Your dedicated hosts
We are island women, steeped in the healing arts, living an island life. We are mature practitioners that bring our heart and soul to what we individually offer to make your retreat a good experience with long lasting benefits.
I’m Diane, the founder of Sun Door since 2012, and have called Hornby home since 1972. That makes for 50 remarkable years that have given me the freedom to be just who I am, doing just what I want, and dream up what I like. Sun Door has fulfilled one of those dreams of having created an island haven for group retreats. I’ve watched it grow well and have been grateful for the wonderful people that have passed through so many retreats. Thank you. In these last two years we’ve both taken a break and rest. We (me and Sun Door) are re-opening this spring, in collaboration with Tracey Cook, offering solo retreats for solo adventurers.
I’m excited to be working with her and to be bringing my practices, treatments and experiences to this new chapter and new model of retreating.
I’m keen about pouring whatever I can into providing an authentic, natural space for healing, dealing with oneself, lapping up solitude and being restored. I’ve noticed a personal strength reappear as we’re organizing the reopening. I just don’t doubt direction. I can follow a blazing trail and this one heads towards fully supporting solo retreats. Aries, I’m as thrilled as I am every spring, that there can be a new start to life, and this year I’m channeling that burst of energy into this new path at Sun Door.
I hope my values are reflected in what Sun Door has come to represent, for you. These values have shaped it and I’ve tried to follow rather than hard steer its course. I’m an artist, a creator, and I hope to have followed this tragectory with sensitivity. Hornby has always appealed to my natural sense of resourcefulness and building on the island draws that out. Making Sun Door was a brilliant new beginning for me as I was turning my tired eyes away from stitching silk into fine art and seeking deep healing. I wanted to share this with others and built Sun Door for this purpose. I had been a practicing midwife and lived and worked in India for almost a decade and I traveled around that huge country, absorbing the values of Indian culture in many ways before returning home to Canada in 2003. I brought them home with me, letting them become tangled in my island roots. To secure them, I rallied my Shakti to fully create Sun Door, with the gracious help of Shiva. I hope to have infused Sun Door with generosity, simplicity, harmony, unity, diversity, beauty and the visible wisdom of light and shadow.
I'm a Yogini, teacher, inspirator of healing, artist, dancer, former midwife, home builder, creator, mother and post menopausal grandmother. My life has been my biggest teacher and in the spirit of learning, my studies and Yoga practice began in the 80's at the feet of Swami Radha. I moved on to look into the very classical Inyegar tradition before stepping into the swift current of feminist breakaway Iyengar teachers, in the Vijnana form. Dona Holleman, Angela Farmer, Gay Meagley, and most notably Sama Fabian have been my primary teachers of influence. Since 1995 I've been teaching Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Childbearing, Kundalini Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. I never tire of Yoga routines and always cycle through limbs of interest, the right routine for the current time. I hold certifications in Kripalu Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Kundalini Yoga and Yoga for Trauma.
Everything has led me to integrating Yoga into the healing of my direct life experiences with trauma and addiction. I’m currently completing the three year
Practitioner Training in Somatic Experiencing (SE/Peter Levine) and I offer SE sessions which include a Yoga Nidra practice. Alongside this, I have developed a practice that is the synthesis of the essentials of Yoga Asana and Somatics, which I call SOMA Yoga. It's a practice that provides a way to release postural tensions and long held body discomforts , while learning to connect and live with relaxation in your daily, active life. This practice keeps me pain free and limber as I grow older…and older! My authentic journey is never ending and I'm always led by my quest for healing and awakening to personal and collective joy. I keep my finger on the pulse of the world these days, my heart in my hands and my gaze on the Soma whirling in space.
There is a growing awareness of a need for positive changes in a world that seems to be aching for it. I hear so many people of all ages speaking about this and as Ghandiji said at a different critical point of juncture in our evolution, 'be the change you wish to see in the world'. I'm so pleased to be having Sun Door reopen in this new way which will profoundly put you in touch with your beautiful self. It can inspire the unique changes you might want to make in your world, and inevitably in the collective.
A recent testimonial...
Diane, the owner and founder of Sun Door, has a gentle magic of her own. Welcoming and hospitable, moving with cat-like grace. The support and encouragement as she took me through one of her somatic therapy sessions, was there in abundance...in tone of voice, expression, and unseen ways. It was as though eight pairs of hands were holding me, while she sat five feet away, guiding me through through gentle movements, without even touching me. Suffice to say, I highly recommend Sun Door if you are looking for a place of healing. The land itself will likely bring to the surface whatever needs to be tended to, and the caretakers will certainly take care, and support your process in the best way possible. Phil Gardner
I went to University thinking I was going to become a lawyer. The moment I was called to the Bar, I let out a howl, turned tail, and followed my heart to a different career path. I now work primarily with yoga, holistic nutrition, and the practice of “re-wilding” to support and empower you when you are ready to feel better and love yourself more. I’m thrilled for this opportunity to meet and support you from Sun Door retreats. Deep gratitude to Diane Smith for opening again the golden Sun Door, and inviting me to come on inside. May Sun Door be a portal to a place and time that will radically nourish the grace, power, and joy within all who come to rest and grow here.
My enchantment with yoga began about 3 decades ago. Always an athlete, I’d never felt “embodied” in the way I did for a brief, shining moment or two my first day on the mat. Curious and hungry for more, I deepened my study and personal exploration. The practice that engaged first my body, also fascinated my mind and blew new life into my spirit. My adventure continues - and the deeper I feel my way into the practice and lifestyle of yoga, the richer is my world. My ultimate aim as a teacher is to support all yogis to discover and sustain a personal home practice. Developing the spark to show up for ourselves, by ourselves - this is truly where yoga’s magic happens. We access our own inner voice. We follow our own inner authority. We become our own healer. I am trained in trauma-informed yoga, yoga for chronic pain, and for those who suffer from body dysmorphia and eating disordered behaviours. I am here to help you discover a practice that works for your whole being.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I invite clients to “un-diet” - to bravely step by brave step by brave step into wonderful place of greater freedom with food. Food freedom comes as we build an alliance of friendship with our bodies and a sense of trust for the innate intelligence within. Our bodies want to be well, and if we are really listening to our deepest hungers, this wise ally (our own body) will guide us to a deliciously simple, close-to-the-earth, perfect-for-us way of eating at every stage of our lives. Perfect-for-us does not mean “perfect.” When we are free to follow our deepest cravings for radical nourishment and the odd chocolate chunk cookie, we find corresponding reduction in inflammation, optimized digestion, absorption and elimination, strengthened immune function, reduced anxiety. Life feels better with good food. Including the odd chocolate chunk cookie. It’s a recipe for on-going wellness in body-mind-spirit.
RE-WILDING WITH FIVE ELEMENT THEORY
I am deeply fascinated by the Five Element Theory as developed in eastern wisdom traditions. Five Element Theory teaches that we are creatures of nature, and healing can happen when we awaken the elemental energies of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space within our own inner landscapes. This wisdom appeals to my imagination, my sense of poetry, and I know its truth because I feel it’s truth. I feel it in my blood and bones. You will too. I offer Five Elements practices that I have come to call Re-Wilding - practices that promise to awaken you to your undomesticated, elemental, vitally alive essential self.