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Deep in the coastal nature refuge rainforest of Northern Queensland, a sanctuary awaits you. Surrounded by the rich smells and bright colors of the rainforest and overlooking the most beautiful tropical beaches in Australia, you will enter into sacred communication with yourselves, carried on the smooth vibrations of healing sound and soothing poetry from the eloquent Jiya and Mindi. Based on a strong foundation of alignment, you will use your physical practice to explore the relationship of the body to the mind and the soul, bringing wisdom and light to your life journey and finding the greater alignment that comes from self-realization.
In keeping with the Sanctuary low impact philosophy, buildings are designed and constructed to ensure that the vegetation and birdlife is disturbed as little as possible. Additionally, to minimize ongoing greenhouse gas emissions, the natural cooling effect of the rainforest was incorporated into the designs so that air-conditioning is not required and more than adequate cooling is produced from cross ventilation and ceiling fans. Two unique and contrasting styles of accommodation are offered at Sanctuary to suit all tastes and budgets.
Capturing the cool, green light of the rainforest, accommodation is in secluded forest huts nestled in the rainforest canopy. A minimalist design maximizes the sights, sounds, and smells of the rainforest whilst giving some personal space to those creatures you may prefer not to sleep with. Accessed by a boardwalk to protect the forest floor, the rainforest huts have no solid walls, instead the timber structure is screened on all four sides with weather proof curtains able to be drawn for privacy and protection from adverse weather. Each hut has a small verandah, simple furnishings, and sleeps two in either double or twin occupancy.
Elegant and rustic at the same time, these outside en-suites offer a convenient addition to the rainforest huts. A simple deck extends from the hut, while privacy is created by the natural foliage of the forest. Gravity fed with fresh, cold-water collected onsite, the en-suites are appointed with a shower, toilet, and basin fittings of quality and style.
For those interested in more creature comforts, then the deluxe canopy cabins may be for you. Of solid wooden construction, with ample, screened glass windows, the canopy cabins offer maximum protection from the elements, while still offering a close connection to the sights and sounds of the forest. Larger than the rainforest huts, these cabins are stylishly appointed with polished wooden floors, handmade natural timber furniture, and spectacular glass-walled bathrooms looking out high in the trees. With a studio-style lounge and bedroom and a private, furnished verandah, the canopy cabins offer superior accommodation in an entirely natural environment.
During the training you wake up while the sun rises and experience the beauty and serenity in the midst of a tropical setting. You will end your day with meditation or satsang (wise gathering) to contemplate and reflect on your sadhana (spiritual practice) of the day. Living with the rhythms of the earth and embracing the fullness of your practice, you grow into yourselves and into life.
This is a 25-day course, using the Chakana as the foundational structure. This means the course is separated into lower, middle, and upper worlds. The lower world represents the physical, the middle world reflects the mental and emotional, and the upper world involves the energetic or spiritual realm, leading you on a true journey from the head to the heart. Uncover and let go of the layers and step into a more awakened state of being to sit in the seat of your soul.
You will spend eight days in each world, broken down into two half-cycles of three days, with a half-day on day four to apply these practices to modern day living, and a full day off on day eight to live your sadhana (spiritual practice).
For full school days you will follow the schedule as detailed below. On half days (fourth day of each cycle), you will open with a morning's rest, Restorative and Yin class and a workshop to deepen your understanding of the chakras associated with the 'world' you are working in, with the rest of this day free. You will meet for evening gathering every other day. The training will consist of 25 days: 18 full training days, three half days (three worlds), and two full days off, plus opening and closing on the first and last days.
Sharing yoga is a process of intimacy, one that asks for deep movement within both giver and receiver through love, authenticity, attention, and connection. There are many ways in which yoga can be shared. Kula Collective believes that the fundamental principle that links all of their yoga teaching is connection; the concept that in order to truly help another being to find oneness, they must their selves be a channel to that oneness for their students.
How can you live better, slower, with more authenticity? Why do you do what you do? What are the thoughts that you think? How much more deeply can you inhabit your experience? And, underneath all of the thoughts and questions and memories, who are you? There is an art to living well, to living fully, as fully as you can. Philosophers through the ages have speculated on the big questions and yoga is just one of infinite pathways to the truth. If you have come to yoga, chances are you will have asked yourself these questions. As you come together in a group training, you explore these and many more, through examining both your own understanding of the art of living and that of the ancient sages.
