Retreats

Four Desires Immersion: March 8-10 in Minneapolis

Posted by on Jan 9, 2024 in Featured Events, immersion, meditation, Retreats, tantra, Uncategorized, yoga | Comments Off on Four Desires Immersion: March 8-10 in Minneapolis

 

The Four Desires 

According to ancient understanding, each of us is genius – “born with spirit.” We come into life with an essential way of being, unique talents and gifts. Each of longs to bring these forth – for these are the gifts and medicine we are here to offer to the life of the world. We will also inevitably face hardship, challenge and suffering. These painful rites of passage return us to eternal questions: : “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “Why is there pain in life and what can i do about it?”, “What am I called to?”, “How can I best serve life?”. When lived into, these inquiries initiate us into deeper ways of seeing and being. They stir the essential longings of the soul to realize the greater purpose and potential of our lives.

Yoga identifies four universal desires which compel all of human life. Collectively, they are known as the pursharthas or “the means of the soul”. They are:                                                 

  •  Dharma: To realize who we are and fulfill the greater purpose of our lives  
  •  Artha: What we need materially and non-materially to realize our dharma
  •  Kama: Joy and Happiness
  • Moksha: Freedom from suffering, healing and freedom the to live the lives we are called to

When we understand how we relate to each of them uniquely, they form a blueprint for a life of balance, empowerment and fulfillment

Unfortunately, most in our modern world tend to misdirect the power of these desires. Those inclined toward material thriving tend to seek fleeting pleasures, rather than investing in the life’s work of Self-Realization. Only to end up unfulfilled, stressed and left wanting more. Those inclined toward spiritual thriving tend to reject desire as narcissistic, lessening its capacity to bring forth healing, awakening and inspired living.  The ancient seers understood that worldly and spiritual thriving are expressions of a life well lived. When awakened, dharmic desire aligns us with the ultimate reality, and empowers us to bring forth our essential genius in service of life!

Realizing your life’s potential requires conscious attention and dedication –  you must walk the path of your destiny!

  The key to desire empowering us is to see clearly what we really want, to stay open to learning from life, and to work skillfully and selflessly toward its realization.

  In this immersion, Ben will guide and support you through the Four Desires – a profound and transformative introspective process, as laid out by Rod Stryker in his book “The Four Desires.”  We will use yogic teachings + practices, self-reflection, and journaling to:

  • Uncover your soul’s purpose for being in this life
  • Rediscover how each of the four desires resonates uniquely in your life
  • Re-cognize self-limiting patterns which keep you from fulfilling your potential
  • Learn to use these “obstacles” as a means to self-transformation
  • Create a vow of tangible action toward the realization of our calling
  • Learn techniques and practices for personal empowerment and self-mastery
  • Explore the power of right desire to transform your life and the world

Immersion Schedule:                                                                                                                 March 8: 1:30 – 8:30 pm ~ March 9: 10:30a – 6 pm ~ March 10: 9:30a – 3:30p

There will be a 90 minuted break in the middle of each day.                                                                                                

Your Investment:                                                                                                                   Full Rate – $425.                                                                                                                       Early Registration- $375, when you register and pay in full by Feb 8                             Yoga Studies Grads- $25 off the above listed rates

Space if limited, and will be allotted int he order in which deposits and registrations are received.  To register, email [email protected] and submit a $150 deposit (non-refundable) through venmo (@vincent-yoga), cash or check. Payment is due in full by March 7.

Location:  The River’s Way Mediation Center in the Ivy Building for the Arts – 2637 27th Ave S, Suite 201, Minneapolis

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Tantra Shakti: The Sacred Power of Life Taking Refuge 2024 – Begins in March

Posted by on Dec 26, 2023 in Featured Events, immersion, meditation, Retreats, ritual, sacred, tantra, teacher training, yoga | Comments Off on Tantra Shakti: The Sacred Power of Life Taking Refuge 2024 – Begins in March

Taking Refuge 2024

Tantra Shakti – The Sacred Power of Life

March 2024 – January 2025 w/ Ben Vincent

Taking refuge is a vow to a life of dharma – living in alignment with the ultimate reality and our true nature – on all levels of life. It is a ritual of returning to sanctuary, to what truly nourishes and sustains us, especially during troubled times. The program of Taking Refuge is rooted in the teaching of the three jewels in the yogic wisdom traditions:

  • Teacher (inner and outer)
  • Teachings + Practice (dharma)
  • Sacred community (sangha)

Each of these plays an essential role in sustaining us. When interwoven, they form the fabric of our spiritual lives: supporting our healing journeys, helping us return to our essential nature, and bringing forth our unique dharma for the healing and awakening of ourselves and the world.

