LAOS PRESENCE RETREAT: A Mindful Meditation and Yoga Retreat
PRESENCE - A Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Retreat
15 – 20 JANUARY 2021
A mindfulness yoga retreat rooted in the principles of vipassana meditation. We will take the practice of yoga beyond its physical form to combine techniques of meditation that will take your practice towards a present-centered inquiry. You will become an impartial witness to your own movement experience. Explore how meditation and yoga asana (posture) work in unison, so that you can turn your yoga practice into a process of learning and self-discovery.
Vipassana, which means “to see things as they really are” is an ancient technique of meditation that was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago. “Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion” (Dhamma.org). In Vipassana meditation, the practitioner scans the physical body and observes physical sensations. Through the process, emotions and thoughts may enter the consciousness, but the work is to simply watch, without judgement or expectation. Over time, many of the automatic reactions that have become habitual patterns begin to subside, thus bringing about the process of transformation.
Our PRESENCE retreat will use the basic technique of vipassana mediation as the foundation of our practices. Breathing exercises (pranayama) as well as our movement practice (yoga asana) will be the platform for observation. As you breathe and move, you will be encouraged to observe sensations, emotions and thought as they arise. A varied daily schedule will ensure that you receive the benefits of all aspects of what encompasses a complete yoga practice, while keeping you engaged. We will also allow for plenty of free time to allow you to explore the surrounding area, take a hike to the viewpoint, take a boat ride, or simply relax by the pool (optional activities during our free time are not included in the price of the retreat*).
ABOUT OUR LAOS RETREATS
Our Laos retreats take place throughout the year from October to July and are immersive, educational experiences designed to increase your knowledge base in yoga philosophy, the technicalities of movement and breath, and most importantly, how to apply these into the modern framework. They are intended for novice students and seasoned practitioners alike, who would like to receive well-rounded instruction on the whole practice of yoga. Our delivery of complex subject matter is approachable and relevant so you can be assured that you will leave with a much stronger foundation in your understanding of yoga. While each retreat uses different philosophical approaches as the learning platform, you will find all of them inspiring and a great catalyst for further learning.
Each retreat will take a different philosophical subject matter as a platform for practice and learning. The various yoga philosophies are simply different approaches to finding freedom and peace within ourselves, and within the world in which we live. While yoga is often associated with its more physical component (asana), the whole practice is really an amalgamation of various underlying philosophies, breathing techniques, and meditation. With all of these components, yoga becomes a way of seeing reality and a way of navigating the complexities of life. Our teaching methods ensure that you not only understand the theory, but that you get an opportunity to tap into the experience of yoga as a holistic practice.
Our Laos retreats are designed as experiences that fill what we strongly believe is a gap between the hour-long studio practice classes and much more intensive teacher trainings. There is a need for an immersive learning space for students who simply want to know more about yoga.
Between morning practices and afternoon workshops, you can expect to be in a learning environment between 5 to 6 hours on each full day. All classes will take place in a beautiful open-air dedicated yoga shala right on the banks of the river, and we incorporate the natural surroundings into our tools for learning. As part of your experience, we encourage you to explore the simplicity of life in this remote fishing village so there’s plenty of free time each afternoon to hike to the viewpoint, take a boat ride upriver, kayak for a few hours, or explore the nearby caves. Sync into the pace of life that this beautiful country is known for and you’ll find that contentment lies in an ability to just be.
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. 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. 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.
The retreats are held at a premier bungalow resort that is situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou River, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rainforest and karst limestone mountains of Nong Khiaw. The resort offers 10 spacious clean & comfortable detached bungalows, mixing traditional Lao style with all the modern conveniences you can expect from a home away from your home. The custom-built yoga shala sits directly on the banks of the Nam Ou River, harnessing the energy of life.
Shared Room (only two twin rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis):
Fountain Bungalow – SGD578 per person
Riverside Bungalow – SGD602 per person
Single Occupancy Room:
Fountain Bungalow – SGD715 per person
Riverside Bungalow – SGD756 per person
*We are simply taking expressions of interest at the moment. No payment will be taken
- All nights accommodation
- Breakfast and dinner
- Minivan transfer from Nong Khiaw back to Luang Prabang on the last day of the retreat (you must depart with the group. We are unable to pay for transport back to Luang Prabang at any other time)
- Daily Yoga & Meditation classes and yoga workshops (full attendance is requested)
- Exclusive Urban Yogis Goodie Bag
- Wifi accessibility
- Travel to and from Laos
- Transportation from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw on the first day of the retreat
- Lunch and snacks in between meals
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any activities you choose to do on your own outside of the retreat schedule e.g biking, trekking, those that are not listed in the itinerary
- Travel Insurance
Your retreat will be led by Julie Moksim