“I have been to two retreat workshops at Enso, one on transitions and another on creativity. Both were fabulous. The pacing, facilitation, facilities and setting were wonderful, as was the food. Dori is the most gracious host and thinks of everything. Her workshops are restorative and inspiring and I highly recommend them.”
~Shauna Butterwick, Professor (in her 3rd age), artist, poet
Immerse yourself in an enso experience. Click the video below.
enso retreats & workshops
learn, grow, immerse, transform
Withdrawing yourself from the routine and responsibilities of everyday life grants you the physical and mental space to invite a restorative and transformative experience. You give yourself permission to truly immerse yourself in a tranquil and peaceful environment to explore, learn, relax and refuel.
At enso, our signature “A Shade More…” retreats and workshops are like learning events on steroids, except the side effects are restorative, transformative and inspiring. We know that time away immersed in a serene and relaxing atmosphere, with like-minded people help you explore and discover new ways of being or refocus and recharge your energy. You will leave an enso retreat “A Shade More..” energized, confident, calm and focused to make a shift in your life to be your best self.
at enso, you will be well looked after, listened to, supported and cared for. You will have time to relax and find peaceful havens, as well as learn new techniques, tools and plans to take back to your every day life to be “A Shade More…”
an enso experience
At enso Retreat Centre we have created this intimate, tranquil, oceanfront sanctuary in the midst of a lush forest of arbutus and fir trees. Our signature “A Shade More…” retreats and workshops are designed to provide you with an all-inclusive holistic experience to shift yourself in some way, just a notch more that you were before. Transformation takes time, commitment and intention. enso retreats provide a safe haven to explore, learn, connect and nourish—leaving you energized, motivated and refreshed to try something new or refine a truer you. Our “A Truer You” programs and courses are designed for people who enjoy an intimate and powerful learning environment, keen on digging deeper into specific topics. Our retreats and courses include:
a beautifully-appointed space with cozy and unique accommodations for up to 12 people, including our zen treehouse and japanese style dorm
a gourmet kitchen to co-create or cater nourishing meals
plenty of outdoor space to walk, rest, play or meditate
a newly renovated studio suitable for yoga, meditation, art, play, music, dancing, fitness, workshops for 15-25 people
outdoor activities that take full advantage of the private oceanfront, lush forest and nearby mountains
quaint island living experience to ‘get away from it all’ feeling
plus experienced facilitation led by Dori Howard and guest experts for those undergoing transformation and transition in career, health, well-being, retirement, and more
Experience learning in small groups and on your own. Bring your favourite tools to record your thoughts and ideas: writing utensils, journal, tablet, laptop, sketchpad.
Tune inwards to bring about clarity and insight. Bring your favourite yoga or meditation props if you have them: mat, blocks, bolster, cushion, straps, eye pillow, blanket.
Spending time among trees, known as "shinrin-yoku" in Japan, soothes the soul and invites a deeper sense of connection to your outer and inner worlds. Bring comfortable shoes, rain gear, warm outerwear.
Explore the many opportunities on Saltspring Island to connect to nature: walking, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming. Bring your favourite outdoor gear: sturdy footwear, swimsuit, and more.
upcoming retreats, workshops & courses
Weekend Workshop for Moms-A Shade More…Curious
Effective parenting skills for Moms
May 24-26, 2019
A relaxing and inspiring weekend workshop retreat for moms to deepen their parenting skills when parenting gets hard. For moms desiring a stronger connection with their kids, especially in those tween and teen years. You’ll leave feeling re-charged and empowered with life-changing practices and tools to help you be at your best even in emotionally charged situations.
Registration closes May 22nd . Book your spot now!
a shade more.. strong
June 8-10, 2019
Open to anyone seeking strength of mind, body and soul. Learn and refine your Turkish get-up, THE premier exercise for all around strength, mobility, focus and balance. Coupled with kundalini yoga, this will leave you a more aligned, focused and attuned version of yourself.
a shade more.. balanced SOLD OUT
June 13-16, 2019
Open to avid cyclists, both men and women who enjoy balancing the thrill and challenge of hilly rides, with refreshing mountain hikes and peaceful, meditative yoga practices..all in one retreat. Guided by cyclist and hiking enthusiasts, you will leave this retreat energized, nourished, playful and full.
a shade more.. aware
July 11-14, 2019
Open to anyone from the curious to the experienced, this Kundalini yoga retreat will move you towards a more attuned, more aware, more conscious version of yourself.
a shade more.. compassionate
September 27-29, 2019
Reshape your body, reframe your mind and transform your life for a healthier, more compassionate you. Tailored for professional women in caring and service professions, this 2 day, 2- night retreat will heighten awareness and focus on practices to be more self-compassionate. You will leave feeling nourished, heart-centred and A Shade More…SELF-compassionate.
what can I expect?