Tantra (“to weave, to expand beyond limitation”) is an ancient branch of yogic science for awakening to the sacredness of life. It is a vast spiritual system which has evolved to help humanity realize freedom, fulfillment and empowerment through living in alignment with the sacred.  Tantra is rooted in the understanding that there is a singular, all pervading reality which has two primary aspects:                                     

Consciousness (Shiva, the transcendent aspect of the divine, eternal, illimitable consciousness that is the ground of Being)                                                               Creative Power/Energy (Shakti, the immanent force of the divine, from which the entire universe, in all its diversity and multiplicity manifests)

Tantra is a living tradition – evolving from the diverse spiritual and shamanic traditions native to the Indian Subcontinent to awaken the potential of humanity.  According to the ancient sages and scriptures, it is the most auspicious form of yoga/ spiritual practice for modern era known as the Kali Yuga or “The Long Dark”. As a life-affirming, inclusive and holistic spiritual science, Tantra is a profound antidote to the ongoing delusion, dis-integration and desecration of our world. Tantra sees human life as a profound gift. Our bodies, energies, mind, heart and soul are an expression of the same creative force and consciousness from which the universe was born. We are living temples of shakti + shiva. To make the most of this life, Tantra has evolved a vast body of teachings, practices and rituals for healing, awakening and bringing forth lives of inspiration and empowerment. Taking Refuge will consist of: seasonal retreats, monthly satsangs, guided home study and practice and optional private sessions

Program Structure:

  1. Seasonal Retreats Retreat is a sacred space from which to see ourselves and life clearly. A time to re-commune with the timeless. Retreat is a ritual of honoring our inner call: to slow down, find rest, reflect upon, reconnect with and recommit to what is most important in life.
  • Spring: March 16-17 at the House of Prayer (EHoP) in Collegeville, Mn
  • Summer: June 22-23 at the House of Prayer
  • Fall: October 6-9 at Camp du Nord near Ely, Mn
  • December 14-15 – at the House of Prayer

Spring, Summer and Winter Retreats will be small group (15 people) immersive weekend retreats (two-days, one night – 9 am Saturday – 5 pm Sunday) at the House of Prayer in Collegeville, MN. * Those wishing to lengthen their retreat stays may add extra nights as available (more below) Fall Retreat for Taking Refuge will be at our annual Fall Immersion, Oct 6-9 at beloved Camp du Nord! Retreats will consist of:

  • Two sessions of yoga practice + spiritual teachings daily – rooted in tantra, honoring and integrating diverse traditions.
  • Morning / Evening chanting + meditation
  • In Depth Study and Practice of Tantra
  • Time in solitude, community + nature
  • Sacred rituals for individual and collective healing, awakening and transformation
  • Creative expression (music, poetry, art, etc.)
  • Myths, Stories and Songs
  • Shared meals, laughter and tears

2. Monthly Satsangs :Teachings, practice and community time in Minneapolis Saturdays 10a-1p: April 13, May 18, July 20, Aug 17, Sept 21, Nov 16, Jan 11

Audio recordings of satsangs and retreats will be shared after each session.

3. Guided Home Study and Practice: Readings, journaling, audio recordings and home practice to support your learning and embodiment of the teachings. 

4. Optional Private Sessions – For those interested in more personalized guidance and support, you may add quarterly individual sessions with Ben. See “your investment” below for more info.

Our Study + Practice will include:

  • What is Tantra? Its essence, origin, traditions and evolution
  • Study of Traditional Tantric texts, paths, philosophies and chants
  • Living Tantra in the Kali Yuga
  • Training in Essential Tantric Practices
    • Asana (posture)
    • Shatkarma (cleansing practices)
    • Pranayama (energetic breathwork)
    • Mudra (sacred gesture) + Bandha (energetic seals)
    • Tantric Meditation: Kriya, Laya, Mantra Japa, Bhakti and more
    • Mantra + Chanting (sacred sound + vibration)
    • Yantra (sacred geometry)
    • Yoga Nidra (awakening through deep rest)
  • Teachings and practices for the energetic body
    • Energetic Anatomy: Prana, Nadis, Chakras, Kundalini, Granthis
    • Chakras: The vortexes of Consciousness and Energy
    • Kundalini Shakti: Awakening your life to the power of the infinite
    • The Heart Lotus – The ultimate place of pilgrimage
    • Granthis + Karma: The obstacle is the way
  • Gherand Samhita + The Yoga of Sun, Moon and Fire
  • Nava Rasa Sadhana: Yoga of Nine-Emotions
  • The Tantric Understanding of Divinity and ultimate reality
  • The living mythology of Tantra – Luminous Beings, Gods, Goddesses
  • Embodying the Sacred Masculine (Shiva) and Feminine (Shakti)
  • Exploration of Tantric Texts including Gherand Samhita, Vijnana Bhairav + Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
  • Rituals for Individual and Collective Healing, Awakening + Transformation
  • The Importance of rituals and shakti sadhana in the Kali Yuga
  • Dharma Shakti: Awakening the power of the in Self, Family, Community + World
  • Diksha: Opportunity for Initiation into the Himalayan Tradition through receiving a personal Mantra
  • And much, much more!

