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Prana Power! A Yoga and Ayurveda Full Moon Party | Friday, August 16th, 6-10pm | The Moon Lodge at Hawthorn Farm, Medfield, MA | with Lauren Massalas Ayurveda

When a fire is blazing, there’s equal potential for transformation and decimation, depending on how it’s wielded. Learn to tend the fire of pitta during summer season so you can use it for transformation without burning out. This next installment in Laura and Lauren’s seasonal collaboration is geared towards keeping cool, so we can be warm-hearted rather than hot-headed and overheated.

Laura will guide you through her signature yoga practice, geared towards wisely tending the fire that blazes out of balance during the summer, including plenty of cooling and balancing breathwork and a long savasana to bring peace to your pitta. The practice is adaptive and can accommodate all abilities. Lauren’s Ayurveda lecture will include accessible applications of the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda through practical lifestyle and food recommendations for the season and how it affects us in mind and body.

You’ll learn and practice Ayurvedic oil massage on your feet with cooling rose and coconut, get outside by the lake for a moon gazing meditation, and have dinner and dessert including Ayurvedic versions of your favorite summer foods. Because no party is complete without them, there will be Ayurvedic mocktails to suit the season. We'll send you on your way with a gift from us so you can keep your cool in the dog days of summer.

 Investment: $120 for welcome drink, yoga practice, ayurveda lecture, abhyanga oil massage materials and lesson, moon-gazing meditation, dinner, dessert, curated mocktails, and parting gift

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Living Yoga Retreat to Vida Pura, The Algarve, Moinho Das Canas, Portugal, August 31-September 6, 2019, www.vida-pura.com

Vida Pura, located in the Algarve on the Southern coast of Portugal, is a place where the natural beauty of the land is accentuated and sustainability reigns supreme. Everything is reused, recycled, regenerated. Watch this video for a quick sense of place. We’ll practice yoga twice daily, with an emphasis on living the practice in the world, eat three organic meals in community and conversation, and enjoy basking in the sun, swimming in the biological pool, and hanging out in hammocks. In addition to helping to care for the animals on site, we’ll take a donkey trek to a lunch spot on the nearby beach, and stand up paddleboard on the Odeceixe river. “I like to call it inspiration land,” owner Robin explains, “It’s our wish to give people an opportunity to experience inner peace just being here and at the same time share our idea of living a pure lifestyle, both ethical and eco-friendly.” Yoga is meant to be lived in the world. We’ll explore what it means to be engaged practitioners of yoga against the backdrop of a place that’s truly exemplifying what it means to be aware of one’s impact.

Highlights

  • 2x daily yoga on a beautiful sheltered deck

  • Explore yoga philosophy topics in daily life

  • 7 days 6 nights stay, all included

  • 3x daily locally grown organic vegan meals by a private chef

  • Truly self-sustaining and regenerative retreat center

  • Stand up paddleboard on the Odeceixe River

  • Donkey treking to a picnic lunch

  • Close to the ocean and traditional villages

  • Bicycle rental, explore the area

  • Care for the animals on site

  • Biological swimming pool


The Yoga Practice

Twice daily yoga will set the stage for the inquiry that retreat provides. Practices will build upon one another to deepen your experience of the retreat theme which is carefully chosen and revealed upon arrival.

Through the lens of yogic philosophy and Buddhist psychology, this retreat will encourage participants to stand strongly in themselves at helm of their own lives. In yoga, we won’t mess around -- the 2 hour morning practice is the usual Laura Ahrens signature and the evening 75 minute practice we’ll dig into a permutation of restorative, meditation, chanting, yogic philosophy lecture, or community discussion.

Retreating provides the space needed for introspection, reflection, and reconnection in order to come back to our daily lives with more attention and intention. da Vinci would step away from his canvas in order to see it with fresh eyes and new perspective. On retreat there’s an opportunity to balance the nervous system to glimpse the benefits of repatterning and releasing habitual ways of being so we can approach life with more intention and choice.

Food

On-site holistic chef Hayley North doesn’t just cook health food. She spends lots of time selecting from different local organic suppliers, in combination with the property’s own bio-dynamic grown produce to make your three daily meals. At Vida Pura they aim for 100% organic. A part of the veggies and fruits come from their own biodynamic garden, depending on the season. The menu is based on macrobiotic principles, but also 5 element theory, vegan, vegetarian. She is so all round that one style is too limiting. But it is all about creating a balance of Yin and Yang foods on our plate as part of a greater attempt of finding balance between body, mind and soul. The intent is to fuel you in feeling your best while on retreat and beyond.

