By COURTENAY CULLEN AND SHARADA FILKOW
SPECIAL TO THE DRIFTWOOD
The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga would like to invite our fellow Gulf Islanders to join our Virtual Annual Community Yoga Retreat, taking place online for the first time from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2.
This is our 46th annual summer retreat; the longest-running family retreat in western Canada. The theme of this year’s retreat is “Bringing it Home,” as we learn to bring our practice home, and also to come home to ourselves during these times of change.
While online this year, the retreat will still be packed with incredible experiences. From beautiful morning meditations to breathwork; yoga classes taught by our excellent and experienced teachers; live music and kirtan; and fabulous entertainment, with a one-man Ramayana performance and even a live-hosted talent show.
We will even have chat rooms we’re calling “picnic tables” where folks can simply come together and connect, whether it be for the first time, or to reminisce about retreats past.
But it wouldn’t be a family retreat without the kids. This year we’ve created a special kids program that will be partly on-screen but that will also offer projects and activities for kids to do off-screen at home and outside. Kids have always been a hugely important part of our community and our retreat, and this year is no exception.
The centre was founded in 1981 here on Salt Spring, inspired by the teachings of Baba Hari Dass, a silent monk and master yogi, who taught his students to live their yoga practice through kindness and service. The centre is also home to the beloved Salt Spring Centre School, which for many years has been helping our island’s children to grow into wonderful, compassionate human beings. The centre has also hosted many years of yoga getaways, yoga teacher trainings, and volunteer programs. Through all these means the centre holds a special place in the hearts of many islanders and beyond.
Like many islanders and local businesses, the centre — a nonprofit — has been hit hard by COVID-19, with all of our in-person programing cancelled due to safety precautions. As such, our virtual retreat is also a major fundraising effort for the centre at a critical time. We humbly ask our fellow islanders for the love and support they have always given so freely, and to join us for what promises to be a weekend filled with joy, laughter and lots of family and yoga. We are offering tiered registration, in hopes that everyone will be able to attend, no matter their financial situation.
We are so grateful to have been a part of this special island community for so many years.
“Peace in the mind, love and compassion in the heart, bring the scattered world into one reality.” -Baba Hari Dass
To register or find out more about our Virtual Annual Community Retreat or other ways you can help or donate to the centre, please visit our website at www.saltspringcentre.com. Retreat inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.