Retreat Locations, Accommodations and Meals

Spring, Summer and Winter Retreats will be at the Episcopal House of Prayer in Collegeville, MN – 75 miles NW of Mpls. For 30+ years, they’ve been welcoming groups for retreat and spiritual practice. Renowned for its potent sacred space, natural + architectural beauty, EHoP is a sanctuary designed to support deep connection.

The House of Prayer is nestled on the edge of Saint John’s Abbey and University – amidst the remarkable beauty and sanctuary of 2,700 acres of extensive pine and hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes, oak savanna, restored prairie, and hiking trails.  Its been a place of learning and spiritual refuge for over 165 years.

Fall retreat of Taking Refuge will be the annual fall immersion at beloved Camp du Nord. Deep in the northwoods on pristine Burntside Lake, near the Boundary Waters, this area has been a place of sanctuary for generations. 3 days of in-depth study + practice. Free time for hiking, paddling, sauna, massage and deep connection.

The retreat house at EHoP designed to support both community and solitude. There are single and double rooms with twin beds, individual sinks, desks, chairs and reading lamps. The larger living/ dining spaces and restrooms are shared. The oratory and prayer room are available as quiet, contemplative spaces. In the spirit of community, we will eat meals communally. Each person will be assigned to a group responsible for planning and bringing/ preparing one meal per retreat. Meals will be vegetarian and we’ll do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. We’ve done meals this way for years on fall immersion, and they are always wonderful! Accommodation on the fall retreat at Camp du Nord are in comfortable modern cabins.

Your investment

This small group program is limited to 15 people. Spaces + accommodation preferences will be allotted in the order in which payment and registration are received. Rates are inclusive of program tuition and lodging – including accommodation in private or shared rooms at EHoP, and in communal loft spaces at Camp du Nord. You can upgrade to shared or private rooms for fall retreat.

Private Room – $3250                                                                                                    Shared Room – $2950

Early Registration Discount – $150 off the above rates when paid in full by Jan 31. Payment Plans may be available on an individual basis for those unable to pay in full by March 7.

Optional Add-ons

Quarterly Private Session w/ Ben: $400 for the year ($100 x 4, a $40 discount/ session) *Extra night stay: $75/night (paid separately as available), for those wishing to add Friday or Sunday night to any retreat weekends,

To reserve your space:

  1. Please email the completed the registration form to [email protected]
  2. Submit a $500 deposit (non-refundable). Payment is preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga). Payment can also be made through cash, check, PayPal ([email protected]), CC. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal or CC to cover costs. Please contact Ben directly to pay via cash, check or CC.

All payments are due in full by March 7. There will be a $150 fee for late payments and payment plans. All payments are final and non-refundable, unless your reserved space in the program is filled. If you choose to withdraw from the program, your payment will be forfeited. Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Please contact [email protected] with any inquiries about the program, registration or payment plans.

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Yogic Meditation Immersion + Optional Teacher Training – Begins January 2024

Posted by on Oct 23, 2023 in Featured Events, immersion, meditation, Retreats, teacher training, yoga | Comments Off on Yogic Meditation Immersion + Optional Teacher Training – Begins January 2024

Yogic Meditation Immersion +

Optional Teacher Training

outdoor meditation devanadi yoga

Begins January 2024
w/ Ben Vincent and Tanya Boigenzahn

This immersive program is for all sincere seekers and students of Yoga looking to (re)commit to, deepen, and refine their practice of meditation. It begins with a year-long immersion to learn the essential purpose, preparations, processes, and practices of Yogic meditation – all with the support of experienced teachers and a sacred community.  Tanya and Ben will guide you to becoming firmly established in your meditation practice so that you may embody its peace and power in all aspects of your life.

