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PERU RETREAT! Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2014

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Kirtan, Yoga and Story in the Sacred Valley

Join John de Kadt and Brenda McMorrow with Katie Campbell for a magnificent week long journey into Peru. This retreat takes place in the Sacred Valley of the Andes Mountains and includes enlivening and enchanting daily yoga, kirtan and storytelling. We will be treated to delicious vegetarian food and cleansing juices, as well as unforgettable trips to sacred sites including Machu Picchu and beyond.

We will reside at the beautiful Illa Wasi Retreat Center, tucked into the Urubamba mountains with accommodations in traditional round Incan buildings. We will be near sacred ancient sites and Incan ruins including one of the wonders of the world – Machu Picchu.

This retreat will include Bhakti yoga chanting sessions with Brenda and John, evening Kirtan under the stars and storytelling that will weave a tapestry of ancient myths throughout the week. Each day Katie Campbell will offer a wonderful yoga class. We will be served delicious, fresh food grown naturally right here in the Valley and juicing can be a part of your daily experience if you wish. Together we will journey to these auspicious and powerful Incan ruins and sites as part of our cleansing, rejuvenating and inspiring week in the Peruvian Andes.

Various accommodations are available depending on your preference. $1950-$2400 all included other than airfare.

For More information please contact:

Eleonora: Aleya Journeys:




MUSIC REVIEW: Igniting The Beauty

Spirituality & Health Magazine

2014 March-April


John Malkin

Igniting the Beauty
Brenda McMorrow
White Swan Records

Brenda McMorrow played folk music in her 20s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she was struck by the beauty and depth of devotional music. “A friend took me to a kirtan workshop. I didn’t know anything about it,” she told S&H. “My friend told me kirtan was a form of yoga and music.” McMorrow had done some yoga by that time but had focused on the physical health benefits of the practice. “There was one man with a guitar, singing mantras,” she remembers. “By the second song, I had the most profound knowing that this is what I was to do with my life. It was like a lightning bolt hit me. Never in my life had I experienced such a strong knowing about a direction to take. From that moment, I became focused on kirtan.”

That lightning bolt of discovery can be heard on McMorrow’s latest release, Igniting the Beauty. The album was produced by the well-established devotional music producer Ben Leinbach, who also adds guitars, drums, vocals, and bass to this uplifting and relaxing album of mantra music such as “Loka Samastha” and “Govinda Bolo.”

Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba first touched McMorrow’s spiritual path in 2008. She describes being visited by the deceased teacher a few years later, while playing at a festival in Italy. “It was almost like a darshan moment,” she told S&H. “I was filled with his presence, and it blew me away. From that moment on, he’s been in my heart. He’s been with me ever since.”

Traveling on an Indian Highway – a metaphor for how to live Life?

I’m in a cab on an Indian highway, where the driver weaves in and out of lines of cars, often coming head-on with opposing  lanes of traffic, shifting back to his assigned side within a mere 2 or 3 seconds of potential impact with on oncoming car or motorbike (the bikes often carrying families of 3 or 4)!

This time around in India – after an 8 year absence- I find myself flowing with the seeming chaotic madness much more easily, and at the same time being quite aware of the fragility of it all.

Things just seem to have a design to them and I’m realizing that Indian roads can be taken as a metaphor for how to live LIFE: What is around each corner is a complete unknown and if I think about it too much, I’ll only get myself into trouble!  Living Life or Traveling an Indian Highway: FEEL the FLOW of the traffic, Use the Horn (only when required please 🙂 ) and above all else, DON’T HESITATE!


Beautiful India – Scenes from a week in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

(click on images for full view)Temple in Chennai

Temple in Chennai

Chennai Flower Market

Chennai Flower Market


Chennai Flower Market


Chennai Flower Market


Chennai Flower Market


Chennai Flower Market




John de Kadt looking at photos with some awesome kids


receiving a blessing at Maari Amma Temple, Chennai


Wedding Party, Chennai


Adventures on an Indian Subway


Street Scene Chennai


Women in beautiful sari’s everywhere



Crossing a busy street, Chennai






Our main mode of transportation. The Rickshaw

3 Reasons to Not do Kirtan…

If you enjoy feeling separate, being worried and preoccupied with getting things done, and/or incessant thinking, here are 3 reasons NOT to attend Kirtan:

1. Your identification as a separate being may become compromised. There is a high chance of realizing your connection to the others in the room and possibly the entire universe.

