The Spirit of Yoga – A Yoga Retreat and Cultural Adventure
February 23 – March 7, 2014
We invite you to join us on the magical island of Bali for this transformational yoga retreat and cultural exploration. We will practice heartfelt yoga and meditation, immersed in the rich and sacred culture of this land. Share this inspirational and healing journey as you renew and replenish yourself in these heavenly realms. Bali, known as the island of the gods, is a tranquil and lush tropical paradise. You will be greatly touched by the graceful, spiritual essence of the Balinese people.
“This has without doubt been the most wonderful trip that I have ever been on. Your thoughtfulness and patience enabled all of us to relax and absorb the teachings, and for that I will always be grateful. Every meal, excursion, and accommodation has been absolutely perfect…I hope to be on whatever trip you organize next!” —Sarah
Our All-Inclusive Program offers:
- 13 days, 12 nights double accommodation. Single rooms are available for an additional fee of $450 CAD
- 3 meals a day, other than a few lunches and dinners in Ubud (as there are many wonderful local restaurants to sample!)
- Morning yoga and meditation classes; some afternoon yoga classes and evening meditations on days that we are not touring
- Transportation from the airport and on local tours
- A traditional Balinese massage
- Day adventures to sacred temple sites and spectacular scenery
- Guided walks through the local countryside and rice fields
- A traditional Balinese feast
- Two Balinese traditional dances
- A purification ritual and blessing ceremony at sacred water springs with a local priest
Optional Activities Include:
- Local hikes
- Visit art communities
- Balinese cooking class
- Bike trips
- Walk through Botanical gardens
- Fantastic shopping expeditions to local crafts villages
- Explore the Monkey Forest
Included in this retreat is one amazing local spa treatment. Balinese traditional massage is often followed by a herbal body exfoliation and a therapeutic bath of either luxurious spices or fresh flowers. Also available are tropical fruit facials which refresh and nourish your skin using local fruit. This is a truly heavenly experience in a beautiful setting! You may enjoy a wide range of spa treatments available at very affordable prices as well as sessions with Traditional Balinese Healers.
We hope that you will join us for this sacred journey. Your heart will be deeply touched by the tranquil spirit of this island and her gentle people. Their prayers, offerings, and compassionate way of life reflect the essential Spirit of Yoga.
From the time you arrive at the airport everything will be taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday!
We’ll be happy to help you with your plane reservations and itinerary, as well as accommodations if you’d like to come to Bali before the retreat or to stay after the retreat ends.
Norah Burford, the organizer of the Heart Yoga retreat, is available to help all participants to plan trip arrangements and preparations, as well as during the retreat for personal support and needs. Norah has been travelling to Bali yearly since 1978. Bali has become a special place of inspiration and retreat for her, and she is familiar with many places beyond the usual tourist areas.
$2745 per person for double accommodation (single rooms are available for an additional fee of $450)
Please make checks or money orders payable to Karuna & Paul Erickson, and send to:
Karuna Erickson RR#3 S37 C8 Nelson B.C. V1L5P6
To insure an intimate experience there will only be a limited number of spaces available. Your deposit of $500 will ensure your space. Upon registration we will send you a complete list of what to bring.
The Yoga Retreat:
This retreat is truly a gift to yourself. You will deepen your understanding of the vastness of yoga though heart-centered and inspiring practices. Practicing yoga in the warmth and beauty of this land, you will connect with your deepest essence.
We will explore yoga as a practice of embodying spirit in a heartfelt and mindful way. Through an in-depth experiential investigation of your connection with the sacred energy of yoga and meditation, you will expand your perspective of yourself and yoga. You will be held in a nurturing and healing environment by our loving and supportive faculty, who are trained in healing modalities and stress-relief therapies.
This retreat is open to people with all levels of yoga experience, as each student will practice according to their individual needs. We will explore a wide range of poses including standing poses, inversions, backbends, twists, forward bends, restorative poses, therapeutic yoga and breath awareness. Each day we will practice insight and lovingkindness meditation. Insight meditation develops moment-to-moment awareness. Lovingkindness meditation uncovers the joyful radiant heart within us.
Every day will begin with a guided meditation followed by a personal yoga practice. After breakfast we will have morning yoga classes and on some days an afternoon yoga session. Morning classes will be active and energizing, while afternoon classes will be rejuvenating and relaxing. Most afternoons will conclude with a peaceful meditation practice.
