Hatha and Restorative yoga Retreat
The creative in yoga
9 - 15 June & 17 - 23 June 2018
Exploring the yoga-creativity connection
We will explore the meaning and relevance of creativity to our yoga practice – both on and off the mat. Just like our yoga practice generally, the creative element within yoga spans physical, mental and spiritual dimensions in addition to both theory and practice. Viewing our yoga practice both as a creative endeavour in and of itself and as an enhancement to our creativity serves to enrich our practice all the more. Together, let's dive in to The Creative in Yoga.
Price per person
The Hatha and Restorative yoga retreat for June 2018 costs €450 per person, including all meals, yoga, workshops & equipment. Not including flights or transfers.
Reserve your place today with just €140 deposit.
Twice daily yoga practice on our stunning mountain-side platform
Daily meditations, yoga nidra or pranayama practice
Delicious, nourishing, vegetarian menu prepared by your chef
Fascinating daily workshops
Qualified since 2014 and registered with the Independent Yoga Network.
I offer a mixture of holistic Hatha and Restorative Yoga sessions which 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 (I will offer different variations of each posture), 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!
Style of Yoga to be taught
Mainly Hatha and Restorative with small doses of Flow, plus 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 Hathapractice 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.We will of course be paying close attention to our breath during our practice and exploring its use in different ways.
What students can 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 – all complemented by contemplation, knowledge, compassion, imagination... and many a smile! I aim for authenticity in each session and to create an atmosphere conducive to listening to and respecting your own body.In short, we'll be enchanting all the senses and basking in the widest possible glory of what yoga can offer for the opportunity ofsilencing, soothing, strengthening, stretching, softening and serving the mind, body and soul.All yoga sessions take place on the beautiful Bagend platformwhich boasts a heart-warming and remarkable story of creation and surrounding sensational views! Prepare to be bedazzled!
Your Rustic Retreats journey
The theme of this retreat is The Creative in Yoga. We will explore the meaning and relevance of creativity to our yoga practice – both on and off the mat. Personally, I have always noticed a creative element within yoga. One way of interpreting yoga is as a method to foster – or create – more unity in the world. Also, yoga refers to a trinity of forces in our practice and life, one of which is the creative force (the others being preservation and dissolution). We create our breathevery time we enter our practice; and our breath quite literally creates us. We create each posture – and in turn, with practice and knowledge – each posturecan create some kind of effect on ourselves and even the wider world. This holds true for wider yogic practices such as mantra recitation, holding mudras, meditation and meditative dance. In every yogic activity we are consciously shaping and creating a practice and receiving the resulting effects. It could be said that we are, ultimately, the creators of our lives (at least the aspects we can control). On this retreat, we will approach our yoga practice as both an art and a science.In addition to the theme guiding our yoga sessions, the theme will expand into our meditation practice and workshops too.
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. 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. I personally find the definition from The Tibetan Book of Living and 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 yoga nidra too. 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.
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 workshop programme
Intention Setting and Energy Manipulation– (talk)
We may have heard our teachers asking us to set an intention or san kalpa at the start of a yoga session. Do we know the background to this and how it links into the manipulation of energy within our yoga practice?We have heard about prana, but do we know what this really is and other connected energies? We will learn about how yoga is believed to channel energy in certain directions and how this connects to various aims within yoga of creating more peace, more compassion and more unity.“The frame has to hold the inner energy properly. Work from the energy body. The energy body, not the physical body, holds the poses” (Iyengar).
Mysterious Mandalas–(talk and practical)
Mandalas are often associated with yoga and the word may be familiar to us… but what are they? Mandalas symbolise the cosmos in a creative visual format. We will learn more about these artistic pieces and how they relate to yoga. We will engage with them in a way we feel drawn to – mindfully colouring-in and decorating pre-created mandalas, mindfully creating our own mandalas or even meditating on a mandala (all equipment supplied). "Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life" (Pema Chodron).
Storytelling within Yogic Mythology– (talk)
Many of us may have heard of Ganesh or Hanuman. But do we know anything more than the names? What relevance does ancient yogic mythology have to our yoga practice? 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 yoga practice. “Yogic myth has a genius to clothe the infinite in human form” (Eknath Easwaran).
Creating your own (home) Practice– (talk, discussion and practice)
Something I – and no doubt all yoga teachers – are often asked about is how to establish a home practice. It is something that many of us may have a fear of to begin with. Or it may be something others among us find relatively easily to begin, but then find sustaining it is somewhat trickier! We will discuss the benefits of a home practice as well as some of the apparent obstacles to a home practice and how these may be overcome. We will discover some handy hints and tips about how to approach the beginnings of a home practice, the continuation of a home practice and the enhancement of a home practice. You will have the opportunity to devise a short practice for yourself, ready for your home-coming. “Start slow and discover your own inner teacher” (Kreg Weiss).
Dance of Being(blindfolded)–(practical)
A meditative dance workshop exploring our species’ unique and mysterious relationship with rhythm and music! As in yoga, it all begins with the breath drawing us into the present moment and exploring how the body wishes to respond to the sounds and rhythms we will begin to hear. 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. Being blindfolded (in a safe way) encourages our attention inward and away from external appearances of ourselves and others.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.