Wolfe Island Bhakti & Yoga Celebration 2015 FEATURING BRENDA MCMORROW, NINA RAO, ADAM BAUER, ABBY BLYTHE & THE BHAKTI CONNECTION
Date Added: November 8, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga
~August Long Weekend ~ Friday July 31st – Monday August 3rd, 2015 ~
Come celebrate the call of the heart at Shanti Retreat, Wolfe Island for an unforgettable, heart-centered August Long Weekend. A celebration dedicated to music, chanting, yoga, dancing, meditation, inspiring workshops, delicious vegetarian meals, community, devotion, friends, laughter and Love! Spend free time swimming, lounging on the water trampoline, relaxing waterside in a hammock, canoeing, kayaking, hula hooping, swinging under the oak tree, or visiting the henna booth. Last year, over 70 souls gathered to celebrate and raise consciousness! Experience Summer’s breathtaking sunsets, morning birdsong and an abundance of local, seasonal and organic produce lovingly prepared and served. 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.
3 day Retreat Rates (Friday – Sunday )
Semi-private accommodation (2/room) $495
Shared accommodation (3-4/room) $465
tent not included; towels and washroom/shower facilities provided
Rates are per person and include accommodation, meals, morning meditation & yoga, kirtan with Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer, Nina Rao, Abby Blythe & The Bhakti Connection, (over 8 hours of kirtan!), group chanting of The Hanuman Chalisa lead by Nina Rao and use of Shanti’s amenities. Please add hst to all rates.
Want to stay Sunday night?
Special Rate: Add $150 to the above rates for the complete 4 day Retreat Package!
4 Day package includes offerings listed above plus a 2 hour kirtan/workshop with Brenda McMorrow “Bhakti and Jnana: the Yoga of Devotion and Self-Inquiry,” evening Kirtan with Adam Bauer, Bhakti Dance Party, Monday closing Kirtan, accommodation, dinner, brunch, Monday morning yoga and use of Shanti’s amenities. Rate is per person. Please add hst.
Off site Accommodation
3 day Retreat (Friday – Sunday) $370
Rate is indicated per person and includes meals, morning meditation or silent walk, afternoon and evening kirtan with Adam Bauer, Brenda McMorrow, Abby Blythe, The Bhakti Connection (over 8 hours of kirtan!), group chanting of The Hanuman Chalisa lead by Nina Rao 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.
We are more than happy to assist you in an offsite booking, please let us know your preferred location.
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/
Wolfe Island Bhakti & Yoga Celebration 2014
Saturday Day Pass $125
Day pass is valid from 10 am – 11pm Saturday and includes meals, afternoon kirtan with Abby Blythe, The Bhakti Connection and Nina Rao, plus evening kirtan with Brenda McMorrow, and use of Shanti’s amenities. Yoga is not included. Rate is indicated per person; please add hst.
Sunday Day Pass $125
Day Pass is valid from 10am – 11pm Sunday and includes meals, 2 hour workshop with Brenda Mcmorrow “Bhakti and Jnana: the Yoga of Devotion and Self-Inquiry” group chanting of The Hanuman Chalisa lead by Nina Rao, evening kirtan with Adam Bauer, Bhakti Dance Party 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.
Arrival after 2 pm.. Ensure to line up early for the ferry during this holiday weekend!
4:30 – 6 pm yoga with Darin (yurt)
8:00 – 9:30 Kirtan with Adam Bauer
9:45 Bhakti Bon Fire Bring out your personal instrument fireside and take your turn leading a chant.
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 – 10:15 yoga with Wendy (yurt)
Free time for swimming, water trampoline, hammock therapy, canoe/kayak, slack line, hula hoop, henna booth, sauna, relaxing and more!
12 – 1:30 Kirtan with Abby Blythe
2-3:30pm Kirtan with Bhakti Connection (outdoors if weather permits)
Afternoon complimentary snack
4:30-6:30 pm Kirtan with Nina Rao
8:00 Kirtan with Brenda McMorrow
Light morning snack available upon rising
8:00 am meditation at the hut with Wendy or silent morning walk with Darin
8:45 – 10:15 am Yoga with Lacey
10:30 am brunch
12- 2pm Group Chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa lead by Nina Rao
Departure for 3 day guests
Afternoon complimentary snack
4-6 Workshop with Brenda McMorrow: “Bhakti and Jnana: the Yogas of Devotion and Self-Inquiry”
6:30 pm Dinner
8pm Kirtan with Adam Bauer
9:45 Bhakti Dance Party with Lacey
Light morning snack available upon rising
8:15 – 9:15 morning yoga with Wendy or silent walk meditation with Darin
9:30 – 10:30 am Closing kirtan
10:45 am brunch
2013 Weekend of Bhakti & Yoga
About the Workshops
Chanting Hanuman Chalisa
The hanuman chalisa is a 40 verse prayer invoking Lord Hanuman. Krishna Das shares that “The practice of chanting the “Hanuman Chalisa” helps participants to connect with the spiritual aspects of Service and Devotion, as personified by Lord Hanuman.”