We will be staying at three beautiful resorts: in the mountains, at the ocean, and in the rice fields near the cultural village of Ubud, by the Monkey Forest. Each of these exquisite resorts is hand-crafted in traditional Balinese style, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and peaceful grounds. The rooms are tastefully furnished, with private bathrooms and a verandah.
We will feast on a delicious array of fresh, nourishing foods, including many of the local specialties. There will be lots of free time to explore the local area, rest, walk, swim, shop, or sample some of the amazing traditional spa treatments.
Comments from previous participants:
“I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve arranged for us to experience in Bali—it has truly been the most magical trip I’ve ever been lucky enough to go on! I’ll go on any trip with you—anywhere!” —Callie
“Thanks for this magnificent journey through the heavenly realms of Bali. The trip was seamlessly organized with many wonderful and unexpected extras including Balinese dance, amazing temples, interesting healers, and great meals.” —Bill
“This has been without a doubt, the best experience of my life. I could never have dreamed the abundance, creativity, and love of this journey. Thank you for your wonderful, kind, and gentle energy while orchestrating this amazing retreat. All your help with planning for the next leg of our trip is also much appreciated.” —Bruce
“Thank you so much for your steady, quiet, caring support, and for your sense of magic and beauty that brought us so many exquisite moments.” —Mary
“Your teaching is so brilliant—I have learned so much. I appreciate your compassion, love, joy, and enthusiasm.” —Pat
“This retreat has been the best thing that I have ever done for myself. You are truly the soul of compassion and a poet of the heart. The inspiration that you have provided was exactly what I was hoping for. It is the best possible gift that anyone can give; thank you.” —Sarah
“Your grace, wisdom, and inspiring talks have provided me with a channel to sit with myself more peacefully. I feel more integrated, more in balance, and more connected to both the love and suffering of myself and others.” —Judith
Cultural Tours and Information:
Bali is a unique visual experience of unsurpassed beauty. You will be a part of the integration of daily spiritual practice and abundant traditional cultural expression. Learning about local culture, religion, art and life, you will discover a hidden Bali that most tourists never see.
We will visit many of Bali’s sacred temples, which are sites for renewing contact with the spiritual world. Through offerings and prayers, these temples play an essential role in creating harmony between the people and their connection to Spirit. Innumerable temples and shrines are found throughout the island, in house compounds, local villages and at sacred sites.
We will journey to Bali’s sacred mountains: Gunung Agung, home to the Mother temple ‘Besakih’ where people bring special ritual offerings of flowers and food, and Mount Batur crater which is the sanctuary dedicated to the fertility goddess. At Tirta Empul, home of Bali’s most sacred waters, we will take part in a purification and blessing ceremony with a local Balinese priest.
Below these majestic volcanoes are the spectacular terraced rice fields which nourish the Balinese people. We will walk and drive through this breathtaking scenery of rice terraces, volcanic lakes and lush green landscapes on our day trips. We will attend spontaneous local festivals and see processions of people carrying offerings to various ceremonies which happen throughout the island.
The spiritual world of art, dance, music, theatre and ritual is an essential and honored part of Balinese life. We will attend both Balinese dance and gamelan music performances. Local guides will teach us about their unique culture and how to make the beautiful offerings that are part of Balinese daily ritual. There will also be lots of time for exploring art galleries, shopping, and receiving spa treatments.
We will meet you at the airport in Bali and take you to our retreat center. For 2014, the airline ticket prices are very reasonable.
If you’re coming from the West Coast this is what we recommend for flight options:
China Air – Vancouver or Los Angeles to Denpasar (via Taipei) approx. $1070 CAD + tax
- Leaves late at night and arrives in Bali the next day at 1:30 pm
- Returns from Bali early afternoon and arrives late at night the same day
Cathay Pacific – Vancouver to Denpasar (via Hong Kong) approx. $1350 CAD + tax
- Leaves Vancouver everyday at 2:00 am and arrives in Bali the next day at 2:50 p.m.
- Returns everyday from Bali at 4:00 p.m. and arrives in Vancouver the same day at 8:30 p.m.
Eva Air – Vancouver to Denpasar (via Taipei)
- Leaves Vancouver at 1:00 am and arrives in Bali the next day at 3:05 p.m.
- Returns from Bali at 4:15 p.m. and arrives in Vancouver the same day at 8:00 p.m.
