Posts Tagged "immersion"

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

Posted by on Jan 12, 2023 in Featured Events, 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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The Yoga of Emotions – Fall Immersion: Oct 6-9, Ely, MN

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Retreats, Travel | Comments Off on The Yoga of Emotions – Fall Immersion: Oct 6-9, Ely, MN

The Yoga of Emotions – Nava Rasa Sadhana

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October 6-9, Ely, MN

Our annual Fall Immersion is intended for yogis looking for deeper study and practice of yoga in a retreat setting.  We will explore the in-depth teachings and practices of through dharma, meditation, asana, pranayama, mantra, kriya, chanting, yoga nidra and self-inquiry.  This year we will be delving into: The Yoga of Emotions and Nava Rasa Sadhana.

Yoga sees humans as multidimensional beings, composed of physical body, prana, mind, emotions, intelligence (all subject to change) and the Eternal Self.  How we experience life is based largely on the fluctuations of our bodies, minds, energies and emotions.  These are interwoven and powerful – yet emotions (“that which moves outward”) hold a unique role in shaping our experience of well-being and suffering, of ourselves and life.  Our culture teaches us little about how to navigate and channel the emotions of life.  This immersion will be based on traditional yogic and tantric teachings about Nava Rasa Sadhana: The Spiritual Practice of Nine Emotions.  They are: Courage, Fear, Love, Anger, Joy, Sadness, Wonder, Disgust and Peace.  From a dualistic view, each of these emotions come in pairs of complimentary opposites, each with pleasant and unpleasant aspects.  From a non-dual perspective, each of them is sacred and may be channeled skillfully for the fulfillment of our dharma. As a defining aspect of human life, how we feel, witness, process, understand and channel our emotions profoundly shapes us.  We will explore teachings and practices for relating to and using our emotional energies to awaken, including:

  • Understanding the Nine Emotions/ Nava Rasas experientially and conceptually
  • How and why do emotions arise?  What is their purpose?
  • Yogic Science of Emotion, mind and their karmic roots
  • Western Science of Emotion, Brain and Nervous system
  • Cultivating Witness Consciousness, emotional equanimity and peace
  • Learning to feel and process emotion skillfully 
  • Yogic Practices for Emotional Healing and Transformation: Asana, pranayama, ayurveda, mantra, meditation, kriya, chanting, yoga nidra, self-reflection, relationship and more

Daily Session Schedule:                                                                                                       The immersion will begin Sunday Oct. 6 and conclude Weds. Oct 9

Sunday Oct 6:  6-9 pm                                                                                                       Monday Oct 7:  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:  7:30-10am

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

Your Investment: 

  • $535 – Twin bed in a communal Loft Space
  • $575 – Shared bedroom space (2 people/room, twin beds or queen bed for couples)
  • $675 – Private bedroom space (queen bed)

Early Registration Discount- Receive $25 off the above rates when you register and pay in full by August 6.  Yoga Studies grads receive additional $20 off.

Rates are inclusive of

  • Room
  • 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.  For more information on the accommodations, visit the fall retreat page.

All payments are due in full September 15, with a fee of $45 for late payments, payment plans & registrations received thereafter.

To reserve your space, please send your Fall Immersion Registration + Waiver copy  and $150 deposit per-person (non-refundable) Payable via Venmo (@Ben-Vincent-9), Cash or Check.  Checks are payable to:

Ben Vincent (not Vincent Yoga)

5354 40th Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN, 55417

Please contact us with any questions or inquiries

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Spring Renewal – Day Long Retreat: April 20, Minneapolis

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring Renewal – Day Long Retreat: April 20, Minneapolis

