Tag: Yoga

The Divine Love of India – Interview with Michele Labelle

I recently had the pleasure of sitting with Michele Labelle, my dear friend and yoga retreat leader, to discuss one of her favourite subjects – India! Over chai, we explored the topics of spirituality, healing, love, yoga, and Michele’s upcoming Sacred South India Yoga Adventure with Sacred Earth Journeys. Here’s just a fragment of our conversation, which fittingly took place on Valentine’s Day.

Michele doing cobra...with a cobra!
Michele doing cobra…with a cobra!

AA: What does India represent to you?  

ML: India is like a melting pot. Of course there is the spiritual aspect; that’s what has always attracted me. When I think of India, I think of the colours, I think of the people…and the children’s smiles. When the kids come up to you, you see their soul through their eyes. There’s a rawness there that wakes something up deep, deep inside of me.

And then you have the dichotomy of modernization. The young women in their jeans, the older women in their full traditional dress. And being able to still walk on dirt roads, with the cows and tuk-tuks everywhere. It’s starting to blend the modern with the old.
India can be a shock to the system for the first-time traveller. What words of wisdom would you give? 

Coming on this journey with us, there is the opportunity to feel safe, to be in a group setting. You sleep in a comfortable bed, and you are fed well. And you know, South Indian food, with all the different coconut curries — every single bite is so delicious! So that security, and having a tour guide who speaks the language, makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

Every single person has their own experience. So wherever you are in life, whatever meditation practices you have or not, whether you have your own spiritual guru or not…India wakes something up in every person I’ve ever met who has a calling to go.

And because I love India so much, I just want to share that love. It’s an invitation, like coming to a movie. It’s a whole different movie than you’ve ever seen in your life. And you’re a player in that movie.

Continue reading

India: Embracing my Discomfort Zone

For most of my life, the idea of travelling to India scared me. Though I am of Indian ancestry, I was born in Canada and had little desire to visit my mother country. India felt too uncomfortable and strange, and many questions plagued me: What if I got sick? What would the bathroom situation be like? What if the crowds and poverty were too confronting?

But a few years ago, something shifted. I began to practice Yoga and learn more about the Vedas, the spiritual texts of India. I started to appreciate aspects of my culture that I long took for granted and, for the first time, felt the inclination to just go.

India_sunrise-2Byoga
Practicing yoga on the beach at sunrise…ahhh

I believe that when one desires to visit India, there is an irresistible, magnetic pull to the country. Previous doubts and fears lose their grip, and circumstances seem to line up to make the journey happen. It’s as if Mother India knows we are coming!

Continue reading

Want to Extend that Summer Feeling? Book Yourself a Tropical Fall Yoga Retreat!

It’s nearing the end of summer. The days are getting shorter and there’s a crispness to the early mornings that reminds us Fall is just around the corner. As much as I love autumn with its intense colours and opportunities for peaceful walks in the ever-changing forest, I know that by November I’m yearning for the warm sun again.

November is the perfect month for a yoga getaway, and even better if it’s a retreat where the sun’s rays will re-energize your soul, and the beauty of the natural surroundings will help you ease into a week of calm, focused, fun practice.

We are very excited this year to be offering bookings for 2 yoga retreats in November: “Bali Bliss Retreat with Michele Labelle” is a Transformational Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Magical Bali on November 9 – 18, 2014, and “Practice, Breathe and Surf CostaRica with Chris Duggan & Natalie Rousseau” is a seven-day adventure and yoga retreat in idyllic Mal Pais, Costa Rica, taking place November 22 – 29, 2014.

What will these Fall retreats offer you?

Continue reading

De-stress & Find Adventure on a Yoga Retreat to Costa Rica

Interview with Chris Duggan & Natalie Rousseau
 
Do you dream of practicing yoga on a covered deck with nothing but the sounds of the birds and ocean waves to accompany your own pure breath? Do you see yourself immersed in fun activities with new-found friends as you explore surfing, horse back riding, hiking or just strolling along miles of sandy beach? Do you crave a week of delicious healthy food, where you can focus on reconnecting with yourself in some of the most beautiful natural surroundings on our planet, far removed from the stresses and distractions of modern daily life?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Sacred Earth Journeys is happy to announce that we’re now taking bookings for: “Practice, Breathe and Surf Costa Rica with Chris Duggan& Natalie Rousseau :A seven-day adventure and yoga retreat in idyllic Mal Pais, Costa Rica, November 22 – 29, 2014.

To learn more about this action-packed, rejuvenating retreat I caught up with the Retreat Leaders, Chris Duggan and Natalie Rousseau…

Continue reading

Bali Bliss – A Perfect Yoga Retreat

When I’m looking for a yoga retreat, I look for something that includes high quality yoga practices and a variety of other travel experiences for a truly rounded, memorable vacation. Bali Bliss: A Transformational Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Magical Bali with Michele Labelle, November 9 – 18, 2014, offers so much more than a standard yoga retreat making it the perfect sacred get-away!
Yoga
Our Retreat Leader and Yoga Teacher is Michele Labelle – a Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher who has been involved in meditation and energy work since 1996. Prior to becoming a yoga teacher, Michele worked as a Respiratory Therapist for 16 years – an experience which gave her a unique view of the breath! Michele will skilfully and compassionately guide us in morning hatha yoga and meditation practices as well as an evening sunset practice. The yoga practices are suitable for beginners and more advanced students.
Location
This yoga retreat offers every opportunity to explore beautiful Bali. We will spend time close to the cultural and artistic Balinese village of Ubud and the sacred Monkey Forest as well as time in the quiet, largely tourist-free northwest, an area with nature and marine parks, coconut groves and beautiful ancient temples dotting the landscape. We will go snorkelling, bike through magical rice paddy fields and explore the rich flora and fauna of the Bali Barat National Park.
Cultural Immersion
We will share a unique and profound cultural and spiritual experience on this Bali Bliss Retreat – a visit to the local village of Pacut to learn more about daily life in Bali. Pacut is the home village of our Balinese retreat co-leader Artayasa, who is also a village master, responsible for organizing cultural events and co-ordinating tourist visits here. We will stop by an elementary school, weave coconut leaves for a hat and temple offering, witness traditional farming activities, and gather with the local musicians to play gamelan Angklung (Balinese orchestra).
Activities
As well as our daily yoga practices we can enjoy a variety of fun activities on this Retreat. Try snorkelling the best sites in Bali off Menjangan Island, swimming past colourful coral reefs, stunning gorgonian sea fans, turtles and an array of fish. Or, try walking through an abundant forest of rambutans to reach the 30-metre-high Les Waterfall for a natural water massage.
Spiritual Excursions
92% of the population of Bali practices Balinese Hinduism and the Balinese culture is an expression of devotion. We will experience daily devotional offerings everywhere and special prayers are said several times a day. We will visit sacred temples while in Bali, including Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of the most sacred traditional temples, spectacularly set at the top of a steep cliff with breathtaking views over the surf below, Ulun Danu Temple, an important Hindu and Buddhist water temple, and the Brahma Vihara Arama Buddhist Monastery.

This balanced yoga retreat offers an amazing opportunity to work on your own spiritual journey in sublime surroundings with a wealth of activities and excursions to enjoy.  The traditional greeting in Bali is, “Om Swasti Astu”, an honouring of the heart and spirit, and we hope you’ll be hearing it very soon.

Visit our website to read more about our BaliBliss Retreat with Michele Labelle.

~ Kim Bridgett