Retreats

Bali

Master Cleanse in Bali – 8 days/7 nights
24 – 31/8/2019
9 – 16/10/2020
      Guest teacher Rishi Hridayananda (CPD points)
      
resized-mc Retreats during the Bali ‘winter’ provide for comfortable temperatures & minimal rain. 

Narasoma Retreat Centre, Ubud, Bali

A common question is “why do you go all that way? ” It’s actually hard to put into words because there are so many things that are special about this location that it’s really something you have to experience. Bali is special, Ubud is special and Narasoma retreat centre is extra special. There is something very powerful about stepping into a completely different space and then taking that experience back home. 

 Although located in the heart of Ubud, the beautiful surrounds and tranquillity of Narasoma Retreat centre provide the ideal location for our retreats. The purpose built retreat centre is nestled in a secluded tropical landscape which completely escapes the hustle and bustle of Ubud. The extensive gardens are an oasis of palms trees and flowers with delightful bridges spanning the river running through the grounds. Views from the spectacular open air, traditionally carved, roof-top yoga shala take in the forest and village houses and provide a birds eye view of the local squirrels and birdlife. Completely self contained, in between sessions you can enjoy a swim in the infinity pool, a fresh coconut drink in the tea house, visit the meditation cave or a massage in the on-site spa while you listen to river meander past.

20160603_104957-resized-2Facilities include:

  • A fully equipped roof top yoga studio which overlooks the forest
  • Spacious, beautifully appointed rooms with balcony and air conditioning
  • Beautiful gardens with pathways and bridges over the river
  • An infinity swimming pool,
  • Private workshop space
  • Our own kitchen that we will use for our Ayurvedic coking lessons.
  • A meditation cave
  • On-site tea house
  • On-site spa

Please Note: The only real requirement for our Bali retreats is the physical capacity to negotiate the 3 floors of stairs in the retreat centre. A round trip is 108 stairs which we negotiate a few times a day. It’s amazing how slow most of us start out and how quickly it becomes easier.

The Master Cleanse Retreat brings the Hatha Yoga Shatkarmas to Bali. The ultimate salt water party guided by Rishi Hridayananda. A chance to wash away, both physically and emotionally, what doesn’t serve you and then be nurtured and nourished back to full vitality. 

The yoga cleansing practices that form the basis of this retreat are called the Shatkarmas (6 Actions). Taken from the branch of Hatha Yoga these practices are recognised as having a deep cleansing action on all levels of our being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The process is an exact science and cannot be learned at home or from a book. Making the guidance of an accomplished teacher essential to provide over-sight and care both during the practice and for the next week.

To enhance the experience the retreat dates have been carefully chosen to coincide with the New Moon – a time of letting go and releasing, and the advent of Spring – a time of renewal and re-birth. It’s an ideal way and time to cleanse your body, clear your mind and recharge your energy.

Participants have a choice of 2 cleansing options depending upon their level of experience and any relevant health issues. Both options involve repeating a specific sequence of asanas (postures). Each repetition is interspersed with ingesting a warm saline solution i.e. drinking 2 cups of warm salty water between each round of asana.

Option 1 – Lagoo is the short form intestinal wash, followed by Kunjal (stomach wash) & Neti (nasal wash). There are no specific prerequisites for this option.

Option 2 – Poorna (full) Shanka (conch) prakshalana (to wash completely), is the long form intestinal wash, followed by Kunjal & Neti. This is known as the full master cleanse and is more suited to the practitioner who is already comfortable and familiar with the short form intestinal wash and other cleansing practices.

        Pre-requisites for Option 2:

  • Previous experience with hatha yoga cleansing practices
  • Willingness to rest for the week, and
  • Willingness to commit to careful diet and lifestyle measures for a further 3 weeks (a total of one month following the practice).

Following the cleansing practice (morning of the 3rd day – Monday), participants will be supported for the remainder of the retreat with a general daily program that will include a gentle early morning asana (yoga postures) class, sessions on yoga philosophy, ayurvedic cooking and lifestyle workshops, yoga nidra (relaxation meditation), massages and plenty of space to rest and enjoy the beautiful surrounds of Narasoma Retreat Centre. Read more about Narasoma below.

While anyone can practice these techniques, you are recommended to consult your physician if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, gastric ulcers or are pregnant.  Please check the relevant box on the application form if you are planning to undertake the full cleanse.

Guest Teacher:

We are very excited to have Rishi Hridayananda as the  guiding light for this retreat and we could not be in better hands. Rishi has lived and taught the hatha yoga cleansing practices in India and Australia for over 40 years. She is  without a doubt Australia’s most accomplished teacher of the Shatkarmas.