2. There will likely be an experience of “All Being Well”, thus resulting in lessening your focus on your “To-Do List” and concerns (big and small) in your life.

3. Participating in Kirtan will likely reduce the number of thoughts in your head. It is highly probable that you will experience space between thoughts thus resulting in an increased chance of experiencing Infinite Beingness.

-this message brought to you by the Divine Intervention Council of Perfectly Imperfect BEingness


Jai Ram!!

Thank you Seoul for being a big part of my Kirtan adventure!

Sitting in a coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea, while here for the Korea Yoga Conference, I’m editing and organizing a collection of mantras and chants for a Kirtan manual I’m writing for a DevaTree yoga teacher training.  “Om Namah Shivaya” just happens to be playing over the stereo system, sung by my sweet friend Donna De Lory!  Hmm… sweet synchronicity and another joyful reminder that I am flowing along on the beloved path that has been set out for me.

There is sublime synchronicity in my entire return to South Korea.  Between 2005 and 2008 I spent much time here working as a voice actor and spending all my free time learning about kirtan, chants, Hindu cosmology and writing the many melodies that Ben Leinbach and I chose from for my first two albums: Ameya and Love Abounds.  Although I’d been a singer/songwriter for over 15 years, I hadn’t yet shared kirtan on a large scale (just with a few friends at home). However, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my entire musical path was shifting from being a pop/folk singer and that I was soon to begin sharing Kirtan far and wide. Seoul was where I prepared for this magical unfolding…actually it’s where the unfolding really started happening!

So how did I end up in Seoul again? Last year I was contacted by the organizers of the Korea Yoga Conference, asking me if I would be interested in traveling to Korea to be the guest Kirtan artist for the conference.  Little did the organizers know that Seoul had been my home as I prepared to launch myself onto the Bhakti path! This is like a home coming to me!

So now I sit in a coffee shop in the Apujeong area of Seoul, listening to Donna sing to Shiva, the Lord of Transformation, writing a manual for a Kirtan and Chant Immersion module. I’m revelling in the “full circle” nature of this, of the great blessings and support from sources known and unknown, seen and unseen, that have allowed my path to unfold with such ease and joy. Thank you Korea: you hold a special place in my heart, you are a sweet part of the unfolding of love and devotion that I humbly open myself to share with the world.

Kirtan Tour = Discovering Great Natural Food Stores everywhere we go!

John de Kadt and I stopped by Central Co-op in Seattle yesterday and it rocks : – )


1600 E Madison St  Seattle, WA 98122, United States
+1 206-329-1545


As I embark on another Kirtan tour, I’m feeling extra gratitude for the beautiful Natural Food stores that we find everywhere we go. One of my favourite things is to discover the places that provide vibrant, healthy, organic, delicious food to fuel us.  It’s essential, as the flights, the long car rides, less sleep can take a toll. Yay for GOOD GOOD food!!

And then we continued deliciously on…



Portland, Oregon


Portland, OR


Ashland Food Co-op, Ashland, OR


Power House, Nanaimo, B.C.


Power House, Nanaimo, B.C.


Crested Butte, CO



Crested Butte, CO!

A Summer of Joyful Festivals and Retreats in Pictures!

Summer 2013 is still in full swing and I’m so grateful for the most blessed events I’ve been invited to be part of! Here are some peeks into the various events! A million thanks to the festival and retreat organizers! It’s because of you that we get to come together in loving community to nourish and spirits and connection to one another and, most importantly, ourselves!


