Tag Archives: yoga

Awaken & Restore: A Self Care Retreat for Women at Shanti Retreat

promo pic

Friday September 6th – Sunday September 8th, 2019

Shanti Retreat, Wolfe Island

Self Care is Self Love. Join Lacey Budge for an inspiring and nourishing weekend retreat to savour the end of summer. Step out of your daily routine, and create space to fill your cup before diving into a busy fall schedule.

Retreat to an Island Getaway! Relax, rejuvenate and unwind at Shanti Retreat located on beautiful Wolfe Island, near Kingston, the gateway to the Thousand Islands. To reach Shanti, board the Wolfe Island Ferry conveniently located in the heart of downtown Kingston. It’s a scenic 20 minute free car ferry ride to this island sanctuary.

Awaken & Restore the inner Goddess with a weekend of yoga (Flow, Hatha & Restorative), meditation, sacred movement to open the body and heart, self care practices, countryside walks, soul nourishing vegetarian cuisine, inspiring gatherings and an evening bonfire. Experience the special energy of the yurt during our daily practices and gatherings.

Choose from semi private, shared or tenting accommodation. You’ll feel at home in Shanti’s spacious century inn and waterside cabins. This beautiful property has stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and sunsets from the waterfront patio are memorable. The inn’s timbered ceilings and wood stove provide a natural country charm.

Your body and soul will be nourished with Shanti’s delicious and nutritious meals. With the utmost love and respect for animals and the earth, vegetarian meals are served. We strive to use locally grown Wolfe Island organic produce whenever possible. Shanti can accommodate a gluten free and vegan diet. See a sample menu!

Reconnect with the beauty, freedom and infinite joy that dwells within. Immerse yourself in Wolfe Island’s natural beauty with time outdoors swimming in the Brown’s Bay, sunbathing, walking the labyrinth, cycling, reading in a hammock, or simply sitting waterside with a journal and herbal tea. You may also choose to book a massage with Jack during the afternoon free time! 

Connect with nature, Self, and sisterhood. All scheduled activities are optional – it’s your retreat!  We will have a magical weekend together, and you will leave feeling reconnected, reawakened and restored.

Retreat Includes :

  • 2 nights accommodation in semi private, shared or tenting
  • All yoga classes, guided meditation, and sacred movement practices guided by Lacey
  • All yoga props. No need to bring your mat, unless you can’t leave home without it!
  • Nourishing afternoon self care practices
  • A magical evening gathering to awaken the Goddess within
  • Welcoming bonfire, drumming and sacred songs
  • 5 Delicious, locally inspired vegetarian meals served buffet style
  • Silent mornings to support relaxation and inner contemplation
  • Use of Shanti’s amenities: infrared sauna, labyrinth, walking routes, canoes & kayaks, hammocks, wifi, wellness tea bar, and slack line
  • Ample time to enjoy the natural surroundings, take a nap, connect with like minded women or book a massage

Retreat Schedule 

Friday
Arrival between 2:00 & 4:30 pm
5:00—6:30 pm Self Care  & Restorative Yoga
6:45 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Welcome Gathering & Bonfire (weather permitting)
with drumming & sacred songs    

Saturday
7:30—8:30 am Silent Self Serve Breakfast
8:30 am Silent Nature Walk
9:30 am Awakening Flow Yoga, Inspiring Movement
& Meditation
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00-4:00 pm Free Time for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sunbathing, reading in a hammock, taking a nap, enjoying the infrared sauna, connecting in sisterhood, or book a massage!

4:00 pm – 6pm Yoga & Nourishing Self Care Practices
6:30pm Dinner
8:00 – 10 pm Evening Gathering

Sunday
Silent Light Breakfast available upon rising
8:00 am Silent Nature Walk
9:00 am Yoga, Inspiring Movement & Closing Circle  
11:00 am Shanti Signature Brunch
12:00 pm Check Out of Rooms. Enjoy the Property Until 2:00pm

Rates

Shared Accommodation (3-4 women per room or cabin) $415  + hst

Semi Private Accommodation (2 share) $465 + hst

Shanti Tent (private) $390 + hst

Personal tent $365 + hst

Registration

To make a booking and reserve your space, please contact Shanti Retreat.

