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Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin





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Introducing a Four Day Workshop/Retreat at Kak’s Shanti


THE OVERVIEW This is an off-grid, simple living situation without the usual plumbing and power we so often take for granted. Here we are obliged to be mindful of every drop of water and every ampere we use. While we’re at it, we might as well be mindful of the fragile desert environment and the ecosystem at large! Tune in to alternative ablutions! But don’t worry, here we have a solution for all your needs, though it may be a bit different than what you’re used to! That is a key component of this whole concept…

Come armed with a desire to learn and relax. To learn relaxedly. This is not an intensive event! The retreat consists of: – accomodation (4 nights) – one meal a day (4 x brunch) – daily asana practice (90 minutes with teacher, 4 sessions) – daily hour long workshop on interesting topics (4 workshops)  – local knowledge/assistance I will always willingly share local knowledge/maps/info for your afternoon gallavants and help as I am able.   THE WORKSHOP TOPICS -Yoga philosophy, pranayama, meditation, karma yoga – Simple living and basic permaculture techniques  (this is what I mean!: – Sourdough bread making, kombucha making, sauerkraut and other lacto ferments   THE ACCOMODATION; CASITA TARA
This is a treat! A brand newly built little “sleep out” made mostly of windows! Don’t worry, there are curtains for privacy but whoa, what a night sky view this provides; experience sleeping outside without sleeping outside! Of course there is always the option of actually sleeping outside with many strategically placed futons. Casita Tara is only a bedroom. It has no electricity or anything else except a glorious view! Consider the situation “glamping”! (Camping but in a very comfortable, large, solid tent!) THE LOCATION Kak’s Shanti is located several miles up a county maintained dirt road, off scenic highway #9, 8 miles
from the East entrance of Zion National Park. This is a fairly remote location; come prepared! Snacks, water and any other necessities are a good drive away so plan ahead.   THE SCHEDULE   FOUR DAY RETREAT/WORKSHOP …… -Arrive afternoon on eve of retreat. -Optional dinner prepared $20 per person (any evening but must know in at least one week in advance). -Settle in. Familiarization tour.   – Day 1: (4 hours, including break and brunch) 8:30 am – 10:00 am Asana practice 10:30 Brunch 11:30 – 12:30 Introduction to yoga philosophy Afternoon free, recommend hikes etc.   – Day 2: (4 hours, including break and brunch) 8:30 am – 10:00 am Asana practice

10:30 Brunch 11:30 – 12:30 Introduction to simple living techniques; composting, humanure, water economy methods, power economy methods Afternoon free   – Day 3: (4 hours, including break and brunch) 8:30 – 10:00 am Asana practice 10:30 Brunch 11:30 – 12:30 Introduction to lacto-fermenting, SCOBYs (kombucha and water kefir) yogurt and sourdough with option to take home your own starters! Afternoon free   – Day 4 (4 hours, including break and brunch) 8:30- 10:30 am Asana practice 11 am brunch 11:30 – 12:30 karma yoga (helping me on a project!) Early afternoon departure.

Total cost (not including dinners) $428 per person.






Get there

I know I know!



Head Heart

Be kind

be kind


Sourdough at Sea! (Videos)

Thank you Noelle Anderson for the great video work!!

Start Here!

Welcome! Give yourself a congratulatory tap on the shoulder for choosing to read this post.

By choosing to read this you are manifesting a desire to improve your well being and that, in itself, is crossing the threshold to a rewarding path. Hopefully you will also take this first step.

In one sitting you will learn some very simple techniques and discover how to inject them into your daily life. It’s so easy! Well, let’s get on with it!

  1. Your eyes open in the morning, you stretch and sit up. This is where you begin! Think of something to be grateful for. Let that be your first thought. By remembering to do this you will also be applying mindfulness, another beneficial behavior. So far, so good!
  2. Ten minutes of the time it takes you to prepare for your day must be freed up for your practice. You may have to get out of bed ten minutes earlier but it will be so worth it in the long run! Doing this practice in the morning is the most beneficial because the effects will positively impact your day. Ideally, you will find another ten minutes in the evenings for a practice also..
  3. .Bermuda


These ten minutes will include:

  • Breathing exercises for five minutes.
  • Relaxing the mind for five minutes.

Your Daily Breathing Exercise

It is a well documented fact that the way we breathe impacts our overall health as much as nutrition. Our cells can only function properly if adequately oxygenated. Our nervous system can be regulated through the breath. It is the number one method for stress and anxiety reduction.

Never breathe through your mouth! That is your emergency back up breathing body part only. It is best used for eating and kissing!

There are many specific techniques which can be investigated. All are worthy!

Here are a couple of good links:

I am going to teach you a relaxing breathing technique first.


-Sit on a chair with a straight spine, legs uncrossed or on the floor with a cushion just under the bottom of the spine, legs crossed or folded beneath you.

-Rest your hands on your lap, arms loose, shoulders relaxed, face relaxed.

-Close your eyes.

-A note on breathing deeply. This does not mean taking in whopping great amounts of air but rather bringing the air DEEP into the lungs. We can do this better by placing a hand on the abdomen and pushing the abdomen out with an inhale. That is what happens when the diaphragm expands.

Ready? Let’s do this for 10 rounds.

-Inhale for a count of 4 

-Hold for a count of 7

-Exhale for a count of 8.

Find your pace at the edge of your comfort zone! Don’t strain or gasp.

-Now just breathe normally for 30 seconds and then do another round of 10 “relaxing breaths”.

Three or four rounds should take you five minutes.

Voila! You’re on the way to better health and well being already! Onward!


Your Daily Mind Relaxing Exercise

Initially, I strongly recommend a short guided meditation. There are many which can be downloaded from the internet. Guided meditations come in many lengths ranging from two minutes to an hour or more so pick one that is approximately five minutes to begin with. Choose a voice that you find soothing and credible and a style which appeals to you.


Get yourself into a comfortable position, either sitting with a straight spine, chin slightly tucked in or lying on your back with hands to the side, palms up and legs slightly spread apart. Press play, relax and let yourself be guided!

Too easy!

  1. Begin infusing your days with mindfulness. Keep your attention focused on the task at hand. Gently gather the wandering mind. Pay attention to your breathing now and then. Pay attention to your posture. Observe the many miracles that surround us every day.

Be kind to people, bearing in mind that everyone is struggling with something we know nothing about and they are all doing the best they can manage. Be kind even if their best doesn’t seem very impressive to us at times!

Vishuddhi Chakra

Vishuddhi Chakra.

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