I pulled up alongside a row of trees. The branches whispered to me as they lightly brushed against my window. The car immediately filled with the rich smell of pine.
I opened the backdoor, threw my mat over my shoulder, and walked up the gravel path past the welcome sign. As I got to the top of the driveway there was a quaint fenced in garden bursting with vibrant color.
As I turned the corner towards the barn, an empty bench with sunflowers draped across invited guests to sit. And then, there was the barn, the most picturesque setting for a yoga class anyone could ever imagine.
The first thing I noticed was the far open window with fresh flowers sitting on a tabletop. The bright morning light made the buds glow. Panning around I saw beams draped with lavender, vases of flowers on stools highlighted with industrial lighting, and the hues of blue and purple yoga mats. I chose a spot on the floor under an old basketball hoop.
Let's backup. How did I get here? First, yoga at a lavender farm sounded too enchanting to pass up. Second, I had been meaning to take one of Laurel Attanasio's (a fellow Fig blogger) classes for some time now. So this opportunity was a win-win in my book!
For a little background, The Lavender Farmette is an urban-micro farm in Emmaus by Florence Rodale, a French transplant. Her and her husband rescued the farm on the cusp of urban development and have restored the property consisting of a stone home, smoke house, and a bank barn. The barn was built in 1840 and has been restored to what you see above.
All of Florence's plants are grown without chemicals or pesticides using only organic methods to yield her crops.
Now, back to the hour of zen...
The moment the session began was the moment I stopped thinking and let my senses take the lead. I smelled the lavender hanging from the exposed beams. I smelled the planks of the wooden floor. I heard the crickets in the distance. I felt the brisk morning air at the nape of my neck. It was utterly serene.
As the session ended, the garage doors opened letting the afternoon light trickle in. It exposed tables full of homemade lavender scones with spreads and other light refreshments. Wine and local brew in growlers sat sweating on tables with embroidered flowers. Florence hosted a table of fresh wild flowers in mason jars and lavender infused items for purchase.
I purchased one of Florence's lemongrass soy candles which is GMO-free soy wax, pure essential oil, and hand-poured. It contains no chemical fragrances or dyes so it burns cleanly. Oh yes, and it smells heavenly!
I believe there is something to be said about a yoga class that immerses all your senses. Using your breath to focus is one thing, but to clear your mind by immersing in the sensory items around you was invigorating. This was especially so because the area was foreign to me, so the new senses were welcoming and were not tied to other thoughts that could normally lead focus astray. The barn offered so much to the senses and aided in the flow of motion and relaxation. It was one of the best classes I have ever taken.
If there is another class at The Farmette I strongly encourage you to go! Also, buy that lemongrass candle. You won't regret it.
Vanessa L. Palumbo - Resident Tourist Bethlehem