Tantrics depict the life force as Shakti, the Queen Snake.
To meet with the Shadow.
An encounter that is perhaps yet unshown and perhaps unknown.
Living beyond the boundaries of time and space.
Beyond our known conventions.
Where the hidden and out-of-sight is given a welcome into the arms of Life.
As the Kundalini awakens she reveals the infinite possibilities that lay on our path.
BLOOD, SEX & DEATH.
BLOOD, SEX & DEATH.
AN INITIATION INTO THE WAYS OF TANTRA.
[AUTUMN DETOX RETREAT]
10 - 14 October
Tantrics depict the life force as Shakti, the Queen Snake.
Blood is Life.
The life is in the blood.
This retreat focusses upon three Tantric archetypes that are at the root of our power: Kali, Kamakya and Kala.
This is a Hatha Shakti, Shakta non-sexual retreat that works within the ancient Shamanic Circle of Power.
We will practice a rare and powerful form of Tantric Moon invocation.
Practices are comprised of shadow themes that are ancient practices pertaining to the archetypal Goddesses and god of the Night-forces.
We will work a lot in and with the dark. Taking a journey of Power. A journey of Blood, Sex and Death, that is: Kali, Kamakya and Kala.
In Yoga, Kali, Kamakya and Kala are three Tantric archetypes that are at the root of our power, or lack of it.
Establishing a more intimate relation to the ever present realities of Kali/Blood, Kamakya/Sex, and Kala/Death is a way to establish a more intimate involvement with our life as a whole.
Our physical and spiritual health depend upon our relation with these three forces.
‘Dark’ areas of life can become places where things are feared and denied.
The Tantric vision experientially shows us that what we deny about ourselves has power over us, and reduces our potential for Life and Love.
All forms of relation to ourselves and to others form the biggest playground where the forces of blood, sex and death are made most apparent.
Kali – the giving of ourselves and the reception that is reflected back.
Kamakya – the yearning to see beyond and further together.
Kala – the parts that restrict and don’t fit expectations and plans.
The only way relation to ourselves and others can flourish and move forward is by deepening our relation to the ever present realities of Blood, Sex and Death.
Kali is Mother Nature, the dark goddess who consumes life. How we give our power into the field of life – and the mirror reflecting back to us how life consumes us – is the initiation of Kali.
Initiation by Blood!
Kamakya is the Goddess of raw desire. The clarity of our vision to see that which the deepest yearning of our soul longs for is the Initiation of Kamakya.
Initiation by Sex!
Kala is time, fear and oppression. Shiva in his darkest most terrifying form.
To face that which crushes and strangles.
To face it with the courage of the soul is the Initiation of Kala.
Initiation by Death!
We shall come together in a healing circle of power through a rare and secret practice of Yoga rooted in India’s native Shamanic and Tantric tradition.
This retreat shall take place during the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year and a potent catalyst towards the force of manifestation, The Solstice energies will equally assist us in harmonizing the night forces of Kali, Kamakya and Kala.
As we are a mirror of the universe -this planetary event will assist us in the initiation of coming into the full blown active power that is latent in the potentials of Blood, Sex and Death.
We shall move in darkness and by candle light into and through a magical realm, unbound by time constraints and allowing ourselves to move in and out of healing trance states.
Assisted by a rare combination of asanas (body postures), pranayam (breath-work), and mantras (sacred sounds) we will explore the undercurrents of consciousness and meet with our Shadow.
This will be a profoundly magical and healing journey.
A YOGA DETOX DIET
The diet on these retreats will be a traditional yogic mono diet of detoxifying Kitcheri – a mixture of half mungbeans & half rice, fruits & vegetables. Used as a healing food (one of the best diets to rid the body of accumulated toxins), Kitcheri is an ancient detoxifying yogic formula used for thinning the veil between the spirit and the physical worlds. It is classically undertaken for 5 days, which is the length of the retreat.
WHAT IS SHADOW WORK?
A short interview with Boonath.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Listen to what participants had to say.
“It shifted my understanding of what Yoga actually is,
on a fundamental level”
Farmer & Activist | UK
ANCIENT & SACRED
In these full-immersion retreats you will practice a form of Yoga that is rarely available and accessible even in India today. You will take part in a sacred Yogic tradition that roots itself in India’s native shamanic wisdom & Tantric lineage handed down orally between generations of Yogis, Babas, Sadhus and Fakirs.
