We had an intense month with four retreats in Pandavas Paradise. We started with the New Year yoga retreat on the 26th of December and ended with a January yoga retreat on the 22nd of January. In between we had two bhakti retreats.
Our New Year Yoga Retreat was a huge hit: fully booked and a great group of people. We had six days with lots of yoga (Iyengar style), beautiful weather, walks, swimming in the waterfalls and, of course, japa, kirtan and lecutres on Krishna consciousness every day.
A few days later we had another fully booked retreat, our Pandavas Retreat and Festival, celebrating 6 years of retreats. This bhakti retreat is focused on sadhu-sanga. This year we were again blesssed with the presence of the charismatic Chandramukha Swami (HDG), one of the three Brazilian gurus in ISKCON.
The main event of the retreat was the Festival, where we invite residents from the local town to participate. Hours of kirtan, lecture, more kirtan and prasadam! They love it.
Every January we program two bhakti retreats back to back, allowing people to come for a full 9 days of immersion in Krishna consciousness. The second bhakti retreat was a Bhakti-shastri retreat, with some 4-5 hours a day of lectures on the Bhagavad-gita, Sri Isopanisad, Nectar of Instruction and Nectar of Devotion. Of course, also lots of japa, aratiks, kirtan and prasada! One lady who attended this year had previously had no contact at all with Krishna consciousness and is now, after the retreat, chanting sixteen rounds, studying Prabhupada’s Gita and totally enthused.
After only a few days of rest we had our January Yoga Retreat (Ashtanga Yoga style). This group bonded very quickly, despite their very different backgrounds. Many of them reported having felt a deep awakening and a desire to get serious about their spiritual life.
We had some beautiful summer days where they got to enjoy the unique experience of walking in our private nature reserve of over 1000 acres and swimming in our exclusive waterfalls, born from springs within the property.
The diversity of the people who are attracted to our retreats is amazing. In just these four retreats we had: a zen buddhist computer analyst, an eye-brow designer (yes, there is such a carreer!), a whale researcher, a physics professor, an aspiring public prosecutor, an actress, a mathematician who works in artificial intelligence, a samba/soul singer, as well as doctors, government workers, a personal trainer, and a devotee fireman, with ages of the guests ranging between 21 and 72, not including the children who came along.
A nice devotee couple from Salvador, Krishna Yoga and Purushottama, came to help us with these four retreats, since Charana Renu was “too pregnant” to cook. The guests especially loved the typical Bahia food she prepared (as did we!).
Here are links to the photo albums for these retreats:
New Year Yoga Retreat, click here;
Pandavas Festival Retreat, click here;
Bhakti-shastri Retreat, click here;
January Yoga Retreat, click here.