In July, we tried a new kind of retreat. Instead of a pure bhakti or yoga and bhakti retreat, we did a dance, yoga and bhakti retreat! We met a New York dancer, Amber Joy Rava here in Alto Paraíso and decided to organize a retreat at short notice. Amber performs all over the world, including in the Cirque do Soleil.
The group that came was very sweet and soon was in the highest of spirits. They danced 5-6 hours a day, chanted the Hare Krishna mantra, swam in waterfalls, ate wonderful prasadam and did all this in a 1000 acre ecological paradise – who wouldn’t be in bliss?
On the first day they had a section on “Dancing with the Water Element” in one of our waterfalls.
Early in the day, after chanting mantras, watching the sunrise and doing mantra meditation (japa), the group had lessons in “yin yoga.”
Later Amber taught different aspects and techniques of dance, focusing on “oriental dance”.
But it didn’t stop there. Amber is very creative and the retreat was intended to help participants connect with the Divine through dance, both in material elements (earth, water, fire and air), as well as directly with the Divine, dancing for the pleasure of the Deities during kirtans. Thus, the group went out dancing atop mountains, in the rivers, at night with fire, with stones and clay and so on!
At night I also talked a little about the philosophy of yoga, explaining the concept of karma, the different practices of yoga to stop karma, Krishna consciousness, etc.
As usual the food (prasadam) was a special highlight of the event. Every day they experienced a new treat for the soul and tongue prepared by Charana Renu.
Here are some of the testimonies of the participants:
“Participating in the dance and yoga retreat was a very special experience for me, first by allowing me to connect to wonderful people – sweet, gentle, loving and full of humanity, each one doing her best to make the most of life and closely connected with the Divine -, then the charm transmitted by Mother Nature’s loving embrace, in harmony with the experiences passed through dance by our master Amber Joy… I felt everything was perfect and I thank Krishna. To be sure, I will be in Pandavas Paradise again. Thank you. “- Monica, Brasília – DF
“Reconnecting with the divine in dance gave a new meaning to my movements. Understanding the harmony between body and spirit are essential for the exercise of sacredness in women. I thank Amber for the love and care with which she conducted these discoveries and for this opportunity!” – Cathana, Brasília – DF
“I appreciated every moment lived in these days of the retreat! Our teacher, Amber, conducted with love our connection to the Sun, the earth and water and through dance and movement I could release the female beauty and sensitivity in me. I am grateful to God for this gift that I was provided – this reconnection with Krishna. “- Andreia, Sao Paulo – SP
“I treasure the memories of this piece of paradise. And I take with me the energy and love received… “- Rejane, Brasília – DF
“I can only thank God for the opportunity I got of experiencing love so naturally. I saw that my material gains mean nothing – without God’s love I will never find peace.”- Florizel, Sao Paulo – SP
Click here to see more photos of this retreat.