One thing that’s made our past retreats so special was that we took an individualized approach to our curriculum and teaching. In practical terms, this means we’ve set a plan for what we’d like to cover during this retreat, but are always open to be spontaneous in how the individual days are laid out – the retreats follow this “creative itinerary” rather than something rigid that takes away from the enjoyment of the entire experience.
Every retreat group we work with is unique; we realized a long time ago that attuning the teachings as much as possible to those who come, tailoring the Sadhanas and theoretical teachings based on the individual, keeps things nourishing and more understandable.
A special part of these retreats is the atmosphere of immersion in the teachings and social environment together. We always look to find the right balance, allowing room for walks on the beach, meals together, while still allowing longer than normal days of teaching and practice when it makes the most sense to do so. Other days we may just need an extra beach walk or time to sit outside to enjoy the nature.
A Brief Overview Of What To Expect
“Yoga rests upon Ayurvedic medicine for its health implications. Ayurveda rests upon Yoga for its mental and spiritual dimension.” – Frawley and Kozac
Yoga and Ayurveda are Vedic sister-disciplines, which inform each other in many intricate ways. Both wisdom-traditions are powerful tools to balance the energies of the body and mind; allowing sattva, the health giving principle, to prevail. This can be done by a constitutional approach to diet and lifestyle, as well as understanding how Ayurveda informs our yogic sadhana. In this retreat we will explore both of these perspectives, in dialogue with one another.
Ayurveda In Focus
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine which originated in India and has been practiced for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda literally translates to”Knowledge/Science of Life”. This system of medicine is based on the five elements theory and considers health as the balanced state of Body, Mind, and Soul.
The profound premise of Ayurveda is that, through a constitutionally based diet and lifestyle, we can prevent disease and understand ourselves andour environments better; living a long, healthy life in balance as a result.
Just like a traditional physician checks temperature and blood pressure routinely as the first step to assess your condition, an Ayurveda practitioner performs pulse and tongue assessments to determine your Prakrti and Vikrti; mapping a treatment tailored to your individual constitution and needs.
The Sanskrit term Prakrti, means, “nature”, “creativity”, or “the first creation”. Prakrti, is your basic constitution that is determined at the time of conception. Based on the predominance of the bio humors (Vata, Pitta, & Kapha) each individual is unique with specific body constitution and mental makeup.
Thatis how the concept of an Individual’s DNA profile in western medicine connects with Ayurveda; different peopleall have distinctly different combinations of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha as their Prakrti. This is how Ayurveda explained the subtle differences between individuals Millennia before the discovery of DNA. This balance of the bio humors is why everyone is unique and why two different peopleoften react very differently to identical environments or stimuli.
Prakrti/body constitution, in Ayurveda, holds an important role to help us better understandimbalances &disease and help us maintain the healthiest life possible.
Your Prakrti will, ideally, remain fixed throughout your life. Unfortunately, in an effort of our body to maintain equilibrium in a constantly changing environment, our Prakrti will in turn be affected. This leads to an imbalanced state called ‘Virkti’. If the Vikrti constitutional imbalance is too different from your ideal balance (Prakti), disease states are triggered.
If you are feeling a little confused, don’t worry, we will make absolutely certain that you leave Gilleleje with both an understanding of the curriculum and, crucially, a confidence of how you can apply what you’ve learned to your lifestyle & practice.