Eva Air – Seattle to Denpasar (via Taipei)
- Leaves Seattle early in the morning and arrives in Bali the next day at 3:05 pm (connects with the flight from Vancouver in Taipei)
- Returns from Bali at 4:15 pm and arrives in Seattle the same day early evening
These are reputable and reasonable airlines that we recommend. The connections are very easy. Many of you will be on the same flights so you can share the experience.
Due to crossing the International Dateline and to arrive at the retreat on time, it is best to leave early in the morning on Saturday, February 22 to arrive in Bali the afternoon of Sunday, February 23. To return you will leave Bali on the afternoon of Friday, March 7 and arrive home the evening of Friday, March 7 (the same day). For those of you taking 2 weeks off of work, you will leave early Saturday morning and return on Friday evening.
For assistance with your tickets, please phone Norah at 250-229-4939.
***Passport must be valid 6 months from entry date to Indonesia
You must have a return ticket out of Indonesia to get a Visa on Arrival
$25 Visa on Arrival fee, valid for 30 days
When leaving Bali there is a Departure Tax of $15
Karuna Erickson is a devoted yoga teacher as well as a psychotherapist, practicing in both fields since 1970. The focus of her work is the integration of body, mind, heart, and spirit. She is the director of the Heart Yoga Center, a registered yoga teacher training school with the Yoga Alliance. She has trained yoga teachers for over 20 years. She teaches yoga internationally, interweaving Sufi poetry and Buddhist practices of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation. She leads annual retreats in Costa Rica, Canada, and Bali.
Karuna has assisted Rodney Yee in several of his yoga teacher training workshops and courses. Karuna has taught many workshops, classes and retreats with Andrew Harvey. Karuna and Andrew have co-authored a book titled: Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism, which has received outstanding reviews from teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, and Judith Lasater. The book Is available through amazon.com.
She draws upon her profession as a psychotherapist in her yoga teaching, to explore the union of body and mind. Her style of teaching is compassionate and heartfelt, and her students experience transformation on many levels. Karuna has lived in the mountains of British Columbia for over 35 years, and her teaching and practice are inspired by her love of the peace and beauty of the mountains. Education and degrees:
- B.A., Psychology cum laude, Stanford University, 1968
- M.S.W., Psychiatric Social Work, University of California, Berkeley, 1970
- D. Min. (student) Wisdom University
- Registered Counselor, Canadian Counseling Association
- Registered Yoga Teacher 500E(experienced)
- Yoga Alliance Interfaith Minister, Metaphysical Interfaith Church, 1998
Paul Erickson has been practicing and studying meditation for 30 years He has studied with Sayadaw U Lakkana in Burma, and has participated in many silent retreats with senior western teacher including Joseph Goldstein, Steven and Michelle Smith, and Jack Kornfield. He has taught Insight and Lovingkindness Meditation courses,and led sitting groups and retreats in the US and Canada. Paul has been certified at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California to teach meditation classes, groups and retreats. He is also a psychotherapist in private practice in Nelson, BC.
Our cultural guide Norah Burford has travelled to Bali over twenty times and knows the people and area well. She began her travels in 1971 and has annually returned to and travelled extensively throughout South-East Asia.
The vibrancy of different cultures and spiritual practices has been a lifelong source of her learning. She has been a student of meditation,yoga and traditional healing arts for many decades. She is a massage therapist who lives in both British Columbia and Asia. The spiritual life and community of Bali inspires and nourishes her heart, soul and spirit. Bali has become a place she feels so comfortable ,at home and at peace. She’s honored to be a part of ‘Spirit of Yoga’ in this magical place, where the union of the body and spirit thrives.
Our group is sometimes fortunate to be present for Nyepi, the Balinese New Year and official Day of Silence, held in the spring. Nyepi marks the first day of the Balinese Saka calendar and is practised island-wide. The Balinese dedicate an entire day to introspective and spiritual cleansing through silence, embarking on the new year based on the Balinese calendar. Leading up to Nyepi, purification ceremonies are done at the ocean and rivers. The night before the silence begins there is a island-wide parade of (ogoh-ogoh) paper mache monsters, to create a ruckus to scare evil spririts off the island and clear the way for the new year.