With David Newman at Bhakti Fest Midwest

With Jai

Singing with Jai Uttal at Bhakti Fest Midwest (w/ Joni Allen and Sean Johnson)

Sean and Vrinda Nataraj

Dancing Nataraja with Sean Johnson, Bhakti Fest Midwest


With Emy Berti at Bliss Beat Festival, Italy


Bliss Beat Festival “Love-In”, Italy


Singing with the Hanumen in Maine (Benjy Wertheimer, Gaura Vani)


Arriving at Hillside Festival, Guelph, ON (Morgan Doctor, Jason Fowler, Shannon Kingsbury, Andrew McPherson, Robert Kingsbury)


Shanti Retreat Crew! Wolfe Island, ON



With Adam Bauer and Narada Wise, Yoga Fest, Northern Michigan


Joining Parvati Devi on stage at Yoga Fest, Michigan


Adam Bauer, Atmaram, Krishnamoyee at  Yoga Fest, Michigan


Gospel Hour at Hillside Festival, Guelph, ON with Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion, Martha Wainwright, Shane Koyczan, Ruth Moody



Gospel Hour at Hillside Festival, Guelph, ON with Sarah Lee Guthrie,  Johnny Irion, Martha Wainwright, Shane Koyczan, Ruth Moody

The Joy of Being – Yoga and Chant Retreat in Auroville, South India with Brenda McMorrow, Julia Deutscher and Fabio Giaccone


Join Brenda, Fabio and Julia for this unique experience: a 10 day Yoga & Chant Retreat at the beautiful Vérité Guest House in the International Community of Auroville.

Each day includes yoga with Julia and Fabio, chanting with Brenda, 3 delicious organic, vegetarian meals, plus the infinite possibilities that India has to offer!

Dive deeply into this heart expanding journey of body, spirit and song!

Take advantage of this special opportunity to deepen your yoga practice while enjoying a holiday in yoga’s motherland!

We will practice traditional hatha yoga (asana and pranayama) each morning and evening, and you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Bhakti Yoga practice of Kirtan chant each day – all the while connecting with like-hearted people from around of the world and discovering more about the multifaceted realm of yoga and the secrets of India.

Everything is wonderfully green this time of year in South India, with the temperatures still pleasant at around 24-32 ° C. It is the best time of year to travel to the south of India.

The community of Auroville is described as “a project, a living experiment and a spiritual society… the purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity” It is a multi-national community, populated with many artists and innovators. For more information visit:

There is plenty of free time for optional excursions such as:

Visiting the Auroville community and it’s projects; visits to and Anugama MeditationMusic at the Matrimandir; shopping, holistic treatments and enjoying time at the beach; visiting the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, sight-seeing and shopping in the charming town of Pondicherry; trips to the holy city Tiruvannamalai or to the “rock carvings” in Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram).

We can also decide spontaneously to take small separate day tours with an Auroville resident to various Indian temples in surrounding villages

(any costs associated with the activities above are not included in the retreat fee).

Accommodation / Food

We will be staying at “Vérité”, an idyllic eco-community guest-house which is surrounded by greenery, in cozy single, twin or double rooms, enjoying delicious organic, vegetarian meals.

Your investment:

999 € ($1,340 USD)

(Applies per person shared accomodation, excluding arrival, tourist visa and paypal money transfer costs)

Retreat Includes:

2 yoga classes daily and one chanting session

11 nights accommodation in a twin / double / single room (rooms are assigned on a “first come, first serve” basis according to when you register)

3 organic, vegetarian meals daily

Sheets, towels, laundry, internet, bike rental, free use of the “Guest Lounge” with Kitchenette

Retreat does not include:

Cost of participation in other activities in Auroville (such as a day tour, various holistic treatments, etc.)

Food on excursions

Taxi for excursions to Pondicherry and surrounding area

Arrival (flight, visa, taxi to and from the airport)


An open heart and an open mind!

A willingness to engage in the unexpected – India is full of surprises 🙂

Our teaching style will allow everyone to have their individual skills nurtured accordingly, whether you’re a beginner or have been doing yoga and/or chanting for some time.

We focus on attending to each participant’s individual needs.