Bhakti and Jnana: the Yogas of Devotion and Self-Inquiry with Brenda McMorrow
This workshop will include mantra, devotional song, self-inquiry exercises and discussion about how we can use both Bhakti and Jnana as tools towards opening to a direct realization of Truth!
About the Artist’s
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
Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. Her childhood was spent living in and moving between many countries around the world and when she settled in New York her working life began in the banking world, switched to organizing and leading photographic wildlife safaris in Africa and India, and now for many years, is Krishna Das’ business manager and assistant. Nina tours with Krishna Das, playing cymbals and singing with him, and was honored in 2013 to accompany him at the Grammy Awards webcast performance. In 2007, she recorded the track ‘Nina Chalisa’ on Krishna Das’ CD“Flow of Grace – Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa”. In January 2013, she released her debut album, “Antarayaami – Knower of All Hearts”. The double CD includes devotional kirtan, bhajan, and a variety of Hanuman Chalisa melodies including a duet with Krishna Das. Nina regularly leads kirtan, chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, and sings for yoga classes in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY and beyond.
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
Abby Blythe’s life and career as both a musician and yogi started in early adolescence. She began her formal vocal training at the age of 10, and carried on these studies into adulthood, eventually studying vocal performance at Queen’s university, performing in Opera, Musical Theatre, and numerous recitals along the way.
Around the same age, and seemingly by chance, Abby also took her first lessons in Yoga. Through both of these practices Abby learned the power and value of a good breath early in life.
It was the discovery of Kirtan (sacred chanting in Sanskrit of the names of the Divine) that brought the missing link- soul- to Abby Blythe’s singing. It inspired her to finally start sharing her voice more publicly, eventually even making recordings.
Abby Blythe is so delighted to have made this discovery and joyfully offers these sacred songs any chance she can get- from venues as small as a private living room to venues as large as the the Metro Toronto Convention Center (Toronto Yoga Conference).
Abby Blythe’s voice and music can be enjoyed live at any Kirtan event, or can be enjoyed in your home via recordings offered for sale here.
The Bhakti Connection
The Bhakti Connection have been sharing the spirit of kirtan and chant in Ottawa, Canada since 2007. Together they bring a multi cultural ‘unity’ kirtan to new heights, using voice and music as the key to bring spiritual unity. The Bhakti Connection’s musical background brings together a variety of styles and influences to create a vibration and energy that is unique. They have released their second album, “For All the Beings” in 2013. To listen to The Bhakti Connection: www.BhaktiConnection.ca
Shanti Fall Favorites…delicious seasonal recipes
Date Added: October 6, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Whole Foods Living
Fall has been a wonderful time for Shanti’s kitchen team. Thanks to the continuous abundance of the garden, we have been preparing many delicious seasonal dishes. We are always looking for new recipes for inspiration and then making it our own (adding love and awareness to each recipe).
This time of year we are harvesting pumpkins, butternut squash, tomatoes, red peppers and some fresh herbs. We are also using garlic from our garden as well as mixed greens, spinach, Swiss chard, leeks and onions from the local organic farmer at Okee’s Farms, Wolfe Island.
Below we have included the links to some of the recipes we have tried and served so far this Fall. We will continue to update and let you know how they turn out.
Chickpea & Butternut Squash Coconut Curry
This recipe was delicious and we served it with brown Basmati rice, salad, cucumber-mint raita and the avocado chutney recipe found in our cookbook, Shanti at Home. Order a copy!
Butternut squash with whole wheat, wild rice and onion stuffing
As a special treat for our Thanksgiving menu, we will be preparing this festive butternut squash dish from vegkitchen.com
It’s Pumpkin season…soup! cookies! hotcakes!
Date Added: August 31, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
For the last month, we have been eating everything zucchini, thanks to our amazing garden for providing such an abundance. Zucchini season is slowing down, and now we are delighted to have been gifted with many many pumpkins. They are so perfect (nature is great at that!) and the Shanti kitchen is enjoying finding new and delicious pumpkin inspired recipes.
