During May 20-24th, we had another yoga retreat with Laurent Dauzou here in Paradise Pandavas. This time we had a smaller group, ladies only, with the upside that the group bonded very quickly, creating a very friendly atmosphere.
On the first day of the retreat we had a little rain – I think that was the last rain we’ll have now until the start of the next rainy season in September. Winter has come, with temperatures falling, getting as low as 12ºC at night (yes, that’s cold for us!) and the relative humidity now in 50-65% range. The expansive Chapada sky is a gorgeous deep blue and the clarity is amazing (the above picture was taken by one of our guests!). At night we clearly see the constellations, the Milky Way shines in the sky and shooting stars and satellites are easily spotted – there is practically no light pollution here as we’re hundreds of kilometers from any big city. This month we had the rare conjunction of Mars, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in the sky, very close to one another, being visible in the horizon just before sunrise.
Taking advantage of the fine weather, we had some great walks. On the first day we went to three of our waterfalls.
On the second day, we climbed to the lookout and then bathed in our Mahavira Kunda.
One of the main focuses of the retreat was the Iyengar yoga classes with the renowned French teacher, Laurent Dauzou. His classes are intense, but his ability is such that even with only one weekend, participants feel the difference in the alignment of their bodies (as well as, of course, the sore muscles!).
The prasadam prepared by Charana Renu was a real treat. Every meal got “oohs” and “ums” from the guests. The challenge was not to over-eat three times a day!
On the first two nights I lectured on yoga philosophy and the last two nights we did question and answer sessions.
We had our regular aratiks twice a day and chanting of japa (mantra meditation) in the mornings. One of the guests, who had never chanted japa before the retreat chanted a full hour of concentrated japa on the last day, sitting in one position the whole time!
See here comments from some of the participants of this retreat:
“The retreat was wonderful! From the moment I arrived I felt totally welcome and at every moment I was surprised to see me the affection and love with which all things were prepared – the food, the rooms, a flower placed in different places, a jar of water… Wow! And what about the lectures? Spectacular! I am sure that many of the teachings will remain in my daily life. It was a great learning experience. Anyway, the place is divine and the people who take care of it are beautiful. I loved you all. May God bless you always. Namaste! “- Alice, Aracaju-SE.
“I really enjoyed taking part in this yoga retreat in Pandavas Paradise this weekend. The place is very special. I felt very reinvigorated afterwards. Everything was wonderful. Waking up early in the cold, chanting mantras, meditating, doing yoga classes, hiking and swimming in the waterfall… it was all I needed. I was very tired and came back renewed. I loved the people, the place, the food, which is divine. In short, I can only thank God and my friend Berê who organized everything. Thank you! “- Lara, Praia do Forte-BA
“Thank you for your attention and kindness, Giridhari! I loved the weekend and came back with renewed energy. The classes with Laurent were wonderful, the place is beautiful, my retreat colleagues super friendly and wonderful people, and the food was something else altogether. Everything was very tasteful and classy! “- Fernanda, Brasília-DF
“I am very thankful to God for the wonderful days I spent there. Waking up in Pandavas Paradise always enchants me and to start the day chanting alongside such special people is a blessing. I also feel spiritually renewed and more open. I really needed it and I loved our group. Thank you for the opportunity. I will return soon. “- Angela Berenice, Brasília – DF
“It was a real pleasure to be able to have participated in this retreat in Pandavas Paradise. I am very grateful to be able to have experienced divine moments in the company of such nice people.” – Aurelia, São Paulo-SP
Click here to see more pictures of the retreat!