The Weekend Retreat
With Selena Maisonpierre, Yoga Teacher and Radiant Life Coach
When's the last time you took care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually? It's not always easy to find time for self-care when you live a busy life and it is natural to forget.
ARDO is synonymous with self-care minus the grandiosity. We stand for easy daily habits that set you in the right gear, and provide unbelievably comfortable homewear and sleep support so that practicing self-care is effortless and enjoyable. ARDO helps you feel your best, find your center, and thrive with confidence
For Mental Health Awareness Month 2022, ARDO has partnered with radiant life coach and yoga teacher, Selena, in hosting The Weekend Retreat at Sky Ting NYC. The Weekend Retreat is a full mind and body restoration, including a gentle flow, guided meditation, and visualization for a deep release, clarity, and integration.
The class also introduced the use of yoga props and the ARDO weighted meditation blanket, which is a great addition to support your practice, ease posture, and help calm the mind and body. It is amazing to see individuals coming together on a Saturday afternoon for a centering and rejuvenating experience.
Q&A with Selena Maisonpierre, Yoga Teacher and Radiant Life Coach
1. How does guided visualization differ from normal meditation?
Meditation is a practice of stilling the fluctuations and chatter of the mind. People think meditation is sitting quietly, absent of thought, but it’s really a practice of sitting with whatever is. Sitting in discomfort, in joy, in grief, in love and coming back to a place of wholeness even with those temporary conditions and discomforts.
A guided visualization is a mindfulness practice that journeys into your subconscious and engages your imagination. While meditation is sitting with what is, visualizations take you into a journey of your deepest desires through images, visuals, sensations and feelings
I’ve had clients receive visuals of new career desires and months later receive job offers that they never could have imagined, or visualize themselves running when they’ve never once stepped foot on a trail, only to find when they pick it up they accidentally lose 10 pounds and feel better than they ever have before.
It’s a really powerful practice.
2. Where did this journey begin for you?
I started practicing yoga at age 17 when I quit my dance team in high school. I had tons of free time on my hands and joined the YMCA, where I took my first ever yoga class. I had no idea that yoga would become not only an intricate part of my life, but a leading narrative in my lifestyle and career.
After college I moved to NYC and was working in advertising, but it felt empty. I day dreamed about teaching yoga, and finally in my mid-20s I quit my corporate career and followed that dream. The rest of the story has unfolded organically – albeit, sometimes a little shaky! I truly love what I do, and am forever grateful to get to share these tools of self discovery with people all around the world.
3. What do you love most about being a life coach and yoga teacher?
Journeying into this path as a profession, I’ve met such deep parts of myself and discovered a real passion and skill for holding space for people to have an insight and experience. Nothing lights me up more than seeing the wave of clarity, spark of insight or release of tension wash over somebody’s face in a coaching session or on the yoga mat. It’s like opening a door for that person… it’s a form of liberation. And through that shared experience, I get to know new parts of the human psyche and experience. It’s really beautiful.
4. What does self-care mean to you?
I absolutely love ARDO’s passion to support self care without grandiosity. To me, self care is basic. Tend to yourself so that you feel good. Slow down so that you can listen to your own wisdom. Drink water and move your body because it makes you feel good. Simple!
"To me, self care is basic. Tend to yourself so that you feel good. Slow down so that you can listen to your own wisdom. Drink water and move your body because it makes you feel good. Simple!"
5. What is some self-care practice that you do every single day, no matter how busy you are?
This might sound so incredibly simple, but a shower in the morning and washing my face at night. I’ve worked with some women who are mothers and haven’t showered in 4 days… I think… HOW?! I would not feel like a human. That’s self care – basics.
In yoga we talk about filling your own cup first before you can fill others. Self care is a radical act of tending and caring for yourself so that you can show up for others.
6. How did using a weighted blanket change your daily routine and how do you feel about it?
While I try to keep a somewhat weekly schedule, my days can include many different types of “work” and resting or play. I might be traveling around the city to teach a public yoga class or event, to somebody’s home for a private session, to my apartment for a coaching client… it’s a lot of shifting environments and energies, which can leave me feeling scattered.
One of my favorite afternoon practices is to lay on the couch with my eyes closed and just let the first half of the day process through me. The weighted blanket is AMAZING for this – it immediately grounds and centers me, and makes those 15-20 minutes feel like a 2 hour reset.
7. What is radiance? And why is it important?
So often we chase external manifestations of what it means to be “successful” or “beautiful.” I began to notice that the most radiant people around me — those who walk into a room and you can’t help but notice — had nothing to do with traditional beauty or success, but it was an inner glow that came from feeling deeply connected and confident in themselves.
I’m a certified health and life coach, and when I created my coaching offering I turned to this idea of “radiance,” of coming home to yourself so that you can radiate outwards.
8. What’s the next retreat you are hosting?
I have not yet announced my next retreat, but a little teaser – I am so excited to bring people to my home state of Washington! I grew up in Seattle, WA surrounded by salt water and mountains and evergreen trees. I can’t wait to host a retreat in the Pacific Northwest and share such a magical place with my students.
9. What is your favorite thing to do and places to eat in NYC?
NYC is unlike anywhere in the world. I joke that it’s a love / hate relationship — a bad day in NYC is almost comically bad, where you throw your hands up and cry furious, heart broken tears on the subway. And then around the corner is a great day, where everything feels in flow and you absolutely fall in love with this city, you’re on top of the world.
My favorite part of living here is the access to so many amazing creative classes and people. I’ve taken language classes, acting classes, writing courses, every kind of dance – right now I’m taking Tango – world renowned yoga teachers, music… It's a city of creative exploration and if you’re hungry and open, you can meet new parts of yourself and new people at every turn.
Favorite places to eat? Ooh… Win Son in Bushwick BK is an all-time favorite Taiwanese restaurant. The flavors take me on a sensual journey…
10. Last question, what is your bucket list in life?
Years ago I might have listed off writing a book, leading a TED talk, more travel… and while all of those are still true, I know that they will happen… they already are happening. I’ve taken so many leaps of faith to actively create the life of my dreams, and every day I experience a little magic that confirms this way of living. It’s not always easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
My deepest journey so far has been learning to open my heart to feel deeply. If I had one thing on my bucket list for life, it’s that – to open up, to love all parts of myself and to feel safe in that wild, messy space that is a heart-forward experience.
My bucket list now is to keep leaning in.