What participants are saying about the retreat experience:
I feel truly blessed to have been part of the Stretch Heal Grow Yoga Retreat 2014. I spent an entire weekend with 24 other women who have experienced life as I have. A young woman who has fought Breast Cancer. The retreat allowed me to relax, to realize that self care is not selfish but necessary. Spending time in this community I felt so comfortable. I didn’t have to explain myself. I was surrounded by others who just understood me. I realized I’m not alone, and that the fears I now experience post treatments are shared. I am normal. I saw a little piece of myself in every woman at this retreat. Since this retreat I have been on a different direction with Breast Cancer. I am a survivor! I am proud of myself…..and most important I know I am ready to heal! I also made some pretty amazing connections with woman who I stay in contact with! I feel blessed to have made friends with such powerful women. Who are also a support network.
“I wanted to express my gratitude for your generous gift. Stretch, Heal & Growth at the Shanti Retreat was a life changing experience for me!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer late 2009 at the age of 39. I did 8 chemio and 21 radiotherapy treatments and returned healthy back to the office after 14 months. Life was great, my fiancé and I visited Italy and we got married on the beach two years ago. BUT I forgot to make the necessary important changes in my life. Being surrounded by 24 other beautiful young women and listening to all the changes they made in their lives was for me an eye opener. I do not want to have cancer in my life again, so I need to change the way I eat and the various products I use. That realization was my biggest WOW for me.
My second big “wow” of that weekend was to see how relaxed my body could be. The fact is that I started a new job two months ago and it is very stressful. Since the Shanti Retreat I have kept the beautiful feeling with me in my heart and when stress moments occur I pause and remember how I felt doing yoga all that weekend.
The third amazing moment was to meet the young women who went or who are still going through those difficult emotions. To cry, to smile, to share with them was a blessing.
To add to this experience : Thai massage, wealthy food, conferences, treats bag…everything was perfect and Jasmin did a super job to make sure we felt welcome !
Thank you so much for helping Jasmin raise the money and give me the privilege to attend to the inaugural Stretch, Heal and Growth weekend. It was for me a weekend to remember.
Thank you also to the generous volunteers.”
“Stretch, Heal, Grow – An Experience As Advertised
It was a privilege to attend the inaugural stretch heal grow event held this past July. The experience truly rejuvenated my mind, body and spirit. We were all so well taken care of and learned how to better care of ourselves. Through yoga and meditation we were relieved of stress, and experienced a true connectedness within ourselves. We received lovely gift bags with treats and products all designed to promote our best health. It was such a thoughtful gesture. We also loved the massage and thai yoga massage sessions that were organized for us.
We were treated to an excellent and informative discussion by Naturopath Jennifer Wheeler, who fulfilled a need for cancer survivors desiring to know how to effectively manage risk factors through managing diet, lifestyle and emotional health.
We were also treated to delicious, healthy, vegetarian meals that nourished our bodies and showed us healthy meals we could cook for ourselves to promote proper nutrition to improve and bolster our immunity. Shanti Retreat’s resident Nutritionist and chef, Lacey Budge, spent time with us discussing a whole foods diet to boost immunity healthy meals and food preparation giving us more knowledge and ammunition to conquer cancer on yet another front.
Finally, as a group a special synergy existed throughout the retreat. As survivors we already shared a common bond. Once we all came together, we were united in purpose, spirit and support for one another.
For me the experience was inspiring and other survivors deserve the opportunity to experience everything I did. I left the retreat feeling more at peace, more confident and a proud cancer survivor. No stone was left unturned in making the weekend perfect for everyone.
Jasmin Fiore is a true leader who had a courageous vision and executed it brilliantly.
Special thanks to Corinne Murray and to all the volunteers, to Shanti Retreat for the beautiful, wellness-promoting facilities, and our wonderful sponsors who helped make the weekend a smashing success.”
– S. Swaby
“Thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart, for organizing this event.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect or what I was getting into. I just knew that I would have at least one thing in common with all these ladies. As it turns out, I learned I had way more in common than I could have imagined! When I applied to attend Stretch, Heal , Grow you asked me to provide a short summary of why I wanted to attend. This is what I wrote at the time….
THROUGHOUT MY TREATMENT, I FELT LIKE I RELIED HEAVILY ON MY FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS FOR SUPPORT, AND WAS GLAD TO HAVE THAT SUPPORT.
NOW THAT TREATMENT IS DONE, I STILL FACE CHALLENGES BUT SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE ASKING FOR SUPPORT, WHEN EVERYTHING ON THE OUSTSIDE SEEMS FINE, IS ASKING TOO MUCH. I WOULD LIKE TO BE IN AN ENVIRONMENT, EVEN IF JUST FOR A WEEKEND, WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS THE CHALLENGES WE ALL FACE – EVEN AFTER TREATMENT.
…. Although those sentiments were true, to be honest, I had no intentions of discussing my “challenges” with a group of strangers. I just thought I would benefit (maybe by osmosis?) from being with people I knew were as “courageous/strong/brave/amazing” (or so I’m told ….again and again) as me.
As it turned out, I did share some of my challenges. Not because we were forced to share but because it felt natural to do so. The setting at Shanti Retreat combined with the “taking care of yourself” theme of the weekend’s planned program also extended into the non-programmed time. The casual conversations I had were all over the map … from being afraid to throw away a wig (jinx!) to reconstruction stories toTaxotere (so THAT’s what the flu feels like!) …but the common theme was that I found myself continually saying to myself ” Oh my gosh, me too!”.
As it turned out I realized that I had more in common with these ladies than just a diagnosis of breast cancer. The challenges I had WERE NORMAL! Who knew? (My “Aha” moment from the weekend BTW)
Anyway, thank you again. To you, your AMAZING friends and all the sponsors…and feel free to share this with them… who made this possible for me and each breast cancer thriver who attended.”
The retreat for me was a rejuvenating place where amazing women could feel and exchange experiences without having to explain in great detail everything we went through or felt. It was, even though we all had been through hard times and for some were still going through it, a peaceful and energizing place. The attention we received from you and all the help and attention from the staff and yourself made us feel special.
I also loved the fact that we had a nutritionist onsite and a naturopath that came to talk to us as I was on naturopathic and homeopathic treatment while undergoing surgery and chemo treatments. The retreat made me feel like a “normal” person again. I was really sad to leave you all, knowing I would be so far away and wouldn’t be able to see you all on a daily basis. I could feel and sometimes got the chill, from the positive energy that emerged from the other women. Just by sitting around them…and or talking with them. . I can’t believe how powerful our mind and body can be! Thanks to you and all your staff for this once in a lifetime experience. I would definitely do it again or come and help you!