10-day Summer Retreat
Going deeper – Yoga and Meditation at Ask Retreat Centre
If I can be who I am
When being with my self
I can more easily be
Who I am being with others
Summer retreat by the sea
A holiday Retreat in Yoga and Meditation is an active holiday, where you work with yourself. In retaining a sense of fulfilment and well-being, you will discover other sides of yourself, which will give you inspiration and guts to go on in your daily life for a long time. The Retreats are available for anyone who wants to work intensively with yoga and meditation. Do not persuade others to come. Come for your own sake if you want to learn more and go deeper with yoga and meditation.
The value of an active holiday
Every day the retreat programme lasts from early morning until late afternoon – but you also have free time to go for a walk, etc. During the retreat you are spared from watching TV, listen to the radio or to music, drive, shop, visit cafés, talk in the (mobile) phone, drink coffee or alcohol, read newspapers, etc. Such a frame – combined with tasty vegetarian food – makes thorough effects possible, even during a short-time retreat. It is important to complete the retreat if you first decide to participate.
Classical yoga and breathing exercises
We work step by step. By using your body in different yoga exercises and poses, you will rediscover it. You will develop more sensitivity towards your body, alleviate tension, build-up energy and gain well-being. Your breathing reflects your state of mind, whether you are calm, impatient, groggy, nervous, restless, etc. With the breathing exercises, you can transform any state and gain contact with your inner surplus energy, the psychic energy.
Cleansing of the Intestines
Yoga begins with the cleansing processes: Neti (the nose cleansing) and Shankprakshalan (intestinal cleansing), which we conduct one day early on in the course. The whole alimentary canal is cleansed when you drink warm saline water. A few exercises help to move the water from the stomach through the intestines and out of the anus; then the stomach is emptied of the remaining water and finally, the nose is cleansed. After this, you rest thoroughly and eat a specially prepared meal.
The rest of the retreat we keep a mild diet that is gentle for the intestines and preserves the harmony created in the body by the cleansing.
Shankprakshalan removes gross tensions in the body and helps you develop a greater sensitivity, and thus benefit more from the program. Neti (nose cleansing) can be done daily on the course. It cleanses the air passages, relieves allergies and colds, and makes it easier to do the breathing exercises.
Yoga teaches you to find the balance between being active and resting. You will learn how to be more at peace with yourself while being active and more attentive while relaxing. On the course, you will learn simple relaxation techniques for use in daily life, and also Yoga Nidra – a thorough, deep-going relaxation technique.
Yoga Nidra is among other things a method for exploring the borderline between consciousness and unconsciousness. You will become more aware of – and learn to relax – the different dimensions in your being. By doing this you will rediscover the ability to rest in yourselves. You will also learn how to make a resolution which you can rely on. You discover and stabilise your attention and ability to stay alert, both in actions and while going into deeper contact with your inner life.
You will learn four different meditation techniques on the 10-day Retreat: Tratak, The Source of Energy, Inner Silence and Ajapa Japa.
Tratak is a concentration technique, in which the ability to hold the attention on one object is developed. Tratak releases tension in the eye and improves the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain. Going further, the more advanced Inner Tratak also enhances your visualization capabilities.
The Source of Energy meditation cleanses and clear up in in the body and mind by using a unique breathing technique (Ujjayi Pranayama) and concentration on the chakras. Energy stored in tensions and an unclear state of mind are released and transformed into a state of resting calm and spaciousness.
Inner Silence meditation begins with a fundamental training of your awareness. You learn to accept disturbances and thoughts. By doing that your mind will calm down making it possible to be more creative. The essence of Inner Silence meditation is a transforming experience of the silence from where we experience everything else – that of being one with oneself.
Ajapa Japa meditation is a further development in nine steps of The Source of Energy meditation. Fully learned you sit around one hour utilizing a 108 beads Mala together with the circulation of the Ujjayi breath between the chakras. That is immediately followed by quarter an hour of silent deepening of the meditative state. Ajapa Japa is the beginning of Kriya Yoga.
Talks, Satsang and Mauna (stillnes)
In the evenings we have classes with talks and Satsang: «Confrontation, accept and change», «Yoga in daily life» are examples of themes. Some evenings we practice Sufi-dance or Kirtan, a kind of singing-meditation.
You will also have the possibility to keep Mauna (silence) two and a half day on the 10-day retreat. Three or four times we will have Sauna with bathing in the sea.
You learn a lot on the course – but not everything takes place in the yoga hall. Your body must be able to transform the energy you acquire from the practices. An important experience in the process is your participation in the tasks around the Retreat Centre: in the garden; preparing food; dishwashing and cleaning or perhaps doing repairs on a house or moving some stones.
Socially speaking, Karma Yoga (as these activities are called) implies that you do things for others, together with others and that you don’t expect to be waited on.
After all, you have not come to a holiday resort, but to a retreat with people who want to work with themselves. Naturally, you will want to be better able to deal with the tasks and challenges awaiting you at home. Activity creates stamina and drive.
“When one is active, then one is stable. Stability can only be achieved through action. When happiness is achieved one is active. Someone who cannot find happiness is not active.”
Many have discovered this secret in our courses.
Without Karma Yoga it would be impossible to run such comprehensive courses. The retreat offers many paths to reach deeper states. The expected results, however, would not be achieved in a harmonious way without outwardly directed activities and common tasks. When you let go of something and also give something, then you are more able to receive. The energy is transformed; it becomes available to you. Karma Yoga is an activity that balances the whole course and contributes to the increase in your wellbeing.