Pumpkin Peanut Soup
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 onion, diced
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Over medium heat, combine oil with onions, garlic and ginger in a soup pot. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
Add curry paste and combine well.
Add vegetable stock, peanut butter, pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
This past weekend, we also made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies inspired from the recipe on the website two peas and their pod. We substituted the whole wheat flour for Gluten-Free flour and used fresh pureed pumpkin from our garden.
We also made our favorite pumpkin spiced hotcakes. Recipe can be found on our blog.
Guest’s pick! Recipe of the week: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies (they’re vegan!)
Date Added: August 17, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
We love these cookies so much…and so do you! They are simple, chewy and delicious. Enjoy them as dessert or an afternoon treat with a herbal tea. The fresh ginger root really makes a different, so that little bit of extra “work” is so worth it.
4 cups spelt flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 4 tbsp warm water)
1 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare flax eggs by combining ground flax seed with warm water in a small bowl, and let sit.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. In a separate bowl, combine ginger, molasses, oil, sugar and flax egg.
Mix the wet ingredients with dry until just combined.
We use a large trigger ice cream scoop, but you can also use a tablespoon or roll balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets 2-3 inches apart.
Bake 7-8 minutes for smaller cookies, and 12-14 minutes for larger ones.
Guests’ Pick! Recipe of the Week: Balsamic sweet potatoes with blue cheese and toasted pecans
Date Added: August 3, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
Balsamic sweet potatoes with blue cheese and toasted pecans
Yes, we agree, it is a very long title for a dish, but it is delicious! This recipe is actually from the magazine Food & Drink (summer 2012) and has been hanging out in the Shanti kitchen files since that time. We all have those recipes that look so delicious in the magazine, so we tear them out and have the intention of making them…Well 2 years later, we finally did! ……WHY did we wait so long??
Everyone loved this simple dish. It is very filling and packed with a lot of nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants since they are a rich source of vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, as well as a good source of B vitamins and minerals (manganese). Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber (especially with skin on).
Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin e, essential fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc.
As for the blue cheese, a little goes a long way:)
Food always disappears so fast, sometimes we cannot capture it. Photo from recipe in Food & Drink magazine summer 2012.
2 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 crumbled blue cheese (or feta if you’re not a fan!)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Place pecans on a baking tray and toast for 5-6 minutes, stirring half way through. (Careful not to burn them)
2. Peel sweet potatoes (optional, depends whether organic or not) and cut into 1 inch chunks. (The recipe called for boiling the potatoes, but we decided to roast them.) Roast in a baking dish for about 40 minutes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Test with a fork to see when they are ready(tender), be sure not to overcook..it’s not mashed potatoes!
2. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, in a bowl, toss with pecans, red onions, cayenne, and additional salt and pepper if you like.
3. Top with crumbled blue cheese and parsley.
Organic Abundance & Seasonal Delicacies
Date Added: July 19, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally
The Shanti garden is in full bloom …especially those zucchini and cucumbers crawlers (They sure know how to make themselves at home!) Just this week we harvested rainbow Swiss chard, zucchini and garlic scapes from the mandala garden. From the HugelKulture, we harvested peas, beet greens, green and purple beans, a few cherry tomatoes (a gift from the God’s), cucumbers, and a few different kale varieties.
The Shanti kitchen is getting creative with all of this fresh, organic and seasonal produce. We made our favorite beet dip (recipe is in Shanti at Home cookbook) with fresh herbs from the garden. The vibrant color of this dip is almost as hard to believe as the amazing taste.
We also experimented with a new phyllo recipe (inspired by closet cooking) instead of our usual Zucchini and Feta Pie with spelt crust. It’s full of fresh herbs and a combo of Shanti zucchini and local Wolfe Island ones from Okee’s farm.
Okee’s Farm has also been providing us with salad greens (since May 1st!), snap peas, beets, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and more!
We have even been sprouting mung beans here in the Shanti Kitchen and making basil-garlic scape pesto at least once a day:) Why would we do that, you may wonder? Because we can…and we LOVE it!!!
Asana of the Week with Wendy & Darin: Child’s pose
Date Added: June 18, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga
Balasana, also known as child’s pose, is a resting/restorative pose practiced
in the fetal position. It is a wonderful counter pose for backbends. The name is
derived from the Sanskrit words “bala” and “asana”, which translate to “child” and
“pose”. Its main focus is the thighs, although it’s also useful in relieving back,
shoulder, neck, and hip strain. When performed with an open mind Balasana
can induce a great sense of physical, mental and emotional relief.