It is through the experience of yoga that you understand the infinite nature of your being, where you reach beyond the boundaries of your individual lives and individual experience and touch the unity that is yoga. This yoga teacher training places emphasis on the experiential face of yoga by living your practice as a group, beginning and ending each day with a form of meditation and daily connection to your asana and pranayama. Each morning you will wake in silence to meditate as the sun rises, flowing into your internal experience of meditation. As you continue to expand through teaching, you will creatively work with the internal experience and feel what it is to open up your boundaries, as you are guided into deepening your personal practice through meditation, pranayama, and asana.
When you step into the role of yoga teacher, you are not simply sharing a physical practice to keep people fit, you are sharing a holistic practice that helps people to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically. And through sharing yoga as a holistic practice of living, you are allowing yourselves as a whole to connect to your true nature, as spiritual beings. This 200-hour yoga teacher training gives the opportunity for deep self-healing through personal discovery practices, group exercises, intentional discussion, and sacred ceremony. This training also offers a wide selection of teachings on complementary health practices, including but not limited to Ayurveda, nutrition, massage, energetic healing, Tai Chi, chakra cleansing, herbal healing, and the yogic diet.
Mission Beach is one of the only two places in Australia that offers both world heritage listed rainforest and Great Barrier Reef in the one area. With little commercial development and just a small permanent population scattered over 23 kilometers of rainforest-fringed beaches, Mission Beach is a paradise waiting to be discovered.
Designed to minimally impact on the surrounding rainforest, Sanctuary Retreat provides a haven for the traveller as well as the native wildlife. The purpose-built yoga room with its polished timber floors, exposed beams, and high ceilings combine to provide a wonderful space for yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation to the natural rhythm of the forest.
Sanctuary, as an eco-lodge, achieves both of its aims; to share the rainforest with visitors to the area and to protect an endangered habitat and its dwellers. As a registered nature refuge, you can be confident that by visiting Sanctuary, you are not only experiencing a rare insight into the ecology of tropical rainforests, but also making an active contribution to nature conservation.
Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats
During this retreat you will be enjoying three daily vegetarian gourmet options to suit all tastes, specializing in locally grown fresh foods and excellent coffee to satisfy your base desires. The yogic menu will be well balanced and delicious, with plenty of fresh, vibrant vegetables and salads and nourishing options, plus an occasional rich and raw dessert to maintain the balance.
From Brooks beach, the bay just meters from Sanctuary, you can hop the rocks, south along the headland and emerge at Bingil Bay, the most densely forested town of the area. Here lives the smallest part of the Mission beach community and also the start of the local beach bus service.
The Clump Mountain National Park, Bicton Hill walking trail also begins here and emerges at the top of the hill to spectacular views of the coast.
See everything the magnificent Hull river has to offer; the rainforests, mangroves, and birdlife by day. Enjoy a sausage and fish sizzle as the sun sets over the estuary. After dark, try to catch different fish and crabs as you spotlight your way upstream. Enjoy the Hull river, a major wetland breeding area for cassowaries, crocodiles, fish, and mangrove birds.
The best known of Australias tropical isles, known to the original inhabitants as Coonanglebah Island of Peace and Plenty. Covered with rainforest, secluded beaches and the areas best walking trails, a day on Dunk Island is not to be missed. The three-hour circuit walk takes you to the top of Mount Kootaloo with panoramic views of the rest of the family islands and the mainland coastline. Down through the Palm Valley to Coconut beach and then along the coastline to Pallon Beach and Dunk Island Resort. On Mondays and Thursdays, you can visit Bruce Arthurs Artist Gallery nestled among the rainforest.
Go fishing on one of the complete range of sites from river to reef. The spectacular scenery and laid back crew offers something for everyone. From beginner to the light tackle enthusiast, a trip can be tailored to suit all anglers. No experience is necessary. Tuition provided by your skipper.
Mission beach remains a stunningly beautiful place and has escaped the recent commercial development of other areas along the coast. Here you will find the heart of the area, a town which has retained its local charm and hospitality, with a wide range of cafes and restaurants offering take away, caf style or a-la-carte dining. Gift shops, internet caf, a small supermarket, and a post office are all just a short walk from the long stretch of Mission beach.
