Archive for Spiritual Yoga

Australian Tour Company: Journeys of the Spirit

Here’s another spiritual tour company that is worth checking out. With the internet so easy to access these days and the use in international calling using plans such as Skype, there should be no problem making reservations from North America. Julie Barker is at the center of this company who says, “Her personal interests have always included a commitment to health and wellbeing of mind, body and spirit..”  The trips include some of the usual places such as Bali, Thailand and Machu Picchu. However, there are some other alternatives that look intriguing – Kerala Ayurvedic retreat including an audience with the Dalai Lama, Byron Bay Yoga, Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos), and Bhutan (going on right now). There are also “tailor made journeys” available that let you and a small group of friends set up a private journey.  Here are some more details about a trip that is soon to happen to Peru and Chile (9/13 – 10/14). The website state there are only 4 places left.

a621f7ac5209f041570e0fdf83ebd20aWalking in the footsteps of the ancient Incas, we explore the many breathtaking natural wonders of this very sacred land. A soul nourishing and uplifting experience!

Perhaps we will be blessed with the sighting of the rare pink dolphins in the Peruvian Amazon, enjoy a hike to the Chacan Rainbow Temple in Cusco and explore the magical realm of the Andean spirituality. Magnificent, extraordinary, breathtaking – words cannot fully describe what you will receive from our experience at Machu Picchu.

It seems that these trips are very popular. For example, their Kerala Ayurvedic retreat sells out a year ahead of time. The tour guides that Julie hires seem experts in their own fields and worth accompanying just to get to know them.  Here are two examples – Peter Bliss and Cathy Brown. However, these are only two of several more very knowledgeable and colorful guides.

e4342f139049f47fe0c0dd2816c008a3Peter ~ is a dynamic business educator who has a very practical yet holistic approach to business and lifestyle. He has studied, coached and presented through keynotes and seminars throughout the corporate world both in Australia and overseas and combines simple western business intelligence with traditional eastern wisdom. He has experienced and is very aware that stress affects us all in different ways. If unaddressed it can be detrimental to all aspects of our lives and halt our full potential. Peter is passionate about mental wellbeing and has a unique ability to impart techniques with humor and practicality, bringing awareness to support you in creating a more balanced and fulfilled life. He has changed his own life through practicing what he teaches. We are delighted Peter will be guiding our Bhutan journeys 24th October to 6th November, 2014.

581f77ca1e1253171a8323e655fded1dCathy started her healing journey 24 years ago when she was diagnosed with secondary melanoma and was told she had only a couple of months to a couple of years to live and that chemotherapy and radiotherapy wouldn’t work. Her children were only six and eight and she knew she had to find ‘another way’ to heal.

After visiting 3 other doctors and told the same story, Cathy joined Cancer Support WA, which was the first place to give her hope and support. Over the years she has facilitated and instigated Wellness Programs, Support Groups, Women’s Healing Circles, the Gawler Foundation Healing and Wellbeing Program and many other groups. She has also been teaching Reiki for 20 years which has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of the spiritual aspect of life. We are delighted to have CSA Wellness Facilitator, Cathy Brown guide our mid- September’s upcoming Kerala journey.

There are also trips to spiritual places right in Australia such as this trip proposed for 2015 to Karijini, Australia to learn from the Aboriginal elders.

8926352872efd8504f9716d69e842fdeThe magic of the Pilbara is a world in which land, people and culture are intimately linked. One of the last frontiers covering 500,000km, the Pilbara is home to some of the most striking landscapes in Australia ~ ancient rock art, spectacular waterfalls, pristine rock pools and magnificent gorges. Blessed with spectacular red beauty, we will explore the spiritual heart of the Pilbara in Karijini National Park, offering you a truly unique outback experience that you will never forget. We share this mystical area of the world with Aboriginal elders, immersing ourselves within the wisdoms of this sacred land & observing through the focused lens the many landscapes surrounding you. Our breathtaking walks will have you discover the hidden gems of this extraordinary natural wonder.