About the Program

Yoga is a sacred science (vidya) of Self-Realization – a holistic system of teachings and practices to know our true Selves, commune with the Ultimate Reality (brahman), and bring forth the greater potential and purpose of life. For thousands of years, meditation has been at the heart of the Yoga tradition. The process of Yogic meditation is unique in that it mirrors the journey of human life. It helps us to sustainably unfold and bring healing and awakening to all the layers of our being. As we continue the journey of practice we realize freedom, fulfillment, joy, and connection with the whole of life.

The timeless teachings and practices of Yogic meditation are as relevant today as ever. Amidst the busy-ness, stress, and turbulence of our modern lives, the postures, breathwork, and relaxation of Hatha Yoga have become very popular.  However, without meditation it is an incomplete science.  Meditation allows us to experience our unchanging essence, True Self or Soul, allowing us to live skillfully and gracefully in a world of change.

This immersive program is for all sincere seekers and students of Yoga looking to (re)commit to, deepen, and refine their practice of meditation. It begins with a year-long immersion to learn the essential purpose, preparations, processes, and practices of Yogic meditation – all with the support of experienced teachers and a sacred community.  Tanya and Ben will guide you to becoming firmly established in your meditation practice so that you may embody its peace and power in all aspects of your life.

Following the year-long immersion, graduates will then have the opportunity to enroll in our 3-4 month teacher training module to learn how to transmit and share Yogic meditation as a teacher.

Tanya and Ben have created this program based on more than 50 years of combined study, personal practice, study and teaching.

The Program Consists of 3 or 4 Parts

1) Essentials of Yogic Meditation (January – April 2024)
2) Deepening the Well of Practice/Sadhana (May – September 2024)
3) Steep + Embody: The Sankalpa of Sadhana (October – December 2024)
4) Meditation Teacher Training: Learn to Transmit + Share (January – March 2025)
(Part 4 is an optional additional module, for those interested in learning to teach)

CEs: 108 with Yoga Alliance for RYTs for the Immersion + 24 more for Teacher Training

Location, Dates + Times

LOCATION: LIVE at Devanadi Yoga in Mpls. + LIVESTREAM – ZOOM (recorded for easy makeups)

TIMES (US Central): 
1 Sunday/month: 1-5pm & 2 Mondays/month: 6-8pm

DATES – 2024 Meditation Immersion:
Jan 21, 22, 29 | Feb 5, 12, 25 | Mar 4, 18, 24 | Apr 8, 22, 28 | May 6, 19, 20 | Jun 9, 10, 24 | Jul 8, 22, 21 | Aug 5, 19, 11 | Sept 8, 9, 23 | Oct 7, 21, 27 | Nov 4, 17, 18 | Dec 2, 6-8, 16
+ December 6-8 – Group Meditation Retreat (In Person or Virtual) at The House of Prayer in Collegeville, MN. There will be an additional $150-250 fee for lodging for those attending in person.

DATES – OPTIONAL Meditation Teacher Training 2025:
Jan 13, 27, 12 | Feb 10, 24, 9 | Mar 3, 10, 16

Early registration discount thru Dec 1.

More Info and Registration Here

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Fall Immersion: Karma and the Journey of the Soul, Oct 8-11 ~ Ely, Mn

Posted by on May 24, 2023 in meditation, Retreats, ritual, Travel, Uncategorized, yoga | Comments Off on Fall Immersion: Karma and the Journey of the Soul, Oct 8-11 ~ Ely, Mn

Karma and the Jounrey of the Soul

October 8-11 – Ely, Mn

Our annual Fall Immersion is intended for yogis looking for deeper study and practice of yoga in a communal retreat setting.  This year we will be delving into ” Karma and the Journey of the Soul.” The immersion will explore in-depth teachings and practices individually and collectively through dharma teachings, holistic practice (asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, yoga nidra, self-reflection, etc.), meditative ritual and time in nature and community.

KARMA. We’ve all heard of it. Widely acknowledged and accepted, It’s preached from pulpits to pop songs. Yet it is also profoundly misunderstood.   Karma is not a doctrine, theory, belief or dogma. It is not so much a system of cosmic or divine justice.  Karma isn’t what happens to us, but what happens within us and what we happen within.

Karma is a universal law.  It’s an essential part of Dharma – the natural order of the cosmos on the individual, collective and universal levels.  Literally meaning “action, its cause and effect”, karma governs that what is happening in the present has been by the past and compels the future.  From celestial bodies to human hearts and minds, this chain of cause and effect influences all things in the web of life.  Together, karma and dharma shape the essential nature, inner workings and interactions of all beings.

