Pay it forward!

With offering Saravat Ayurvedic Rituals, I am having the chance to further define what matters to me, and what principles I want to stand for. The ethical teachings of yoga have been a welcome guide as I navigate the exciting (and honestly, sometimes stressful) waters of creating and sharing one’s work, and I am so grateful for all the lessons, and look forward to many more.

To apply my yoga practice beyond the mat, it is important to me to define sustainable business practices that allow me to support myself, purchase materials from suppliers that I align with (ie support local, ethical, and environmentally-sensitive businesses), while maintaining the accessibility of what I offer – I want everyone to have tools to support their well-being! Every little decision I make about Saravat considers this interplay, and while I doubt I will ever find perfection in it, I hope to find refinement.

These factors also lend themselves to how I decide to price Saravat offerings. I try my best to price the goods I make where there is a fair acknowledgement of the energy, time, and valuable resources that went into their creation, while also realizing that not everyone has bucket loads of money to spend on Ayurvedic healthcare.

With Black Friday looming, I have found myself in the position of deciding whether or not to join in on this annual “celebration.” After much deliberation, I have arrived at this:

There will be no flash sales, coupon codes, or rock bottom prices. There will be no fear of missing out. There will be no undermining of what’s truly valuable, which is well-being, that of each individual, as well as the collective, and of our earth-home.

Instead, the prices are (and will always be) as fair as I can make them. And, we can have the chance to pay it forward.

50% of all profits gained on Nov 23-26th, 2018, through Saravat purchases online and in-person will be donated to Vipassana Meditation Foundation. This is of personal significance to me, as I have greatly benefited from their donation and volunteer-based model of offering meditation retreats worldwide. They promote a sincere and committed meditation practice, while striving to make it accessible to all.

It is my hope that you will be inspired to also pay it forward. Whether that means you purchase Saravat, continue your yoga practice (maybe go to a vipassana retreat!), or simply take good care of your beloveds, I am happy and grateful that you have given me this opportunity to share this with you.

Please go here to explore Saravat.

Thank you!!

Relax & Renew Hecla Retreat – October 20-22, 2017!

Join Natasha Lenon and I for our third annual Relax & Renew Yoga Retreat at beautiful Hecla Island!  Enjoy a weekend of yoga, meditation, kirtan, nature walks, mineral pools, and self-care.  We have been lucky enough to sell out this retreat for the past two years, so if you have been thinking of coming, sign up soon!  Fall is a wonderful time for introspection and reflecting on the past year’s events and experiences.  We hope you can join us for this nurturing and rejuvenating weekend retreat.

About the retreat

Dates: October 20-22, 2017
The retreat includes Friday dinner and officially starts after dinner, and will end around lunchtime on Sunday (lunch is included).  An itinerary is not released prior to the retreat to encourage participants to take things one step at a time.  Please be assured that the pace of the retreat will be steady and relaxed, with plenty of time between activities.  All yoga classes will be accessible to both a beginner and long-time practitioner.

How to get there:
Hecla Island Resort is about a two hour drive north of Winnipeg.

Google map WPG to Hecla

Double room: $500 / person
Single room: $600 / person

All prices include GST, meals, accommodations, and use of the Salka mineral pools.  Payment is made directly to Natasha or Adrienne Shum.  Please make cheques payable to Adrienne Shum.  E-transfers can also be sent (to Adrienne only).  Please read the payment and cancellation policy below.  Upon payment, please fill out this online registration form.

If you would like to book a spa treatment, there will be time available during the retreat or on the Sunday afternoon after the retreat ends.  Please visit the Hecla Resort website for more information.

Questions?  Feel free to contact Natasha or Adrienne!

Hecla Retreat - Oct 20-22, 2017

Payment and cancellation policy:
Payment in full is required to secure your spot.  If you are interested in a double room, it is your responsibility to find a roommate.
If you need to cancel:
before July 1st, 2017, you will receive a full refund less an $80 administrative fee.
On July 1st and after, there is no refund.

Payment plans are available upon request and considered on a case-by-case basis.
All plans considered will consist of a maximum of 3 payment instalments.  All plans considered must submit complete payment within 6 weeks of start date.  Natasha and Adrienne take great care to organise and plan this retreat in the hopes of providing benefit to all; please be considerate of their energy and time if you choose to make this request.

