Yoga retreat by donation is rooted in karma

Yoga instructor Satyama Lasby opens up one of her popular yoga retreats so that more people have the opportunity to participate

There is an element of yoga, sometimes forgotten, called karma yoga. Known to yogis as the “discipline of action” it is a form of yoga based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the world’s most famous yoga text, and is often understood as the yoga of selfless service, without expectation of anything in return.

A local yoga teacher puts this practice into her business, allowing for the opportunity of many to experience yoga in a concentrated form for the benefit of their bodies and minds without the cost associated with many expensive yoga retreats.

Satyama Lasby, owner of Open to Bliss Productions, is offering a yoga retreat by donation starting Saturday at Johnson’s Landing Retreat Centre.

“I know and have experienced the power of karma yoga, ” says Lasby. “Specifically when I lived at Osho’s International Meditation Centre in India, the more time and service I gave, the more I got back.

“No one there makes any money, it is completely run by volunteers. It was the happiest and most fulfilling time of my life. I had no expectations, I just said yes to everything, and my joy grew exponentially.”

Lasby hopes everyone can experience bliss on their own path to a more natural way of living and being. A yoga teacher for 13 years and trained in four specific yoga disciplines, she wants to spread the idea of karma yoga, as well as ways of exchanging services and energy to the community. Her creation, Open to Bliss Productions, produces yoga and tantra workshops and retreats across Western Canada. Satyama is also a massage practitioner in East Hill.

“Just because I believe in karma does not mean I do not need to make money. I promote services by exchange when possible and when it is fair. I am simply responding to everyone I have ever heard say ‘I would love to take a workshop with you but I can’t afford it, or ‘I don’t have the time.’ My way of operating is that if you really want a change to happen in your life, you could potentially start right here, with this opportunity presenting itself to you.”

The upcoming yoga retreat, for all levels of ability, will be held  this Saturday until Oct. 4 at Johnson’s Landing Retreat Centre, about an hour outside of Kaslo. There is a facility fee of $115 and also the cost of accommodation at the centre, which includes your meals.  Participants can come for all five days for any amount of time they wish. People are invited to make donations for the teachings, which will include two yoga classes per day, instruction in silent and active meditations, creative expression including visual journaling and intuitive art, as well as massage sessions during free time associated with the retreat.

“I have a passion for teaching authentic styles of yoga, and helping people take their practice to the next level of awareness. I am blessed to have studied yoga and meditation intensely while I lived in India, and running this business feels as though I am living my life’s purpose. Sharing gifts and making it affordable is my way of giving back to those willing to take a deeper look at themselves; all you need to do is make the time in your life and get there.”

To register, call Johnson’s Landing at 1-877-366-4402 or info@johnsonslandingretreat.bc.ca or contact Satyama at 250-558-8632 or info@opentobliss.com.