Every horoscope you read during a mercury retrograde month will warn you about the increased odds of miscommunication or the resurfacing of unresolved issues. We often brace ourselves and prepare for verbal, written and internal reflection during these sensitive times, but what about the communications and unresolved issues that manifest in the physical? After all, being in retrograde is still being in motion.
“Emotions are written all over the way someone walks or moves,” says Carly Farmer, founder of Villa Pilates & Yoga in Newport Beach, CA. “You can feel if someone feels free or tense inside their body. You can read if someone is heartbroken or in love, or if they are inspired or drained.”
Instead of slowing to a standstill or being swept up in the currents this retrograde season, choosing to keep an exercise practice might be an optimal outlet for recharging and operating on a full battery. When you attend pilates or yoga during the April 28-May 22 retrograde period or any other time, you may want to focus on thinking about your movements as a form of communication.
Carly has always understood the significance of the way movement can speak beyond words; it’s what lead her to open Villa Pilates & Yoga when she was just 23 years old. Having grown up as a dancer, she says: “I understood and felt life best when I was dancing or moving my body… I fell in love with just ‘being’ at a really young age. I’ve always been fairly private and quiet by nature, so for me, movement has always been my therapy and I’ve always used my body to navigate and understand my feeling.”
Now 29, Carly has derived great joy from guiding her students on a similar journey—even though getting started was an ambitious undertaking that involved the whole family. Tucked into the vibrant Cannery Village in Newport Beach on the corner of 31st Street and Villa Way, Carly’s studio has been open for six years. Light, bright, and airy, the space feels natural and incorporates sustainable design. So much more than a workout studio, the experience of practicing pilates and yoga there has attracted a powerful community of locals, who often gather at the studio as a neighborhood hub for breakfasts, evenings, and private events.
“I look back and cringe, but also am very thankful for my ignorance because Villa is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Carly says humbly of her journey to becoming a pioneer in the hip and healthy Newport scene. “My mom always jokes and says, ‘We had some dark days, but you never gave up.’”
There were times when she wanted to, but “luckily I always fall back in love,” she adds.
While there are no signs of slowing down for this incredible business and its owner, Carly recognizes—as we all should—that whether in times of perfect flow or plateau, our ritualistic acts of self respect ultimately are the things that reveal the path forward. The simpler, the better. Consistently practicing pilates and yoga can have course-correcting and healing benefits for those who seek them.
“When we live from the inside-out, life becomes simpler, but also very colorful and beautiful,” she says.
To complete the cycle of spring and propel yourself into the summer, you may want to follow a piece of Carly’s advice.
“Stop trying to control and tell ourselves what we should be eating, thinking, doing, being, etc.,” she says. “Just let it all go and let our senses lead the way and tell us what we are hungry for and who we love. Life is very beautiful like that.”