More Useful Links 

About Lacey 

Find Us

FAQ

 

Time to Set that Life Intention

It’s our personal human nature to set goals and intentions, to want to be somebody, to get somewhere in this life we have been given.

Recently, I learned that the word intention (a word I use quite often) comes from the latin root, intendere. Tender/tensum means “to stretch toward” something, and it got me thinking, “why do we always want to be stretching toward something ?

When it comes to goal/intention setting in various areas of our life, we like to “move toward” a somewhat immediate result, perhaps in the time frame of a few months to a year. We talk about that advancement or raise at work; or a health goal like training for a 5km race, losing weight, meditating daily or quitting smoking.

As for the inside job, maybe we are trying to be more patient with loved ones, to speak more confidently during a business meeting, or to become a better listener with our partner.

Long term goals are definitely not alien to us either—think 5 or 10 year plans for buying a house, starting a family, paying off school debt, etc. Whether we reach the goal or not, we typically have a type of reward or finish line in mind.

When we set a goal that we want to meet, we put our full focus, will power and determination into it—at least in the beginning  We may even become over obsessive or addicted to our goal and witness it as it becomes all we think or talk about (but not necessarily in the most mindful way).

Society has definitely conditioned us to be goal oriented “human doings,” but what about a non goal goal, like an intention for life?

I don’t mean accomplishing x,y,z by the time we are 90 years old, but rather taking time to contemplate how it is we want to “be” in our life, vs what we “do.”

For example, a personal “life” intention of mine is to live with grace and to serve the greatest Good; to live a holistic and harmonious life with this body, mind, spirit, nature and all Beings. I want to live for the joy of Being, not because that is a goal, but it’s who I am, it’s my natural state.

As I started to keep more focus on the Highest, most Supreme, Grand intentions, my life started to have more purpose. Of course there a mini intentions set within this, yet the main focus does not lie there.

By taking some time to journal and sit in stillness, we can allow ideas for this “life intention” to arise. From here, we can start to ask ourselves questions like “does my lifestyle support my highest goal?”, “Do the people I surround myself with align with my dharma (a term used in Buddhism to mean life purpose)?”, “Am I acting in every moment from this place of intention with every word I speak and action I take?”

Living a more purposeful life does have not to mean traveling the world, become famous or driving our dream car… but it definitely can also mean that!

The doing, the collecting of things and successful accomplishments will simply unfold with time (that is this life!). Me, there person, will be acting out my life plan, as mySelf bears witness.

What’s going to keep us grounded in truth, focussed on love and thriving with grace is the embodiment (walking our talk!) of this life intention in each and every moment.

It’s when we recognise our Highest Self and live from a place of pure naturalness and spontaneity, as the yogis call Sahaja, that we will feel fully free.

My Daily Routine: The Divine Light Invocation

Each morning, as soon as I get up, I go stand outside in the grass barefoot. I connect with nature around me, and find a place where I can stand in the light of the sun. Even when it is not sunny out, I use my mind eye to visualize the light. I start each day off with the Divine Light Invocation.

light

I enjoy this practice because it is absolutely incredible to connect with nature first thing each morning. It is also an amazing reminder, that I am not merely this physical body or these thoughts, I am light, a channel of consciousness and that I can use this light to heal myself and others in the world.

I have found this to be a powerful tool for change and spiritual transformation. I use it as one of my daily prayers. It only takes a few minutes and it is a simple way to invoke Spirit into my day.

I was 24 years old when I first experienced living in Community. In the summer of 2011, I spent a few weeks at the Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Lake, BC, as a part of the Young Adult Karma Yoga Program. Karma yoga, or selfless service, is the yoga  of action; taking what you learn on your mat and applying out into the world through service…think Mother Theresa, Gandhi or Martin Luther King..they were karma yogis.

Each day, before completing a new task, we would perform the Divine Light Invocation. The Divine Light invocation was a fundamental practice of the Ashram. It is a beautiful reminder that we are channels or spirit; we are not the doer of the task (as much as we would like to think that). We consecrate the efforts of the task, to the greater good…and see everything as an offering. When we offer it up,  we are not attached to the outcome of the project, we simply do our best, with awareness. We go beyond our personal likes, dislikes, preferences or ego and we offer up the fruit of our action.

