week in LAOS with us
(Oct 4- 6 are Myanmar
LAOS MINDFULNESS MEDITATION AND YOGA RETREAT
Monday October 2 - Saturday October 7
A Mindful Celebration of , Boun Ok Phansa, the Laos Festival of Light
Laos Festival of Light
In honor of the Festival of Light, or Boun Ok Phansa, as it is called in Laos, this retreat is about letting go of the past and the things in life that do not serve us, and moving towards new beginnings. Boun Ok Phansa marks the end of Buddhist lent. In celebration of this day, locals make krathongs, or floating offerings, which they light with candles and incense, and float into the river. The floating of the krathongs represent a floating away of the past and a letting go. Lanterns are released into the sky. We will begin our retreat with an opening ceremony to create an intention of letting go. On our final evening, we will join together in a ceremony in which we will make our own krathongs and set them afloat on the river, along with all that we wish to release. We invite you to join us in one of the country's most beautiful and mindful festivals.
A Retreat Based on the Techniques of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group-based program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMASS Medical Center, Centre for Mindfulness for populations with a wide range of physical and mental health problems. It uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness and yoga to help people become more mindful. After a retreat led by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Kabat-Zinn adapted the teachings on mindfulness into the structured eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, which integrates the healing aspects of Buddhist meditation practices with the concept of psychological awareness and healing. Several core guided meditation practices are taught in the course, emphasizing connection with the present moment through expanded awareness of specific aspects of our moment-to-moment existence. The body scan, a foundational practice of the MBSR course, is derived from a traditional Burmese meditation practice called sweeping, which S.N. Goenka teaches in his 10-day Vipassana retreats. While inspired by the teachings of Buddhism, there is nothing inherently religious about mindfulness, and MBSR is taught independent of religious or cultural connotation, so while its roots are spiritual, the program itself is secular. In recent years, meditation and particularly the MBSR program have been the subject of controlled clinical research that suggest beneficial effects including stress reduction, relaxation and improvements to quality of life.
Our program uses various tools of MBSR such as body scans, three-step breathing space (SBS), emotional identification and inquiry to give you practical and tangible tools to work towards a mindful lifestyle. Together, practice and theory will be delivered in an easy-to-understand format so that you begin to experience your own meditation and movement practices as pathways towards greater self-discovery. Morning and evening yoga asana classes will be slower and soulful to support the mindfulness practice. During the afternoon workshops, we will explore various aspects of MBSR in more detail through practice and discussion. Topics to be covered include:
Auto-pilot: Discovering how we go through life in automatic pilot and how to shift from the “doing” mode that creates stress in our lives.
Power of attention, attitude, awareness
Triangle of awareness – body, thoughts, emotions
8 attitudes: developing the attitudes that will help respond to any situation with curiosity and kindness
STOP (space between stimulus and reaction where we can choose a response): Discovering how to respond rather than react
Practicing looking AT thoughts rather than FROM thoughts in order to help free ourselves from rumination and negative thought patterns
Labeling thoughts and emotions - Recognize, Acknowledge, Investigate, Non-Identity (RAIN)
Compassion and mindfulness-based joy
DAY 1 (Oct 2):
1:30PM Arrival and check in
2:00PM Individual Meetings
4:00PM Introductions and retreat overview/setting intentions
5:00PM Yoga and Meditation
7:30PM Organic Buffet Dinner
DAY 2 (Oct 3) - DAY 5 (Oct 6):
7:30 AM Guided Meditation (Applying techniques of MBSR)
8:30 AM Mindful Flow Yoga
10:00 AM Breakfast
3:00 PM Afternoon workshops (Mindfulness, present-centered attitudes, emotional inquiry, compassion etc.)
5:00 PM Yin Yoga/Krathong making and special evening program on last evening
7:30 PM Organic Buffet Dinner
DAY 6 (Oct 7) :
7:30 AM Meditation
8:30AM Mindful Flow Yoga
11:00AM Closing ceremony
12:00PM Check out and departure
Nong Khiaw is a sleepy village, nestled in the highlands of Northern Laos. Located approximately 150 km from Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road and river. Travel by road to Nong Khiaw from Luang Prabang takes approximately 3 hours, although many travelers opt for the longer, 6-hour boat ride as the views along the river are spectacular (check with travel agencies in town for availability and pricing of boat travel and this has been affected by the recent building of dams along the Nam Ou River). Life in Nong Khiaw takes place primarily along the banks of the Nam Ou River. A main street and bridge run through the center of town, connecting the two sides. From Nong Khiaw, day trips to Hmong villages, rock climbing, and visits to caves and waterfalls can be arranged, but the village is best experienced at leisure. Ultimately, Nong Khiaw's draw is its impressive landscape. The Nam Ou River is flanked on both sides by rolling hills and stone massifs. The river cuts through the mountains, opening spectacular views into the distance. It's a destination not to be missed. Arrival via Luang Prabang International Airport.
Julie is the creative force behind Luang Prabang Yoga and Laos Yoga Retreats. She is also a co-owner and teacher at Yangon Yoga House. She is a Singapore-born, globe-trekking teacher and life-long student of yoga who has made Laos her home for almost six years now. As of two years ago, she has also settled part of the year in Yangon where you can find her teaching or behind the scenes at Yangon Yoga House. Julie has been leading retreats in Laos for over four years. As a teacher Julie endeavors to take the students beyond asana, to see how a complete yoga practice can positively impact life.
Pricing, details and contact information
Shared Room (only two twin rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis):
Fountain Bungalow - USD560 per person
Riverside Bungalow - USD580 per person
Single Occupancy Room:
Fountain Bungalow - USD 665 per person
Riverside Bungalow - USD 695 per person
(Prices are inclusive of accommodation for 5 nights, breakfast, dinner, all workshops and classes as well as transport back to Luang Prabang from Nong Khiaw)
All inquires to be directed to Julie at:
Mira is a 500hr certified yoga teacher, trained in India in classical Hatha and holistic yoga. Her teaching style focuses on slowing down each asana to reconnect with the body and quiet the mind in order to reap the therapeutic and transformative benefits of the practice. She has been practicing meditation and studying Buddhism and Mindfulness in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions under several great teachers in Asia and the West since being introduced in Sri Lanka in 2011, and became a certified teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2017 in hopes of promoting peace and happiness by offering access to mindfulness practice to a wider audience.