It’s June! (It’s Now!)
Date Added: June 5, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
June, hello, you’re here! You’re here early, no? Same time last year?
You must be right.
Well, you look great. Truly.
Did you change something about yourself?
You are so warm and so bright and so promising.
Thank you for coming.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been home from our Southern winter travels for two months now, almost to the day. I am finding the importance of finding the time each and every day to just be. No, not to just be. To be. To really be. To connect. To breathe, consciously. To exist, mindfully and completely. Unconditionally. Whole heartedly. And it’s not that this time has to be found, or dug for, or uncovered. Time is always here. We always have it. It’s here. We forget that sometimes. We forget that, in a breath, during an energizing inhalation, or a restful exhalation, or any kind of breath in between, mindfulness is accessible. The moment is here. Let’s tap in together, at the end of this sentence. Take a breath with me? …
Take another? …
You have time for one more, don’t you? Let’s…
How did it feel? Were you anticipating the next moment, the next breath, the next unfolding, or doing, or event? The end? The next thing? We are here. June is here. Spring has arrived. We are all complete, exactly how and where and as who we are. Let’s rejoice in this truth. How about now?
With the shifts and the changes and the movement occurring all around us as we move from the winter’s womb to the sensations and the zest and the robustness of the spring and summer, I feel it is important to anchor into the present as you feel necessary. Make it a daily practice. And consciously. With deliberation, pause and allow in the beauty of the season; of this present second, rising and falling before us; of the blades of grass along the lawn, individually and as a team reaching up at the sun and stretching and soaking it in, just because it feels so good. Allow your time, your life, to feel so good.
Last weekend we at Shanti welcomed, for his first retreat offering here, Nigel Walker of Ottawa, for a nourishing and summery retreat. He shared with us the gift of yoga. If you’re in the Ottawa area, definitely see if you can squeeze in a class with him. The way he describes and outlines and phrases things is so immaculately crystal clear. From instructing a yoga-model to demo wheel pose, to guiding us through a sweet savasana (with live music), his offerings landed really well in my body, and seemingly the bodies of those around me in the yurt. Happy inhales; delicious exhales. And, incredible weather, all weekend long. The sun was our good friend, consistently and profoundly. I think I spotted tan lines. On Saturday night we had a bonfire (and s’mores for hours) accompanied by the talented and magical Lucila Al Mar, also of Ottawa, who will be releasing her first album this October. Nigel and Lucila brought with them their crew of blessed yogis and yoginis from Ottawa – a powerful and beautiful yoga family. Their spirit showered Shanti’s grounds and they left on Sunny Sunday, leaving a trail of magic, a spiritually delicious after taste. Thank you Nigel, thank you Lucila. Until next time!
This past weekend, we had back Roxanne Joly alongside Dr. Kristy Lewis, also from Ottawa, for a completely nourishing and informative weekend. Their offerings included workshops on ayurveda and naturopathy, yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, meditation, acupuncture, and all of Shanti’s amenities to help promote total and complete wellness. Lucky ducks! An eclectic bunch of yoginis graced Shanti with their presence, including a lot of swimmers! It was so nice to see so many people out enjoying the water, insofar as it inspired me to take a Saturday evening dip right before dinner. “It’s as though all of your organs say HELLO!, all at once,” a guest described to me, after her afternoon swim. Refreshing. Ahhh…
Happy June’ing to all!
The Shanti Family
BHAKTI and the BHAV
Date Added: May 26, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
Ahhh… We are still riding the waves, still in the bhav from this past weekend’s bhakti celebration. Music, chanting, yoga, dancing, meditation, inspiring workshops, and delightful and vegetarian meals upon meals.
bhāv or bhāva – भाव
Spiritual feeling or attitude ; devotion ; the religious attitude of immersing oneself in the thought of God. According to Swami Kriyananda, the term “bhav” has multiple levels of meaning. It is the way one views God, and also the way one views oneself in relation to God. One can view God as wisdom, as love, or as a particular deity. Each of these is a type of bhav. For example:
“When [Paramhansa Yogananda] was in the bhav, or attitude, of wisdom, he was like a Himalayan yogi in a cave.”
