What is ‘Retreat’?

For some, the idea of “going on retreat” is like the tastiest food on the tongue and words to be savoured with a smiling soul. For others, retreating from habits, patterns and “what you are used to being and doing” brings up fear, uncertainty and resistance – to the max. This little bit of writing is to entice both kinds of people, and everyone in between, to consider what ‘retreat’ can bring if you offer yourself to the possibilities with a full heart.

For me, being in Kundalini Yoga Retreat gifts my mind with the purity of awareness without the clutter of navigating relationships to family, work commitments, even leisure and vacation pursuits. It provides a beginning and ending to pursuit in the deep pool of blissful awakening into sensory fullness; listening with ears, heart, mind and body to both a world ‘inside’ of what we call ‘self’ and learning new perspectives on our participation in nature. Retreats can awaken your mind and heart/soul to a purpose –  energy that calls you forward into the next phase of living with more grace, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and mindfulness. The results? They can be beyond words…..

I have considered hosting my own retreat – offering a way for people to converge in space and time to employ the tools of Kundalini Yoga, awaken through interaction of mind, body and soul with the healing elements of the natural world on Salt Spring island, and conscious communication with what we call the “heart” or “soul” or “intuitive self”, including the ability to listen by quieting the influence of external factors like relationships, electronic technology, work commitments, etc. So far, it has not dropped into place, and I trust this is not yet quite the right offering for me. Partly, I feel I am still a student of retreats, even though I have been teaching Kundalini Yoga for 14 years. I also have a family whose commitments during May – September are varied and not routine in terms of timing, and the childcare falls mainly to me, making preparation and leading of a retreat (minimum 1 week of time full time work), difficult to manage with my other work & home duties.

Last year, in September 2013, I had the absolute blessing of arranging to attend a Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Retreat to Awaken the Heart on Denman Island, B.C., and I was reminded of the immensity of transformation that is so easily and effortlessly available when we surrender ourselves to this practice for more than 2 days in a row. As Yogi Bhajan might say, the daily early morning practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, including the Aquarian Sadhana chanting practice, has the ability to cut through the muck and shine one’s inner diamond.

In lieu of hosting a Salt Spring Kundalini Retreat this spring, I am teaching a 10-week Women’s Kundalini Yoga series “To Live from the Heart” and a 9-week Kundalini Yoga for All Levels “Balancing the Physical” series (ages 11 and up). My main goal with these classes is to provide space to drop into weekly mini-retreats that offer to reverse the effects of stress and aging, to cleanse mind and body, to heal past thought patterns or ‘heart’ wounds, to strengthen and clarify one’s commitment to health and wellness, and to further skill development in the art and science of Kundalini Yoga – a technology that works – especially when it becomes a daily ‘conscious’ habit.

My classes are designed to meet you where you are mentally, emotionally and physically, to help you learn to confront yourself for those patterns that are not serving you and the life you want to live! One does not need any level of flexibility or mental practice to attend!

For deeper retreat effects with this powerful technology ~ consider joining in one of the local Kundalini Yoga Retreats this year:

Denman Island Retreats with Devmurti and Hari Amrit Khalsa.

Sooke Blackfish Inn Kundalini Retreats with Siri Amir.

White Tantric Yoga Retreat Summer Solstice in Espanola, New Mexico, USA.



About shannoncowan

Love growing food, natural settings, water, community Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Doula (DONA), PhD Biology (2001), Mother and Wife
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