Deep Winter Retreat

About the retreat

Silence Retreat Feb. 20-23, 2020

A silence retreat steeped in shamanism and yogic wisdom. Recover your energy through self inquiry and self-care. Daily yoga, meditation. sacred ceremony, relaxation, silence, Ayurveda, modern Earthlore and shamanic teachings on the inner depths of winter. This retreat is to prepare physically and energetically for the coming Spring and Earth consciousness shifts​. Deep relaxation and regenerate​ are at their heights in this season, so if you feel drawn to plan a short get-a-way, this retreat is for you!

All accommodation, plant-based meals & herbal elixirs included. 10 participants max. The off grid octagonal log home and bunkhouse will comfortably house participants, complete with glowing woodstoves to keep the chill away. About 80 mins from Ottawa/Gatineau, 45 min from Wakefield/Renfrew, and 20 mins from Shawville.

Where and When
Our retreat is located at Santainaii Earth-based Healing Centre, 166 Ch. Himmelman, Ladysmith (Thorne). We will meet at 6pm on Thursday Feb. 20, please have your supper prior to arriving. Light snack and tea will be available. Please arrive 15 mins early to orient yourself on the property and figure out sleeping accommodations upon arrival.

From Thursday February 20 at 6pm to Sunday February 23 at 3pm

Background and Agenda

It is equally a shamanic and yogic retreat, investigating the sacred and mystical aspects and the teachings of yoga and meditation, under the enriching force of silence. For the last 18 years Bermalva has been apprenticing with a shaman and spiritual teacher and has graduated shamanic studies, as well as teaching yoga and meditation for the same length. It is her passion and calling to share these authentic teaching with others.
The retreat is hosted by Bermalva, under the guise of Santainaii – Earth-based healing retreat centre. Bermalva, a shamanic practioner, teacher of meditation, yoga, healer, visionary, ceremonialist and spiritual seeker, has been learning how to be a natural human being for the last 18 years.  She has been enriching and deconstructing concepts of Self and sharing her teachings and experiences in classes, workshops, retreats, ceremonies and private practice in the Pontiac area and abroad. She also explores sound light and sacred music with international travelling kirtan band, The Bhakti Connection.

*Prerequisite of one of the following to register: Earth Foundations Course, workshop/retreat/class or client of Bermalva.  A short interview with Bermalva may be necessary for you prior to registering for the retreat

A typical day may look like this:
6:00 am meditation
7:30 am yoga
9:00 am breakfast
10:30am knowledge session with Bermalva
12-1:00 pm lunch.
1- 2:30 pm nap/free time/karma yoga
2:30- 4 pm Outdoor session or yoga/meditation
4:00 pm to 5 pm session with Bermalva
6:00 pm supper
7:00 pm end of the day program
*this is an example only, timings and events subject to change

Accommodations and Food
Santainaii is a place in the country that is found to be deeply healing and relaxing. This is a residential retreat, with opportunity for out-of-town retreaters (or locals too!) to stay onsite, having the chance to live and sleep away from home, in order to fully detach from regular daily life and immerse yourself into the benefits of the silence of retreat. Bedding and pillows are NOT provided, do bring bedding and pillows and anything else you might need for sleeping. If you snore, please indicate this on the registration form. There are two rooms available in side the house, and depending on registrations, may be shared – 2 people per room.  The bunkhouse sleeps 5-6 people.

Bermalva will be preparing the meals on this retreat, with the aid of a few helpers. Our diet is a particular focus on this retreat and we will experience an Ayurvedic anti-inflammatory diet that supports detox of the organs, cleansing, pain reduction and digestion. It is a mono-diet of vegetables, mung beans and rice, also known as kichari. Diet will be gluten and possibly dairy free, so if you have any specific dietary needs, be sure to note this on your registration form. All food is being taken care of so no need to take snacks along. If you must eat between meals, we will have fruit on site, however we will try and avoid snacking, sticking with the principles of Ayurveda. Everyone will be requested to help out (selfless service) in some way over the weekend.

What to Bring
– Meditation kit (cushion, shawl, yoga mat and a large blanket). The retreat involves several sittings a day in meditation, so bring what you think you need to make you comfortable. If you are not used to sitting in meditation, seats are available. Warm blankets/shawls for outdoor meditations sitting on the snow.
– Comfortable clothes, warm and cool clothing for fluctuating temperatures.
– Bring a notepad, blank paper, pens, pencils and colored markers/colored pencils
– Your water bottle. We have a beautiful and bountiful amount of spring water. We encourage you during the retreat to drink plenty of water. There will be healthful drinks and elixirs provided as well.
– All toiletries, towels, face cloths and items needed for hygiene(if staying onsite)
– snow shoes/cross country skis etc for exploration time
– any herbs, vitamins or medications your require
– Yoga mat, blocks or props you need
– warm outside winter gear
– remaining payment for registration in cash (preferred) or cheque
Pre-Retreat Preparations
Our days will be taken together in silence. As you wake, refrain from conversations. Guidance will be given for this. This will give rise to deeper healing and rest. It will be best to stay contained, and in silence or minimal speaking/interactions. Please do not plan activities for the day after the retreat, as it can distract from the healing and will dissipate the energy.
In the week leading up to your retreat, try your best to be mindful of the foods and drinks you are consuming, limiting or eliminating junk foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods. This will help your body and mind to be ready for retreat and have an easy transition. Please note there will be no coffee or caffeinated tea served. It is best to wean yourself off of caffeine prior to retreat to reduce risk of headache/migraine.
Massage and bodywork with Jill Mackay (Thai yoga massage/polarity energy therapy) Saturday and Sunday of the retreat. This can greatly help the process of letting go within retreat and cleansing. Book your appointment separately with Jill by: 819-647-5500 Cost varies according to treatment Treatment cost is NOT included in the registration fee.
Investment and Registration

$50 registration deposit required upon filling out the registration form below (this comes off the total)

$375 – includes food, classes and teachings, sleeping accommodations  (bring your own bedding, blankets, sitting pillows, shawls etc.)

$300 – for students enrolled in the Mystic Living Program, includes food, classes, teaching, accommodations (bring your own bedding, blankets, sitting pillows, shawls etc.)

Limited number of spaces – 10 total 


As this was the first retreat for me, I had a very interesting and enriching time. I enjoyed the sessions, also if they were kind of hard from time to time, the food and the lessons. It was a honor to meet you all and I am really appreciating having had this possibility. I’ve learned precious things for my life. Thank you again. AD
The retreat was necessary for me, it was intense and emotional for me but I have been well guided and taken care of so that I could go deep, heal and rejuvenate and be completely myself. Thanks so much for doing this and letting me be me.TFR
I’ve just returned from Bermalva’s Winter Retreat at her peaceful country home — my second Winter Retreat. The season of snow and cold offers an interior time, an opportunity to look within, to learn, reflect, and grow. I recommend this Retreat. It’s intense. It’s primarily in silence. Teaching sessions, however, encourage discussions where… the exchange gives us the challenging, welcoming opportunity for deep reflection on what we actually do believe. Throughout the weekend, Bermalva creates and sustains a safe, supportive environment, which is hugely important. Interested in exploring your inner self, learning about your Journey, doing yoga, meditation, outdoorsy meditation activities? This could be for you.KF