—Swami Kriyananda, A Handbook on Discipleship
Every piece of this weekend was truly memorable and heartfelt. The morning meditations and hatha yoga practices, the scrumptious brunches, the movement meditation in the yurt, the afternoon free time to enjoy the property, the breeze, the sun, the water, the dinners from the heart, and the kirtan! Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma… Out of the head and right into the Heart…
What is Kirtan, you ask?
Krishna Das writes… ”A practice like chanting [kirtan] gradually bestows on us the ability to let go of pain in our hearts.”
Jai Uttal writes… “Whether kirtan is sung, screamed, or cried, it’s all praise.”
Rumi writes… “With every breath, I plant the seeds of devotion. I am a farmer of the heart.”
and my new found favourite understanding of kirtan, Sean Johnson writes… ”Kirtan is a form of purification and liberation. The mantras sensitize us, polish away the clutter in our heads and melt the numbness in our hearts, so we feel clear, awake, and brilliantly alive.”
An afternoon celebration of kirtan in our Green Tara Room…
Lana Sugarman, Narada Wise, Chris Gartner…
Evening kirtan with Brenda McMorrow…
Love for All…
The altar, the devotion…
Mr. Gartner in the Light…
From left to right, Shanti’s Head Chef Landon Chatteron, co-creators Darin and Wendy Madore, and kirtan artists Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer, Chris Gartner, Lana Sugarman, and Narada Wise. Namaste.
Do you want in on next year’s Bhakti and Yoga Celebration? Stay tuned for our 2017 Retreat Lineup. Keep your August long weekend open and spacious for this offering in the making! To be continued…
Spiced Banana Bread (Gluten Free)
Date Added: May 18, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
This recipe is far too delicious & nutritious not to share with our readers… Shanti Sous Chef Mike recently whipped up four loaves of the best gluten free banana bread known to mankind for our guests (and staff!). This recipe was found in a new Shanti kitchen favourite by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre called The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: A Complete Nutritional and Cooking Guide for Healthy Living.
SPICED BANANA BREAD
Makes 1 loaf
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (we used tapioca flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
…and I would recommend pinches upon pinches of cinnamon, too!
5 large organic eggs (veganize it by substituting with 5 flax eggs: 5 tbsp flaxseed + 25 tbsp water)
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium bananas)
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil (and more for greasing the pan)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MAGIC…
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8.5 x 4.5-inch bread loaf pan with coconut oil.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another mixing bowl, beat together the wet ingredients with an electric mixer. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together.
3. Pour batter into prepared and greased pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then loosen the sides with a knife, and turn over onto a wire rack, allowing to cool completely.
Divide up some healthy slices, share with friends over tea, and even double, or shall I say triple the recipe to enjoy all week? Freeze a batch for next week? Delicious served with nut butter and good conversation!
Snack well, be well,
The Shanti Family
How To Step Into Spring & Break The Stress Cycle by Francesca Durham
Date Added: | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
When your stress levels reach an all time high, listen to your body because it knows when to feed your soul. Quiet time to decompress, gain clarity and perspective is necessary for healthy conscious living.
Staying calm and peaceful for most people is not an issue. However, staying focused day after day, meetings, deadlines, multi tasking, flexing between projects, emails, relationships and constant technology interruptions will eventually take their toll. There comes a time when you need to disconnect from it all, break the stress cycle, and return to a place of inner peace.
When’s the last time you invested in yourself? Well, there’s no time like the present to do just that. My recent discovery of Shanti Retreat located on Wolfe Island, a Ferry’s ride across the water from Kingston, certainly left an impression. More important, it reminded me how necessary it is to take care of oneself. The best way to break the stress cycle so you really can step into Spring starts with listening to the call for R&R. Shanti retreat makes a perfect weekend or mid-week getaway.
Run by co-creators Wendy and Darin, Shanti is a hidden gem on the island. I learned this tranquil retreat is frequented by many clients who return year after year. And, the staff are some of the kindest most warm hearted people you’ll ever meet.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Just remember, it’s never to late to step into Spring. What matters most is believing wholeheartedly you’re worth it.
by Francesca Durham
Date Added: May 15, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized
A very moving weekend was had by all this past weekend at Shanti. Angela Jervis-Read of Toronto joined us for her second season at Shanti and brought with her the beautiful offering and gift of yin yoga. Yin yoga is a slower paced style of yoga with asanas held for longer periods of time. Its teaching in the west was found by the martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink, who has definitely contributed to allowing for a more relaxed and nourished society through this practice. Yin poses apply only moderate stress to the body’s connective tissues, tendons, fascia and ligaments, with the intention of increasing the circulation of the joints and increasing flexibility.