Performing the Divine Light Invocation..

You can print the invocation below and read it the first few times until you understand the idea behind it.

Stand erect, feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your breathing, your head, face, and neck. Keep the eyes closed and focus them on the space between the eyebrows.

Picture above you a vast ocean of pure white, colourless Light . . . stretching in all directions, into eternity. Imagine some of that Light pouring down around you, bathing you completely in Light.

Exhale and slowly inhale, lifting your arms above your head as you smoothly and gradually tense the whole body.

Holding your breath, affirm to yourself with all the concentration possible:

I am created by Divine LightI am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light.

 

Exhale, gradually relax, and lower your arms slowly.

Now use your imagination to see yourself standing in a shower of brilliant white Light.

See the Light pouring down upon you, and see a stream of that Light flowing into the body through the top of the head, filling your entire being with Light . . . as if you were a transparent vessel, being filled with liquid Light. 

Maintaining this image, now with the arms at your sides, exhale, inhale and tense your body. Hold the breath and the tension, and again affirm,

I am created by Divine LightI am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light

Slowly exhale and relax.

Concentrate on the feeling of the Light. Feel the warm glow of Divine Light suffuse your entire body, outside as well as inside.

Acknowledge silently to yourself:

“Every cell of this my physical body is filled with Divine Light;Every level of my consciousness is illumined with Divine Light.

The Divine Light penetrates every single cell of my being,

Every level of consciousness.

I have become a channel of pure Light.

I am One with the Light.”

The Divine Light Invocation is an exercise of will, as well as an act of surrender. Be receptive to the Light, and accept that you are now a channel of Divine Light.

Express your gratitude with deep feeling and having a desire to share this gift with someone whom you wish to help, turn your palms forward.

Continuing to see yourself filling and overflowing with Light, mentally open wide the doors of your spiritual heart centre and let the Light stream forth from your heart centre, forming a clockwise spiral before you which reaches up to rejoin the source of Light above.

Into the spiral of Light, place any projects and concerns that you may have. Envision them as you would like to see them, not as you fear they are. See the Light encircle them, enveloping them completely . . . and see the spiral moving high into the sky, taking the images with them. See them merge into the source of Light and become One with the Light, received by Light.

See someone that you would like to help standing before you – or the image of a woman, a man, and a child you don’t know, representing all those in need of Light at this moment – in the spiral of Light. This can be yourself, if you feel in need of Light. See them healthy, happy, whole, and strong.

See the Light stream forth towards the feet of this person. The Light encircles them and spirals upward in a clockwise direction, enveloping the body completely, and filling them with radiant pure white Light. See them filled with Light, wrapped in Light, receiving everything they need from the Light.

See the spiral moving high up into the sky, taking this image along with it. See this person merge into the source of the Light and become One with the Light, blessed by the Light.

Now relax. Bring your hands together at your heart centre in a gesture of deep gratitude for the gift of the Light, and the ability to share it.

Namaste.

Swami Radha says that “Through constant and sincere practice of the Divine Light Invocation, you can come to a greater understanding of your own Divine nature and realize more fully the reality of the Higher Consciousness with in you.”

Beachfront Yoga in Montezuma: beyond the physical asanas by Lacey B

Where: Ylang Ylang Beachfront Resort 

Who: Teacher: Ximena 

When: daily, 8:30 am –  90 minute restorative flow

March 23, 2014

By Lacey B

It was a mini adventure getting there, but the class was definitely worth it! (I think all adventures feel that way). I  left my hostel and began walking -uphill, and in the wrong direction – for about 10 minutes, away from the beach. (Yes I know, not smart thinking for a class advertised as “beachfront yoga.”)

Once I got to the top of about 3 steep hills and realized this, I turned around and got going in the right direction. I passed through Montezuma, and found myself on a narrow dirt road, toward playa grande, which quickly turned into a path that came out onto the white sandy beach. 

So here I am, standing on the most beautiful beach I’ve seen, and at the same time pretty much running to yoga- again not the most ideal situation. I continue walking along the beach thinking maybe I’d see some yogis in downward dog, but not to my luck. At this point I figured I was lost, late and was ok with spending my morning walking oceanside. 

