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Anahata Yoga Retreat is excited to announce that Sannyasi Shivani Howe, Karma Sannyasin, co-founder and Spiritual Director of Ishtadev Niwas Ashram (Canada) will be leading a full weekend retreat at Anahata Yoga Retreat from February 21-23rd, 2020, THE NATURE OF KARMA AND BEYOND– Understand Your Karmas, Change Your Life. In addition, Sn Shivani will also be leading an ancient labyrinth walking meditation the morning of Monday, February 24th.

Whether you are interested in attending the retreat and would like to learn more about it, or are already enrolled and and just can’t wait to get started, we have asked Sn Shivani to unpack some of the concepts, themes and terminology of this profound weekend Retreat.

So let’s jump in:

Could you please unpack some of the concepts mentioned in your retreat description, like the Koshas, Karma, numerology, chakra psychology and what karmic tendencies might look like?

Shivani: Koshas; are the sheaths of awareness the soul experiences that creates a reality to which we call life.  Think steam, water, ice – they are all H2O but because we interact with them in different ways we often consider them to be separate things.  But they are not. Understanding this, and better yet, experiencing it, can help us create a life rooted in health and harmony.

Karma; is the understanding of cause and effect being rooted in the same action.  And then learning how our Samskaras (impressions) and Vaasanas (impulses) are directing the karmas that create our reality.   – yeah I know… more terminology to wrap our brains around. That’s ok, we will go over all of it in the retreat.

Numerology; from the core understanding that all life is manifested from a place of frequency/vibration we start to understand how numbers are symbols for these different vibrations and that they communicate to us.

Chakra Psychology; is the body of wisdom that is intrinsic to understanding why we are here having a human experience and what we need to do while we are here.   It is the rainbow bridge that links all of the characteristics of our physical, emotional and mental patterns and along with the Koshas, helps us to map the full micro and macro of the souls development from the base level fight and flight fully up to the pure Divine consciousness or Paramatma itself.  

Karmic Tendencies; are the patterns we are still consciously or unconsciously identifying with that keep showing up in our behaviour and reality we find ourselves in.  For example the type of person we are attracted to or our relationship to food. Our karmic tendencies are the ruts in our personalities and our psyches that we keep dropping down into when the going gets tough.  Yoga, is the system of techniques and philosophy that helps us create new grooves in our psyche so that when we come up against these karmic tendencies we have more to choose from than simply “it’s what I’ve always done”.  This empowers us to step forth towards our fullest potential in life. 

These concepts and frameworks are MUCH more than what I have outlined here… and I hope it makes you curious enough to come and explore them in the retreat.  

How do these concepts work together to manifest action and help change the courses of lives? 

Shivani: Ah, well this question is much bigger than a paragraph or two, or even ten!  Because taking multiple frameworks of wisdom and weaving them together to get a multi dimensional framework of this beautiful thing called life is not a quick answer.  In fact, it’s exactly what you will be learning by being in the retreat. So if you are really interested in my answer to this question I would recommend you come along.  

How did you come to find and embrace all these different facets of yogic philosophy? What has your personal journey with them looked like?

Shivani: My journey with yoga and chakras started in the year 1999 when I was studying colour psychology as part of my design degree in Auckland.  I was studying how colour affected our interaction with spaces and the further I dug, the more it led me to look at light frequencies, or chakras, that create our aura and our direct perceptions of reality.  From there I started my journey with Asana in 2001, having been diagnosed with severe Endometriosis and stress levels off the charts. Then after moving from New Zealand to Canada I did my teacher training (650 hours) in 2004.  My first trip to India, to experience ashram life and do the Chakra Sadhana Immersion in Rikhiapeeth, Deoghar, was 2006 and I have been back every year since… the rest is history. 

Why is it valuable to identify and trace our patterns? How will this assist us in our personal healing journeys?

Shivani: Knowledge is power, and experience creates wisdom. The patterns we unconsciously identify with have tremendous power over our reality. When we learn about these modalities of wisdom, we start to loosen the unconscious hold and start to experience that we have a choice between experience and response rather than reaction.  I believe that given the right understanding and the right tools, anyone is able to create a life that leads to health, peace and prosperity.  

How will one expect to feel whilst on this retreat?  

Shivani: Primarily I endeavour to hold space for the teachings in a way that people can expect to feel safe, even in the face of their fears coming to the surface. Loved, amidst new experiences and uncertainty, and understood even when the subconscious and unconscious patterns arise that have been with us for ions that have us locked in the past or the future.  

What can one expect to take away from this retreat? 

Shivani: My main intention for people to take away from this retreat is, like us, multi dimensioned.  Firstly, I want people to take away a clear understanding of the Koshas and how these create our reality from a practical point of view teamed with the experience of what the next steps are for self discovery and our multi dimensional functionality.  

I want people to have explored this body of work like a treasure hunt within them,  to have dug deep and laughed whole heartedly.  

I love it when people leave a retreat with happy hearts, full bellies, enough knowledge and experience to feel inspired, and enough awareness of the potential depth of these teachings that they realize we all have more layers to peel, to deepen into and to celebrate.  

Who would you recommend this retreat to?  

Shivani: I would recommend this retreat to committed yoga practitioners, courageous seekers of a delicious life, and yoga teachers committed to embodying the teachings they share.

What can one expect from a private session with you whilst on retreat? 

Shivani: My dharma sessions allow people the opportunity to seek specific guidance on specific experiences and patterns.  It gives the client an opportunity to have a sadhana or spiritual practice tailor made for them that they can do with confidence and clarity that these practices are invoking and materializing their intention of health and transformation. 

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