Karma Yoga is part of the program for 1-1½ hours a day. In addition, each person helps 2-4 times (depending on the number of students) cleaning and dishwashing after lunch and dinner.
A course day may look like this:
|6.00||–||6.30||am||Awakening yourself, toilet, nose cleansing|
|7.00||–||9.00||am||Physical yoga and breathing techniques|
|9.00||–||9.30||am||Breakfast: Fruit, porridge and tea|
|9.30||–||10.45||am||Karma Yoga – practical work|
|10.45||–||11.30||am||Yoga Nidra deep relaxation|
|11.30||–||12.15||am||Ajapa Japa meditation|
|12.15||–||4.30||pm||Lunch and free time for taking a walk, canoeing, sauna etc|
|4.30||–||5.30||pm||Short yoga program, breathing exercises etc.|
|5.30||–||6.00||pm||Inner Silence Meditation (Antar Mauna)|
|8.30||–||10.00||pm||Lectures, meditation, Sufi or Kirtan (mantra-singing)|
Location of the retreat: Ask Retreat Centre, a beautiful setting by the sea on the island of Askøy, 2 miles north of the capital of Bergen. Accommodation in a single or double room in the main Log House, the Log Cabin, the Boathouse, the Alcove or the Sea View Apartment. We will do Yoga and meditation in the Yoga room or in the Pyramide.
Cancelling your booking: Cancellation must be done in writing either per mail or email. When cancelling later than 1 month before the course you will have to pay NOK 2.000. Later than 14 days NOK 3.200 and later than 1 week before NOK 4.800. If you cancel the booking after the start of the retreat you will have to pay full price. Cancellation due to illness: Attach medical certificate or doctors statement which verifies your illness, and you only pay the Deposit for the retreat.
Conditions of Participation
Be prepared to accept the following:
You are required to attend all classes/activities at the scheduled times – willingly come 5 minutes before the agreed time!
Do not smoke on the school’s premises. If you must smoke, then take a walk alone.
During a retreat, you take a break from your usual influences and impressions. You retire for a period to gain an overview and get some peace to do what you have come for: to work with yourself.
During a retreat, you will not read newspapers, watch TV, use your cell phone for talking or SMS or receive visits. Leave your mobile telephone, computer and anything similar at home or turn it off during your stay. Inform your family and friends that it is not possible to contact you during the retreat. If an emergency arises in your family they can contact you by phoning the retreat centre at phone +47 56 15 15 00.
Do not persuade others…
…to come with you on the course, not even your partner, unless they themselves are completely motivated to participate. Come for your own sake.
Come because you want to discover and work with yourself.
Welcome to the retreat!
Inspiration and more reading
On yoga Poses
Not a word about sweat and effort; with yoga it is a question of well-being built on other principles.
Yoga and the finer Energy
Even though the «small wind and tension releasing exercises» is the first programme you meet on our courses, it is not just for beginners, it has also a deeper effect. Pawanmuktasana, as it is also called, is viewed from a knowledge of the vital energy, known as prana in India and Chi in China.
On breathing exercises
Why hold your breath?
The yogic breathing exercises have a thorough and precise effect.
Plenty of oxygen
The doctor was nervous: Is there a lack of oxygen when I do breathing exercises and hold the breath? So he investigated the matter.
Breathe through your nose!
This provides more oxygen to the blood, strengthens the immune system, and is also beneficial for the heart.
An EEG study of the brain during Nadi Shodana
An improved balance in the brain makes you clear, optimistic and extrovert.
About Neti, Cleansing of the Nose
Read more about Neti Nose Cleansing
About Shankprakshalan, Cleansing of the Intestines
Read more about Shankprakshalana, Cleansing of the Intestines.
On Deep Relaxation
Meditative deep relaxation
A short introduction to Yoga Nidra.
Pictures of the brains’s activity during Yoga Nidra
A new chapter in research on meditation, it was called, when the scientists published pictures of yoga teachers doing Yoga Nidra. The research was done with one of modern medicine’s most advanced instruments – the PET scanner at The State University Hospital in Copenhagen.
Tantra and Yoga Nidra
Swami Janakananda writes for the first time about the knowledge and methods in Tantra which lie behind Tantric rituals and which make Yoga Nidra so uniquely effective and deep – about Nyasa, Chakras, consciousness and the resolution in Yoga Nidra.
What on earth do they use it for
People’s very different experiences with Yoga Nidra…
On meditation and relaxation
The Twilight Hour
Did we have a living meditation tradition in the North? Did grandmother meditate? Maybe, without knowing it was meditation – she called it something else.
On Inner Silence Meditation
Harmony between the experiencer and the experienced
An article about the Tantric meditation Antar Mauna (Inner Silence) – and its ancestors and cousins. A pearl of a meditation – the most basic and advanced at the same time. It opens with methods that make you independent in relation to influences – inner as well as outer.
On the ability to experience
«Say the troll’s name, and it disappears», goes the old fairy tale. The teacher’s foremost task is to awaken the student into being able to experience – perhaps the most releasing and curative ability we possess.
On The Source of Energy Meditation
The Source of Energy Meditation
Using meditation over a longer period of time can have an enduring beneficial effect on your brain activity. One who meditates regularly experiences a lasting relaxing effect in daily life.
Energy is more than a discovery in our technical age. «Prana», «Ki», «Mana» – the psycic energy has been known through all times. Now it is being discovered by us.
To be announced later this year!
Ask Retreat Centre
The Retreat Centre is situated undisturbed by the sea, with a great view towards Bergen. Fine possibilities for recreation and walking in the surrounding countryside.