Programme:
  • 7 nights single or twin/double share accommodation at the beautiful Narasoma Retreat Centre. Each room is beautifully appointed and includes a balcony and air conditioning
  • Deliberately simple vegetarian fare to support your body during this cleansing process. Meals will be intentionally unadorned by any strong tastes or spices as well as gluten and dairy free throughout the whole week. Ghee however plays an important part in relining the gut and supporting the strengthening of the digestive fire so this programme would not be suitable for anyone who does not wish to ingest ghee.
  • The day of the cleansing practices and the following day focus on complete rest and then the programme will gently build over the week to include:
  • Sunrise yoga class incorporating asana, pranayama and meditation. Greet the day in our roof top yoga shala surrounded by coconut palm treetops and the locals – crowing cocks, inquisitive squirrels and local birdlife.
  • Daily Yoga Nidra – a profound yoga meditative/relaxation technique.
  • Workshops exploring the Ayurvedic understanding of food & digestion.
  • Time in the kitchen to explore Ayurveda’s approach to cooking & eating
  • A complimentary traditional balinese massage at the Narasoma day spa and the opportunity to enjoy more in your free time.
  • Participate in Narasoma’s New Moon puja.
  • A care kit to support your cleanse regime and help establish your own Yoga and Ayurvedic daily well-being regime when you return home.
  • A workbook with recipes to guide your journey and provide ongoing support when you return home.
More Information:

If you would like to find out more about the cleansing practices the following references are provided. You can also contact us.

  • Shatkarmas: The Cleansing Practices of Hatha Yoga by Rishi Hridayananda
  • Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
  • The Practices of Yoga for the Digestive System by Swami Shankardevananda
  • Health Management through Yoga by Swami Bhaktipoornananda Saraswati

Registration & Payment:

Reserve your place with a $450 non-refundable (may be transferable to another 2WiseWomen event within 12 months) deposit.

Book your place.

 

Thailand

Thailand Experience (23 days/22 nights)
23/11 – 15/12 2019

Ayurveda, Yoga, silence, food & local culture – this retreat covers it all. Nong Khai has become Mary’s 2nd yoga home, Mangrove Yoga will always be her first, and she is excited to be guiding this unique 3 week retreat.   

Located in north east Thailand on the banks of the mighty MaeKong River, an overnight train trip from Bangkok, Nong Khai is a tourist destination more for native Thai and neighbouring countries than westerners.  While, it is quite a substantial town with a customs bridge to the Laos capital, Vientiane, the part you will get to know well is a tucked down a little Soi (lane) right on the bank of the majestic MaeKong River.

Within the Soi, Mut Mee Guesthouse provides traditional accommodation, the Pantrix Alternate Centre runs yoga & reiki courses, Silvie is a resident therapist and Hornbill Bookshop/Café makes delicious smoothies.  Mary has gained much from this little community in the 4 years she has been going to Nong Khai and the aim of this retreat is to share the experience and support the work of these wonderful people.

Retreat Programme:

The retreat is divided into three parts. The first part is an immersion in the local culture and and visits to local attractions that are famous across south-east Asia. The second part is a 7 day yoga course and the third and final part is a 5 day meditation/silence retreat.

Part 1 – Nong Khai Adventure

After flying into Bangkok we will travel by overnight sleeper train to Nong Khai. The next 10 days will be spent getting to know our little corner as well as venturing further afield to see the local sights with:

  • A neighbourhood orientation tour
  • 2 Thai cooking demonstrations, after which we will enjoy the results for dinner.
  • Visits to many of the amazing markets Nong Khai is renowned for. Perfect timing for your christmas shopping. (see Nong Khai Attractions below)
  • Visits to local eateries to sample the local cuisine, particularly Mary’s favourite ‘vegetarian’ restaurant. (See Food below)
  • A visit to the Historical Park (see Nong Khai Attractions below)
  • A Creative Movement class with Silvie
  • A visit to the famous Sculpture Park (see Nong Khai Attractions below)
  • and more…

Local Attractions

Markets – Nong Khai is renowned for it’s markets and this will be perfect timing to do all your Christmas shopping.

  • The Sadej Market operates 7 days a week just a hop step & a jump from our accommodation. This extraordinary range of knick-knacks arrive from Laos, Vietnam, China and even Russia and includes some high quality goods, such as silk and silverware.
  • Saturday night is festival time on the riverfront again just down from our accommodation. Stall holders set up an extraordinary range of stalls and there is even local entertainment. Our guide will enlighten us as to what all the food stalls are actually serving – there’s even Bugs!
  • Sunday night is a huge local market down near the railway station. Again, the range of foods will amaze you, lots of stalls, plus great second-hand clothing for the bargain hunters.
  • The food markets are also worth a wander. The Green Market, just around the corner from our accommodation supports the local farmers growing chemical free/organic produce. Larger food markets have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the local version of takeaway. The freshly made shredded coconut and coconut milk is not to be missed.

