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Women's Residential Shamanic Yoga Training for Addiction

This unique and unparalleled approach to recovery from addiction, using LifeForce and Shamanic Yoga, is held at a private home in Cantley, Quebec, on a 1.5-acre private wooded lot, minutes away from Gatineau Park. The course includes lodging, fresh juices, delicious and wholesome vegetarian and raw food vegan meals, all training, textbooks, notebooks, yoga supplies, and fees for any camping and outings, including plant medicine ceremony, as required and/or appropriate.


306 Chemin Denis, Cantley QC, CA J8V 2X4

Type of Event

  • Course

Yoga Styles



Jun 1 to
Jun 28
09:00 amto04:30 am

2013 Women’s Course runs from June 1st through June 28th

Courses are limited to 8 participants each.



28 days residence included, deposit of $1000 required to book; course includes 3 meals a day catered by vegetarian and raw food vegan Chef from La Belle Verte, all training, yoga supplies and books provided as well.

Full Description

The main thrust of the training on offer is yoga, breath work, relaxation techniques, diet, meditation, 12-Step work, and group discussions. The chef for the course specializes in vegetarian and vegan raw food with an eye to detox; the course will also include a detailed presentation on food as medicine. Most addiction treatment centres serve hospital food, including the very low-vibration meat that has been slaughtered with modern methods and is thus filled with adrenaline (fear). You are what you eat. The diet is thus almost as essential as the breath in achieving cleansing.

The other—perhaps most crucial—element is the other students who will be part of this course. Most of the 8 students present for the course will form intense bonds through this healing journey, and also gives the students an opportunity to face some things together in a safe environment. It is social training without the use of drugs or alcohol to deal with uncomfortable situations that may arise, and which are largely based in our past. This experience and our objective observation of it allows us to draw a map, showing us how we get from the seeds of our attitudes and actions to the fruit of our life experiences. We can see how we create our own reality.

At least one instructor will be present for the entire training and an instructor’s sole focus and job during the training is to assist others, through yoga, to find their edge, and then learn to balance there with equanimity.

Admittedly this is not a course for hard-core addicts or alcoholics who have not yet found some degree of sobriety. This course targets individuals who struggle with chronic relapse, or who are new to recovery, while committed to staying clean, are struggling with depression, anxiety, and the effects of past traumas on their present state of mind.

All students are residential and need to stay on site, as contact with the outside world is limited and the focus needs to be sustained for the detox (which includes emotional, mental, and spiritual detox as well as physical) to be effective and lasting. The process helps the student move directly to the roots of addiction, and gently, naturally, pull them out.

Students must have a minimum 30 days clean and sober at the start of the course. A note from a physician clearing each individual for participation in the course and a completed application will also be required. Other prerequisites include honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to work seriously while maintaining, or at least striving for, a sense of humour. Fundamental to the approach are two assumptions: (1) each of us is our own healer, our own guru, but we sometimes need a nudge to remember in which direction we are heading; and, (2) addiction is not the problem; it is, rather, the temporary and unsustainable solution to a deeper issue.

The yoga sutras of Patanjali, the first codified system of yogic thought and practice, are completely aligned with the 12 step process—or vice-versa. At the roots of addiction is trauma, if trauma is defined as anything less than nurturing. Trauma is stored in the body as well as the mind. Yoga, which is essentially detox, works on removing the defilements of both, in an attempt to unify in spirit. Shamanic Yoga is slightly different in its approach; for one thing, it is not as dualistic. At its essence, it is really tantra. With cleansing comes clarity, with clarity comes the ability to see things as they truly are, which is, ultimately, humility. When one has humility, there is no further need to engage in self-destructive patterns of thought, word, or action.

The course will be led by yoga-alliance certified shamanic yoga instructor John-James Ford, and will incorporate the teachings of several highly qualified facilitators and guest teachers covering various topics related to addiction and recovery; in cases where shamanic plant medicine ceremony is deemed appropriate, this will be guided by a trusted shaman or herbalista.