Have I got you interested? Best to visit their website: http://www.journeysofthespirit.com.au/ and find out for yourself what they have to offer. I found the website to be a refreshing change from North American companies with the Ausie bent on the spiritual world. Julie herself has an interesting story of working in some high profile companies and then returning to Australia to set up her own company. As usual, if you go on one of these trips please send a comment so other readers can benefit from your experience.

Retreats Online: Directory for Spiritual Journeys

With summer coming on in the Northern Hemisphere many of us are thinking ahead to a vacation time and wanting to find a special place. Here is a great site that might help you find just the place you would love for relaxation, inner guidance, to learn new skills or just to enjoy a part of the world off the tourist trails. The site is Retreats Online and they have organized retreats by location, date or subject. There is everything from a yoga retreat in Croatia to a desert magic retreat in Namibia. Probably the problem you will have is that there are too many enticing choices. Here is one of the descriptions of a weight loss retreat in Cost Rica. birchcreekcr1a

Blended into a landscape of scenic mountains, palm trees and ocean – Birchcreek Costa Rica is located in the scenic seaside town of Playa Carrillo on the Pacific coast. Experience jungle, ocean, adventure tours, healthy eating, juice fasting and fat burning fitness with a structured, results oriented and highly recommended weight loss and wellness program. Your accommodations include your private room with private bath, bath amenities, pool towels, complimentary wifi.. Step outside to stunning views of mountain and beach scenery. Walk 10 minutes to the beach or chill on the pool sundeck and experience the unsurpassed Costa Rica sunset. Pura vida! To read more about this website click here.

How about a summer sanctuary on SaltSpring Island in British Columbia? July 10 – 14 of this year. It promises to have a good balance of Yoga and exploring this very active and interesting island. Here are some details of Paradise Found.

paradise1.jpg-dockEnjoy our lake front slice o’heaven at our most relaxing-vibed retreat. Featuring yoga, aqua-size, chi gong, art play, amazing vegetarian meals and island excursions. You’ll have an opportunity to visit Ganges, listen (and maybe even dance) to live music, kayak*, ride horses*, beach-comb, enjoy a massage*, or just laze in the hammock. This is your opportunity to co-create your Mid-Summer fun. We base our plans and schedule on your requests and suggestions. Because we are a small group, it is relatively easy to give everybody a chance to do something special that they want. So what do you want to do?

This website is a great one to bookmark and explore when you have time or want to go some place new. You can also advertise with Retreats Online with very affordable rates. Like most directories the staff asks for details and testimonials before any listing is approved. The site is very easy to navigate. Contact links abound. I was a bit surprised not to see more social networking, but perhaps I just missed it. Check it out for yourself.

Spiritual Gangster is not an Oxymoron

In my surfing the web for interesting information I couldn’t resist clicking on the heading, “spiritual gangster”. Is there such a creature? Yes, the company touts the philosophy that some people want a “balance between the ancient practice of yoga and our modern world”.  The store are quite numerous not just in the US and Canada but internationally. If I have counted correctly the website lists 255 stores carrying the Spiritual Gangster products. I see some fun sales methods too – like the pop-up window that announces, “We’re connected now. Please log in to receive great discounts” or the 10% discount on the first order for joining the mailing list.

But what products are so popular to be sold everywhere? You can search by category, Women’s Men’s,  Accessories or Sales items. Most of the items have “spiritual gangster”  or “warrior” on them, such as tees, shirts and hats. You can shop by size, style, color or item name. What is significantly absent is sales of yoga mats and all the paraphernalia used with yoga. The models are beautiful but do they practice yoga?

Well. I wish them well. I’m not sure what the attraction is. Maybe it’s something for the younger generation.  My computer suggests some “related searches” for spiritual practice, meditation retreat, yoga training and yoga classes. I think I’ll go there next.

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Spiritual Retreats for All Reasons

We must be getting increasingly stressed out as a species judging by the number and popularity of retreat locations and venues for them. Here is a website, http://spiritualretreats.com that is actually an association of spiritual retreats and has divided them up into categories – 26 categories actually under the 3 main headings of spiritual holidays, spiritual retreats and wellness. Some of the categories look so inviting that I just couldn’t help but click on them to see what they were about. For example, here’s one for recovery retreats held in Panama.

Many people learn and practice daily life skills as children, getting better as they continue in their adult life. They mature by using their judgment, learning from mistakes, gaining patience, and using time management. For someone people with addiction, these skills are somewhat lost or never learned well from the start. People with addictions are often impulsive, especially when under the influence of a chemical. This becomes the established habit, making it difficult to learn self control. ….You will not “fall through the cracks” here! You will enjoy an intimate resort setting: a maximum of 8 guests at a time. This means we will get to know you as an individual, intimately, and will work hard with you to help you achieve your goals. You will have the very best, comprehensive retreat that works and delivers results!

Read the original here.

Next I looked at the organic retreats held in West Waterford, Ireland, Portugal and Kandy, Sri Lanka. All are small retreats with personal care, small, little-known places in local communities and just the type of places that would be restful and relaxing. Here is some information about the one in Kandy.

Ayurvedha treatments our doctor will consult and recommend personal tailor made therapy course. Eco friendly nature resort.Yoga and Ayurvedha retreat.

Perhaps you would rather seek out a luxury retreat in Blairsville, Florida or Kapaa, Hawaii.

Quantum Hawaiian Retreats on the beautiful garden island of Kauai blends ancient wisdom, quantum physics, meditations, NLP and universal laws to create a life changing retreat experience. Recently featured by USA TODAY as one of the top 10 spiritual retreats in North America.

I wonder if there is any standards for each listing by the staff of Spiritual Retreats? Turning to the “contact” section I see that it is the Association of Spiritual Retreats based in London, and that to have a listing would cost at least $250 per year. Still no word as to the criteria used to accept or reject various retreats. I’m going to write to them and I’ll let you know when I hear back. In the meantime, check out this amazing very international website.   http://www.spiritualretreats.com/

Here’s the reply from this organization RE the registration standards.

Thank you for your kind comments on the association. In answer to your question regarding joining the association the membership process is as follows:
  • Retreat Centre submits listing and pays membership fee
  • The membership the retreat centre will not go live until our research team carry out some basic checks via the internet and phone.
  • Once the retreat has been accepted the listing goes live on the site
  • Featured members normally have editorial in our quarterly magazine attached
  • The retreats then get marketed through the regualr channels which has so far proved to be very successful.
  • Customers are asked to post reviews of their experiences at the retreat centre.
The basic principal of the site is to raise awareness of the tremendous healing that can be found at a retreat centre. You may notice that we do not allow large chains of retreats to join the association as our ethos is to help small individual private retreat holders spread their message and showcase what they have to offer at a small cost.
Shortly we will be launching a learning platform where members can upload and retail courses, podcasts, and products.
I hope this helps.
Kindest Regards,
Caroline

 

 

Journeys of the Spirit Revisited

For those of you familiar with this website you might know that one of the regular listings under the heading, “Mystical/Spiritual Tours and Retreats” is Journeys of the Spirit. Sheri Rosenthal, a former doctor who was wealthy but not happy, found her focus in life through a spiritual direction and through journeys to sacred sites. She continues to create with her talented staff the journeys she herself calls, “transformational, soul-stirring and awe-inspiring”.

Upcoming journeys:

Heart Wisdom of Whales and Wild Dolphins, Panama, 9/15 – 10/11/13

Highlands and Mystical Islands: Sacred Scotland, 9/15 – 9/24/13

Reconnecting to Truth through Horse Wisdom, Tucson, Arizona, 9/18 – 9/22/13

Journey to Machu Picchu – Authentic Spiritual and Cultural Wonders, Peru, 9/26 – 10/ 5/13

Access your Dreams Retreat, Assisi, Italy, 10/12 – 10/18/13

Kindfulness – a Healing Retreat in the Himalayas, Nepal. 10/16 – 10/25/13

I like how this website is organized into categories such as By Region, By Trip Type, By Month and By Price. The home page features a map of an imaginary island with the types of trips such as Women’s Retreats, Mind-Body-Spirit, Spirituality in Business, Power Journeys, Volunteer Travel and Yoga Retreats. The option to plan your own retreat is also possible. Sherri has a recorded message for you which you can experience on this home page if you have Flash on your computer. Here a sample of what these trips are about.

Ready to move deeply inside yourself using ancient and indigenous spiritual traditions and ceremonies, meet local shamans, connect with other realms, trance dance or participate in a sacred plant ceremony? A Shamanic Journey is the perfect experience for you!

Is your business at a standstill, mental barriers and limiting thoughts blocking your abundance? You need a Spiritual Business Retreat to put you on the road to success!

Do you wake up wondering whose life you’re living? Feel like you’re lacking clarity? Find yourself short-tempered, frustrated or unhappy? Wish your relationships were more supportive and loving? Want to forgive and move on, but can’t?
If you crave freedom from your own life and mind you would definitely benefit from a Personal Intensive!

To read the original click here.

I understand from people who have gone on the Journeys of the Spirit tours that the service also includes travel and meals. Check out one of these great tours and let me know how it was. To contact them go to: http://www.journeysofthespirit.com or call 866-866-5566. If you mention MysticFare you will receive a discount on your trip.

Spiritual Journeys with Spiritual Quest Journeys

I have featured other travel sites in past months that feature places to go off the usual tourist destinations. Here is another group that offers some trips to unusual places as well as some to more common locations. For example, Spiritual Quest Journeys presently has trips scheduled to Namibia (Desert Sands and Crystal Journey), Zambia (Walk on the Wild Side) and South Africa (Miracles, Magic and Manifestation). Then there are trips to Ireland (Land of Leprechauns and Celtic Magic) and Malta (Journey to the Goddess), more usual places but with a definite spiritual twist. I must say they have a good text writer as even the headlines make you want to read more. Here are a few of the descriptions.

 

Mythical Scotland, Mystical Journey

Join Spiritual Quest Journeys on a mystical journey of the magical western Isles of Scotland – The Hebrides and fascinating Edinburgh.

10 days | £ 1 995 | 15 – 24 Sept 2013

Experience the land of myths and legends, unexplained mysteries, stone circles, highlands and islands steeped in history and imbued with ancient wisdom and magic. Step through the mists of time and experience deep transformation. Explore Sacred sites and holy places. Immerse yourself in ancient Celtic, Hebridean and Druidic heritage. Attune to the powerful Ley line energies. Travel by coach and ferry to the Celtic Isles of Lewis and Harris, natural paradise Isles of North and South Uist and Benbecula, Oban, Mull and the sacred Isle of Iona.

Highlights include:

Stories and legends of this magical land  ~ Connecting with Gaia and Ley line energy ~ Learning how to sense angelic, dragon and elemental energies ~ Meditation space – both guided and personal ~ Drumming, chanting and release ceremonies ~ full day on Iona ~ Autumn Equinox celebration at Lochbuie Stone Circle ~ Sites made famous by The DaVinci Code ~ Edinburgh.

 

Peru – Expansion of the Heart

Munay-Ki initiations and the sacred teachings of the Andean Way through Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley

The energy of this beautiful and sacred land possesses a powerful healing effect that touches all those who visit her in a profound and life changing way. For those drawn to an inner nurturing journey against the backdrop of the outer journey through Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco and other Peruvian highlights, we invite you to join us on an authentic spiritual journey in the footsteps of Peru’s ancient civilizations & traditions.

To read the original source, click here.

The twelve tour leaders listed are a eclectic group seemingly very competent judging by the 25 years this company has been operating and from the testimonials. Certainly I would love to join the group presently in England at the site of the crop circles in Wiltshire, England or try a yoga, walking and meditation safari  in Zambia. I like the addition of the tailor made tours and the retreats and spas. It seems they have something for everyone who wishes to explore alternative spirituality. Not sure the Christians or Muslims would benefit from these tours.

The website is very well organized and easy to navigate:  http://www.spiritualquestjourneys.com   The trips are reasonably priced in both Euros and US dollars but of course does not include air fare. Check it out and let me know if you choose one of these trips. Leave a comment below or send an e-mail message to: contact@mysticfare.com.

 

Peaceful Retreat in Middle America

Some of my readers will know that I like to feature retreats that are off the tourist trail in remote or less-frequented places. However, you don’t have to go half-way around the world to find such places. Here is a retreat center near Loveland, Ohio about 20 miles away from Cincinnati called Grailville. It advertises, “A place of tranquility, spirituality, transformation and respect for the natural world since 1944.” The scheduled retreats are quite eclectic – everything from aroma yoga to writing as healing to meditation, all scheduled in April. They also invite you to plan your own retreat, either alone or with as large a group as the facilities will handle in their guest cabins.

Now, more than ever, the world needs haven like Grailville, a sacred place to experience the beauty of the natural world. A few hours or days at Grailville can restore and rejuvenate you. We host retreats, programs, meetings and events. Come with your group or individually to nurture body, mind and spirit.

Our guests, often spiritual, education, healing and arts organizations, are accommodated in our five guesthouses which can host up to 75 overnight. Space for day meetings, workshops, and special events (such as weddings or reunions) is available for up to 200 people.

We offer programs affirming our authentic selves, creating space for the sacred, transforming our lives and addressing the needs of the world. Join us for spiritual retreats and celebrations, arts workshops, retreats and performances, women-only retreats that inspire and inform, and hands-on skill building workshops.
To read the original click here.

The website description goes on to describe the name, Grailville.

We are a center of the Grail in the United States and further the Grail’s vision of a world of peace, justice and renewal of the earth, brought about by women working together as catalysts for change.Grail members are connected by their spirituality. An ecumenical community of women, the Grail supports and celebrates each other’s spiritual paths. The Grail is committed to a shared vision of peace in a global community.

To contact this retreat center, go to the website, https://www.grailville.org and explore what is available. It says something that they have been in existence since 1944, probably longer than many of their members’ ages.

Spiritual Trip of the Week: Bali with Guides

The Spirit Quest Tours staff have done it again and now they are taking a group to Bali June 22-28, 2013. The trip is called Eat, Pray, Love Bali after the book and movie by the same name. The itinerary sounds heavenly – massages, great restaurants, well here it is:

•Visit with Ketut Liyer, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Balian and teacher

•Enjoy a vitamin lunch at Wayan’s tiny restaurant – you can also book a body reading and healing

•Stay in an incredible hotel in the heart of Ubud, right down the street from where Liz stayed (but nicer)

•Enjoy Balinese Hindu temples as the Balinese do – learn how the locals pray

Meditate or practice yoga each morning, or sleep in!

•Meet Yude Andiko, the musician Liz toured Bali with, and listen to him play his own “Yudele”

•Delight in dinner in “Italy”

•Shop for Balinese batik, wood carvings, art, and silver jewelry – all made by local artisans

•Relax with a Balinese massage

•Many meals and all activities are included

Price includes accommodations, most meals, meditations, and all specified itinerary activities (see itinerary).

* DISCLAIMER

This tour is not affiliated with or endorsed by Penguin Books or Sony Pictures.  Elizabeth Gilbert will not be leading this trip.  Julia Roberts has probably never even heard of Spirit Quest Tours. Javier Bardem will not marry you. Richard from Texas (RIP) will not give you advice.  James Franco will definitely not make out with you.  Still, you should come on this trip.

To read the original of this quote, click here.

The number to call in case you are interested is 877-406-5206. Many of the meals and accommodations are included in the total price of $3995 for the Pool Villa or $2995 for the Delux trip. Deposit is $300. Air fare is not included. I liked reading some of the testimonials such as the one: “I have been forever changed by Bali. — Kiya, San Francisco”. Bali is a special place in this world, amazingly small but just amazing. Why don’t you find out for yourself?