Spring Renewal Retreat 

April 20, Minneapolis

Spring is a time of cleansing, renewal and rebirth.  As the days get longer and warmer, the dregs of winter melt away, the Earth thaws, and the flowers and animal life begin to stir!  Human life is no different.  Many observe the transition to spring through time-tested rituals: Spring cleaning, Lent, tending and planting the garden and tuning-up bicycles.   Yet how many of make a conscious effort to cleanse and rejuvenate our bodies, minds and energy? The changing of the seasons is an auspicious time for reflection, honoring the cycles of life and transformation.  This day long retreat is an opportunity to do just that – a guided process integrating tools, teachings and practices for cleansing, revitalization, and bringing new life forth.  The retreat will include:

  • Practices appropriate for Spring (Asana, Pranayama, Meditation)
  • Dharma Talk, Q + A
  • Receive Guidelines + Resources for Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse
  • Journaling and Self-Reflection
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Recordings of the practices and teachings to support your Home Practice

Location + Schedule:  9:00-5:00 with a 75 minute lunch break.  The Retreat will be held at River’s Way Meditation Center in the Ivy building for the Arts- 2637 27th Ave S, Suite 201, Minneapolis, MN

Your Investment:                                                                                                                   Full Rate – $135, Early Reg- $108 (registered and paid by 4/1).                                      Yoga Studies Grads – $10 off the above rates

To Register: Pay online via PayPal (bvrocksteady@gmail.com), Venmo (@Ben-Vincent-9) or bring cash or check to ben in person.  The retreat will be limited to 20 people in the order in which registration + payment is received.

Email ben@vincentyoga.com if you have any questions.

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Yoga Nidra – Resting to Awaken: Summer Immersion – Mpls., July 11-14

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yoga Nidra – Resting to Awaken: Summer Immersion – Mpls., July 11-14

Yoga Nidra – Resting to Awaken

Summer Immersion – July 11-14, Minneapolis

The Summer Immersion is a special opportunity for immersive study and practice of yoga in the City. This year we will be delving into Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra is simultaneously a tool,  a practice, a process, and a state of transcendent awareness.  Often translated as “Yogic Sleep”, it is a process of conscious relaxation, bringing awareness progressively through the layers of our being from conscious to subconscious to super-conscious.  The journey of Yoga Nidra integrates practices for balancing the physical and energetic bodies, deep relaxation, sankalpa (sacred intention), and using guided imagery and kriya to work with the subtle body and subconscious mind.  In working with with the deeper layers of our being, it is unparalleled in its capacity for relaxation, healing, transformation and empowerment.  On its deepest level, yoga nidra is dissolution of all limited consciousness into the infinite.

Whether your goal is stress relief, rejuvenation, physical / emotional healing,  removing karmic patterns, unlocking creativity or empowering yourself to manifest a dharmic desire, yoga nidra has something profound to offer you.  This immersion will explore:

  • What is Yoga Nidra?  What is its purpose?
  • The traditional stages and progression of practice
  • Awakening Sankalpa Shakti: The Power of Sacred Intention
  • Yoga Nidra as a tool for relaxation, healing, freeing the mind or manifestation
  • How to integrate yoga nidra into your life and practice
  • Guiding yourself through Yoga Nidra

We will explore the teachings and practices of through dharma teachings, yoga nidra, meditation, asana, pranayama, mantra, kriya, chanting, self-inquiry and group discussion .

Immersion Schedule + Location:

Thursday 7/11 – Sunday 7/14, 8:30-4:00 pm, with a 90 minute break for lunch.             The immersion will be held at the River’s Way Meditation Center in the Ivy Building for the Arts, 2637 27th Ave S. Suite 201,  Minneapolis.

Your Investment:

 $475 – Regular Price                                                                                                            $445 – Yoga Studies graduates and active teachers (currently teaching 3 or more classes/ week)                                                                                                                          Early Registration discount – $45 off above prices when registered + paid in full by May 31.

To register email ben@vincentyoga.com and submit a $150 deposit will reserve your spot. Payment can be made through:                                                                     Venmo (@ben-vincent-9)                                                                                                   PayPal (bvrocksteady@gmail.com)                                                                                       Check to Ben Vincent (5354 40th Ave s, Minneapolis, Mn 55417).

Space is limited, all payments are final.

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