It was at that moment that I came across the hotel (apparently you can’t drive there and actually have to walk the beach to arrive).  Welcomed by the beautiful gardens, I made my way up to the yoga hall. 

  

The space is on the 2nd floor above the restaurant overlooking the ocean and the beach. It’s all made of wood and decorated in a chakra theme. The open window walls allow you to gaze out beyond the tops of the palm trees as far as the eye can see. 

  

Yes, I wasn’t that late… Thank you Costa Rica time! Pura vida! Ximena, the instructor, greeted me with a warm welcome and began the class with a grounding initial relaxation. 

This is exactly what I needed- it allowed me to slow down, let go of the morning rush and even stop sweating! She focused on deep abdominal breathing, filling the entire body with oxygen and letting go. We inhaled for 4 counts and exhaled for 8. This technique of slowing down the exhale truly calmed the nervous system and mind almost immediately. She invited us to breathe into our entire body and accept it the way it is- perfect. 

With each couple of breaths, we focused on our different bodies, moving from the physical, to mental, emotional and spiritual. For me, it was the perfect start and I knew immediately that I would take more than the physical benefits from the class.

Next, we focussed on some gentle warming exercises to stretch the neck, shoulders, wrists, spine and rib cage. It was ideal for anyone who had been traveling or for those on a relaxing vacation away from their busy lives.  

We continued to warm the body with the practice of some classic sun salutations, always with a focus on the breath- especially the exhale.

She reminded us the benefits of inversions and the calming and restorative power of downward dog.

 

  I loved the slower pace of the flowing sequence which really allowed you to keep focus on breath and to stretch into hips and back, all while strengthening with warriors and plank pose.

  

The next portion included a variety of classical asanas: twists, forward folds, balance poses. Throughout the postures, Ximena had a natural way of sharing yogic teachings about staying present, being still and also on the energy of the chakras. She also played some soft music in the background: a mix between flute and mantras. It was a nice touch, and I was happy it wasn’t overpowering the sound of the majestic waves.

I loved gazing out during tree pose as I saw a giant iguana crawling down a palm tree followed by a group of 6 pelicans flying by over the water. We were even graced by some horseback riders passing by. It all made me smile.

The practice was a graceful balance between ease and effort. As a yoga instructor myself, I really felt inspired by Ximena in the way that she presented the class and made it accessible for all levels. Her sweet and playful energy was also a blessing.

The class ended with a brief meditation where she chanted a beautiful mantra before we reclined back for savasana.

  

I felt so much gratitude (well for -actually finding it and making it to class) for the gift to practice above the beach, looking out to mother ocean. I often like to close my eyes when I practice, but I was feeling guided to gaze softly outward. I learned so much in that 90 minutes while watching the waves with so much awareness. I most vividly remember noticing the yin and yang between graceful rolling waves and the powerful crashing  break. It reminded me that our lives are just that, moments where we are flowing with ease and grace, followed by moments of crashing stress or devastation. What I also understood is that we need to honor our softness just as much as our power- we need both, a blend of the heart chakra with Manipura, our inner fire.

  

We think that we need to take an adventure to paradise, in the middle of no where, on a beach… To experience bliss. Don’t get me wrong I am forever grateful for the class and the opportunity to be a student. However,  I truly know that every moment is filled with beauty, wonderment and stillness, I just need to take the time to pause, recognize and remember.

  

Afterward, you can enjoy the same view down at the restaurant and treat yourself to a delicious shake with superfood spirulina! I indulged inan iced chai tea latte sin azucar.

stay tuned: in the flow at Montezuma Yoga

Caring for the physical body

When you think of the word body, you probably first think of the physical body. And when we talk about taking caring for our body, again, we usually refer the physical body; the bones, muscles and flesh of which we are made.

The physical body is our vessel or temple for this lifetime, and many of use take steps to nourish it. We may do this through regular exercise or by choosing a natural and wholesome diet.

The mind, body, heart and spirit are all connected, so it’s important to approach our health routine in a balanced and holistic way.

When illness arises in the physical body, it is usually a sign of an imbalance in our other 3 bodies. When something shows up in our physical body, we usually take action, ask questions and do something about it, whether that be going to the doctor, or choosing a natural alternative. But how often do we take time to “work out” our other bodies? By creating balance and building a strong foundation in the other 3 bodies, we will naturally feel strong and supported in our physical body.