Sustainability

Vida Pura is a self-sustaining, ecological, humanitarian endeavor that’s resulted in a beautiful retreat center to share with the world. They have their own fresh water, generate their own energy from wind and sun, grow their own bio-dynamic organic food, and recycle everything up to used toilet paper. Vida Pura is also committed to giving back to the community through sustainability and humanitarian initiatives. The apartments and guesthouse are part of the Vida Pura eco retreat and inspiration land. Besides being in a dwelling full of natural materials you get to enjoy also a 100% eco friendly holiday experience. The retreat owners love to educate others about these initiatives and would be happy to pull up a spot under a tree and talk you through their processes. For more on Vida Pura’s commitment to sustainability, watch this video.

Things To Do

Donkeys are a traditional feature of rural Portugal. Intelligent and loyal, with a relaxing temperament, they make for hard-working laborers and loving pets. Who better then, to accompany you as you explore the stunning coast and countryside? We’ll groom and harness them, then lead them on a trek to a stunning local for a picnic lunch. Vida Pura offers the opportunity to help care for their beloved animals, feeding the ducks, chickens & donkeys, finding the eggs, putting the donkeys out and manicuring their hooves.

Vida Pura is close to the beach, close to town, and situated on an area of incredible natural beauty. With many miles of accessible trails, the surrounding area is perfect to explore by bicycle (which are available for rent at your leisure). they’ll stand up paddleboard (SUP) on the tranquil river of Odeceixe, trek with donkeys to a sweet lunch spot on the beach, and spend time relaxing on the property. During the day, and especially at night, it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. The nocturnal animals sing their songs and the stream that divides the Algarve and the Alentejo trickles endlessly over the land. You can take great hikes by the river stream and up or down the valley. Odeceixe Beach is a prize winning beach in the huge Natural Park that surrounds it. The beach is great for surfing, body boarding and sunbathing. The area is filled with old world charm, as many of the villages still partake in traditional practices, like donkey ploughing.

Lodging

Click the underlined links to view more details about each lodging. Three apartments are  the Natural Elements Apartment, the Recycled Art Apartment, and the Bamboo Apartment. Each apartment includes a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, and bedroom, and can support up to two people. This lodging type costs $1600 for single occupancy for 7 days 6 nights, all meals, SUP tour, donkey trek, ground transfers to and from the airport, and yoga fees included. For double occupancy, this lodging type costs $125

0, with all the same included. Three tipis are available on site, and can support one person each. They are off-the-grid, with a nearby bathroom and electricity available for those who choose to lodge this way.  This lodging type costs $995 for 7 days 6 nights, all meals, SUP tour, donkey trek, ground transfers to and from the airport, and yoga fees included. The Serenity Room is in the main house, and can accommodate up to 3 people. This lodging type costs $1260 for 7 days 6 nights, all meals, SUP tour, donkey trek, ground transfers to and from the airport, and  yoga fees included. The Contemplation Room is in the main house, and can accommodate up to 2 people. This lodging type costs $1180 for 7 days 6 nights, all meals, SUP tour, donkey trek, ground transfers to and from the airport, and  yoga fees included. The Inspiration Room is in the main house, and can accommodate up to 2 people. This lodging type costs $1180 for 7 days 6 nights, all meals, SUP tour, donkey trek, ground transfers to and from the airport, and  yoga fees included.

Details

Round trip ground transfer is provided to and from Lisbon airport. Fly in on August 30th overnight, and arrive on August 31st in the early morning. We’ll take a 3 hour scenic drive along the coast of Portugal to avoid connecting flights and transfers, and to soak in the beautiful sights. We’ll depart Vida Pura on September 6th in the early morning to head to the airport in time for departure back to the states.

Includes: Twice daily yoga, three times daily organic meals, ground transfer to and from the airport, stand up paddle tour, donkey trekking, time with animals, 7 days 6 nights of room and board of your choosing. Does not include: Flights to and from Lisbon, Portugal, purchases in nearby villages, bike rental, additional excursions, massages. $500 deposit saves your spot. E-mail laura@ahrens.yoga for registration and inquiries.

