Yoga of Self-Development
Our guided yoga retreats, self-guided retreats, intensive courses and selfless service stays support healing, personal growth and self-development. Spiritually we offer a focus on Light and the Divine Feminine, much-needed in our world today. Please note that we are only open to guests who have made an advance reservation.
2024 dates are now available. 5 Day Retreats
- God Took Away My Hearing So I Could Hear Him More
I was born profoundly deaf, despite being an otherwise healthy baby with no medical issues or history of deafness in the family. Until I was 16 years old when I had a cochlear implant surgically inserted, my world consisted of vibrations and they were how I navigated through life. At a very young age, I noticed that everything vibrated, even inanimate objects. Eventually, along the way, I noticed that the vibrations also had colours. Trees would give off the most glorious colours, in varying shades of nearly transparent, almost metallic in appearance, sea greens, azure blues, rose pinks… the trees would mesmerize me for hours as a little girl. The waves of colours from the trees would swirl and wrap around me; I would feel draped in the trees’ essence, cocooned and protected by their powerful energies. Within the colours, I felt they contained very powerful divine information and by just being around trees, I was basking in their goodness and unconsciously absorbing their wisdom. I spent a lot of time in the woods growing up. Even the night sky was colourful. I knew that the night sky was supposed to be black with white dots for stars, because that was what I was told, however, whenever I looked up at the stars, I would see rainbow halos around the stars and the moon, I would see streaks of purple and magenta zigzagging between the stars, I would see rays of colours shooting out from orbs—but imagine my surprise the day I found out that my peers could not see those colours! I was SHOCKED because I had thought that everybody saw those colours as well. Tasting Colour I also used to think the Northern Lights made noises—a beautiful ethereal whistling-like ringing that would oscillate up and down my spine—because I could feel the vibrations from them so I assumed they were singing, until someone told me that no, Northern Lights do not make any noises, they are silent. WHAT??! No, they are not! We just cannot hear them with our physical ears, but we can hear them with our inner ears. That was what I told myself anyway—because it was either that or I was crazy. I especially loved dancing because I could feel the beat of the music—dancing was a full-body experience for me. I also started noticing that I could TASTE colours and sounds—even though I could not hear sounds with my physical ears, I could hear sounds inside my head. That unique ability came in handy when it came to mnemonics—it made me a very good student! When I said certain letters in my head, I would see different colours and realize that each letter had its own unique shade of colour and musical tone! My deafness and my ability to see colours set me apart from my peers, and henceforth the isolation and alienation started to creep in because I found I could not relate to any of my peers or even the adults around me. How do I explain to people that I can taste the colour purple?! However, as kids are wont to do, I shrugged it off and carried on, comforted by the safety of my colourful universe that I could retreat into anytime within my mind. But it was somewhat of a lonely existence. The more people I surrounded myself with, the lonelier I felt. I knew that this loneliness I had, other people could not fill. It was a loneliness for myself—I felt disconnected because I had a hard time connecting with other people. Dissipating Loneliness – Embracing the Void I had, back then, assumed I needed to feel connected to people in order to feel connected to myself. I now know that I only need to feel connected to myself. The loneliness is a homesickness for home and home is where the heart is. When I feel at home in my heart, feeling connected to myself and knowing myself, the loneliness dissipates. I thought I was lonely because I didn’t feel like I could connect with others but I was lonely because I didn’t know how to connect to myself. As I progressed further in school, I started to get bullied for my deafness. People were quick to assume that I was dumb as well because I could not speak very well. I battled many prejudices and unconscious biases. To survive, I had to grow a very thick skin, one in which insults couldn’t penetrate, but the goodness of the world also could not penetrate the barrier I set up to protect myself from the constant bullying. My sense of isolation grew. I started questioning myself. I stopped loving myself. My sense of self-worth withered away. A void opened up in my heart, a black empty void—the darkness. It started off as a very small void, I did not understand it but it grew and became a part of me. I then started to associate the void with Ego because very much like Ego, from a perspective, it is loud, colourful, tempting, appears to be your saviour, a know-it-all, overly confident and upon a closer glance, you start to see how empty Ego really is. Fast-forward to me as an adult: I am in university, I have friends, I can hear, I can speak, everything looks good on paper. But the void was still there—my darkness was there, growing bigger because I did not want to look at it because I could not comprehend what it was. It was scary too—it felt like a blackhole trying to suck me in and I felt like if I got sucked into it, I would forever lose the sense of who I was. I then tried to fill the void with food and alcohol and relationships that weren’t good for me. Alcohol seemed to fill the void the best temporarily so alcohol was my way to feel “normal”, to fit in, to go out and socialize and go against my introverted …