The other 3 bodies include the mental, emotional and spiritual body.

There is more to us than just our physical body.  If we can learn from it, the physical body is an amazing  teacher and an obvious teaching that nothing is permanent and that everything is ever changing. When the physical body changes (ie: our body size or weight changes, we break a leg, get sick, etc), there is a part of us that doesn’t change, which always remains the same. It is not always easy to recognize this truth, but the more we increase our awareness and strengthen each of our 4 bodies, the more we are able to live our life holistically, with less of a focus on solely the physical body.

When is the last time you did a work out for your emotional, mental or spiritual body?

I have included a few tips below on how to to build or maintain a strong physical body. When it comes to holistic nutrition, our intention is to build a strong foundation in all 4 bodies, with the spiritual body being at the root or core. By acknowledging our spiritual body, we acknowledge and connect with our true essence and all universal energy.

Tips for strengthening the physical body

Follow a wholesome, natural food diet. Choose whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and quality protein. Eat locally and seasonally, get to know who grows your food and ask a lot of questions.

Eat more leafy greens and raw foods, focus on an alkalizing diet.

Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 litres of purified water each day.

Move! Get outdoors! At least once a day, do some sort of movement, whether that be an exercise program, taking a walk or swim, dancing around your house or yoga.

Yoga asanas (poses) specific to strengthening the physical body include Goddess pose, warrior series, core strengtheners like boat and plank, and tree pose.

Boost Energy Naturally…Inside Scoop: notes from my workshop

A holistic approach to boosting energy naturally

 Attitude

Keep a positive attitude and perspective. The mind can only focus on one thought at a time.

Practice affirmations (fake it until you make it!) & Prayer

o I am fully energized and enjoying life

o I feel rested and fully awake

o My body and mind are rejuvenated

o Source, God, Spirit, Mother Earth, etc…. Give me the strength to get through today.

Asana

Savasana (10-20 minutes without moving)

Child’s pose (5 minutes of deep breathing)

Heart openers

Shoulder stand and inversions (headstand, legs up the wall, plough)

o Resets the nervous systems

o Creates a deep sense of relaxation

o One of the most restorative postures

o Calms the mind

o Heart higher than the mind

o Expansive breathing increases lung capacity and opens heart

o Focus on the heart center and feelings of compassion, kindness an unconditional love

o Promotes longevity

o Improves circulation

o Increases blood flow and oxygen to upper extremities

o Stimulates thyroid gland

Pranayama

Deep yogic breathing

o Increases oxygen to the brain which increases energy levels

o Expands lung capacity calms mind; brings focus and clarity

Alternate nostril breathing

o Balances the body and nervous system

o Calms the mind, lowers stress

Get moving! Exercise and expressive movement guided from within

Dance and sing more…be guided from within

Get 30 minutes of exercise each day, mix of cardio and strength training

Exercise outside for fresh air and sunshine vitamin D

Exercise (and dark chocolate!) release endorphins – a feel good mood transmitter

Food

Choose a whole food diet (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nut, seeds, healthy fats, quality protein)

Include more raw food into your diet.

Limit refined sugars, flours, processed foods,
etc

Limit stimulants like coffee and alcohol

Include feel good foods & Stay hydrated

o Drink 2 litres of water per day (1 litre upon rising/ in between meals)

o Increase fluids depending on activity level and climate

o Serotonin (calmness/relaxation) whole grain carbs, kiwis bananas, pineapple

o Dopamine/norepinephrine (energy/alertness): organic meat, wild fish, nuts, eggs, organic dairy

Superfoods, supplements & herbs

Maca

Ginseng

Ashwaganda

Raw cacao

Spirulina, kelp, chlorella, and all types of sea veggies (complete protein!)

Reishi mushrooms and chaga

Rhodiola

Sleep

Rest when you feel tired

Sleep 7-9 hours per night

Create a relaxing bed time routine and keep the lights dim to promote serotonin

Spend the first 30 minutes of your day outside to promote energy

o morning tea on the balcony, meditation, gentle walk, in the garden