Check in:
From January 31st 2014 at noon until noon on February 1st 2014 at the latest.
The flight to India – Chennai (formerly Madras) – is not included and must be booked independently.
Please note that when booking your flight, the taxi ride to and from Chennai Airport is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours long. If you choose a flight that arrives in Chennai late at night, it is recommended that you book a flight that arrives late night January 31st or early morning February 1’st so that when you arrive in Auroville in the early morning hours your room will be available for you. (rooms are not available until lunch time on January 31, making arrival in the very early morning on the 31st less desirable for you)


From February 10, 2014 after 11 a.m. (when the official program portion of the retreat concludes) to February 11, 2014 no later than 11:00 a.m.

We recommend that you book a late night flight back on the evening of February 10 if possible. If you book your flight for February 11, you must check out of your room by 11:00 a.m. and will need to keep your belongings with you until you leave for the airport.

We are happy to help and give advice on booking  flights and will also book you an Auroville taxi, which will pick you up at the airport in Chennai. The advantages of this are that you will be able to pay a fixed fare and the taxi driver works for Auroville and knows the Vérité guesthouse. The cost of taxi fares will be paid by the participant.

Retreat Facilitators:

Fabio Giaccone & Julia Deutscher

Fabio & Julia, founders of the Ananda Yoga Zentrum, Germany are celebrated Yoga teachers who have spent much time traveling through India discovering it’s secrets and sharing their discoveries far and wide with students at teacher trainings, classes and retreats throughout Germany, Italy and India, with Auroville being their beloved second home.

Brenda McMorrow

Devotional Chant Artist Brenda McMorrow travels worldwide sharing her deep devotion to the celebration of our true beings through the joyous Bhakti Yoga practice of Kirtan. Brenda is invited to share her music at chant at festivals, workshops, retreats and concerts across North America, Europe and Asia. Auroville is where, years ago, Brenda first began delving deeply into the beauty of Kirtan.

More Information and registrations:

Euro Registrations:

Ananda Yoga Zentrum – Kempten, Germany

U.S./CAD Dollar Registrations:

Brenda McMorrow



Everywhere we turn in India there are fascinating sights



One of the Yoga Halls at Verite


The community in Auroville and surrounding area is so warm and inviting!

P1160242“Quiet Beach” nearby to Auroville – bring your one piece swim suit : – )

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3 delicious, organic, vegetarian meals daily!


one of the rooms at Verite

Verite Guesthouse 341Verite Guest House


Bhakti Heart Fire: The Yoga of Spirit & Song – 50-hr Chanting Immersion – November 22-24 and December 6-8, 2013


50-hr Cross-Disciplinary Chanting Immersion With

Brenda McMorrow, B.Ed, RYT

This training is an elective 50 hour course within the DevaTree School of Yoga 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training.  It is also open to participants who are not working towards their 500 hours and who are interested in an in-depth chanting immersion.

At its most basic and universal level, Bhakti can be defined as an expression of love or devotion. Anyone who has experienced the spontaneous heart-expanding effects of chant understands that the Bhakti Bhav (mood) is a sweet, pure and expansive feeling not easily described in words. Like our physical yoga practice, devotional chanting has the power to create healing shifts in the body, mind and Spirit. Acting like a tuning fork for the entire system, chanting can help us clear blocked energy and open us up to the Universal frequency of compassion, expansion, trust, and love.

Experience the benefits of mantra repetition as applied to chanting and meditation, and learn common Sanskrit & yogic chants and their meanings. Participants will gain insight into traditional deities, stories, myths and practices, and their application to our modern lives.

Learn about the typical instruments used for Kirtan, and explore the possibilities of creative chant composition at your own comfort level.

No musical ability and/or training is required for this program, as all students will have opportunities to nurture their own unique chanting voice in a supportive atmosphere of like-hearted others.

Brenda’s personal stories, humor and revelations from her own path and worldwide travels light up these two weekends of brilliant Bhakti bliss!



The schedule includes two 3-day weekends: November 22-24 and December 6-8, 2013



$925 CAD + tax


For more information and to register, go to: