Meditation

Caribbean Culture and Yoga Retreat: May 20 – 28, 2017

Join us in the beautiful Dominican Republic for a week of yoga and cultural immersion. Start each day with a yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice followed by fun on the beach and exploring the country as a local. Bring your friends or come solo, all ages and experience levels are welcome!

Give yourself the opportunity to create deeper connections with your mind, body and spirit in an open and relaxed environment. Learn simple practices that you can incorporate in your daily routine to live a mindful and purposeful life.

We will stay at Natura Cabana, a beautiful eco-lodge and spa, located directly on the beach and nearby the heart of downtown Cabarete.

This culture and yoga retreat is organized by Uta, a certified yoga instructor with experience in organizing tours in the Dominican Republic. Beyond her love for yoga, Uta’s knowledge of local customs, nuances and logistics will make this experience memorable.

What’s included:

  • 8 night stay at Natura Cabana boutique hotel and spa (breakfast included)
  • Transportation to and from Puerto Plata airport (POP)
  • Transportation to organized activities
  • Daily yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice
  • Excursion to a local plantation (TBD coffee, fruit, cocoa, rum)
  • Local backcountry experience (river swim, escape in nature)
  • Salsa dance happy hour
  • 3 Dinners: welcome dinner, dinner at a local restaurant, goodbye dinner

Additional activities: Cabarete and Sosua offer various activities which you can engage in during the day: surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, zip-lining in a monkey jungle, jumping off hidden waterfalls, diving in underwater caves, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding

Tentative weekly schedule:

Saturday, May 20 Sunday, May 21 Monday, May 22 Tuesday, May 23 Wednesday, May 24 Thursday, May 25 Friday, May 26 Saturday, May 27 Sunday, May 28
Morning Arrive Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice  Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice
Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
Day Beach day Cabarete Beach Day Sosua Plantation visit Local backcountry experience  

 

Depart

Evening Light Yoga and Meditaion Welcome dinner Dinner at local restaurant Salsa dance lesson Goodbye dinner

 Retreat Investment*: Single Double
Sign up by Jan 31 $ 1979 $ 1599
Sign up by Feb 28 $ 2059 $ 1649
Sign up by March 31 $ 2129 $ 1799

*VAT not included. All other goods and services such as airfare, airport/visa fees, additional activities and spa services, bar drinks, food/drinks/incidental, travel insurance and gratuities will be charged separately.

Interested in sharing accommodations but don’t have a roommate yet? You can sign up for a double and we will make every effort to help find you a roommate of your gender. If a roommate cannot be found by the final payment date, the single occupancy rate will apply.

Space is limited, sign up today! 50% down payment due upon registration, final payment by March 31, 2017.

Questions? Contact Uta at utaopitz@hotmail.com

Advertisements

Wednesday Night Meditation supports Childrens Home in Nepal

On Wednesday nights, The OM Home has been hosting a meditation, when travel schedules permit. It’s always free of charge for anyone to come and sit with us. Whoever feels inspired is encouraged to donate a few dollars. Over the last few sits we have been collecting donations for a Children’s home in Nepal. Our friend Yvonne visited the this home during her last visit to Nepal. Here is some information from their website about their cause:

Spark Children Home, established in the year 2008 has been running with the number of 13 children. Majority of the children are victims during civil war and the remaining are the children left by family due to limited household income. These children range from 5-16 years old. These children started living in Spark Children Home when they were around 5-11 years old. They were originally brought up by a person from village. The person was not able to take care of these kids. Hirakaji Maharjan, living in Lalitpur, Nepal took care of these Children by providing home and basic needs. However, in the long term he was financially unable to obtain such relief. Soon, a Nepali non-profit organization was founded and officially recognized the project as a children’s home by the government. Hence, the “Spark Children Home” was born. All children are in school and the oldest are in vocational orientation.

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 1.36.50 PM

The OM Home just donated $50 to the home. Join us on Wednesday nights at The OM Home to sit, to practice calming our minds and to do some good for people who are less fortunate than us. Our next donation will support refugees in Germany.

Thank you! Uta & Troy

Road Block (Part 1)

March 27, 2015

As I write this I am sitting at the JFK airport working on hour 36 of trying to catch a standby flight to Europe. The first few hours were smooth, but as time passes the difficulty of sitting and waiting grows. In situations like this the images and ideas of who am I and how I react to situations is challenged. Severely.

For someone who maintains a rigorous daily yoga practice and teaches several groups of students a week this should be easy, right? So much of what I teach my students and learn from my own practice is to cultivate a quiet gentleness in tight situations- “Don’t take it too seriously. It will pass in 5 breaths (300-100 in the Bheemashakti world).” So why is it so difficult to practice this when I’m away from the studio, sitting in a crowded airport?

The truth is that yoga is tough. Forget about binding Marichyasana D. What about keeping cool when all you want is to cash in a friend’s airline benefit and squeeze on an already crowded flight to meet up with your soul mate so you celebrate your 30th birthday in your favorite country (to date), but every single flight is oversold? How many breaths have passed in this last 36 hours? Guaranteed, some of them are going to be shallow, laborious, or even missing. And when my default reaction to life is to run away for a few hours and wiggle my way through some asana, there seems nowhere to run when I’m on the road. Sure I could roll out my mat and take a few Surya Namaskara, but I have a feeling that this isn’t the solution. Especially when I face a 7 hour flight packed in a tight middle row.

When I told Uta I was popping a Xanax yesterday she said, “what about some pranayama and meditation?” Ah yes, of course! But did it happen? No. I tried. Not that hard. But I could barely hear over all of the noisy, chattering thoughts in my head. At this point my adrenals are taxed from the rise and fall of anticipation every time the gate agents are ready to clear standby passengers.

