Shambala Gatherings is a joint effort. From the residential community and core staff, to the volunteers, to the teachers and guests that visit us every year. Those that choose to stay in Shambala, either as core staff or volunteers, form what is our residential community. Since the beginning, our central focus has been to create a place where people can live together in harmony. We give thanks to those that have walked before us and have left behind paths to manifest a society free of violence and fear and instead live in a community that is based in love, open communication, mutual understanding and respect.
During the summers, the community is formed by Johan and Melissa plus the core team and our wonderful and colorful team of volunteers. We are a small family of about 15 of us at a time making the most of the enriching experience of living together in a natural paradise. When you see one of our volunteers, please great them with love, these outstanding individuals make Karma Yoga their path of personal growth through selfless action.
During the winter, the community travels elsewhere like birds, but the centre is available for rental, always under the proffesional and warm service of our small winter catering team.
THE CORE TEAM
Johan is one of the co-fonders of Shambala and Melissa joined in 2009 .
Since then, they joined forces and visions and set on an adventure to co-create Shamabala together.
Together, they serve this vision with devotion, inspiration and love.
For more information on Johan and Melissa please click here.
Elad comes from Israel as a messenger of love. He melts the heart of those that meet him. He is an artist of the heart and of photography too. He has produced some stunning photography showed in this website mainly capturing gatherings in a beautiful and sincere way. He is the caretaker of Shambala during the summers and assists the kitchen team too. We are forever greatful for the precense of Elad in our lives, constantly teaching by simply being. Thank you for the hummus too, Elad.
This sultry Italian Godess joined our team as our Cyber Godess. Her devoted, clear and lighthearted nature makes her the perfect first point of contact online. During the summers, she also plays a key role in our kitchen. This lady has good food and taste in her genes and blesses us daily with highly nutritional food and high vibrations during the preparations. Thank you Alessia for gifting us with your care.
This yogini from the US is our grounded anchor in times of stress. She is rooted in the Earth and so she has endurance, empathy and clear vision even in the most challenging of times. She leads the volunteer team, offers community yoga classes, manages the centre and serves as a councelor for those that need it. Thank you Mollie for your endless support and service.
This Swedish yogini is our caterer during the winters. She brings light to the dark in the North through her warm heart and delicious food. Her devoted nature is a gift to those that work with her and are nourished by her caring nature and food. Blessed with the gift to make any place cosy, she is the guardian of Shambala during the colder season. Thank you Lisa for co-creating magic with us.
We are not sure whether Karolina is Mexican or Swedish. We feel her heart is shared by both. She spent years in Mexico learning about the healing nature of plants, the depth of the shamanic tradition and its rituals, as well as different forms of bodywork treatments. She returned to Sweden a year ago with her constant companion and dog Chandra to reconnect with her roots and the snow. At Shambala she gives massages together with Melissa.
She traded the Caribbean for the Swedish forest and followed love. American Amy is our neighbour and delightful caterer on stand-by during the winters. When she is not at Shambala cooking, she is taking care of her funky cafe, digging in her garden, playing drums in a heavy metal all girls band or spending time with her two adorable little girls and artist husband Thomas. We love your style, Amy.
Eritrean born Abrahim Ismail is one of those naturally spiritual people that ozes an open heart, clarity of mind and integrity. We are lucky to count on him as a volunteer during the winter periods in preparing the space for the groups to come. We are in full gratitude to his attention to detail, honesty and devoted nature. Thank you Ibrahim for joining our team.
SPECIAL THANKS TO…
There are so many people that we could give thanks to. Shambala really has been a co-creation amongst all the volunteers, community members, teachers and guests that have visited us along the years. To all of you thank you, from the depth of our hearts. Here are some special folks we would like to give a special thank you to for their unique contribution to the development of Shambala.
Lena Svanborg is the youngest of the Svanborg family and sister of Johan. This amazonian Godess is not only a force of nature and embodiment of pure Shakti; she is also a master chef specialising in cup-cakes and home made bread. She was an indispensable support in bridging Shambala’s history from Artist Residency to Yoga Retreat. She currently runs a cafe with her partner at the Swedish Archipelago.
