Hatha and restorative retreat April 2017
Breathing into the present...
12-18 April & 20-26 April 2018
Delicious, nourishing, vegetarian menu prepared by your chef
Twice daily yoga practice on our stunning mountain-side platform
Breathing to wholeness and healing
“From the unnamed vastness beneath the mind, I breathe my way to wholeness and healing.” Danna Faulds
Throughout all the workshops, meditations and yoga sessions in this healing yoga retreat, we’ll be calling in a greater awareness of the importance of breath, subtle yet powerful, for the benefit of our own wellbeing, and of others.
Breath is our animated life force and the most readily available tool at everyone’s disposal for reminding ourselves of our deeper essence, and for the meeting of the animalistic and divine aspects of our nature.
The word animal comes from the Latin word animalis, meaning “having breath” or “having soul”; the word spirit derives from the Latin word spiritus, meaning “breath”.
These two simple etymological routes (in addition to much else, which we’ll explore on the retreat) immediately suggest a connection between breath, body and soul – a connection that we will be diving into! Remember: if you can breathe, you can practice yoga!
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor”. Thich Nhat Hanh
“Breath is the king of the mind.” Iyengar
Price per person
The Hatha and restorative retreat March/April 2017 costs €450 per person, including all meals, yoga, workshops & equipment. Not including flights or transfers.
Reserve your place today with just €140 deposit.
Daily meditations, yoga nidra or pranayama practice
Fascinating daily workshops
I qualified in December 2014, and registered with the Independent Yoga Network, and offer a mixture of holistic Hatha and Restorative Yoga sessions. These styles seamlessly weave together aspects of the mind, body, soul and heart – the perfect mixture for a retreat experience.
I have also founded the charitable Animal Yoga initiative, the practices of which I shall share with you too. There’ll be the opportunity to work yourself as hard as you’re able to and to meet your own individual edge, but all-importantly in tandem with feeling exceedingly pampered and deeply relaxed too.
I place the emphasis on the internal experience, rather than on external appearances. Within all of our time together (be that during yoga, meditation, a workshop or general conversation) we’ll recall some key learnings from our previous yoga, meditation and workshop sessions from the week and slowly begin to connect the dots, forming a practice that is as holistic as possible.
I will have an “open-door policy” in that you can talk to me as much as you like outside of the yoga, meditation and workshop sessions about anything I may be able to help you further with. I feel immensely honoured and grateful to be your retreat leader at the astounding and oh-so-dedicated Rustic Retreats – together, let’s dare to explore!
Styles of yoga taught
At this retreat, you will mainly study Hatha and Restorative yoga, as well as introducing practices of Animal Yoga™. In my sessions, you can expect to linger luxuriously in some postures to really reach those deeper places in ourselves on all levels and to delve into a deeper relationship with each posture too.
Our morning sessions shall focus on an energising Hatha practice with the evening sessions focusing on a soothing more Restorative practice - a perfect balance. For me, the philosophical aspect of yoga is just as important as the physical so you can expect to hear words of wisdom and inspiration as you make your way through your postures.
Daily timetable for yoga retreat
07.30 Pranayama or morning meditation
08.00 Morning yoga practice
09.30 -10.15 Breakfast buffet
11.00 Workshop (practical/theoretical) or free time
15.00 Free time
19.00 Evening yoga practice
20.30 Meditation or Yoga Nidra
21.00 Evening meal
(Please note, this is a sample timetable and may be subject to change.)
There will be one workshop a day, it may be in the morning or afternoon. There is also the option to visit local markets on Wednesday and Sunday.
Your Rustic Retreats journey
What can students expect in my yoga sessions? Variety! Sure, we'll be working hard to your own ‘edge’ but also there'll be ample relaxation and stillness in decadent doses, as well as much needed opening, lengthening and releasing of many nooks and crannies within the body. And all will be complemented by contemplation, knowledge, compassion, imagination... and many smiles!