You will be exposed to the old tantric ways of seeking profound healing and spiritual awakening, including practicing in darkly-lit spaces to quieten the mind and awaken the senses to the body’s subtle energy currents, holding simple postures for long periods of time, and engaging in powerful breath-work to open-up the body and take the mind into altered states of consciousness.
The practice draws on postures seldom used in modern styles of yoga, ancient sequences that honour the mother and the divine feminine, gently opening-up the body to its highest levels of flexibility through minimal effort.
Integral to this experience will be the exploration of sound-currents present in the body (Nada Yoga) – perhaps one of Yoga’s greatest secrets and one of the most powerful vehicles through which the karmic patterns stored in the chakras can be accessed and released in pursuit of profound healing.
Unique to this tradition is its simultaneous employment of Asanas (postures), aerobic & anaerobic Pranayam (breathwork), Mudras (gestures), and Mantras (sacred sounds).
The synergy created by the employment of these various yogic tools will lead you into altered states of consciousness and dream-like experiences aimed at facilitating a greater openness to inward journeying and an easier access to your subconscious.
Because we are going to play with shamanic yogic traditions, the practice will take place outside of clearly time constraints. In line with this approach, there will be no predefined time schedule in order to allow the energy of the group to flow freely, and for the teacher to guide the practice in accordance with the group’s energy and needs. Classes, ceremonies, exercises, chanting, eating and even sleeping will happen naturally and not according to a fixed time. Participants will be expected to take part in every session and it will not be possible to dip in & out of the practice. Participants will be expected to spend some time every day helping with the preparations of meals and the tidying of the yogashala.
The retreat is suitable for beginners & advanced practitioners. In particular to all those seeking a deeply healing experience. The practice does not involve strenuous physical exercise, but physical flexibility will be necessary to participate in the retreat. Because places are typically limited to 12 participants, priority will be given to those with a serious intention & commitment to leaving their comfort zone & seeking genuine change. Yoga teachers, bodyworkers & shamanic practitioners will benefit from the retreat as they will learn rare tantric healing techniques. The retreat is not suitable for people with serious forms of psychosis. If you are a regular user of alcohol or drugs please discuss the issue with us prior to booking, thank you.
The practie usually takes place in the dark or darkly-lit spaces.
The pictures below were taken during the closing circle on the final morning of the retreat.
They capture the flow of a practice spent grounding before returning home.
BOONATH was born into a life of yoga. He grew up between Europe and India and was introduced as a child to yoga through his grandparents who were on both sides yoga practitioners.
His grandparents took him on his first Himalayan pilgrimage when he was just seven years old and he has been exposed to the world of yogis ever since.
Boonath has taken initiation into the left hand path (that’s the path of the heart) and specialises in the branch of Chandra Parampara, that is a secret style of Moon practice that works with the night forces. It is a style of tantra that goes very deep into the subconscious roots It is first and foremostly a Healing System. Most of his family still lives in India and he has been travelling there regularly throughout his life in pursuit of yoga. He has worked closely in apprenticeship with elders in the line of Siddha systems of healing and holds much knowledge in the use of rituals, mantras and body/spirit healing methods among other things.
Boonath has been working in this line and helping people with the implementation of these techniques for over 25 years to successfully overcome mental and physical problems, from chronic pain to addiction.
Boonath’s healing and yoga work sees him travelling across the whole of Europe to give workshops and healing sessions. His travels and yoga workshops continue to benefit people in deprived circumstances.
In recent years Boonath has been living and teaching yoga in Germany where he has a network of students. It was in Berlin that Boonath met Kim, with whom Boonath co-founded Working with the Shadow in 2014.
Formal studies and encounters have all left their impression on Boonath, but his teachings are deeply rooted in the Shamanic traditions of the mystical Babas and Fakirs of India, with whom Boonath has been studying closely since childhood to the present day.
KIM is an Eco-activist & researcher turned Yogi and the founder of Healing in the Willows, the retreat company hosting Working with the Shadow, which he developed in 2014 in collaboration with Boonath, who he assists with the teaching on the retreat. Kim discovered Yoga in 2005, following a burn-out at work that brought him onto a spiritual path. Kim had spent over 10 years coordinating international environmental campaigns in Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin for major environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth, ActionAid, and many others.
