Opening the White Lotus: A September Nantucket Yoga Retreat

September 23rd, 24th and 25th @ Bartlett’s Farm

Nantucket, MA.

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Dear Tribe,

The gap between the planning stages of our upcoming Yoga Beyond Belief Retreat and the first session of the workshop is closing in. My esteemed teachers from the West (Ganga & Tracey) will be here in no less than 4 days! I couldn’t be more grateful to have this opportunity to share my home and my students with them, their teachings with you, and the experience of entering into a sangha all of us, together. The retreat promises to be a special and unique opportunity for students who live on the (at times isolated) Island of Nantucket who do not often get the chance to travel for similar yoga immersions, nor have the means to travel all the way to Santa Barbara, CA. the home of Ganga and Tracey’s residential yoga training program.

When I first approached Tracey with the idea of doing a weekend retreat on Nantucket, she was hesitant. She and Ganga no longer need to travel to spread the seeds of their teachings, and prefer to focus on cultivating their practice at the Foundation – which is snuggled deep into the San Marcos Pass above Santa Barbara, and surrounded by 40 acres of sacred ground, a former home to the Cushmas Indians. Ganga, who has been teaching students and teachers of yoga alike since the early 1970s, is a pioneer of yoga in the West, and his reputation, amongst those in the serious yoga world precedes him. Students come to him… from all over.

Still, Tracey assured me way back in March of 2009, that she’d put the idea to Ganga and admitted she would love to spend a little time exploring our equally sacred spot. I brought up this dialogue again both to Tracey, and to Shannah, director of The Yoga Room, where I teach, last September – and it began to take root…. Here we are 2 and 1/2 years later, and Ganga and Tracey arrive on Wednesday! This has been a dream for me for so long, I can hardly stand it’s imminent reality.

Of course, I don’t need to tell you that Nantucket has forever attracted visitors from all over the world, and from all walks of life. This weekend will be no different. Looking over the sign-up sheet for Friday night’s master class (which, btw, is an option open to everyone, even if you can’t sign-up for the entire retreat), I am thrilled by the diversity of students; young, old, teacher, beginner, Nantucket resident, student from afar. It is going to be an exciting amalgamation of practitioners, and a real microcosm of the new yoga world at large.

Please, if you are here, or even if you are not, please consider joining us. There is still room available for the entire retreat, as well as in the two al la carte options – Friday night, and Saturday morning. If you need more information about the retreat please click here, where you can also sign-up and use Paypal to reserve your slot.

and then other news from the yogic path….

With the arrival of Fall on Nantucket, I find that my practice has shifted dramatically, once again. The summer for me felt full of tapas and sweat and maybe one too many handstands. Given our short season for making money- a mer 8 weeks, I found myself thinking as a single mother would, chasing the flow of cash, and hoping to put some away for the slimmer winter months. I booked as many massage appointments as I could, taught as much as my child custody schedule would allow and shoved in as many classes with my mentor, Shannah (director of the Yoga Room) as I could.

As a result of all this go-go-go, I burned into the rotator cuff of my right shoulder demonstrating way too many arm balances and jump-backs into chatarunga, tore something deep in the attachment of my left hamstring, and got a cortisone injection in my left knee. I must admit, that though I had every intention on implementing sustainable physical practices, I was not ultimately very kind to my body.

Oh, and I forgot to eat…. duh. It seemed like often there simply wasn’t time… not until 8 or 9 at night, and by then I was too tired, and too anxious.

But life has slowed considerably – and It’s almost scary how unscheduled my appointment book is at the moment. I am teaching just 5 classes a week, and booking clients for massage 2 out of 7 days a week verses 7 out of 7. I’ve taken Griffin out of daycare, and am spending four times more time with him. Instead of working handstand, we’re working on the 1, 2, 3s and A, B, Cs. Instead of deepening my titibasana, we’re turning Griffin’s constant barrage of “Nos” ¬†into “Yeses”. In August, the alphabet wasn’t on my radar. Today it seems really important.

When I have the chance of practicing asana, I’m holding more restorative poses, and holding them longer. Sirsasana (headstand) feels more appropriate than Pincha Mayrasana (forearm stand), and Pigeon a better fit than Hanumanasan (split). When I’m home, and planning my classes out for the week, I find myself spending more time thinking about my Fundamentals class (Tuesdays at 10 a.m.) and my prenatal class (Monday nights at 7:15 p.m.) then about how kick-ass rockin’ my Dynamic Vinyasa class “has to be” (Tuesday nights at 5:30 p.m.). It feels more appropriate to focus on cultivating a gentle, beginner’s mind – and less important to work up a lather.¬†This is not to say I don’t still love a good heating flow- but it’s Fall, and I find myself honoring the process of slowing down. And truth be told, I think Griffin is liking it too.

Hope to see you this weekend.



*for more information on my current class offerings please see my classes page here.


  1. Hi Caitlin,

    Lovely post. I feel very much the same right now about my practice…though have felt this way since giving birth. Hopefully by next spring I’ll be ready to amp it up as the seasons change yet again.
    Haven’t had a chance to make it back to your class yet, but hoping to soon.
    Am trying to figure out how or if I can make it to part of the retreat this weekend.

    Sending lots of energy for it your way,

    • Caitlin Marcoux says:

      Hi Jenn,
      It would be lovely to have you with us in retreat. I sincerely hope you can make it.
      Maybe you and your little family would like to join us for dinner some night, before you return to Summerville. It’s not often I get to talk with other Mother-Teachers/Yoginis.
      If I don’t see you in class, shoot me an email to connect before your departure.

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