In short, we'll be enchanting all the senses and basking in the widest possible glory of what yoga can offer for the opportunity of silencing, soothing, strengthening, stretching, softening and serving the mind, body and soul.
All yoga sessions take place on the beautiful Bagend mountainside yoga platform which boasts a heartwarming and remarkable story of creation and surrounding sensational views! Prepare to be bedazzled!
Meditation is all about creating spaciousness in the mind. It is often defined as one-pointedness within yoga. So, one can be meditating whenever they are focusing purely on one thing and on nothing else …so much so that they feel they are even becoming that one thing they are focusing on.
There shall be two sessions of meditation each day: first thing in the morning, bright and early in Bagend’s lovely homely little cabin (or indeed in a nice little corner on the land somewhere if that takes our fancy), and then another session post evening yoga. Let us start and close the days in peace. I really love sharing diverse styles of meditation so that everyone can find a style that works for them.
I personally find the definition from The Tibetan Book of Dying helpful too: “meditation is the space between two thoughts”. We’ll be exploring trataka (candle-gazing), sound meditations (using our own sound and external sounds), sitting meditation, walking meditation and a final secret meditation not yet to be unleashed. The breath will be of paramount importance in all the meditations.
There are ample cushions to help make everyone comfortable and you can also lie down if you really feel the need. We can also support ourselves sitting against a wall. It’s important that we are comfortable when meditating otherwise we’ll just be distracted by the discomfort and not return to the practice.
Little and often will be the approach to the meditations, each session lasting between 10 and 20 minutes.
Your workshop programme
The Bountiful Breath (talk & practice)
Discover more about the breath and its importance in yoga. Parallels between different cultures’ perspectives on breath will also be drawn, helping to highlight one of the breath’s most fundamental beauties of helping us feel connected.
This workshop shall culminate with the introduction and practice of the bhramari pranayama (bee breath). It can be said that the beginning of the wonder of the breath is its assistance in “whispering within, with a shy girl’s tenderness.” Rumi.
Mantra Melodies (practical)
This workshop is not about singing nicely or a performance, but rather calling in a certain positive quality or reality through the power of a simple repetitive communal sound. Communal singing is so anciently interwoven in human nature and culture around the world. When singing, we naturally enhance the depth and use of our breath and get carried in the flow of the voices.
For this workshop, I will draw on my training in Voice Leadership. “If you can talk, you can sing” Zimbabwean proverb.
Mudra Muddles! (practical)
Some of us may know of one or two hasta mudras (hand gestures) or perhaps even a handful. But there are in fact hundreds and some quite complex ones that definitely pose both a mental challenge for the mind and a physical challenge for our hands/fingers!
Let’s explore some less well-known hasta mudras and use the breath to welcome in a state of calm, whatever the current appearance of your hands (just like we utilise the breath in the full-body postures and encourage ourselves to accept wherever we are at with a particular posture).
We’ll of course delve into all the different purposes of mudras, not least as “hand mantras as ways of energizing our expression” Dr David Frawley
The Magic of Mythology (talk)
What relevance does ancient yogic mythology have to breathing into the present? We’ll look at a few mythologies in detail, see what inspiration and other relevance we can draw from them and see how they can be incorporated into our physical and breath practice.
We’ll also seek out ancient wisdom on mindfulness and being present from key yogic texts.
“Yogic myth has a genius to clothe the infinite in human form” Eknath Easwaran)
The Dance of Breath (practical)
A meditative dance workshop exploring our species’ unique and mysterious relationship with rhythm and music, beginning with the breath! Drawing inspiration and guidance from my training in Ecstatic Awakening Dance, we’ll work toward building a peak in energy and cooling back down to a grounded energy. Let your body go!
"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good" (Edwin Denby).
I look forward to welcoming you and sharing this journey together.
We are sure you will love Bagend - from our fragrant orange groves, to our simple yet utterly peaceful accommodation in the heart of the Spanish countryside. Get in touch with us to ask any questions, find out more about our retreat or reserve your place now for just €140 deposit.