Yin is described as “a more meditative approach to yoga. [Yin] aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality,” and is intended “not as a complete practice in itself, but rather as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise – yang.”
Appropriately, the weekend was rather rainy, a beautiful symbol of yin, allowing guests to surrender entirely into yin; the feminine, more passive, more curious side of Life, allowing emotions and feelings to arise up to the surface and to wash away with the rain’s river. Mother Nature always has a way with arranging herself, giving us all what best serves us, moment by moment. She knows.
In from the rain, guests helped us out with our labyrinth project by painting a rock to contribute. An inspired set of 11 or 12 yoginis from the group painted the afternoon away over good conversation, relaxation, tea, and a slice of the best gluten free banana bread that I think I’ve ever tasted. Stay tuned for this recipe…
A relaxing and rainy Sunday afternoon, here we are, another retreat has come and gone, flown in and flown out. Thank you to Angela and all of your guests for your receptivity through this weekend to the gift of yin. I am truly yin’spired.
Look for Angela back at Shanti the same weekend next year, and also for a mid-week retreat in the Autumn.
P.S. If you haven’t practiced yin yoga with Kim Eng’s DVD Presence Through Movement: Yin Yoga, I highly suggest you to allow her yin to inspire and change and mold your yin. We sell it here at the Shanti Boutique for $27.50+HST.
The Shanti Family
Manu, Mona, and May Mid-Week Getaway
Date Added: May 13, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
Last week we had back the wonderful and magical Manu Akshobhiai for a spontaneous and sweet three day spring retreat, Tuesday to Thursday. Manu has been hosting retreats here at Shanti for a number of seasons, and has lately been offering two weekend retreats with us each fall – one with focus on the practice of yoga nidra (“yogic sleep”), the other focused on truly going within with a 3 or 6 day retreat in complete silence. This week, Manu’s guests – an intimate group of six – got a real taste of the teachings and offerings that he shares, in the form of seated and walking meditations, energy based hatha yoga, and an incredibly powerful practice called tandava. Tandava is known as the dance of Shiva, described as a dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. We were guided by Manu throughout the session to soften our breaths, our tongues (to dissolve tension), and our bellies, or our hara (also known as the dantian, or our life force energy). Moving from this place of softness and curiosity without judgement really allowed us to connect to our intuition, our creative energies, allowing for a greater sense of connection to ourselves, to the Divine.
Last weekend, the magnificent Mona Warner graced us with her presence from Kingston for a women’s weekend of self-care over the mother’s day weekend. With her own mother by her side, Mona lead her guests through an inquisitive, gentle and compassionate weekend. Together, everyone had the chance to dive into learning more about themselves through an ayurvedic lens. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing modalities based on the notion that health depends on a balance between the mind, body and spirit. Mona helped her guests become more aware of their own unique elemental make-ups – air, earth, ether, water, and fire – so they could form their lives in a way best suited to their unique bodies, their minds, and their spirits!
This past week, Sunday to Thursday, we had our first Mid-Week Getaway offering of the 2016 season. A few guests joined us for 1, 2, 3 or 4 evenings here on the Island for a relaxing time away from their day-to-day and into down time. We began with a beautiful Italian Sunday evening dinner for all, and started the week off fresh Monday morning with a meditation in our yurt lead by Darin, followed by a hatha yoga practice lead by Wendy. It was a small group through the week, with six or seven or so guests at a time, which made for a bonding experience among all. This is such a beautiful part of the Mid-Week offering, I find, when guests have afternoons of free time between the morning brunch and the evening dinner to connect – with themselves, with nature, but also with one another. Advanced practitioners, and curious yogis who wish to start a practice, and all others in between, come together to rest, relax, nourish and nurture themselves. Friendships are formed so easily when you give yourself the time to slow down and really open up, go within, and reach out to a fellow yogi or yogini turned friend.
We look forward to welcoming you this season – one weekend, one week, or even one evening!
The Shanti Family
Happy Spring, Stay Sweet!
