Ten Valley Businesses Join Together to Host Retreat
By Christa Bedwin
A Valley business owner put together an extraordinary retreat this summer, and the participants were so delighted with it that I feel excited to tell other local business owners so maybe we all can get inspired to do something similar. The Valley has plenty of potential to become a real retreat destination!
Kayla Cotton of Lahara Yoga in Wolfville put together a retreat with 10 compatible businesses from the Valley. Retreat participants were delighted, mentioning that they loved the experience of coming to the Valley and trusting that all details were organized for a few days, so that they could let go of all their worries and truly relax. Several of them came with a friend or relative to make a special time together: “I was honestly so pleased with every part of the retreat,” one participant said. “Even the rain didn’t dampen the day. You were so well organized and didn’t leave out any detail. I have already recommended your studio and future retreats to my girlfriends. I can’t wait for another! Thank you.”
Participants also mentioned how nice it was to step outside of their usual lives and the people who normally fill their days, for a little window of self-love, treats, and self-care. One said, “I joined this retreat as I have been experiencing an enormous amount of stress and grief in the last number of months. This was a form of self care and healing for me. I loved the experience of ‘losing myself’ and ‘letting go’ during guided meditation, chanting, dancing, and through kirtan.”
So, what are the ingredients to a great retreat? A strong leader that people can trust, great music, great food, and fun, rewarding activities. For music offerings, this retreat featured Daniel McFadyen for yoga in the park, Heidi Kalyani of Heart Wide Open for a Sunday kirtan, and the participants themselves, as they learned to sing and dance group mantras from around the world. The participants had yoga and meditation practices with Kayla and Christa, a nature and wild herb identification walk with Sister Lotus’ Angie Oriana Jenkins, and reiki with Beverly Stickley. They had an opportunity to apply their chakra and energy-medicine learning in the Sunday free yoga class (the members of the public who came that day got double-benefit). Some participants also went paddle boarding with Mia Lockhart in some glorious Valley sunshine on the bay.
The food included a delicious vegan lunch from Abby Goodwin’s Love Kitchen and a cozy bonding dinner at the The Church Brewery. The participants got to practice their pranayama (breath work) during a wonderful wine tasting after the tour at Grand Pré Vineyards, and had a feast at Le Caveau.
The yoga and self-care theme threaded through the whole retreat, and the various activities were compatible and added to each other. The nature-care and sunshine and yoga prepared people to learn about their chakras, learn to go deeper with energy meditation, and how to heal themselves and others with reiki.
Lahara is planning some other theme-based retreats – what could your business be a part of? Start chatting to similar businesses and it might be surprising what you come up with.