A joint effort
We are a community: From the residential and core staff members, to the volunteers, to the teachers and guests that visit us every year. Since the beginning, our central focus has been to create a place where people can live together in harmony. In coming to Shambala, you will not only have access to top international teachers within yoga, spirituality and the path of self growth; you will also encounter a special community who, with open arms, receives and serves guests with a warming and homely family atmosphere.
We are a small soul family making the most of the enriching experience of living together in a natural paradise. When you see one of our volunteers, please greet them with love, these outstanding individuals make Karma Yoga their path of personal growth through selfless action.
During the summers, the community is formed by Johan and Melissa plus the core team and our wonderful and colorful team of volunteers. The community joins the centre and the feeling is of creativity, connection and joy. During the winters, the community travels elsewhere like birds, but the centre is available for rental, always under the professional and warm service of our small winter catering team. The experience of Shambala within the winter is of silence, stillness and introspection.
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.
The Core team
Johan is one of the co-founders who started Shambala Gatherings (then named Borntorpet) in 2005. For the last 25+ years he has followed his passion to pursue a lifestyle that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. His quest has led him to travel throughout India and Peru to meet and learn from many spiritual masters. He has trained in Tantra, Hatha, Ashtanga and Yin Yoga, meditation, Thai Massage, Craniosacral Therapy and Ayurveda. He is an avid practitioner of Vedic Art painting and of devotional chanting (kirtan). At Shambala he offers Craniosacral Treatments. Johan lives in Sweden in the summers and in the winters he travels to India and Bali.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Spanish born Melissa joined Shambala in 2009 and since then she is a co-owner together with Johan. After ten years in the fashion industry, she set out on a journey around the world, pursuing her passion for creative expression and holistic living taking form in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga, Thai and Balinese massage and meditation as well as several creative modalities such as photography, painting, singing, dancing and writing. She is passionate about living a life that is spiritually rooted as well as empowering others to carry out more fulfilling lifestyles. Melissa lives in Sweden in the summers and in the winters she spends time in Amsterdam and Portugal.
SACRED COOK & MANAGER
Jenny is our chef during spring and winter as well as our volunteer leader and team manager during the summers. She is passionately dedicated to understanding the meaning of true happiness, and what it means to live a spiritual life. She has done the Sama YTT, Svastha Yoga Therapy course and studied Craniosacral therapy as well as Biodynamic Stillness touch. For more information on Jenny’s creative endeavours worldwide through Yoga and food, feel free to follow her on www.thesacredcookbook.com and www.nordiclightyoga.com
Our heart-centred yogini Carin, will be your first point of contact when booking your retreats via our website. She understands that, at Shambala, we value greatly being personal in our communication, even whilst we grow in size.
COOK & YOGA TEACHER
Christiana loves teaching yoga, and cooking delicious and vibrant vegan food. Her heart is at home inside the forest, or by the sea, close to water and fire, under the stars. Having grown up in urban Athens, she came to Sweden with her dog Aretha and they both rediscovered the untamed version of themselves in the forest. Since then it’s been impossible to forget that truth for her. Relation to Shambala: Christiana was working as a chef in Shambala’s kitchen during the Summer season of 2019. She visited Shambala for the first time in 2018.
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 care and food. Blessed with the gift to make any place cosy, she is the guardian of our Shambala Gatherings retreat center during the colder season. Thank you Lisa for co-creating magic with us.
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 Gatherings cooking and taking care of our kitchen, she is managing 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 couldn’t love more your style, Amy.
Charlotte is our marketing powergirl. She is one of the few people we know who is passionate about social media and about getting retreats out there into the cyber field. This sparkly new addition to the team is also a multi talented artist, dedicated yogini and yoga teacher. She will be the first point of contact for teachers when promoting your events. Welcome Charlotte to our team !
A CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY
Filmmaker Joris van Egmond spent part of the summer on site filming the community during a restful period in between retreats. In this small movie he portrays the Shambala family in honesty and intimacy and lets you into what we get up to when we rest. More information on Joris: www.jorisvanegmond.com