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HomeArts-EntertainmentEquanimity Retreat Set for St. Croix March 14-17 at Feather Leaf Inn

Equanimity Retreat Set for St. Croix March 14-17 at Feather Leaf Inn

Feather Leaf Inn (Submitted photo)

Discover Upekkha: Your path to balance and resilience at the Retreat Weekend, March 14 through March 17. The Feather Leaf Inn on the north side of Frederiksted is the perfect setting for exploring the ancient concept of equanimity. 

Participants can experience the retreat for the entire weekend, for the day, or for one or more of the three sessions offered in each of the four days. 

Elaine Porcher (Photo by James Ravenell)

Retreat Curator Elaine Porcher is a seasoned leadership development pivot coach with a passion for guiding individuals and communities toward realizing their full potential. 

“This retreat has been specially curated for women of color. It is a safe haven that provides an outlet for freedom of expression among other like-minded women,” Porcher said.

Can one maintain calm, balance, and composure during times of stress? “We all have it in us,” Porcher told the Source. “The idea is to remember that it is right there in us and is ready to be utilized.”

Porcher’s Equanimity Retreat Weekend will guide participants in that memory as they engage in a four-day approach to the luxury of meditation and mindfulness. Daily activities designed to “Unearthing Your Unique Strengths” or “The Neuroscience Behind Limiting Beliefs” are two of the eight sessions available in the discovery of Upekkha [Sanskrit], the Buddhist concept of equanimity. 

“When we are living in a world that sometimes shows us violence or chaos and we choose to maintain stability and quiet, there is the idea of Upekkha. We can cultivate resilience by looking inward, being mindful through prayer, being peaceful and relaxed, and we can carry that as we move through our life,” Porcher shared.

WTJX host Neville James interviewed Porcher on his Tuesday morning “Analyze This” show. The two engaged in an interesting and lively exchange of ideas. Porcher provided the listening audience with an oral view of her approach to the weekend retreat with reference to the physical and mental relationship to balance, resilience, and mindfulness – all speaking to how our brains are wired. 

Yogi Mandi (Photo by Steve Simonsen)

The retreat begins on Thursday, March 14, with a 5 p.m. dinner and continues throughout the evening as participants meet and share. Crucian Amanda Armstrong, aka Yogi Mandi, will lead the group in yoga to wind down for a relaxing end-of-day experience. 

Yogi Mandi is a certified yoga teacher who has been practicing for two years and began teaching in April 2023. She will lead an hour of rejuvenating yoga each morning – a slow-paced and friendly hatha yoga that will “bring participants to a comfortable place within themselves.”

“I tell people it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner. You can experience an awareness of wellness within. Yoga improves our wellbeing
and the benefits are endless for our physical, mental and emotional being,” she said.

Yogi Mandi expanded her program to St. Thomas in 2023. Her yoga flow is available to adults as well as young people as early as two years old.

The days will progress with three sessions each day devoted to Upekkha, which is fully explained on the website

Sayeeda Carter (Photo by Zuma E. Nisbett)

The first full day of Upekkha will feature local educator Sayeeda Carter, who will facilitate “Unlocking Your Creative Spirit.” Carter is a well-known St. Croix Educational Complex High School drama teacher and the founder/director of the Act Out Ensemble Theater Group. 

“I am excited and looking forward to the retreat and to my facilitation of the workshop. Feather Leaf Inn is an ancestral space that needs to be held in reverence; it is a space that needs to be held in joy,” she said.

Carter’s workshop will look at the creativity of women and why some women do not think of themselves as creative. Carter’s approach with meditation, conversation and journaling will evoke the many ways the participants will find the creative within themselves.

“What does it mean when you’re cooking, wearing your clothes, humming a mean tune in the shower, or decorating your home? Those many ways are a creative part of yourselves. Participants will be in a space where they will be attending to that part of themselves – creatively,” Carter said.

Porcher invites local women to take a staycation. “Come for the day or for one or more sessions. Find peace by embracing your difficulties. Incorporate joy into your life plan. Find the emotional balance in your everyday life. Think bigger and broader. Encourage thoughts outside of your comfort zone.”

Feather Leaf Inn on the north side of Frederiksted gives guests a unique blend of health-focused tranquility and vibrant island life. Delicious meals and nourishing cuisine are provided that showcase local farmers and the flavors of the Caribbean at this historic plantation estate.

Equanimity Retreat, Thursday through Sunday, March 14 – 17

Feather Leaf Inn, Frederiksted, St. Croix

For more information:

@yogimandi340 Facebook and Instagram


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