To a mind that is still, the whole world surrenders.
- Lao Tzu


5 Stunning Yoga and Wellness Retreats in North America by Carrie Pallardy

Ditch the same old yoga studio and take your mat to the great outdoors. Step into downward dog against the backdrop of the ocean, desert or mountains at one these five gorgeous yoga and wellness retreats.

The bonus? They’re all in North America so are perfect for a luxurious long weekend away…

Prana Del Mar

Baja, Mexico

Prana Del Mar is cradled in the desert in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but remains just steps away from the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The palatial suites here come with ocean and garden scenery, custom teak furniture and private baths. Prana Del Mar’s menu is a dream come true for the health conscious foodie. Discover elegant dishes created from the retreat’s own organic garden and local produce. Fresh seafood also finds its way to the table. If you love what you taste, take a cooking class with the resort’s chefs. After you’ve eaten your fill, take your yoga practice to Prana Del Mar’s Sun or Moon studios. For those in search of peace and adventure off of the mat, snap some awe-inspiring Instagram shots while whale watching, hike the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains or take a snorkeling tour for a glimpse beneath the waves.

Esalen Institute

California, America

If you’re on the hunt for a spiritual trip, Cali is the perfect answer. The state’s Esalen Institute embraces the dramatic landscape of Big Sur with an ocean view, rugged mountains and hot mineral springs. Try out the shared housing for a group experience. If you’re looking to connect with just yourself, opt for a private suite overlooking the ocean. The private redwood deck is the perfect spot to catch up on all that reading you keep meaning to do or just listen to the sound of the waves. While you can take your yoga practice here, the Institute is about so much more. Grab your partner in crime for a couple’s workshop or come out solo for a creative class. Whatever calls you here, you can’t miss a soak in the cliffside hot spring baths.

Shambhala Mountain Center

Colorado, America

Coastal retreats may be the go-to yoga and wellness destination, but the Shambhala Mountain Center proves inland havens can hold their own. Take your warrior pose to a whole new level with this 600-acre retreat in the Colorado Rockies. The crown jewel of this spot is the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, an intricate, graceful Buddhist structure built to honor the Center’s founder. The Center’s philosophy honors the simple things in life. Accommodations are humble, but the scenery is opulent and the experience transformational. Book a self-guided getaway to blaze your own path, or sign up for of the more than 100 different programs offered throughout the whole year.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

The Bahamas

For the vacationer and yoga hound who craves white sand beaches, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreatis absolute bliss. This retreat sits on Paradise Island, only accessible by ferry ride from the Bahamas capital city of Nassau. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat takes the practice of yoga to heart with a schedule designed to invigorate and heal mind and body. Between getting your happy baby and cobra poses on by the beach, snorkel in the crystal clear waters, sit in on a spiritual talk, munch on snacks from the Health Hut or dance the night away during a concert.

Shanti Yoga Retreat

Ontario, Canada

Find your inner calm with this fortress of solitude ensconced on Wolfe Island in Ontario. Stay in waterside or garden view high-ceiling, warm wood cabins. The Shanti Yoga retreat goes beyond the studio to offer canoeing, kayaking, biking, hammocks and a water trampoline. Detoxify in the retreat’s infrared sauna, sip from a cup or two at the wellness tea bar or journey inwards for meditative walk through the locations very own labyrinth. Sneak a few days off of work for a mid-week getaway or take some more time for a full retreat.

Still on the wellness hype? Check out these stunning sanctuaries. Or browse these luxe tree house hotels for another vacay with a difference…


By Carrie is a writer with experience in healthcare, educational and lifestyle content. As an inveterate Chicagoan, she is constantly seeking new ways to enjoy and write about life in the Second City.

Date Added: July 16, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized

Calling All Chocolate Enthusiasts!

Calling all chocolate lovers, consumers, enthusiasts and the like!
Is that you?
I sense yes?
Gather around…

Recently I had the privilege of cooking up a storm for our June Mid-Week Getaway guests – brunches and dinners and, oh yes, desserts as well. If you’ve visited Shanti, you probably look forward to our delicious vegetarian meals more than the yoga, am I right? Just teasing. But maybe not. In the kitchen one afternoon, I got my hands muddy with chocolatey goodness and whipped up a batch of these beautiful (and gluten free!) chocolate cherry brownies. The recipe called for raspberry, but we had some charming cherries on hand, so I got spontaneous and luxurious.

Double Chocolate Brownies 


2 1/2 cup of ground almond

1/2 cup of brown rice flour (I used quinoa flour)

2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

3 tablespoon of coconut sugar

2 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder

3 tablespoon of date syrup (I used maple syrup)

1 cup of almond milk

75 gr of dark chocolate (I used vegan chocolate chips)

400 gr of fresh raspberries (I used frozen cherries)

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Click here for instructions on how to put these beauties together. Pure decadence. Pure vegan and gluten free gorgeousness. Namaste.

At the end of our Mid-Week Getaway, I also had the privilege of hosting an event in the yurt on our grounds on the evening of June 23rd: Earth Medicine: Chocolate Movement Meditation. Incoming sacred Guatemalan cacao…

Let me paint you a picture…

We chopped up this 1 pound brick of pure, rich, organic and ceremonial cacao all the way from South America, dissolved it in a big pot of boiling water, flavoured with sea salt and maple syrup, and head straight to the yurt…

We begun in seated meditation with Monsoon Point playing in the background, and were guided gently into a receptive state to allow the sacred cacao medicine to work through us, encouraging her to work with us. We allowed the sweet vibrations of our Tibetan singing bowls to permeate our spirits and slowly, as we transitioned into a very earthy, tribal set of music, we opened up and let it all go…

Thirty or so of us got the chance to experience the magic of cacao in sacred and safe space, together in community, alongside some of the beautiful musical findings of DJ Liz Diaz of Conscious Dance Parties Toronto. People came from Kingston, from the Island, from Toronto, and as far as Ottawa for this ecstatic gathering, coming together to celebrate the summer solstice in the best ways possible – with dance, and with chocolate! Ah, the pleasures of Life… So sweet.

It was such incredible energy here at Shanti. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here offering these gifts, these opportunities, for movement and for connection. Quickly after settling back after final relaxation, everyone began to inquire about the next gathering. Stay tuned for more information on this one, and check in with my website at

Namaste, blessed ones, and hey, happy Canada Day to you! What are you grateful for?
The gifts of this country.
Clean water.
Fresh air.
Organic food.
and Chocolate!

Date Added: July 1, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Shanti Kitchen

About Us

Enjoy the tranquil 11 acre property where our spacious century inn and cabins are situated on 1000 feet of private shoreline. Now in its 15th season, Shanti has become a popular retreat destination in Ontario. More…