For many guests, this may be the first time on a retreat. We anticipate many questions about what to expect. Questions such as:
“I’m a bit nervous and shy. I have never done a retreat before…
We embrace and welcome all emotions and it is natural to feel apprehensive about a new experience. Many guests feel the same way. enso Retreat Centre is a very warm, welcoming environment and we promise you will start to relax, unwind and refuel the minute you arrive onto the island, and make your way down the epic driveway of enso.
“Is it ok to come on my own?
Absolutely! Many guests come on their own and it is the perfect opportunity to let your guard down and and let go. You will meet other people with similar interests and experiences and you may make new lifelong friends!
“What type of people will be at the retreat?”
All types of people join us here at enso. From busy professionals, to busy moms, full time students, retirees and all nationalities. Age is not that important as the one thing that draws people to a specific retreat. Everyone has a shared goal of wanting time away to recharge, refuel, evolve and try something new.
“Will I be made to share personal issues?”
Although we have activities that connect you to each other, and learn more about each other, this is not therapy or counselling. You are not made to share anything you don’t want to AND you are given an opportunity to share, contribute and connect if you choose. We commit to creating a safe space to share and relax.
“Will I be ok with the food?”
We ensure we have options for all types of diets and restrictions. We keep the menus simple yet nourishing and delicious. We source local and organic food when we can. You won’t go hungry! We have a mix of having food prepared by a cook with doing some of the prep and meals in a communal style. By creating community and connection with food, it nourishes the body, mind and soul!
“I have never done yoga or meditation before” or “I am not good at it”
The good thing is, is that there is no performance matrix or report card for yoga or meditation! We do a style of yoga that is for EVERYONE. We keep it simple, accessible and you do whatever is available to you. Our yoga is ‘the yoga of awareness’ and mostly done with the eyes closed. You can even do it on a chair if you need to. We do active and guided meditations and easily done when you are back home.
“I have never been to Salt Spring Island. Is it hard to get to?”
Arrival to Salt Spring Island is by ferry or by float plane. If you plan to drive your car over, you have options for routes and harbours. Reservations are strongly recommended. If you plan to walk on the ferry or take the float plane over, we can arrange transport to and from the terminals and enso. More details are in the retreat section, but please don’t hesitate to contact us. The ferry ride in itself is part of the journey and immerses you into a different experience immediately.
“What an amazing weekend experience at a magical off the grid, breathtaking location with great welcoming and comfortable group facilities ..........created some of the best memories for me and our Brainiac RTCC Cycling team. Great bonding that inspired our group to exceed all expectations. Dori is a fabulous host and yoga instructor, guaranteed to ensure a successful getaway for all..........We will be returning for sure! allgood,” ~David D
“I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience one of Dori's EnsoLearning retreats. Stepping away from my busy life and stepping into a weekend of retreating at EnsoLearning on Salt Spring Island reminded me of life outside of the mundane routine of my everyday life. Basking in nature, connecting with compassionate people, eating wholesome food, gently exercising my body with a daily yoga practice, engaging in intriguing conversations, laughter and alone time to simply be with me was heavenly. The moment I stepped onto Dori's property, I could feel my tensions starting to melt away. Dori's hospitality and the facilities were exceptional. I would highly recommend EnsoLearning retreats to all my friends and family. Thank you for the soul awakening experience” . ~Nikki Robbins
“EnsoLearning made it possible for me to reflect and learn with others in a relaxing and beautiful setting, both indoors and outdoors. I loved the mix of individual and group activities and the opportunity to try some new creative endeavours, forest bathing (my favourite!) and yoga.
Dori is a superb host and excellent facilitator and she helped us craft plans for after the retreat. I find that I am actually doing what I had on my plan, and enjoying it!
I recommend treating yourself to a weekend retreat if you’ve never tried one before!” ~Grace Mickelson
“Participating in a Kundalini Yoga Retreat at EnsoLearning was a life changing experience for me. The retreat space on Salt Spring Island is a beautiful place, surrounded by trees and ocean. Dori is a warm and welcoming host. The food was life giving and nourishing. The atmosphere was conscious, compassionate and soul-full. The “teacher was world changing. The benefit for me was deep connection with myself, healing in community and a renewed engagement with life.” ~Cathryn Lecorre
“I had an absolutely amazing experience at one of Dori's weekend retreat - enso has great facilities, an amazing program and incredible attention to the whole experience and -I was made to feel- to me and my personal growth within the experience. If you have the chance to attend an enso retreat, you will not be disappointed!”
“Such a peaceful and playful time at Enso - hiking, biking, lounging, clamming, swimming, boating - all on or from the glorious waterfront property.” ~Sheila Bauman