The Sculpture Park
Known as Salakaewkoo, a visit to the Sculpture Park is a must when in Nong Khai. World famous as one of the most extraordinary artistic creations of South-East Asia, it contains over 100 sculptures, some of which rise more than seven stories high! It was built by the mystic shaman Luang Poo Boun Leua Sourirat, who constructed it with the help of devotees over more than twenty years. Some depict snakes, with other images taken from either Theravada or Mahayana Buddhism. Hinduism is well represented, with images of Shiva and Parvati, Brahma and Vishnu.  Luang Poo passed away in 1996 aged in his early seventies. His mummified body can be seen on the third floor of the main building, under a glass hemisphere. Disciples claim his hair still grows and must be cut once in a while!

The Historical Park near Ban Phu is one of the most extraordinary sites in Thailand, filled with many huge & strange mushroom-like rock formations, which bear carvings and cave paintings dating back more than 3000 years. Our guide will share both the legend behind and geographical explanation for these amazing formations.

Optional activities

  • Astrology reading (*$75) or Reiki session (*$25 /$40 – 30/60 mins) with Beatrix or be tempted by her handcrafted jewellery and Pantrix’s extensive range of Ayurvedic & Chinese tinctures and herbs.
  • Intuitive healing/Cranio Sacral session/Shiatsu massage/Ayurvedic face massage with Silvie ($40 – 90 mins with discounts for multiple sessions). She also makes great bliss balls!
    Mary has had multiple sessions with both Beatrix and Silvie and keeps going back.
  • Traditional Thai massages (*$10 – $15 for 60-90 mins) and we’ll introduce you to the local favourites.
  • Dancing in the park. Monday to Friday the local women, and a couple of men, gather at 5.00 pm for some Qi Gong and traditional dance. Mary joins them whenever she is in town. It’s great exercise for both the body and mind (learning the dance steps), plus a wonderful way to meet the locals.
  • Visit the local resort swimming pool for a swim when it gets hot.
  • If you like the heat the local sauna experience includes handmade body scrubs.

*Cost will depend upon exchange rate at the time. AU$1 can range between 20-24 baht. Above $ are based on AU$1 = 23 baht.

Part 2 – Yoga Immersion

The second part of the retreat is a Pantrix 7 day yoga course. The name Pantrix is combination of the names of the two teachers, Pancho and Beatrix. Like their name they are unique and have an amazing skill set. Very briefly, aside from studying and practicing yoga for 30 years they are both artists, Pancho is a musician and Beatrix is a reiki master and astrologist.

They are both deeply committed to their own sadhana and extremely knowledgeable in yoga. Mary has done this particular course twice and is confident anyone will benefit from the experience, regardless of how much or how little yoga they have done. Her second time was just after finishing her Satyananda yoga teacher training, and alongside people who have never done any yoga before, it was a life changing experience for everyone.

The course runs from 7.00-10.00am and 3.00–6.00pm, although the sessions have been known to go a tad over so don’t watch the clock. There is also an option to attend the early morning (6.00-7.00am) and afternoon (2.00- 3.00pm) open meditation sessions every day.

Part 3 – Meditation Immersion 

The last 5 days is a meditation immersion at the Barn Suan Sanctuary located on the outskirts of Nong Khai. The owners, Dom & Jeem, have created a space they describe as “a secluded retreat for friends and like-minded people…a meditative space for the creative soul.”  One visit to the Sanctuary and Mary knew it was the ideal place for a silent/meditative retreat.

Purpose built to provide a sanctuary to get away from it all, this is the ideal space to sit with and process the experience of the Pantrix yoga course. Small traditional huts hidden within a tropical garden, surround an infinity shaped path for walking meditations. There is also a common kitchen and dining area and spaces for sitting in stillness scattered throughout the garden.

Mouna or measured speech and karma yoga will be part of our practice here: sweeping the meditation path each day with traditional brooms in preparation for a meditation walk…swish…swish…swish; some gardening and time in the kitchen (Ayurveda menu) if your wish and in the evenings Ayurveda & Yoga satsangs with Mary.

This  YouTube link will give you a sense of the space and the care Dom has taken in it’s creation. It also reflects his love of collectables! This one has a german commentary but you’ll get the picture. Dom has a cameo at the  5.30 mins mark.