A message from David in the latest newsletter!

Hi everybody!  For those of you that subscribe to our newsletter, the latest one was sent out just this morning!  It is a special one, as it includes a message from my better half, David Quiring.  If you have come to a kirtan before, he is the one holding down the beat with the djembe.  Not only possessing a great sense of rhythm, David is a multi-talented fellow who has been studying the craft of photography for several years.  While I might be biased, I think he takes some pretty awesome photos.  He’s also very dedicated to his meditation and yoga practice, which he fuses into his approach in photography.

David’s prints and greeting cards are available online at his Etsy store (it’s almost December, hint!)  Many of the images express the beauty of our Canadian wildlife and landscape.  You can also sign up for his newsletter here to stay up-to-date with his photographic adventures.  Check it out and use the coupon code HOLIDAYS to get 10% off your order until December 24th, 2015!!!

Here is how David describes his conscious integration of mindfulness into his art:

Focus, awareness, and equanimity; these are the things we work to cultivate in our mindful meditation practices so that we can live more engaged lives off our cushions.  The thing is, our pursuit of these goals need not, and should not, be limited to only practice in the traditional forms.  In a modern world, where we aren’t practically able to retreat from society, meditation practice needs to be extended into our modern lives.  In all of our varying situations, there are unique ways that we can find to integrate practice.

For myself, photography is one of these ways.  The act of taking a photo can be a deeply contemplative practice when approached with reverence and attention; one that allows me to see the world in a clearer light, whether a camera is with me or not.  In this respect, I see it as entering a dance with life’s fleeting moments…recognizing one’s role in the greater picture, relinquishing imagined control over things, seeing with clarity and understanding, and making choices from this space.  Here, as an attentive observer, creating a photograph becomes more than just a mechanical or artistic endeavour.  In this place of presence, you create a snapshot of the world as it is and never will be again.

Given a room of meditators pursuing similar foundational practice, the manifestation of the fruits of each person’s hard work will be as unique as each of them.  Photography happens to be one of fruits, and if you give some thought I’m sure you can come up with a few for yourself as well.  Celebrating each and every friend’s, student’s, and teacher’s fruits of meditative labour brings me so much joy and hope.  In unique integration lies the key to how we bring positive change into the world.  By being in the world we share ourselves with the world, and inspire others to do the same.

This quote from the film Waking Life sums it up: “Film is a record of the ever-changing face of God.  This moment is holy, but we walk around like it’s not holy.  We walk around like there are some holy moments and there are all the other moments that are not holy.  [But they are] and film can let us see that.  Film can frame it so we can see that, Ah!  This moment.  Holy.”

– David


The Form of Emptiness: a Five-Day Retreat with Jonathan Austman

Join us this fall for another silent retreat with Jonathan Austman, September 30th to October 4th, 2015, at Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Beausejour, MB (less than an hour outside Winnipeg).  Meditation, yoga and dharma talks will be led by Jonathan, and I will be cooking yummy Ayurvedic food!  Space is limited, so register early at Yoga Public’s website.  If you have questions, you can email Jonathan at jonathan(at)yogapublic(dot)com.

Cost (includes program, room/campsite, food): single room – $580.00+GST; camping – $500.00+GST

Daily Schedule:

Wed, Sept 30
2:00-3:30pm Check in
3:30-5:00pm Yoga
5:30-6:30pm Supper
7:00-9:00pm Orientation, Sitting/walking review, Talk (Silence begins at 7:30pm)
9:30pm Lights out

Thurs, Fri, Sat, Oct, 1-3
6:30-7:00am Tea
7:00-8:00am Sit/walk
8:15-9:30am Yoga
9:30-11:00am Breakfast/rest
11:00am-1:00pm Sit/walk
1:00-3:00pm Lunch/rest
3:00-5:00pm Sit/walk
5:00-7:000pm Supper/rest
7:00-9:00pm Sit/Talk
9:30pm Lights out

Sun, Oct 4
6:30-7:00am Tea
7:00-8:00am Sit/walk
8:15-9:30am Yoga
9:30-11:00am Breakfast/rest
1:00-3:00pm Lunch/closing (Silence ends at 1:30pm)

Hope you can join us!