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More Metta, an Autumn retreat to Metta Earth Institute, Lincoln, VT, September 13-15, 2019, www.mettaearth.org

The Metta Earth Institute is a beautiful mecca of sustainability and heart-centered living-off-the-land in Lincoln, Vermont. Considered a spiritual center of the state, Lincoln, Vermont, is a high-vibrational host to this beautiful site. Built on 158 acres of mountains, fields, rivers, and trees, The Metta Earth Institute is a haven of permaculture, ecopsychology, environmentalism, and living lightly in the midst of its natural habitat. The opportunity at the Metta Earth Institute is to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement and to bring stewardship of the earth to the surface for examination and participation. There is a felt sense of oneness with all things, a centering into oneself, and a depth of connection that is humanizing and freeing against the backdrop of natural beauty and among other caring souls that is more available in this place through their vibrant mission and intentionality of action.

Their organic farm and flower garden is a sight to see, and is mostly what feeds and supports retreat participants for the entire weekend save a few supplemental foods from neighboring farms. The garden invites butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, and is lovingly planted on land that was blessed specifically by a Lama. It continues inside, and super special houseplants line the rooms of the main house, including a robust and mysterious Night Blooming Cereus. Daily meals, mostly grown from the organic farm on the property, are served community-style, where coming together to dine is an opportunity to experience express gratitude for the fruits of the earth, our togetherness, and the opportunity to practice.

Metta Earth Institute describes their mission in the following way: “We support living lightly and compassionately on the planet. Regenerative principles include: interdependence and a cooperative work ethic, conservation efforts for the protection of wild lands and native species, innovations in human-scale farming and gardening, contemplative practices including mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, culturally enhancing arts and healing practices, permaculture design, appropriate technologies, renewable energy, and green building.”

The main house “maximize(s) green building techniques and materials in every detail, such as the minimizing of waste through careful reuse and recycling, the use of nontoxic and eco friendly paints and building products, and energy efficient house systems...and serves as a common space for guests and staff with kitchen, bathing, library, laundry, dining, living and teaching spaces.” The Yoga Studio, also located in the main house, is floored with sustainably harvested bamboo and has light pouring in through large windows on both sides, facing the mountains and the gardens. Yurts on the premises offer another way to enjoy the land through your stay, as you have the opportunity to sleep in the midst of the forest in a sacred circular space. Camping is also offered for those who wish to bring their own tents to set up on the land.

The retreat includes three of the usual LA signature classes intended to deepen your practice, both physical and spiritual, complete with core connection and sermons of intention, to invite homecoming to and uniting of body and spirit. The practice is adaptive and can accommodate all abilities and one restorative practice with sound healing and reiki. Meditation, both active and seated, is interspersed throughout. Gillian and Russell, owners and directors of The Metta Earth Institute, co-create the retreat and share the mission and values of the Metta Earth experientially throughout the time together. Gillian will offer a tea making/ceremony in which we learn to connect more deeply to the powerful plant Tulsi and to the earth and join in the art and meditation of sipping and sharing space. We’ll also spend some time in the garden, then bring our harvest to the kitchen for pickling, pesto, and salsa making.

Gillian and Russell share the mission of Metta Earth through their teachings and presence in daily ways that are woven into mundane interactions, making the ordinary extraordinary. The cows, chickens, and sheep will become your new best friends. Weather permitting, a bonfire helps us connect to the natural elements, allowing that energy to burn what no longer serves us and to kindle that which we wish to foster. Russell is at the helm in the kitchen, and helps us to remember where our nourishment comes from. Through his gentle presence, he teaches us the power of service and awareness.

Includes: all accommodations, all yoga, reiki, sound healing and meditation, a daily morning smoothie/juice offering before practice, three daily local organic meals, tea making and ceremony, farm tour. Does not include: transportation to and from the institute, purchases in the Metta Earth store. Items available for purchase may include cookbooks, fresh eggs, homemade kombucha, dried garlic and chilis, tinctures, maple syrup tapped from Metta Earth maples, homemade salves, and more.

Investment per person: Room in Main House: $560/Yurts on Premises: $520/Camping: $470. Please see refund and exchange policy at the bottom of the page.