Getting around Nong Khai

Our first activity together will be an orientation bike ride (or tuk tuk ride) to show you some of the local sights and activities.

Nong Khai is an easy place to get around on foot, bicycle or Tuk Tuk.  A pushbike is included in your retreat cost to give you the freedom to come and go as you like. You can get to lots of different places within just a few blocks of your accommodation without having to negotiate much traffic, or just ride along the promenade beside the MaeKong. If the thought of riding a bike raises some trepidation it may help to know that most of the locals ride either bikes or scooters. Car drivers are very aware and accommodating, particularly on the quieter streets where we will be. If you would prefer to stay off the road you can enjoy a leisurely ride on the promenade that runs alongside the River. For me there is no greater joy than an early morning or evening ride along the river with an occasional stop just to sit and watch the river or world go by.

Your Accommodation

Overnight train to Nong Khai
Depending upon our group mix there is an option for a women’s only AC sleeper car.

Mut Mee Guesthouse (16 nights)

Mut Mee is an oasis of small huts and rooms set in a tropical garden literally on the banks of the Maekong River. You can watch the river go by as you eat, laze on a hammock with a book, play on the swing, strike up a conversation with a fellow traveller, from all nationalities & walks of life, have a massage or just snooze in your chair. There are a few different room options and all have private bathrooms, AC & fan, refrigerator and a balcony or verandah as standard.

The Superior or Deluxe rooms all have slightly different features that may include: a newer building, better quality furnishings, a kettle, more private locations or a better position in relation to the garden or the river. The earlier you book the better your choice.

Barn Suan Sanctuary

Some accommodation here will be twin share as we will only have the use of 5 self-contained cabins. This will be discussed and allocated before the transfer from Mut Mee.

Food

Top of the ‘where to eat’ list is the Mut Mee Guesthouse kitchen. Open from 7.00am to 9.00pm it has an extensive menu featuring both thai and western dishes. Just outside the kitchen is a book for each room. Each time your order you write it in the book and at the end of your stay you pay the bill, and yes, they do accept credit cards. To give you an idea the more expensive meals (usually something non-Thai) are around $5 and a basic Pad Thai is around $2.50.

Mary’s favourite vegetarian restaurant is just a short bike ride away. Run by volunteers on behalf of a local Buddhist temple, there is a wide range of dishes to choose from and they have a smile for everyone. You can eat a huge lunch and get a takeaway for dinner usually for less than $5.

MSG is used fairly extensively in the local restaurants and street vendors so these two are the best option if you want to avoid MSG. If you want to be more adventurous we can tell you how to ask for no  MSG in Thai. Locals are heavy meat eaters so these are also the best vegetarian options.

Just around the corner from Mut Mee is a German Bakery (there are quite a few European expats in Nong Khai) offering delicious cinnamon scrolls and other pastry delights for breakfast or morning tea. Buy them early though because they sell out quickly.

Hopefully this will help you work out a food budget. It  takes effort to spend more than $20 a day on food and you can certainly spend less, particularly if you patronise the vegetarian restaurant.

Meals included in retreat cost are:

  • 2 cooking demonstration dinners.
  • all the meals at Barn Suan, catered by Mary truly and yes sprouted mung dhal will definitely be on the menu!
Airfares & Transfers

Airfares to and from Bangkok are not included in the retreat cost. The transfers between Bangkok airport and Nong Khai are.

Flights will be arranged to arrive in Bangkok’s main airport in time to catch the overnight express train to Nong Khai. Recently upgraded these sleeper trains are a wonderful way to ease into the Thailand experience. Nothing quite like being gently rocked to sleep and then waking to the sun rising thru the window as you pull into the Nong Khai railway station.

The homeward bound transfer will involve a one hour taxi ride to Udon Thani airport and a one hour flight to Bangkok airport before boarding an overnight flight home to arrive in time for breakfast.

Return airfares for this time of year should be under $1000.  Mary will advise which flights to book when you register. The most convenient time wise and best priced recently has been Qantas. If relevant early booking can use frequent flyer points – around 60,000 points for the return trip and taxes will be approx. $300.

Standard Single – $2377 pp (full payment by 31/7/2019)

Superior Single – $2587 pp (full payment by 31/7/2019)

Superior Twin/Double – $2087 pp (full payment by 31/7/19)

Deluxe Single – $2797 pp (full payment by 31/7/2019)

Deluxe Double – $2297 (full payment by 31/7/2019

*Additional charge for bookings after 31/7/2019 – $250

Book your place