On the human level, karma is the reality that all our experiences and actions (deeds, thoughts, speech, feelings, desires) leave impressions on us. These karmic impressions are stored in the subtle and casual bodies.  They compel us into birth, shape our bodies, minds, energies and emotions and are carried with us from death to rebirth.  Our journey through life(times) is inextricably interwoven with karma – through the gifts we are given, the challenges we face, and the lessons we learn.  If we are to find freedom and fulfillment in life, understanding and taking responsibility for karma is an essential key for embodying our dharma and realizing our destiny.

This immersion will explore:

  • What is karma and how does it work? 
  • Karma Chakra: The wheel of cause and effect
  • Three types of karma and the three bodies
  • Karma, Chakras and the subconscious mind
  • Karma, Reincarnation and Samsara: Life’s journey to freedom and fulfillment
  • Ancestral Karma: Family and Fate
  • Our personal, familial and collective patterns as rites of passage
  • Learning from and healing the karma of relationships
  • Karma, Dharma + Destiny : The obstacle is the way
  • Holistic Yogic practices for taking responsibility for, healing and transforming karma
  • Stories, myths, song and rituals for karmic healing, purification and transformation
  • Different perspectives and approaches for working with karma
  • Common misconceptions about karma

The Place: Up the Echo Trail from Ely, MN, and a stones throw from the Boundary Waters – Camp du Nord is nestled among birch, maple and pine forest alongside Lake Burntside.  This Northwoods sanctuary has been a place of retreat, relaxation and reflection for generations.

Lodging & Meals: Our lodging will be communal in modern wooden cabins, beautiful and simple.  Each cabin features a full kitchen, indoor bathroom, fireplace, living & dining room, bedrooms, sleeping loft and wireless internet.  You will be responsible for your breakfast and lunch. Dinners will be communal, each participant will be part of the cooking group for one evening meal. We’ve done this for years, and it works wonderfully. Preference for lodging requests will be given in the order in which registrations are received.  To view one of the cabins, please click here

Activities: 

Hiking, Canoeing + Kayaking,  Sauna + Lake Plunge, Massage, Relaxing lakeside and fireside and the occasional hootenanny singalong ( *massage not included in the price of the retreat)

Daily Session Schedule:                                                                                                      

  • Sunday Oct 8:  6:30-9 pm                                                                                                      
  • Monday Oct 9:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5:30 pm                                                              
  • Tuesday Oct 10:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5 pm,  7-9 pm                                                
  • Wednesday Oct 11:  8-11am – Option to stay to Oct 12 (more info below)

Chanting and Silent Meditation M-W from 6-7 am (recommended, but optional)

Transportation, Arrival & Departure                                                             

It is about a 4.5 hour drive from the Twin Cities.  You are responsible for your own transportation.  We encourage carpooling, and will assist in finding you a carpool if you like.  For Directions, click here

Arrival time is anytime after 4pm On Sunday October 8. We’ll have a group meal Sunday at 5pm, and the immersion will begin officially at 6:30p. Teaching and group practice will end Wednesday Oct 11 around 12. Based on the feedback of past participants, I highly recommend staying until Oct 12. The extra day will allow for processing and integration of the immersion through time in nature, community, shared meals, sauna, massage, etc. The prices below are for the nights of Oct 8-11. If you wish to stay til Oct 12., please add an additional $40 for a loft space, $60 for a shared room and $80 for a private room.

Your Investment: 

  • $645 – Twin bed in a communal Loft Space
  • $725 – Shared bedroom space (2 people/room, twin beds or queen bed for couples)
  • $850 – Private bedroom space (queen bed)

Early Registration Discount- Receive $30 off the shared bedroom or loft rates when you register and pay in full by August 7.  Yoga Studies grads receive $50 off with early registration. Early registration discount does not apply to private rooms or cabins.

All rates are per person. This is a small group immersion and space will be allotted in the order in which registrations are received.

Rates are inclusive of:

  • Lodging: For more information on accommodations and activities, visit the fall retreat page.
  • Immersion Tuition
  • Use of Camp du Nord facilities (sauna, hiking trails, canoes + kayaks, etc.)

Massage will be available during breaks.  Please note meals are not provided. Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen for all your cooking needs. We will plan to eat dinners communally, with groups taking turns preparing food if the group size accommodates eating/cooking together.  