True wild-hearts are hard to come by. But here is one amongst this dying breed. Otto was one of the co-founders of Shambala Gatherings, then named Borntorpet. He envisioned this project together with Johan and Mirja on the Indian mountains by the river Ganga. Otto shares his intuitive gift through the art of Thai Massage.
Mirja is an embodiment of femininity and grace. This exquisite lady is not just a pretty face, she is also a yogini, a talented designer, a relentless surfer and a devoted mother. She was also one of the visionares that brought Shambala Gatherings into being. Thanks to her we owe the feminine principle of the creation of our place.
Describing Marcus is somewhat difficult in just a few lines. We will just say that he is an award winning enterpreneur, a lover and wisdom bearer of wildlife and forrests, a candid father of two and most important, a great friend. We have also been blessed to have Marcus’ guidance to better manage the growth at Shambala. Thanks to Marcus the buildings of Shambala Gatherings were found for the dream to begin.
This magnetic Spanish duo are responsible for bringing aesthetic beauty through pictures to the first edition of our Community Cook Book. Georgie’s photography and Estefania’s styling have been a treat to our eyes as we have been making the difficult decision of selecting the best shots for our book. Georgie is also the person behind our stunning official video. Thank you both for your joyful presence on and off the shoot.
The Sixth Sense is our pseudonym for Joris van Egmond, the talented Dutch photographer and friend responsible for some of the impossibly beautiful pictures shared with you in this website. We admire Joris’ skill in keeping harmonious lines, shooting under difficult conditions and for his subtle sense of balance and harmony. Thank you Joris for sharing your gift with us.
You would think that today and age it would be easy to find a talented website developer to take on a new website project. Well we tell you, it’s not. It took us two years to find this rare specimen right here that was able to put us on track with the right focus, guidance and tools within only three weeks. We are forever grateful for his input. Our web was a co-creation of Luca’s initial technical input, Melissa’s design vision and the finishing touches by the agency Utopia in Spain.
Some say that unconditional love is a thing of the past. Well not for this yogic Spanish duo. Since we met in 2010, they have taught us that there are people who are still willing to support you just for the love of it, not wanting anything in return. They both teach us constantly that life can be lived in full trust, abundance and openness. They are modern nomads travelling the world with joy taking care of their several businesses and lifting the heart of all those that cross their path. Thank you.
Anna-Lea arrived at Shambala in 2015 with bright eyes, a huge heart and a readiness to suport us in our project.
We inmediately discovered she is a highly skilled artist with a unique gift for reading into people and circumstances and bringing them down to paper in a series of dreamy and detailed art work. Together with Johan, she gracefuly created the flame symbol of the Shambala logo for us. Thank you for believing in our project, Anna-Lea!
There are many ways in which Jean Manuel is a magician. He is responsible for some jaw droppingly beautiful nature pictures shown in this website. As a photographer, we admire his subtle perception, beautiful play of light and unusual angles. Subtle perception is indeed his gift, not only in photography but also as an astrologist and a craniosacral therapist. He is of Canadian origins but considers himself a citizen of the world, travelling throughout the year sharing his gifts, residing mainly in the gorgeous island of Bali.
Martin left Poland and arrived on our doorstep in 2015 with an unpronouncible surname, a big smile and his heart in his sleeve. He lived with us and transformed our dining room and Buddha Hall with his gifted skills as a carpenter. Currently he lives with his loyal companion chiwawa mix dog Buddy, taking the next step on his courageous path. Thank you Martin, for all that you give.
We are simply flabbergasted by this explosive duo. Not only are they great artists and gifted musicians, they are also mentors in their own right and community leaders. Thomas Falk was a key person in the beginnings of our project. They both lived at Shambala in the beginning stages and blessed, what was then an artist residency through their music, artistry, devotion and love. Thanks to both of you fro bringing your charismatic flavour into our place.
Spanish muse Ana Casanovas lent us her grounded, latin beauty to represent us as the cover girl on most of the impossibly beautiful nature pictures taken by Joris Van Egmond. Her earthy, natural, loving, connected and deep beauty represents perfectly the Shambala values. She also gifted us with her aesthetic skills by styling the Location pictures in our gallery. When she is not cooking and attending to her beloved laundry, she gives osteopathy sessions and massages together with Karolina and Melissa. Thank you Ana for inspiring us.