Svastha Yoga Retreat Aug/Sept
Yoga of the self
25-31 August, 2-8 September 2019
A therapeutic yoga approach to starting or building on your home practice
The word “Svastha” in Sanskrit literally means “to stay as yourself” and refers to the state of optimal health and balance in body and mind. Rather than a ‘standardized’ style of yoga, Svastha Yoga offers an integrated approach, whereas each individual’s unique requirements and goals are honored.
Price per person
The Svastha retreat August/September 2019 retreat costs €479 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
Delicious, nourishing, vegetarian menu prepared by your chef
Daily meditations, yoga nidra or pranayama practice
Fascinating daily workshops
My interest in yoga and meditation started in the late 1960s when my mother had me practice Hatha Yoga with her when I got home from school. By the mid 1990s I was introduced to Astanga Vinyasa (Mysore) by a friend who knew I practiced yoga and meditation. Astanga Vinyasa was a wonderful practice for me for very many years, a deep love. I even qualified as a teacher after some time. Although Astanga Vinyasa remained my main practice I continued to explore other practice techniques and styles determined to keep an open mind and the learning process unhindered and alive.
I studied with different teachers from India, SE Asia, Australia, America and Europe, exploring the different aspects of Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Yoga Philosophy & History. I paid special attention to the study of Physiology and Anatomy, particularly for movement and rehabilitation after injury.
I also studied Sports & Remedial Massage, Thai Massage, Chavutti Thirumal (Indian Rope massage from Kerala), level 1&2 Reiki. I attended more Yoga Teacher Trainings and workshops. Finally, taking Yoga Therapy Training over a 4 year period taught by students of the late Krishnamacharya (who developed the Astanga Vinyasa System I loved so much).
This method is called Svastha Yoga, taught by the Mohan family, who are from Chennai India, but teach all over the world.
Living in Asia in both Hindu and Buddhist countries allowed for an authentic learning experience to practice Mediation and Yoga within cultures that these practices come from and are part of daily life and culture. I spent time in Mysore (India) practicing Astanga Vinyasa, then practicing Vipassana with monks in Pagodas (temples) in Northern Thailand. I was fortunate to have regular Meditation teaching from a number of western Buddhist Nuns whilst living in Cambodia.
I also taught massage & physiology and anatomy to young massage therapists working in spas. I volunteered with a Cambodian Buddhist NGO visiting patients in government hospitals to give Reiki and massage to patients on HIV & TB wards. At our yoga studios I taught public classes and a large amount of private classes, many of my private clients came to me for a more personalised and therapeutic approach to their yoga practice to help to recover from injury, ill health or to help manage stress, PTSD, and other similar issues. Many of my private clients worked for the UN, large International Aid organisations and Government.
All of these experiences have impacted hugely on my understanding of Yoga as a global cultural phenomenon. The biggest positive being that we keep the ideas of compassion and kindness at the forefront of any activity and practice, this is the magic to keep us healthy as a whole, perhaps influencing others to do the same by example, eventually the world around us will change for the best.
Styles of yoga to be taught
We will be exploring the gentle therapeutic vinyasa techniques as taught by Krishnamacharya in his later life to his students AG Mohan, Indra Mohan and his own son and student Desikachar. There will be asana (posture), vinyasa (movement with breath), pranayama (breathing exercises), dharana (focused concentration “meditation” ) most of which will be explored and discussed through both ‘traditional’ practice modalities and in context of contemporary sciences, including attention to healthy movement patterns and the action of certain aspects of practice on the central nervous system. Keeping the distraction of sensations minimal so you can really observe the affects of practice for yourself.
This approach is open to all levels of practitioner, all body types, and all ages. It is a very good way to develop a daily home practice that heals and nurtures when you need it, helps to maintain feelings of joy and wellbeing. Keeps you aware of self and your interactions with others. Lastly, keeps the fun in your practice.
Good physical and mental health comes from finding an easy balance between our internal experience and our external perceptions with a pinch of humour.
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
Ease into each day gently with easy silent sitting, then moving into a steady measured vinyasa based practice, linking breath to movement creating a wonderfully energised balanced state of being to carry you through your day wearing a comfortable open smile. The morning practice will be designed to increase strength and flexibility within a functional range of movement without over taxing the central nervous system. Options will be given for different body types, health issues and abilities.
Instruction is given verbally and by demonstration. There is very little hands on adjustment, as touch by another often distracts the focus and keeps the attention to the surface of the body not the deeper structures. This keeps the practice in active (self) control, not passive. This encourages exploration of sensation, it also avoids injury and is more productive to correct non beneficial movement habits.
The evening practice will be designed to promote total relaxation, getting more quality from the hours of sleep during the night. We work the opposite way to the morning, warm up, start strong briefly, slowing down to longer breath based holds using props, and more attention to alignment for support and comfort. Finally stillness, and deep relaxation.
Your workshop programme
An introduction to pranayama (breathing) exercises we will be using
during the weeks practice. We will discuss variations to try, and look at what will work and what will not work for each one of you as an individual so you get the best from your Pranayama practice over the week, and have something to take home to build on.
Breath & Bandha: Anatomy & Physiology
We will take an overview of the anatomy and physiology of breathing. We will also take this opportunity to introduce the concept of “Bandhas” which are the internal locks often referred to in asana practices of all yoga styles.
Breath & Bandha: subtleties of practice:
Today we will practice using our Bandhas in
Pranayama and some Asana.
An Introduction to Using The Yoga Sutras As a Practice Tool (Chanting):
We will be taking
a brief look at The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which is one of the ancient texts attributed to the development of the philosophical aspects of Yoga. We will be using some of the verses in the text from the first chapter for chanting which is the traditional way to learn the text, but also has other physical benefits too. The verses we will be using will be provided.
Here we go off on a tangent using a very useful Buddhist technique for building mindfulness, and silencing the constant chatter of the mind. This will be based in the “Mahasi” style of Vipassana Meditation Techniques.
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.