To reserve your space: please submit all registrations materials + deposit at the same time, via email to [email protected], with a copy of:

  1. Fall Immersion Registration + Waiver
  2. Submit a $250 deposit per-person (non-refundable). Payment are preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga), and can also be made through PayPal ([email protected]), check (see directions below), or CC. Venmo is free when paying as a friend.. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal, CC or when paying for “goods and services” through Venmo to cover costs.  Contact us directly to pay via CC or paypal.

All payments are due by Sept 10. There will be a $50 fee for payments, payment plans and registrations received after Sept 10.  For those unable to pay-in-full before Sept 3, payment plans are available through paypal credit. All payments are final. The non-refundable $250 deposit covers the costs to camp du Nord in the event that the retreat should have to be cancelled for unforeseen reasons  If you’re unable to attend the immersion due to serious illness or emergency, you may receive a 30% credit to future Vincent Yoga events good for 1 year.  Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Ben Vincent (not Vincent Yoga)

5354 40th Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN, 55417

Please contact us with any questions or inqu

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Taking Refuge: The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul – Begins March 2023

Posted by on Jan 12, 2023 in Retreats, ritual, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Taking Refuge: The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul – Begins March 2023

Taking Refuge

The Ritual of Retreat as Sanctuary for the Soul

March 2023 – January 2024 w/ Ben Vincent

It has been a joy, calling and honor to lead yoga retreats for more than 15 years. Retreat is a sacred space from which to see ourselves and life clearly. A time to re-commune with the timeless. Retreat is a ritual of honoring our inner call: to slow down, find rest, reflect upon, reconnect with and recommit to what is most important in life. For many years, I’ve had a slowly gestating vision for a year long program of quarterly retreats set around the solstices and equinoxes. Like a seed buried deep in the snow, while the vision seemed dormant, slow and meaningful changes were unfolding. Leading retreats during the pandemic and upheaval of our world over the last 3 years has been rite of passage and preparation for this program. We’ve explored challenging and relevant topics to find healing, meaningful connection and dharmic response amidst troubled times. Our retreats have evolved organically to integrate many essential elements or “primary satisfactions” that have sustained the human spirit and culture over the ages:

  • Spiritual practice + study, rooted in Yoga ~ integrating many traditions
  • Time in solitude, community + nature
  • Creative expression (music, poetry, art, etc.)
  • Sacred ritual for healing and awakening
  • Myths and stories
  • Shared meals, conversations, laughter and tears

Upon returning from fall retreat and immersion in October, the seed of vision sprouted during a morning meditation practice. I was transported back to the Oratory (pictured at the top) at the Episcopal House of Prayer where my yoga journey began (this time around) 25 years ago. Immediately, there was a flash of inner knowing: this is the place and now is the time.

I was reminded of Krishna’s teaching in the Bhagavad Gita (4.7):
When Dharma falters and chaos rises up, then I manifest and give forth of mySelf.

What is taking refuge?

Taking refuge is a vow to a life of dharma – living in alignment with our true nature – through all the phases of life. It is a ritual of returning to sanctuary, to what truly nourishes us, especially during troubled times. We are living through a period unprecedented change and challenge in our lifetimes. From the natural world to human culture, the layers of life are being overwhelmed by overlapping crises. Old wounds and ways of being that cause suffering are surfacing, individually and collectively. This is not the first time humanity has gone through a collective dark night of the soul. Many ancient cultures and spiritual traditions understood that periods darkness are an essential part of the cycles of worldly life (samsara). When faced consciously, they can be an initiatory rite of passage in the life of the soul, the awakening the world and the re-creation of dharma. In this painful, yet necessary time of dis-integration, lies the hidden potential for healing, meaningful transformation and life coming forth a new – if each of us do our part. The wisdom traditions of ancient India (yogic/ buddhist/ tantric) venerate Three Jewels for taking refuge amidst samsara:

  • Teacher (inner and outer)
  • Teachings + Practice (dharma)
  • Sacred community (sangha)

Each of these plays an essential role in sustaining us. When interwoven, they form the fabric of our spiritual lives: supporting our healing journeys, helping us return to our essential nature, and bringing forth our unique dharma for the healing and awakening of ourselves and the world. Taking Refuge will be rooted in:

  • Cultivating deep connection thru teachings/ practice, teacher (inner) and sacred community.
  • Practices + tools from Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda for balance through life’s seasons
  • Re-investing in “primary satisfactions” of life
  • Spiritual texts, myths and stories for understanding these times
  • Times of crisis as initiatory rites of passage
  • The sacred power of ritual for healing and awakening
  • Answering the call of our Soul’s dharma to heal, awaken and contribute

