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Five Sacred Altars: A Yogic Pilgrimage to Self

Fri., August 12 - Fri., August 19

After two years of compounded tumult and uncertainty, many of us feel overstimulated and undernourished, anxious and drained, all qualities that shape our nervous systems and the pathways through which we take in and transmit the experiences of Life. And, as a consequence, shapes our presence in the world. Sensing into the holy ground of our being, our week will be a tranquil pilgrimage to 5 Sacred Altars within, tracing the maps, both subtle and gross, given to us through the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda. This will be a week of restoration and recalibration on every level, honoring the senses, the subtle, and the sublime power of our direct experience of life.

In the great traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda, health is known as swastha, which really means to be established in the true self. To be at home and grounded in who we really are, wherever we are. As humans (“prani,” beings of prana, or life force/intelligence), we are composed of the primordial powers of the cosmos, but we so rarely sense into or feel that as truth. Either we embody and transmit the highest frequencies of these forces as love, stability, radiance, clarity, vitality, and peace, or we experience them as rage, addiction, anxiety, overwhelm, or depression. Each of us decodes and translates reality through our senses, and then we project ourselves back into the world. These pathways are thus recognized as powerful entry points for healing into who and what we are here to be; out of our drama and into our dharma, our place in supporting the good of all the cosmos.

This is a pilgrimage. Though often we think of a voyage into an unknown or foreign territory, this is really a journey of the self to the Self, which transforms limitations into possibilities, forever shifting the paradigm and landscape through which we understand and experience who we are and how we bring that into our daily lives. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”


Over the course of our week, daily practices will introduce and establish each of the 5 altars—sites for conscious focus and meditation, to reveal and reclaim what has always been sacred. Drawing upon many styles and traditions, practices will focus more on personal experience than a particular method. Together, we will share yogic practices of kriya, asana, chanting, mudra, pranayama, meditation, and deep relaxation. Morning sessions will awaken more dynamic movement to clear the subtle pathways, while our pre-dinner sessions will cultivate more stillness and spaciousness. A few optional gatherings for discussion, writing prompts, and self study will complement our formal practices. This is not a retreat about posing and posturing as something “other,” but rather accessing and radiating the presence and power you are.

Together, amidst the splendor of this beautiful landscape, we shall travel these inner pathways and discover (or recover) the sacred sites of consciousness (Altars) within. Join Jessica C. Patterson, founder of Root: Center for Yoga & Sacred Studies for this nurturing 6-night retreat in beautiful Tuscany, exploring and reclaiming pathways into the sacred, whole, and holy space within us all.

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Fri., August 12
Fri., August 19
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