Well last night I made it to New York from San Diego. I believe I am halfway to Germany. In lieu of fighting to wiggle on a flight to London and purchasing a $300 ticket to Frankfurt I decided to spend the night in a cheap New York city hotel and try again today. I certainly felt defeated at first but after some sleep and a nice day in the city I feel quite hopeful. In the time it took me to be beaten down by this whole experience and realize I AM NOT IN CONTROL, I have taken to reading “Loving Ganesh” (how I came across it is another story). In this text about all things related to the full figured elephant deity I felt it was time to abandon my own desires and put it all in His hands.

You see Ganesh resides in the Muladhara (root) chakra, home of all basic wants and desires. As I have learned from many yogic texts, podcasts, lectures, and my time at Vipassana, if we live in our desires, following the ebb and flow of craving and aversion we are taking a surefire route to suffering. After hour 18, suffering seems like a nice word. But is that where I am? Not being able to accept and sit in peace where I am at this very moment? So hey if there’s nothing else I can do but sit and wait, at least I can try to give Ganesh a call and see if He can pull any strings on my behalf.

As the remover of obstacles, Ganesh can also create obstacles to steer a devotee on the right path. So if jumping into a pool of sharks is what you want, Ganesh may crush your dreams and steer you toward a much safer option. And because we do not always understand the looming danger or karmic stirring on the other side of our desires, we can feel absolutely crushed when we are denied or restricted. I’m tired of feeling crushed and beaten. I just want to enjoy this trip so I’m leaving it up Him.

A benefit of spending the night in New York was that I was able to take a field trip to the Jivamukti Yoga School. I decided to take class, have some delicious food and wait until the next flight. After I paid and made may way into the classroom, behold!

Ganesh Ganesh

This could be coincidence but with all the contact I’ve tried to make with my new friend, I feel like I’ve been heard- loud and clear. More interesting was that the class itself was small- 3 students including myself. At first I thought, “wow this teacher must be new or not very good” but as the practice kicked in I realized this is exactly what I needed after being surrounded by cranky irritable people like myself- a refuge and a sanctuary away from all the craziness. And sequence of asana was exactly what I needed to decompress my spine, soften the shoulders and remember how to breathe.

At this point I still don’t know if I will make it onto this flight, but I’ve given Ganesh the keys and asked him to drive. Whatever happens I know that at least I am safe, have access to food, water, and a bathroom. And with a little faith and determination I look to the One-Tusked Wonder to pave a golden path to wherever it is that I am headed.

Yoga Ventures in Kauai 

IMG_5109

Uta & Troy with Taro Fields

Who wouldn’t want to spend a week in Hawaii? Not only did we visit one of the most beautiful islands of this world, we got to share the experience with a lovely group of people who came together for a week of yoga practice twice daily. Our friend Nicole spoiled us with her excellent vegan and vegetarian cooking skills. Check out her website Blissfully Conscious if you are looking for delicious vegan catering.

 

IMG_4070

Afternoon yoga practice with Angela

In his post Steady Rhythm, Deep Roots, Troy gave some insights into the routine of the retreat. Mornings and afternoons were filled with bheemashakti yoga and practice and meditation. During the days we had some time to explore the island. Kauai’s nature is breathtaking. Frequent rainfalls create a lush vegetation – and magical rainbows…

Since Hawaii is Troy’s birthplace, it was extra special to explore the island with him. He introduced me to delicious local foods and a visit to the Kauai Museum revealed some fascinating stories of Hawaiian history and culture.

 

IMG_5110

Uta, Ganesha & Troy in the Rudraksha Forest

The highlight of our excursions was a trip to the local Hindu monastery. We attended their Shiva Puja on the full moon. As Troy and I were sitting in meditation after the ceremony, the temple priest walked up to us and engaged us in an inspiring and insightful conversation about yoga and spirituality. We left with our hearts open and our eyes sparkling. On our way back to the retreat site, we paid a visit to the Rudraksha Forest. The seeds of these trees are auspicious in Hindu tradition. It is said the Rudraksha tree grew from a tear of Lord Shiva, and the beads are now used in malas (108 beads) for japa meditation (recitation of mantra or names of deities).

It was obvious – this won’t be our last visit to the islands. Message us, if you want to join one of our upcoming retreats to Hawaii!

Mahalo, Uta & Troy

Uta 5.0 released

 

photo

California Vipassana Center North Fork

Some bugs are fixed, processor upgraded, memory improved. I have just come out with an upgrade. Over the last ten days I spent most of my waking hours in a dark cell just about the size of a yoga mat, practicing meditation. Some of my friends call me crazy and wonder why I do it. This was my fifth course over the last two years and I have observed a big change in my life since I started practicing Vipassana. Although I have always been of a calm nature, I feel even calmer, less reactive, more at peace. Every day. After each course, I feel like I have shed tons of baggage that I didn’t even know I was carrying. Everything becomes clearer. The mind is more focused and works at 200 percent.

The fact that there is no communication with anyone, no contact to the outside world, no reading, no phones, meditation from 4:30 am to 9 pm and no meals after noon make most people believe, they could not do it. But these rules are set up to aid the concentration and are actually easy to follow, compared to the internal work one does. Our mind is a beast and it takes tremendous effort to tame it. In a way, the courses are like bootcamp for the mind. An effort, to tame the beast. Want to know more, where to do it, how to prepare? Send me an email to info@theomhome.com or comment below.

North Fork Pagoda

Pagoda with meditation cells

Love, Uta