On Nyepi, everyone stays in their family compounds(or hotels) and silence permeates the island. There are no cars, no tvs or radios, minimal lamps and fires, even no airplanes flying on this day, in order to create an atmosphere of deep stillness. This is the only place in the world where the government will shut down an airport for meditation and introspection for 24 hours! We are blessed to be in Bali for this sacred and auspicious time, and to join the Balinese people for this special day of silence and retreat. We’re very excited about the synchronicity of timing this trip to include this sacred cultural festival.
The Galungan/Kuningan festival is celebrated every 210 days in the Balinese wuku calendar. This great feast commemorates the victory of the the people over the legendary demon-king Mayadananawa. According to myths, this king strictly forbade his subjects worship of their ancestral deities. Assisted by the god Indra and his divine allies, the people revolted, and in a great battle, defeated the demon-king. Thus they were free again to worship according to their beliefs-those of their own religion Agama Hindu. On Galungan it is believed that the supreme god Sanghyang Widi, followed by other deities and ancestors, descends from heaven to their temples on earth to feast for ten days. During these 10 days, they receive many offerings and continuous entertainment of processions to the village temples, with dances and music. The tenth day, Kuningan, is the last day of their sojourn on earth and is a huge feast.
I just wanted to share my heartfelt thanks with you for the wonderful time in Bali – the place, the people, the food, the Yoga … everything!
The trip was perfect in every way – especially the Yoga.
I relished every session, am inspired by your genius for creating an amazing group energy, and am personally grateful for your individual care and guidance.
A lot changed for me – but in a subtle and remarkable way.
Everything in Bali played its part - but the practice, and connecting with you, Paul and our beautiful sangha really shifted things deeply.
I return home with an inner confidence that was previously lacking – not the chest puffing kind but a quiet surety that carries a smile when I pause to reflect
Grant (Bali trip 2012)
PS. Don’t be surprised to see some more Kiwis in Bali next year – I’m putting the word out!
Norah, you have no idea how much I appreciate your support and how encouraging it is to get this help from you. It makes all the difference for me in feeling more comfortable about going on my own. Thanks sooo much, Lillian
Other Heart Yoga endorsements:
“I want you to know what a wonderful difference your incredibly spiritual class has made in my life. I’ve continued with the daily meditation and yoga. I’ve learned to appreciate and love myself more, rather than to be so hard on myself. I notice an incredible difference in myself and so do my friends. I am so much more aware, present and calm. I have so much gratitude in my heart, for both of you, Jordanna and all of the class members. I feel so blessed to have had this incredible opportunity. I don’t believe a day passes without reflection from this wonderful experience.” – Heart Yoga Participant
“Karuna is delighting us with her authentic and intense inquiry into spirit. Her yoga is inspiring!” – Rodney Yee
“I have had the great good fortune of working with a true genius of yoga, Karuna Erickson, in developing a new system called Heart Yoga.” – Andrew Harvey
“Heart Yoga exquisitely merges the poetry of the Divine with the power of Yoga with inspired precision. Authors Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson have accomplished the rigorous blending of heaven and earth, guaranteed to inspire new and well-seasoned students of yoga. This book is a magnificent accomplishment.” – Caroline Myss Author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit
“On Fire: Heart Yoga is a potent offering with the depth of living wisdom, kindled knowledge and mystical insight that will ignite the inherent fire of yoga lovers everywhere. This potent offering is infused with the direct passionate experience and wisdom from two longtime love pilgrims and scholars who are calling for and igniting the inner fire of the heart of yoga with piercing insight and a living joy. I have made Andrew Harvey’s books a must-read in all our teacher trainings and this is another sacred classic.” – Shiva Rea, international yoga teacher
“Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson have written an inspirational and passionate guide recognizing modern day yogis as mystics on the mat. They invite us to experience our mats as temples, our movements as embodied prayer, the world a divine altar, and our actions as the tools for change. Heart Yoga addresses how the awakening of the cosmic soul within the physical form inspires us to align our individual hearts with the universal call for action and service; the natural progression of yoga beyond the body.- Seane Corn, yoga teacher, Global Yoga Ambassador for YouthAIDS, co-visionary for “Off the Mat, Into the World”
“Reading On Fire: Heart Yoga was a delicious revelation. Harvey and Erickson have blended the powerful practicality of yoga poses with the transcendent power of heart-opening spirituality in ways that are both inspiring and practicable for everyday life. I recommend it heartily to all students of yoga and self-transformation, as well as to those who simply want to live more deeply, more richly and more happily.” – Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D, PT, yoga teacher since 1971 and author of A Year of Living Your Yoga.