The Benefits of Child’s Pose:
• Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
• Recommended if you have dizziness or fatigue
• Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
• Compresses the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
• It lengthens and stretches the spine
• Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and
• It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
• Normalizes circulation throughout the body
• It stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
• Calms the mind and body
• Encourages strong and steady breathing
About the Authors
Darin and Wendy have been studying, practicing and living yoga for more than 20 years. Their desire to explore this ancient philosophy has taken them on many journeys around the globe. Both are trained in classical Hatha yoga, in the Sivananda tradition, and have studied extensively a form of energy and chakra yoga, Agama Yoga, in southern Thailand www.agamayoga.com. Their daily Spiritual Heart (Hridaya) meditation practice follows Ramana Maharshi’s Self Inquiry Method. During the winter season they take the opportunity to deepen their practice by participating in 10 day silent medition retreats in Mazunte, Mexico at Hridaya Yoga School www.hridaya-yoga.com . – See more at: http://www.shantiretreat.ca/2014/04/#sthash.baitU7KM.dpuf
Asana of the Week with Loren Crawford: Pigeon
Date Added: June 16, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga
Pigeon pose has many permutations, ranging from a full resting version (pigeons get tired too!) to a big bold back bend. This bound version has always made me feel open and creative. Having long limbs helps with finding some of these deeper binds.
My word of caution when doing any deep back bend is to a) not do too many as they can over stimulate the adrenals, and b) make sure you are stable in your pelvis and lumbar – especially those of you who are very flexible (it is easy to compress vertebrae and over years of doing this quite literally cause deterioration). Be happy, proud (and safe) in pigeon!
About the Author
Asana of the Week with Lacey Budge: Sirshasana
Date Added: June 9, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga
Headstand (Sirshasana): a whole new way of seeing the world!
Headstand, and inversions in general, are seen as one of the most important groups of asanas. Performing headstand includes many physical and energetic or pranic benefits.
As humans beings, we spend so much time standing on our feet, so when performing headstand, we begin to reverse the effects of gravity on our body. On a physical level, the inversion increases blood flow from the lower extremities of the body (feet) to the higher ones (brain). This increases the amount of oxygen that is being delivered to the brain and stimulates glands (pituitary and hypothalamus glands) important for mood, energy levels and overall well-being. As an extra bonus, this all happens with little effort from the heart which is so designed to pump blood upward to the brain.
Headstand also improves circulation and digestion and strengthens the arms and upper body. Headstand can cultivate a greater sense of self-confidence when practiced regularly.
On an energetic level, as energy and life force is carried from the lower chakras to the higher chakras, a sense of clarity and concentration may follow. This is also a great way to bring energy from the lower parts of our being, to the heart, third eye and crown. When headstand is held for longer duration (3-5 minutes), you may begin to experience deep sense of stillness and calming of the mind.
About the Author
Lacey teaches yoga at Shanti Retreat for programs such as mid-week getaway, Sunday Cycle and Stretch as well as Spa and Detox Days. She is traditionally trained in the Sivananda yoga style, yet draws upon various styles and includes teachings from inspiring instructors during her classes.
Asana of the Week with Ichih Wang: Side Crow
Date Added: June 2, 2014 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga
As one seeks balance, imbalance is just right around the corner. The very thing we seek is also seeking us. Let’s face it, who isn’t seeking more balance?
Side Crow (Parsva Bakasana) is a dynamic and liberating pose improving physical and mental concentration. It may look advanced, but it’s relatively easy to do once you get your balance. The posture will strengthen the arms, wrists and abdominal muscles, improving digestion. The key to securing your balance, is to lower your forehead gaze and transfer your weight onto your hands as you lift your feet of the floor simultaneously. Modify the pose by using both elbows as leverage for a hip and knee as I have done here in the photo. It’s fun to practice, requires focus ~ Give it a try and let me know how you do.
About the Author
Ichih Wang is a Yoga Teacher, and a Yoga Life Coach based in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Ichih Wang. She has been around the world 3 times and visited over 60 countries, lived on 3 continents and 4 cities as a search to connect and be a student of life. Her life travels and training experiences are infused in her yoga and life teachings, connecting people to their own abundant possibilities. She is known for her inspirational style of yoga teaching that incorporates both eastern spiritual philosophy and western techniques for mind (mental), body (physical) and spiritual life transformation.You can find Ichih Wang’s workshops and retreat information on www.LiveLifeYoga.com