 

Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas

Last month I promised to post more retreats in warm weather locales. Here’s a marvelous one with yoga, kirtans (chanting) and the blissful beaches of the Bahamas. Shivananda Ashram has ongoing programs and also “vacation packages” to fit your schedule. Some of the upcoming courses include: advaced asana course, yoga for mood management, cardiac yoga teacher training, advanced hatha yoga retreat and introduction to teaching yoga to children. The ashram is based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda. one of the greatest yoga teachers whose methods were brought to the west in 1957 under the organization of International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. Swami Sivananda wrote over 200 books and was influential in training countless students before his death in 1963. Here is more about this ashram from their website.

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat is located across the bay from Nassau, Bahamas, on one of the finest beaches in the world. It is truly an island paradise and a sanctuary of peace and natural beauty. With its pristine white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and five and a half acres of lush tropical gardens, the Yoga Retreat provides the ideal environment for practice, rest and rejuvenation. With its celebrated lineage of Yogic Masters, the Yoga Retreat offers a rare combination of a traditional ashram with the feel of a Caribbean resort.

During your stay at the Retreat, discover how the powerful tools of Yoga can aid in your personal evolution, helping you to live in constant peace with yourself, humanity, nature and God.

Come by yourself, bring a friend or bring your whole family. Our staff is always happy to welcome and accompany you as you settle into your stay with us.

To read more click on this link.

It’s easy to reach this ashram on a flight to Nassua International Airport. Please check to see if you require a visa to enter the Bahamas. Then take a taxi to the ashram dock where you will be met by the water taxi for a 10 minute ride. There is a schedule for this taxi which is posted on the website. The meals are buffet style and vegetarian. Please enjoy this amazing retreat and let me know about it!

 

Retreat of the Week: Wilbur Hot Springs

Here’s a gem of a destination location in Northern California near Clear Lake and about 1.5 hours north of San Francisco. It’s touted to be “the closest thing we have to a Japanese onsen” with its hot springs and charming turn of the century décor. Here is part of the description of the services offered.

Retreat of the Week: Wilbur Hot Springs

* Lodging & Accommodations – Reflecting its turn-of-the-century origins, the hotel
offers 20 private guest rooms, a spacious suite with private bath & kitchen, a
comfortable 11-bed bunkhouse and 4 campsites. European-style toilets are
conveniently located throughout the hotel.

* Mineral Hot Springs Resort – Sheltered by a Japanese-style “Fluminarium”, the
water at Wilbur is channeled into three long covered “flumes” and an outdoor flume.
Of all Northern California hot spring spas, Wilbur is renowned for its natural healing
properties. Open day and night to registered guests, the area is private and clothing
is optional in the flumes, sauna and deck areas.

* Massage – Massage treatments are offered year-round, performed by professional
therapists. Chiropractic treatments are also available.

* Dining – With the exception of Guest Chef Weekends, guests at Wilbur bring their own
groceries and prepare their meals in the fully-equipped professional kitchen. Dine in
either of the two beautiful dining rooms, the Great Room — or outdoors on the veranda.

* Activities – Outdoor activities include hiking, biking with complimentary bikes,
bird-watching, and river rafting at nearby Cache Creek Canyon.

To see more click here.

This facility has been used for over 100 years by Caucasians and much longer by “ Patwin, Pomo, Wintun and Colusi – Native American inhabitants of Northern California’s Coast Range mountains”. In the early 1970’s Dr. Richard Miller bought and renovated the aging lodge and outbuildings. He also bought the adjacent land making it a nature preserve for perpetuity.   By the way, the resort is presently closed till August 24th for renovation and cleanup. However, the staff will gladly take your reservations and answer any questions you might have. The place is both a step back in time and a glimpse of the future of treatment for mind, body and spirit. If you ever go there, please let me know how you liked the Wilbur Hot Springs.