with Rev. Prakash Shakti, Retreat Director & Senior Staff
One of the greatest gifts of a silent retreat is being able to maintain our inner balance, no matter what is going on in our lives and in the world around us—so we can fully celebrate all that is wonderful in our lives and find the light and deep joy that exist even in the midst of adversities and sorrow.
As our practice of Yoga and silence deepens, we learn to maintain our equilibrium and not be pulled up or down in our moods by the events in life. We let go of attachments to experiences and outcomes and learn to be fully present with whatever is. The more we are present in the moment, the more we connect with our natural inner strength and balance and the more we experience the sacredness and deep joy of daily life
A silent retreat is the perfect way to reconnect with your inner balance. It’s an opportunity to step away from routine and take time for yourself. In the quiet and beautiful Virginia countryside, the Retreat’s program of silent reflection, expert presentations, and the Yoga practices gives participants the opportunity to renew rusty skills or learn fresh ways to deal with daily life. The retreat begins by entering into deliberate silence, called mauna. By doing this, all the energy that is normally used to interact with the world is turned inward to refresh, restore and rejuvenate body, mind and soul. In the silence, participants find space to re-examine their lives, feelings and desires.
Senior teachers will guide and inspire us to bring forth our own inner balance so we are able to enjoy all the wonders of life wholeheartedly, and also address the many challenges we face with clarity and focus. We’ll relax and strengthen our bodies and minds through classes in Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, pranayama (breathing practices) and deep relaxation. Those who are new to meditation or to the yogic practices will receive full instruction on how to do the physical practices and how to meditate. And those with more experience will have opportunity to explore more deeply.
This retreat is open to everyone from beginners to Yoga to advanced Yoga students and seasoned retreatants.
“The Spring Silent retreat at Yogaville was a wonderful experience. I found the staff incredibly warm, welcoming, and very invested in creating a peaceful and spiritual experience for retreat participants. The curriculum was a perfect balance of downtime for contemplation, practice (yoga, meditation, chanting), attending talks, service, and other activities, such as hikes around the property. In particular, the talks included a diverse array of educational, experiential, and inspirational lectures. I particularly appreciated Yogaville teachers and residents who shared their own journeys and spiritual paths with the group, as well as one of the senior teachers who hosted a Q & A session (questions were written down and anonymous).
The retreat participants were varied in experience from meditation beginners to people who had been practicing for years, and it didn’t matter. The retreat was structured so that everyone could benefit no matter their level of previous experience. Although it may seem scary to be in silence for four days, the staff and curriculum are so amazingly supportive and nurturing and I found that my mind almost immediately became quiet and relaxed. It was a profound experience for me where I gained many insights and felt truly balanced and at peace in a way that I rarely do in my daily live when so much of my energy is focused on social interaction. Finally, the retreat was set in the absolutely beautiful and peaceful setting of Yogaville, with its gorgeous natural landscape and quieting energy. And the food was fresh, wholesome, and delicious.
Overall, I cannot recommend this retreat highly enough. It is a wonderful opportunity, no matter what your background, level of practice, or spiritual inclination, to break away for a few days, commune with nature, quiet your mind, and be inspired and uplifted by loving and wise teachers. I felt I was able to reconnect to my true inner self and re-enter the outside world with a renewed sense of vigor, inner strength, and inspiration.” ~ Amy West, Silent Retreat participant
Prakash Shakti a Yoga teacher since 1971, has served as editor-in-chief for Integral Yoga Publications and director for three Integral Yoga Institutes. In San Francisco, she developed and taught programs for people with HIV & AIDS, served in hospices, and taught stress management for Dr. Dean Ornish’s program for people with heart disease. Currently, Prakash is a spiritual life coach and writes about Yoga-related topics.