and so I was unsure of what to expect from my first class with Hudson, but from the moment I entered the room there was the sense that I was in for something profound and spiritual. It turned out to be one of the most enriching experiences of my life. The class was made up of all shapes, sizes and degrees of fitness, from people who had been doing yoga for a while, to people for whom this was an initiation. Everyone was treated with the same degree of gentle consideration and encouragement. For me, because of Hudson’s healing hands, it was the first time I had been able to relax so totally, mentally and physically, that it felt like I was sinking into the earth. I have been fortunate enough to attend many workshops and retreats hosted by Healing Heart Yoga since then. The chosen locations are beautiful and tranquil, matching the energy in the studios. The retreats are a wonderful combination of daily yoga sessions and classes in spiritual awareness and sacred dance. There are also various types of healing therapies available for further relaxation. The entire atmosphere radiates the peace, acceptance and warmth of Healing Hearts’ staff. Hudson is a most compassionate and intuitive teacher with an incredible awareness of everyone present. She teaches from the heart and touches everyone with her beautiful spirit.
~Kim (Complementary Therapist)
For anyone that has never experienced a retreat, you will never regret making that decision to do it. For me (I’ve only been to one thus far, mind you), it was so necessary to my well-being. I was living such a monotonous, stressful life for so long. And after coming home from Colorado, I felt renewed, refreshed, enlightened, inspired, the works. It’s only been a month since the retreat, and I have made so many positive changes in my life, and I know I owe much of that to the emotions that oozed out of me and the new breath that filled my lungs. So, all in all, if you’re looking for a little peace and love, a little rejuvenation, a little sweat, don’t hesitate to get yourself signed up.
Hudson, anything with you & the gang is a special treat! I have made new lifelong friends, you included. I too feel so blessed & fortunate to have experienced a retreat. Life changing. Beautiful. Awakening.
Words don’t do it justice…you must experience it. I was hesitant to come to the first one last year as I wasn’t sure it would “speak to me”. Boy did it ever. And I met some truly wonderful people who went on to become like family. I couldn’t wait for the next one…and it didn’t disappoint.
This one was special for me, as I went in carrying a very heavy burden. I lost someone very dear to me just four months before. I had been so busy dealing with the financial and legal fallout from it, I barely had time to deal with the emotional part. Something had to give, and it finally did at the Sunrise Ranch. And then again and again. It was an emotional release that was long overdue, …and it felt great. And I felt no apprehension, because I knew I was around people who wouldn’t judge me for showing my sensitive side.
…and for the rest of youz, yeah, I’m a guy and I go to yoga retreats and cry at them. Gotta problem? ;)
I could give a play-by-play of the rest of the retreat, but I’d be here all day. There were just so many beautiful moments there, and so much growing to witness among the others (including the instructor). Colorado provided the perfect backdrop for it, from the clean air to the awesome scenery to the beautiful people. Hudson and Anita were our guides, but they were on this journey with us. We all grew so much in those four short days, and the love that was generated there persisted long after we all got home.
Oh, and there was yoga too :) Guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that, being that it is a yoga retreat. I will say this. Don’t be intimidated, even if you’ve never done yoga before. I had only been practicing for a few months before the first, and it didn’t matter. Hudson guides you through the practice gently, never forcing you to do anything your body isn’t ready to. She may correct you at times, but NEVER to demean or condescend. She is there to help you. So let her :)
…but if you sweat a lot, you might want to bring an extra towel (or a squeegee in my case).
The one thing I would emphasize more than anything is it is a safe place. You can be yourself without fear of judgement. It’s a tricky concept to be comfortable with, but Hudson and the people she attracts create an atmosphere that just brings it out of you. It’s incredibly freeing (albeit maybe a little frightening at first). All your grown-up responsibilities and petty concerns just melt away, and you’re a kid again. She is such an inspirational human. So much so that many of the people she’s touched have gone on to become inspirations themselves.
Nothing else to say but go. Do yourself a favor and try it. I’m glad I did. The friendships that were forged and the memories created are something I will always cherish. I love these retreats, I adore these people, and I can’t wait for the next one!