Date Added: May 1, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
This weekend, the beautiful and wholesome Maria Carr returned for another visit from Port Perry Flowyoga with a family of friends with beautiful offerings. Her long time friend Shirley came again alongside for her annual Saturday evening sage circle, and “Kala on Fire” came over again from Kingston to share the gift of movement meditation on Saturday afternoon in our yurt. This group, like last weekend’s, gave themselves the gift of taking in the documentary Awake: The Life of Yogananda on Friday evening after our delicious and infamous black bean and quinoa burgers, perfected over the seasons by Chef Landon, with so much guacamole – leftover guacamole?!? When does this ever happen!?!
We were blessed with beautiful weather, especially so on Saturday, and it was so nice to see everyone out using the chairs overlooking Brown’s Bay, reading and lounging and really taking in the energy of retreat. Many guests, I noticed, took time alone, even if they came with a friend or family member, to really connect – with themselves, with their book, with their practice, with nature. A beautiful reminder, this is, to carve out time for ourselves as the sweetness and softness of spring slowly turns into the sometimes business of the summer. It’s magical to see so many people come through Shanti who have this commitment to going deeper in their lives, to committing to wellness, to living a holistic life, to bringing in Spirit each day.
And, with Spring comes new installments at Shanti…
…a gorgeous new green house for the soon-to-be kale and cucumbers and tomatoes and sprouts and….
a new landscaping installation including several native tree species, blueberries, and high bush cranberries!
Spring is here! Stay sweet!
The Shanti Family
Bhakti and Yoga May Long Weekend Celebration 2016 featuring Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer and Lana Sugarman
Date Added: April 29, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
Come celebrate the call of the heart at Shanti Retreat, Wolfe Island for an unforgettable, heart-centered May Long Weekend 2016. A 4 day celebration dedicated to music, chanting, yoga, dancing, meditation, inspiring workshops, delicious vegetarian meals, community, devotion, friends, laughter and Love! Spend free time immersing yourself in nature, lounging with a book, enjoying an infrared sauna session, connecting with kindred spirits or simply relaxing waterside. Each year, over 50 souls gather to celebrate and raise consciousness! Experience Spring’s aliveness: the birds are singing, the grass and leaves are a vibrant green, and the bay is full of wildlife. Choose from 3 or 4 day retreat packages, offsite accommodation or Day Passes. Please see below for rates, accommodation options, schedule, artist bios and more.
All Inclusive 4 day Retreat Rates (Friday – Monday)
Semi-private accommodation (2/room) $625
Shared accommodation (3-4/room) $600
Shanti Tenting/yurt $575
includes yurt style tent with 4 inch foam mattress, pillow, towel and washroom/shower facilities
Personal tent $550
Bring your own tent and towel. Washroom/shower facilities provided.
Rates are per person and include 3 night accommodation, 6 delicious buffet style meals, 2 afternoon snacks, daily morning meditation & yoga with Darin and Wendy, over 12 hours of kirtan with Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer, Lana Sugarman, + inspiring workshop with Brenda, Saturday afternoon movement class, an infrared sauna session, and use of Shanti’s amenities. Please add hst to all rates.
Interested in the 3 day package (Friday-Sunday)?
The 3 day package includes everything listed above from 2pm arrival on Friday until 2 pm departure on Sunday. Please deduct $150+ hst per person from above rate.
Saturday Day Pass $125
Day pass is valid from 10 am – 10pm Saturday and includes meals, afternoon kirtan with Lana Sugarman, movement class, plus evening kirtan with Brenda McMorrow, and use of Shanti’s amenities. Afternoon Yoga is not included, unless space is available. Class is $15 + hst. Rate is indicated per person; please add hst.
Sunday Day Pass $125
Day Pass is valid from 10am – 10pm Sunday and includes meals, 2 hour workshop with Brenda Mcmorrow, afternoon kirtan with Lana Sugarman, evening kirtan with Adam Bauer, and use of Shanti’s amenities. Yoga is not included. Rate is indicated per person; please add hst.
Shanti’s amenities include use of infrared sauna, canoes, kayaks, water trampoline, swimming dock, labyrinth, meditation garden, slack line, hula hoops, wellness tea bar & wifi.
