I went to this yoga retreat with my friend and found that others had similar ideas. There were people by themselves, mothers and daughters and friends that met up at this great place. Ganga and Tracey make a wonderfully supportive place to ask questions, increase your yoga knowledge, and make new friends.
Set in the mountains above Santa Barbara, the place is in a private area with wonderful views of the ocean and the mountains. We stayed in a Yurt (kind of like a teepee) that had nice day beds and a wooden floor. Other accommodations include tents and cabins. In every case, you are on a very comfortable futon and on a solid wood or concrete floor. It's the nicest "camping" I've every done but do bring ear plugs if you aren't used to the cricket chirping and owl hoots at night (us city folk are used to sirens and helicopters). Bathrooms and showers are outside in separate areas so you do have to do a little hike. The best is the "Loo with a View" which is a normal toilet room with a large window facing the mountains.
The schedule is just right:
8:30am Yoga discussion where you get to ask questions about Yoga
9:30am Energetic yoga session
1:30pm Massages or Guided hike (optional)
5:00pm Gentle yoga where you do a lot of breathing exercises
I didn't get a massage on this trip but my friend did and had a wonderful experience. The masseurs come from all over Southern California and are $100 for 70 minutes.
The food is vegan/vegetarian but it's definitely not what you would think. Beatrice has been working at the retreat for 21 years coming up with wonderful recipes like: Gluten free pasta with pesto sauce, Veggie Tacos, and Apple Cake with Nut Crust. The food is so fresh and filling. She makes wonderful sauces that will make you not miss meat.
Finally, the yoga was very educational. The teachers explain what muscles are being used, what you should feel, and providing options for positions whether you are a novice or advanced. We had two people there that had never been to a yoga class and they felt that it was a great way to try it out and really get a good introduction to start their yoga practice.
I will have wonderful memories of the people I met, the food, and fun I had adding to my yoga experience. If you are interested or in to Yoga, I would highly recommend this retreat!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The White Lotus Foundation is a 501c3, nonsectarian spiritual Foundation dedicated to the development of the total human being. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Our mountain retreat center over looks the city of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. We are situated in a steep canyon on forty acres in the San Marcos Pass. Through the bottom of the canyon flows the year 'round San Jose creek. This land was once sacred to the Chumash Indians who called it Taklushmon which means the gathering place. The teachings of Yoga have traditionally been shared in powerful and natural settings. Living in close communion with the Earth, in the energies of nature, opens us to the beauty and sacredness of life. Here clarity, meditation and understanding flow spontaneously. We have an ideal and very special location with pure air, spring water, beautiful sandstone swimming holes, hiking trails and plenty of secluded places for silent reflection. We have indoor accommodations and Yurts, as well as campsites under the bay trees, near the waterfall or on plateaus overlooking the ocean. Our other facilities include a large Yoga-meeting room, a kitchen and dining room serving gourmet vegetarian meals, an underground Hopi style "Kiva" temple and a Library-Media center designed and crafted by Santa Barbara artists. ... more less