Kirtan Camp 2015 – love gets sweeter everyday …

A few weeks back, I went to Kirtan Camp in the Otaki Gorge. (Kirtan is ‘yoga of sound’, essentially.) It was three nights, three days of beautiful nature, yoga, music, chanting, vegetarian food and lovely people.

It was my treat to myself of deep ‘me time’ after the family-centred intensity that is the summer school holidays. It was restful, and both inspiring AND contemplative. It ended with a Shamanic sound healing journey by Sika Deer, which might sound like the waftiest woo woo thing ever, but I experienced as a powerful healing experience. Like most things which shake you to the foundations and change you forever….words really do fail and I am too protective of this experience to attempt to say too much more about it…but should you ever get the chance to experience Sika’s healing work – jump at it!

I had a love affair with the yurt at the retreat centre – I went to kirtan in it, went to a live flute meditation, did yoga in it and one lovely sunny afternoon, (accidentally) took a nap in the sunshine lying in the grass outside it, as music was being played within. I very much hope there are more yurts in my future – this one was very special.

It was kind of ridiculously idyllic….the chef looked like George Harrison, the kirtan music was sublime, I slept one night in a tent lined with sparkling saris with my head bathed by the moon, I meditated under a giant pine tree in the pitch dark of nearly midnight, ….and there was heaps of free time in the schedule so that everyone dropped the stresses of their lives off their shoulders and by the second day, everyone was moving slower, smiling more and looking very peaceful.

At one point, I’d been sitting beside the river having a heart-to-heart conversation with my friend Nat who owns the yoga studio I teach at, and as we walked (ssslllloooooowwwwwllllyyyyy) back through the forest to the centre, we came upon a group of people playing music together (this song) … dancing barefoot in the sun, children were blowing bubbles, it was ludicrously lovely. I actually had a slightly hysterical giggle/crying fit in response to the sweetness of the scene… it was like a little taste of how life could be if people just relaxed more, played together more and got along together. You know….utopian dreams made (briefly) manifest.

Anyway, have I made you ill with my gushing yet…? Ha ha! Here’s a few pictures…

The main part of the retreat centre…


(Below) The saris I spent a night gazing up at …


Lovely kirtan teacher, Chakradhyan of Chant Shack Melbourne. 


Amazing percussion teacher – Douglas Brush: 


Nat beside the river with the retreat centre pup…


Little stone cairn beside the river…


(Above) Brave people having their first go at leading kirtan…

(Below) The magical yurt, complete with babbling brook….part of me will be forever lying the the warm grass, napping in the sunshine outside this yurt.


4 thoughts on “Kirtan Camp 2015 – love gets sweeter everyday …

  1. Looks and sounds freaking amazing Helen, can you transplant your experience inside my brain? it was a super experience meeting Nat et al at Zing last year. It helped me start to get my mind and body recalibrated. That was with no yurt in sight. Must get a yurt.


  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful retreat with us Helen ~ got a little vicarious uplift from all the sweetness 🙂 There’s something beautiful about being in circular structures, aye. Wishing you much yurt love in the future!


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