Off site Accommodation
4 day Retreat (Friday – Monday) $505
3 day Retreat (Friday – Sunday) $395
Rate is indicated per person and includes meals, morning meditation, afternoon and evening kirtan with Adam Bauer, Brenda McMorrow, Lana Sugarman, Saturday afternoon movement class, and use of Shanti’s amenities. Yoga is not included in this rate, but may be added based on space and availability for $15/class.
Here is a list of our preferred locations for offsite bookings.
Blue Horizon B&B (waterside farmhouse, 15 minute drive from Shanti) http://www.bbcanada.com/3549.html
Dreamcatcher’s Inn (Marysville, 5 minute drive from Shanti) http://www.dreamcatchers-inn.com/
General Wolfe hotel (Marysville, 5 minute drive from Shanti) http://www.generalwolfehotel.com/
Arrival after 2 pm… Ensure to line up early for the ferry during this holiday weekend!
4:30 pm Yoga with Darin (yurt)
6:30 pm Buffet Dinner
8:00 pm Kirtan with Adam Bauer
Morning snack available upon rising (tea, fruit, oatmeal, trail mix)
8:00 am Meditation at the Timor hut with Darin (30 minutes)
8:45 am Yoga with Wendy (yurt – 90 minutes)
10:30 am Shanti’s Signature Brunch
12 – 2:00 pm Kirtan with Lana Sugarman
2:30 pm Afternoon Snack & Free Time for enjoying the outdoors, reading in the lounge, taking an infra red sauna, using the yurt for personal practice, connecting with kindred spirits or just relaxing!
4:30-6:00 pm Movement Medicine with Andrew
6:30 pm Delicious Dinner
8:00 pm Kirtan with Brenda McMorrow
10 pm Bhakti Bon Fire
Bring out your personal instrument fireside and take your turn leading a chant.
Light morning snack available upon rising
8:00 am Meditation at the hut with Wendy
8:45 am Yoga with Darin (yurt – 90 minutes)
10:30 am Shanti’s Signature Brunch
12- 2pm Kirtan with Lana Sugarman
12pm Room Check Out for 3 day guests. Please enjoy the property and program until 2pm.
2:30 pm Afternoon Snack & Free Time
4-6 pm Workshop with Brenda McMorrow (Green Tara Room)
6:30 pm Local, Seasonal Dinner
8pm Kirtan with Adam Bauer
10 pm Bhakti Bon Fire
Bring out your personal instrument fireside and take your turn leading a chant.
Light morning snack available upon rising
8:15 – 9:15 Morning yoga with Wendy
9:30 – 10:30 am Closing kirtan with all artists
10:45 am Final Brunch
12 pm Check Out of Rooms. Please feel free to enjoy the property until 2pm.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Devotional Chant Artist Brenda McMorrow travels worldwide sharing her deep devotion to the celebration of our true beings through the joyous Bhakti Yoga practice of Kirtan. Brenda is invited to share her music at events across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. With 3 celebrated devotional chant albums, Brenda is a featured artist on the White Swan Records roster, a Colorado label well known for it’s high-profile yoga-inspired artists like Deva Premal. She has accompanied Grammy award winning cellist David Darling and esteemed Kirtan musicians Jai Uttal, Wah!, David Newman, Dave Stringer and more. www.brendamcmorrow.com
“Brenda McMorrow has a gift. When she sings, Maharaji (Neem Karoli Baba) is there” – Ram Dass
“…Brenda McMorrow has forged her own unique and welcoming style of mantra music, blending elements of acoustic folk, world rhythms, with a sweetly introspective singer-songwriter’s sensibility. Her new album, Igniting the Beauty, blends inspired reinterpretations of some of her best repertoire material with meditative new compositions that explore gorgeous vistas of dreamlike melodies” – Yoga Journal
Adam played bass for years supporting artists like Krishna Das and Shyamdas, among many others. Now accompanying himself on harmonium singing his own original kirtan compositions, he is emerging as a compelling and deeply soulful kirtan wala in his own right. His critically-acclaimed first solo record, Shyam Lila, debuted on Mantralogy Records in April 2014, and is available at http://merchnow.com/products/175204/ and http://iamadambauer.com/shyam-lila/
Additionally, Adam has a unique online store, Dharma Boutique, filled with sacred and sensual treasures collected on his travels in India. www.dharmaboutique.com
Lana merges her love for Sanskrit and song with the practice of kirtan (call and response chanting). You can find her creating good vibrations at studios throughout Toronto, sharing the magic of mantras. She has had the opportunity to sing and play with David Newman, Brenda McMorrow, Mike Cohen, Swaha, Jim Gelcer, Lea Longo, and John William Bauld. In August, 2013, Lana released her first album of mantra/kirtan music, Invocation. http://lanayoga.ca/
To reserve your space, please contact us at 613-777-0247 or email@example.com
Infused with Fusion Wellness
Date Added: April 24, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Green Living,Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Whole Foods Living
What a magical full moon weekend retreat here at Shanti. After the recent fullness of Mother Moon, guests this weekend of Cobourg’s Fusion Wellness for sure feel the gentle afterglow. This weekend’s offering was truly a tour and journey through the chakras. Last night’s yoga practice in the yurt, lit mystically, we explored the upper chakras through inversions to the body, promoting a fine tuned mind body soul connection.
