Yoga retreat

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

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Bheemashakti Mandala in Prague:

11731777_10207588055678112_3226691048605948825_o49 Day Intensive with Troy 

Join Troy for a 49 day Mandala training of Bheemashakti Yoga in Prague from October 15th to December 2nd. Two 21 day cycles of daily practice, one week of rest between cycles. Message us for details!

 

Individual Retreats upon request

Just email us at info@theomhome.com or complete this form:

Finding abundance in the desert – Shakti Fest 2015

 

Karnamrita Dasi on stage

Karnamrita Dasi on stage

The Joshua Tree Retreat Center was filled with smiling faces who had ventured out to Shakti Fest in the High Desert last weekend to enjoy yoga, kirtan, workshops, healthy foods, and fabulous vendors. Shakti Fest is the springtime version of Bhakti Fest, which will take place in September. In the picture above, one of my favorite Kirtan artists, Karnamrita Dasi is teaching us some beautiful chants. Her magical voice always carries me to a higher realm. Check out her amazing album DASI Prayers by Women. I’m hoping for her new CD to be out, soon.

Shakti 2015 Uta & Sri

Uta with Sridhar Silberfein, Founder and Producer of Bhakti Fest

Here is a shot with the founder and producer of Bhakti Fest and Shakti Fest – Sridhar Silberfein, as we were enjoying the passionate music of a group of talented musicians who had gathered for a spontaneous kirtan. Thank you, Sridhar, for making these events happen! It was through Sridhar’s inspiration that I learned about Ram Dass and his brilliant works on life and spirituality. I will write more about my encounter with Ram Dass and his Guru in another post. Make sure you get a copy of Conversations with Ram Dass: Interviewed by Sridhar Silberfein. His insights into life that are revealed in the book are very inspirational – to say the least.

 

Shakti 2015 Uta & Mark Whitwell

Uta with Mark Whitwell

Mark Whitwell taught a lovely class, reminding us of the basics of any yoga practice – the combination of breath and movement. I highly recommend his book Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection.

You don’t want to miss Bhakti Fest in September – featuring headliners such as Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, DJ Drez, MC Yogi, Karnamrita Dasi and many other great artists. There will be fabulous yoga teachers such as Tim Miller, Shiva Rea and Mark Whitwell. Workshops with Radanath Swami, Krishna Das or Swami Chitananda might blow your mind. If you are traveling from afar, join The OM Home retreat surrounding the festival. Spend some time with Troy and me before and after the festival for yoga and an exploration of spiritual sites in San Diego and Encinitas. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot. For more information click here or email us at info@theomhome.com.

Love, Uta

Yoga Ventures in Kauai 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

Steady Rhythm, Deep Roots

Along the path of yoga there comes a time for many of us when it seems like life’s patterning just doesn’t fit our practice. There are many excuses we can make about why we can’t sit in meditation, why we can’t fit in an hour of asana, how there just isn’t enough time in the day, especially through The Holidays and New Year. With so many distractions happening in daily life and so many desires we wish to fulfill, it is not a surprise that the yoga practice can suffer.

Fortunately, this not a modern dilemma. The ancient sages knew that the Yoga Road was rocky and mapped it out for us. Patanjali’s yoga sutras outlines nine distinct distractions that become obstacles as one journeys further down the path of yoga:

1.30 Nine kinds of distractions come that are obstacles naturally encountered on the path, and are physical illness, tendency of the mind to not work efficiently, doubt or indecision, lack of attention to pursuing the means of samadhi, laziness in mind and body, failure to regulate the desire for worldly objects, incorrect assumptions or thinking, failing to attain stages of the practice, and instability in maintaining a level of practice once attained. (Swami J)
(vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdha-bhumikatva anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayah)”

Fortunately there is a solution that has been prescribed by Patanjali to overcome these obstacles and it, in essence, is quite simple:

1.32 To prevent or deal with these nine obstacles and their four consequences, the recommendation is to make the mind one-pointed, training it how to focus on a single principle or object. (Swami J.)
(tat pratisedha artham eka tattva abhyasah)”

Although the solution to overcoming these obstacles is simple, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. As we know, the mind is quite strong in its resistance to becoming still but the path of yoga is equipped with many tools that enable us to work through this even if just for a few breaths. In fact many spiritual and religious practices work in just this way- japa mala, rosary prayer, sigils, meditation, vision boards, etc- The key to all of this being the repeated attention to a single point. This is perhaps why so many of these traditions have renunciates (monks, nuns, sadhus, and so forth), spiritual aspirants who give up the motions of the mundane world to pursue their spiritual awakening.

So how can I practice this repeated single pointed attention to firmly establish a strong yoga practice as a house holder, someone who is fully immersed in the throes of the modern world? One option is Renunciation in the form of a retreat.

By taking an extended period of time away from home, beyond the scope of daily ritual we have an opportunity to replace our habits and excuses with disciplined practice. Think about it, with 24 hours in a day, away from the distractions of work, home responsibilities, socializing, there turns out to be plenty of time to dedicate to practice. And under the correct guidance, the retreat can be a great opportunity to feel the effects of a rooted yoga practice develop. That doesn’t necessarily mean that by the end of the week we will have developed great universal knowledge. But if for just a moment you feel what it is to step into a rhythm of Sadhana, the roots of sustained practice begin to grow.

Bheemashakti Yoga Kauai 2015 retreat.

Bheemashakti Yoga Kauai 2015 retreat.

At the Bheemashakti Yoga 2015 Kauai Retreat we will take 8 days and 7 nights to focus on twice daily practice as taught by my teacher Jonathan Patriarca. The morning will be marked by one hour of Ashtanga Pranayama and meditation followed by two hours of Dimensional Practice. After a plant based macrobiotic breakfast there will be time for contemplation, relaxation and exploration. The afternoon will begin our second session of Pranayama and Meditation accented by Asana Practice. Another plant based dinner will conclude the activities for the day. This sequence of practice has been designed to prepare the student to develop a deeper understanding of their yoga practice through repetition. As Jonathan would say “you can have an experience,” which he believed to be the strongest form of wisdom.

Through this spring time ritual you can plant seeds of inspired consistency to firmly ground your practice. Develop a deep rooted ceremony for yourself and grow strong in your pursuits of Self discovery.

Check out the details here: www.bheemashakti.org

See you there, Troy

Bhakti Fest 2014

Bhakti Fest 2014 in Joshua Tree, California was another once in a lifetime event. The beautiful high desert hosted yogis and chanting fans for six days and offered non stop workshops, yoga classes, Kirtan on two stages, fantastic vendors and a wholesome vegetarian and vegan food court. The experience can not be expressed in words or with images, I hope you can join us to one of the following festivals and feel it for yourself. We are happy to guide you through the experience. Check our events page for upcoming festivals.

My personal highlights:

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Workshop with renowned Yoga teacher Dharma Mittra

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Ashtanga yoga classes and chanting with my teacher Tim Miller

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Workshop with Krishna Das

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Beautiful scenery

Love, Uta