Kim practiced Yoga with many teachers from several modern styles of Yoga (including Iyengar, Astanga, Vinasa, Bikram, Sivananda, Scaravelli, Kundalini) all over Europe, India and further afield. In 2011 Kim set up a first yoga collective in Berlin, which he then expanded to a new location in 2013, in one of the economically deprived areas of town that was undergoing gentrification. The collective brought together a variety of local teachers to promote yoga on a donation basis within the surrounding community unable to afford the increasing cost of living. It was there that Kim met Boonath and, through Boonath, that his understanding of what Yoga is and what Yoga can do shifted entirely. Boonath’s rare and ancient Tantric lineage revolutionised Kim’s understanding of Yoga and initiated him into a mystical healing journey that impacted strongly also on Kim’s activist work.
Since then Kim has been collaborating with Boonath on developing Working with the Shadow through the retreats they run in a remote forest in Tuscany, where Kim lives, and the workshops they run across Europe.
“Two years ago I went on a deeply self-
& life-affirming yoga retreat called “Working with the Shadow.”
Boonath, the teacher, shared a very different yoga experience than I had ever had
& it was profoundly beautiful… and challenging!
One of the chants stayed with me
& ended up on the song “Remain the Sea” on my album Land of Gold.
I urge anyone interested to check out their upcoming retreats.”
Musician | India/UK
QUIET. COMFORTABLE. PRIVATE.
You will stay in the renovated historical apartments of Querceto, a millenary hamlet purched on the edge of Tuscany’s largest National Park, Monte Rufoli.
Each apartment hosts 4-6 participants in single & double rooms, but renting private apartments is also possible for those searching a quieter experience.
Located on the Etruscan Coast, Querceto is just a short drive away from beautiful and secluded Mediterranean beaches, which make for a perfect holiday for those wishing to extend their stay. The closest train station is Cecina, a short train journey from Pisa airport. We organise airport transfers from PIsa and pick-ups from Cecina station.
YOGIC VEGAN DIET.
The diet on these retreats will be a traditional yogic mono diet of detoxifying Kitcheri – a mixture of half mung-beans & half rice, with a pinch of rock salt and coconut oil (with the occasional addition of fruits & vegetables). Used as a healing food (one of the best diets to rid the body of accumulated toxins), Kitcheri is an ancient detoxifying yogic formula used for thinning the veil between the spirit and the physical worlds. It is classically undertaken for 5 days, which is the length of the retreat. All meals will be Vegan (and Gluten-free) as Veganism best embodies the contemporary meaning of Ahimsa [‘non-violence’] – the very first observance on the path to Yoga.
Committed to making the retreats available to the widest possible demographic
we offer a range of prices to match all pockets.
For those in need of financial support (students, the unemployed or on low income)
we have two BURSARIES available on every retreat – up to 40% off depending on circumstances.
It is also possible to set up a PAYMENT PLAN if paying all at once should not be possible.
Prices vary according to the type of accommodation and include all meals, materials
and full access to the location’s facilities (yoga-shala, infinity pool, etc).
Price is per person.
Two people in two single beds.
Double occupancy €699
Two people sharing a large double bed.
One bedroom apartment.
Larger apartments available.
If you cannot find affordable flights for the dates of the retreat,
look for the cheapest flights closer to the retreat’s dates and consider extending your stay
either in the hamlet or the nearby cities of Pisa or Florence.
Get in touch for more details.
BOOK / INQUIRE.
If you would like to join the retreat we kindly ask you to send us an email and tell us a little about yourself:
– Your age,
– Your background / profession,
– Your lifestyle,
– Any health issues (physical/mental/emotional),
– Previous experience with practicing Yoga, meditation, shamanism, etc.,
– More importantly, what draws you to come on such a healing journey?
Please be aware that typically places are limited to 12 participants per retreat, so places go fast.
Also, we request that participants abstain from recreational drugs (including weed & hash) and alcohol, for at least a month prior to the retreat taking place as their use can seriously compromise the experience on the retreat and its outcome, both for the individual and the group as a whole (if you have an addiction, please let us know and we will find look for a solution).
The retreat is not suitable for people affected by severe forms of psychosis, however Boonath is available to treat people affected by psychosis privately in Berlin (get in touch with us for more details).
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