It was beautiful to witness how open everyone was this weekend, especially since only 1 of the guests this weekend had been here before – Tera, one of the facilitators, who was at Maria Carr’s weekend last year, who will be here this coming weekend hosting her annual Shanti offering. All guests, of all ages and walks of life, had this sense of curiosity and willingness to be open to the gifts of the offerings. Contentment and satisfaction; everyone departing with a smile, a sweetness in their eyes.
Chefs Landon and Mike graced the Shanti kitchen with their presence yet again this weekend with some delicious eats and treats. Last night they presented us with our infamous Shanti Cheesy Nut Loaf (in our cookbook!), alongside honey roasted carrots and pickled beets, both from Okee’s Farm on Wolfe Island, roasted green beans and slivered almonds, and a delicious mixed green salad with our favourite Shanti house dressing – everybody’s true love. Dessert? Sweet and citrus bliss balls last night, and before that, our second round of chocolate and sea salted almonds. We’re slowly working these into perfection, let me tell you.
Guests were gifted a variety of different beads through the weekend, each colour bead corresponding to each chakra’s colour, and this morning before our blueberry hot cake brunch, everyone got to create a mala bead bracelet, arranging their beads in unique ways as a take home, a reminder, of this weekend’s blessings. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white….
Thank you, Fusion, and we will see you this time next year!
Flowing and Chanting and Restoring
Date Added: April 17, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized
We are so blessed to have such beautiful souls crossing the Shanti grounds. This weekend we warmly welcomed back the lovely Lana Sugarman of Toronto for her offering of yin, flow and chant.
Through the weekend, we got to restore and relax by candlelight in the yurt with her yin yoga classes. Yin yoga is a rejuvenating, slower paced yoga with asanas, or poses, that are held for longer periods of time, thus targeting the connective tissues, the ligaments and bones and joints of the body, that are usually not exercised in a more active asana yoga practice. Lana also guided us through invigorating morning Jivamukti-inspired classes. Jivamukti is a physical and spiritual practice combining vigorous hatha and vinyasa based yoga, with adherence to the 5 central tenets: scripture, devotion, ahimsa or non-violence, meditation, and music.
On the final evening of her retreat, she lead one of her infamous kirtan gatherings in our Green Tara room, and was accompanied by our very own chef and drummer extraordinaire, Landon Chatterton. For some guests, this was their first experience with kirtan. Kirtan is a call-and-response style of chanting performed in the Bhakti, or devotional, tradition. It is meant to allow us to get out of the mind and rest back in the heart, losing ourselves in the feeling of the music flowing through, as we sing meditative mantras to deities like Ganesh and Kali. In between “songs,” you are encouraged to close your eyes and go within, to feel the resonance and the vibrations of the mantras sung out, instead of externalizing and clapping your hands. A musical meditation, this practice is.
Luckily, Lana will be back next month alongside Brenda McMorrow and Adam Bauer for our annual Bhakti and Yoga May Long Weekend Celebration running May 20-23. Have a look at our Retreat Lineup to learn more, and be sure to share the Facebook Event with your friends and family too!
Chefs Landon and Mike are back at it again in our Shanti kitchen, about to serve batches upon batches of the fluffiest French toasts ever, alongside our sweet Maple Pecan granola, and plates of sliced watermelons for all. The weather has been incredible all weekend, considering it was snowing when we first arrived. I think Spring is officially here. Ahhh….