To physically retreat means to take a step back or withdraw, and a place of retreat is a place of seclusion, shelter or privacy. People have always enjoyed travelling to beautiful locations to ‘get away from it all’. Packing the essentials and being away from home and our daily routines encourages us to focus on ourselves and recharge.
A holiday and a spiritual retreat are two different things, however. Holidays are temporary distractions from our responsibilities and routines, and any sense of peace and quiet we may achieve can be quickly eroded when we get back behind the desk, on the phone, in front of the television or in the middle of traffic. A spiritual retreat is a valuable experience where genuine restoration is achieved. This is possible because we are not simply relaxing (forgetting) but exploring and practising the methods needed to lead healthy, balanced lives. It is a time to become reacquainted with our inner selves.
Also suitable for those that may need more personal space and less structure than a themed program, or for those who just want to take some time out of the normal flow of life to rest, heal and restore, this is the perfect -way. You can come for one day or stay a month, it’s up to you. Mid week stays can be particularly restful as this is usually a quiet time in the ashram.
During a personal retreat you will have the opportunity to be involved in all the normal activities of the day, including early morning yoga class, chanting, midday relaxation, afternoon meditation or asana class and evening program. Or you may choose to simply relax, enjoy the peaceful surroundings and dip into activities as you feel inclined. Either way there is plenty of opportunity for relaxation, reflection and restoration.
A personal retreat is a wonderful way to gain perspective, renewal of purpose and inspiration. Leisure activities can include bush walking, swimming, kayaking, reading, bird watching or help out with the activities of the centre, in the garden or kitchen.
5am - Wake up (to birdsong and singing alarm clock)
5:30am - Morning yoga class (postures, breathing, meditation)
7am - Breakfast
7:45am - Chanting
8am - Group karma yoga (yoga of action)
9am - Guests gather to review activities for the day, discuss and set theme for contemplation
9:30am - Karma Yoga / activity / free time
12:30pm - Lunch
2pm - Karma Yoga / activity / free time
2.30pm - Satyananda Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) (Sundays 12pm)
3pm - Afternoon tea
3:30pm - Karma Yoga / activity / free time
5.15pm - Afternoon yoga class (Friday, Sunday and Monday) Saturday - Mahamrityunjaya mantra (healing chant)
6pm - Dinner
7:15pm - Evening program - kirtan (mantra to music),
meditation, satsang (inspirational talk), library, creative activity,
inspirational stories or film (Wednesdays - Yoga Class 7pm)
8:15pm until 7:30am - mauna (silence)
During structured retreats additional sessions are held morning and afternoon.
This is a general yoga class which includes asana (postures),
pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation &/or relaxation. The
aim is to make the class a suitable level for the students present,
however often the level of experience of those present varies a lot, so
please make sure you are responsible for your own practice and don’t do
anything which does not feel appropriate to your own needs. Even
absolute beginners are more than welcome to attend. You are very welcome
to vary the practices to suit you or to sit out a practice. If you have
special health needs which you feel you may not know how to manage
yourself during class, please arrive a little early for the class and
let the teacher know.
This is a short session of chanting to start the day in a harmonious
way; it is open to all residents and guests. The chants are usually
Sanskrit mantras which have a positive effect at a vibratory level both
personally and within the atmosphere.
The ashram is primarily run by the voluntary efforts of those living
in and visiting the centre, who spend most of the day performing a
practice known as karma yoga. Karma yoga is the yoga of meditative
action. It involves being mindfully engaged in all activities of the day
without being motivated by ones own personal needs. Karma yoga is the
most powerful yogic practice for seeing ones strengths and limitations,
reactions and motivations.
All visitors are encouraged to participate in the 8am morning Karma
Yoga session to experience this aspect of the yogic lifestyle at
Mangrove. The morning Karma Yoga session includes participating in
activities such as housekeeping, gardening and kitchen, according to
one’s capacity. You are also encouraged to join in one of the meal
cleanups each day, to do so go to the kitchen half an hour after meal
time and ask for the cleanup supervisor. For those who wish to join in
further karma yoga activities during the day, ask about the options
during the 9am Visitors Get Together.
Visitors Get Together
Each morning at 9am there is a facilitated get together for guests
who are not involved in a structured retreat. This is a chance to ask
any questions you have about yoga, the ashram, the daily routine etc and
to find out about that day’s activities. There is usually also a theme
set on a daily or weekly basis and some discussion around the experience
or application of the theme.
Most days there is usually an activity which visitors are welcome to
join in. These activities include bushwalking, kayaking, creative
project, sweet making etc. More information is available each day on the
noticeboard or through the 9am Visitors Get Together. Once a week there
is a havan (fire ceremony) held at one of the nearby ashram properties.
A meditative relaxation practice performed in a lying position. A favourite practice of many guests and residents!
There is a variety of programs on over the course of the week. Friday
and Saturday nights are kirtan – chanting of mantras to music, an
uplifting and expressive practice. Other programs include: meditation,
Story Telling, Mantra chanting and Spiritual Films.
The spiritual discipline of mauna (silence) is practiced daily within
the ashram grounds from 8.15pm until the 7.30 am the following morning.
Mauna provides the opportunity for self reflection and inner observation.
Visit the retreat for more information and bookings.
covers standard shared accommodation and all meals and classes.
We have a range of accommodation options from ensuite to camping - please visit the website for more information.