Structure of the Program

  1. Seasonal Weekend Retreats
  • March 25-26 – Spring Equinox
  • June 24-25 – Summer Solstice
  • September 16-17 – Autumnal Equinox
  • December 9-10 – Winter Solstice

These small group (15 people) immersive weekend retreats (two-days, one night* – 9 am Saturday – 5 pm Sunday) will consist of:

  • Two sessions of yoga practice + spiritual teachings daily
  • Morning / Evening chanting + meditation
  • Time in solitude, community + nature
  • Seasonal sacred rituals
  • Seasonal Yoga + Ayurveda Practices for balance and well-being
  • Shared meals, stories/myths, songs, tears and laughter
  • * Those wishing to lengthen their retreat stays may add extra nights as available (more below)

2. Quarterly Satsangs in Minneapolis: Teachings, practice and community time.

  • Spring Satsang, Saturday, May 13
  • Summer Satsang, Saturday, August 12
  • Fall Satsang, Saturday November 4
  • Winter Satsang, Saturday January 6, 2024

Satsangs will be recorded if you are unable to attend in person.

Retreats will be held at the Episcopal House of Prayer, in Collegeville, MN – 75 miles NW of Minneapolis. For over 30 years, they’ve been welcoming groups for retreat and spiritual practice. Recognized for it’s potent sacred space, natural and architectural beauty, it is a sanctuary designed to support deep connection.

The House of Prayer is nestled on the edge of Saint John’s Abbey and University – amidst the remarkable beauty and sanctuary of 2,700 acres of extensive pine and hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes, oak savanna, restored prairie, and hiking trails.  Its been a place of learning and spiritual refuge for over 165 years.

Accommodations and Meals

The retreat house is designed to support both community and solitude. There are single and double rooms with twin beds, individual sinks, desks, chairs and reading lamps. The larger living/ dining spaces and restrooms are shared. The oratory and prayer room are available as quiet, contemplative spaces. In the spirit of community, we will eat meals communally. Each person will be assigned to a group responsible for planning and bringing/ preparing one meal per retreat. Meals will be vegetarian and we’ll do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. We’ve done meals this way for years on fall immersion, and they are always wonderful!

Your investment

This small group program is limited to 15 people. Spaces + accommodation preferences will be allotted in the order in which payment and registration are received. Rates for the program are as follows (inclusive of program tuition and lodging):

Private Room – $2750                                                                                                           Shared Room – $2450

Early Registration Discount – $150 off the above rates when paid in full by Feb 7. Payment Plans may be available on an individual basis for those unable to pay in full by March 7.

Optional Add-ons

Quarterly Private Session w/ Ben: $400 for the year ($100 x 4, a $40 discount/ session) *Extra night stay: $75/night (paid separately as available), for those wishing to add Friday or Sunday night to any retreat weekends,

To reserve your space:

  1. Please email the completed the registration form to [email protected]
  2. Submit a $500 deposit (non-refundable). Payment is preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga). Payment can also be made through cash, check, PayPal ([email protected]), CC. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal or CC to cover costs. Please contact Ben directly to pay via cash, check or CC.

All payments are due in full by March 7. There will be a $75 fee for late payments. All payments are final and non-refundable, unless your reserved space in the program is filled. If you choose to withdraw from the program, your payment will be forfeited.  Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Please contact [email protected] with any inquiries about the program, registration or payment plans.

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Fall Immersion: The Yoga of Darkness and Light – Oct 2-5 2022 Ely, Mn

Posted by on May 12, 2022 in Retreats, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fall Immersion: The Yoga of Darkness and Light – Oct 2-5 2022 Ely, Mn

The Yoga of Darkness and Light

Holding the Whole of of Life with Reverence

October 2-5, Ely, Mn

Our annual Fall Immersion is intended for yogis looking for deeper study and practice of yoga in a communal retreat setting.  This year we will be delving into “The Yoga of Light and Darkness: Holding the Whole of Life with Reverence.” The immersion will explore in-depth teachings and practices individually and collectively through dharma teachings, holistic practice (asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, yoga nidra, self-reflection, etc.), meditative ritual and time in nature and community.

  Let me share with you a story, or rather weave together a few into an origin myth that brings perspective to these times.  Various traditions speak of a primordial essence or void before the universe emerged.  At the dawn of existence, the universe burst forth from its mysterious origins, composed of complimentary opposites (dvandvas): chaos and cosmos, creation and dissolution, darkness and light, form and formless, energy and consciousness, finding form as the five great elements.  This dynamic interplay of the dvandvas has been referred to as yin and yang, and the gunas in the Taoist and Yogic traditions respectively.  These opposing forces both form one another and also allow for balance amidst constant change.  If this story doesn’t seem relevant yet, stay with me and it will.