Blessed with an abundance of nature, there is much to see and do in Mission beach. The closest mainland point to the Great Barrier reef means that travel times are shorter and with only two reef boats, your experience of this amazing natural wonder is shared by only a select few. Just offshore are many deserted islands to sail or sea-kayak to and explore, most of which are protected national parks.
For the more adventurous, there is some of the best white water rafting in Australia nearby, as well the opportunity to parachute over and land on one of the most scenic coastlines in the world. The rainforests surrounding Mission beach offer a wealth of sights and sounds to the walker with a diverse range of habitats and eco-systems to explore. On your arrival, Sanctuarys knowledgeable staff can assist you to decide which of the many trips and operators will suit your needs.
Choose the fun and eco-friendly way to explore the tropical waters and rainforest of magical Dunk Island with Coral Sea kayaking. Glide silently over the fringing reef and spot turtles and dolphin. Relax on white sandy beaches, snorkel over the reef, and enjoy a stroll through the rainforest. Learn about the island and reef ecology, and the aboriginal and pioneering history of the area from your friendly and knowledgeable local guide. The trip includes paddling instruction, morning nibbles, all snorkeling gear, environmental interpretation, a luscious lunch, and safety and paddling equipment.
Experience a tandem skydive with SkyDive Australia or Jump the Beach. Enjoy the spectacular views of the 14 kilometers of golden beaches, world heritage listed rainforests, and the nearby Great Barrier Reef and islands.
Just over an hours boat ride away, experience the reef and its thousands of tropical fish, its colorful array of coral gardens and giant clams with the use of snorkel equipment. Scuba diving is also optional for beginners and certified divers, while a glass bottom boat is available for non-swimmers. Several companies offer day cruises to a variety of areas of the Great Barrier reef, each with different features to suit different needs and budgets.
At the most southern township, you will find the end of the beach bus service and also the start of the stunning Kennedy walking trail, which explores beach and forest until the sandy stretch of paradise is finally interrupted by the Hull river. South Mission beach is the closest land point to Dunk Island and is the departure point for the Coral Sea Kayaking adventures.
The Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation is located 100 meters north of Mission Beach town. This organization seeks to actively protect and regenerate the local environment and wildlife, with one of its immediate concerns being the plight of the cassowary. The center is staffed by volunteers and is a great introduction to the wet tropics world heritage area with its displays, computers, and reference material. There is also a nursery where 8,000 to 10,000 plants are raised each year for reforestation. Opening hours are 10:00 to 17:00.
Under the canopy of the forest, it can feel as if time stands still. Weaving through the rainforest, a variety of beautiful walking tracks allow for easy exploration of the varied flora and fauna in the 50 acres of nature refuge that is Sanctuary.
Just meters from Sanctuary, beautiful Brooks beach contrasts the shady forest with golden sands and turquoise waters. For the intrepid, a rock hop to the north reveals the beautiful Garners beach, lined with mangroves and its paradise view of the Barnard islands. Along a short headland trail to the south can be found Bingil bay and the many palm-fringed beaches making up the 25 kilometer stretch that is Mission beach.
Exhilarating white water rafting down the spectacular Tully Gorge. This action-packed, full day trip includes a barbeque lunch, trained guides, all tuition, and state of the art equipment. Photos and video are available for purchase.
The shopping center here is the home to a few more coffee shops and cafes and is also the location of the areas first major supermarket and petrol station. The coach station for Greyhound and Premier, is also at the shopping center in Wongaling beach, otherwise known as Mission Beach Central.
Sanctuarys experienced masseur and massage therapists provide a range of massage styles from the vigorous deep tissue massage with no muscular knot unattended to a relaxing Swedish massage. Or treat yourself to the ultimate in bodily pampering with an aromatherapy massage using pure essential oils leaving you floating and totally relaxed. Massages are 75 USD for one hour and 105 USD for 90 minutes.
If traveling by bus, please Advise Kula Collective with your bus arrival time at least one day prior to your arrival. Greyhound coaches stop at Mission Beach Central (also known as Wongaling Beach) terminal. Sanctuary is about 15 kilometers north of the coach terminal.
After arriving at Mission Beach Central bus station you can take a taxi to the Sanctuary. Its generally advisable to call them beforehand so they can meet you when the coach arrives.