  Our earthly life is governed by the dance of the dvandvas:  birth and death, persistence and evolution, nature and culture, masculine and feminine, joy and sorrow, etc.   These unfold amidst cycles of time and causation: day and night, seasons, years, generations and eras.  According to the ancient seers (rishis), the era we are living in is the Kali Yuga or “long dark”. In this time, human consciousness has become darkened, fragmented, lacking understanding of its own essence, interconnectedness and place in the cosmos.  This is not end times – rather a time of endings.  A time in which our shadows are becoming more clear, our deep wounds are surfacing, and the ways we are living that violate our interconnectedness and desecrate the web of life are becoming unavoidable.  In the karmic realms, the pain we are experiencing is deeply connected to the essence that brought us into life. This incredibly challenging and painful time also holds the potential to be a rite of passage to profound healing, awakening and transformation – individually and collectively.  How we face this darkness will influence whether it deepens our divides, or allows a new, life affirming human culture to emerge, honoring our place in the order of things.  If humanity is to survive these times and not irreparably damage the web of life on Earth, we must learn how to hold both darkness and light with reverence.  

In this immersion, we will delve into:

  • Learning to be in the dark, understanding the nature of these times
  • Exploring the shadow individually and collectively with compassion
  • The shadow as “pure gold” – how facing darkness can reveal our dharma/ genius
  • Self-Compassion: Holding shame from a place of love, belonging and acceptance
  • Holistic Yogic practices for living fully in the Kali Yuga
  • Meditative rituals for healing, awakening and transformation
  • Myth as wisdom stories for greater perspective in the cycles of light and dark

Daily Session Schedule:                                                                                                      

Sunday Oct 2:  6:30-9 pm                                                                                                       Monday Oct 3:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5:30 pm                                                               Tuesday Oct 4:  8:30-11:30 am, 2:30-5 pm,  7-9 pm                                                   Wednesday Oct 5:  8-11am

Optional Chanting and Silent Meditation M-W from 6-7 am

Covid Safety Protocols

Your safety and enjoyment of the retreat is our highest priority.  We will continue to monitor the conditions of Covid and adjust safety precautions accordingly.  As of now, we will be requiring proof of a negative PCR test, or 2 negative antigen home tests taken within 72 hours of the beginning of retreat.    We will have air purifiers as an additional layer of protection for the practice space.    We will re-assess all safety precautions based on CDC guidelines and the state of the pandemic in MN at that time.

Your Investment: 

  • $595 – Twin bed in a communal Loft Space
  • $675 – Shared bedroom space (2 people/room, twin beds or queen bed for couples)
  • $775 – Private bedroom space (queen bed)

Early Registration Discount- Receive $25 off the shared bedroom or loft rates when you register and pay in full by July 31.  Yoga Studies grads receive $50 off with early registration. Early registration discount does not apply to private rooms or cabins.

All rates are per person. This is a small group immersion and space will be allotted in the order in which registrations are received.

Rates are inclusive of:

  • Lodging: For more information on accommodations and activities, visit the fall retreat page.
  • Immersion Tuition
  • Use of Camp du Nord facilities (sauna, hiking trails, canoes + kayaks, etc.)

Massage will be available during breaks.  Please note meals are not provided. Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen for all your cooking needs. We will plan to eat dinners communally, with groups taking turns preparing food if the group size accommodates eating/cooking together.  

To reserve your space: please submit all registrations materials + deposit at the same time, via email to [email protected], with a copy of:

  1. Fall Immersion Registration + Waiver
  2. Submit a $250 deposit per-person (non-refundable). Payment are preferred through Venmo (@vincent-yoga), and can also be made through PayPal ([email protected]), check (see directions below), or CC. There is a 3.5% fee for paypal or CC to cover costs.  Contact us directly to pay via CC or paypal.

All payments are due by Sept 3. There will be a $50 fee for payments, payment plans and registrations received after Sept 3.  For those unable to pay-in-full before Sept 3, payment plans are available through paypal credit. All payments are final. The non-refundable $250 deposit covers the costs to camp du Nord in the event that the retreat should have to be cancelled for unforeseen reasons  If you’re unable to attend the retreat due to covid exposure, you may receive a 50% credit to future Vincent Yoga events good for 1 year.  Other discounts and scholarships are not available.

Ben Vincent (not Vincent Yoga)

5354 40th Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN, 55417

Please contact us with any questions or inquiries

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