Return to Nature
Yoga, Meditation and Self-discovery
9 - 15 June & 17 - 23 June 2019
Come, experience the joy of Yoga, Meditation and Self-discovery
surrounded by the magical beauty of untamed nature in Southern Spain. Come with us on a journey through yoga and meditation back to your naturally peaceful inner-self, and connect deeply with the natural world and your own animal spirit.
Price per person
The Hatha and Restorative yoga retreat for June 2019 costs €479 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
Delicious, nourishing, vegetarian menu prepared by your chef
Fascinating daily workshops
I am a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified and Animalia Asana® yoga teacher. I trained in multi-style yoga in 2015, under the guidance and wisdom of Guru Mahinder Prasad at Siddhi Yoga in Dharamsala, India. In June 2018 I studied with Jenny Mace to become an official Animalia Asana® Yoga teacher. I teach Vinyasa Flow, restorative hatha-style and Yin yoga. With a keen interest in both yoga and the natural world I love to integrate nature and animal elements into my teachings. The way they fit together is so instinctive, and I feel this is a genuine way to inspire ahimsa - the practice of non-violence.
Style of Yoga to be taught
The yoga to be taught on this retreat will be Vinyasa Flow and Yin yoga.
Vinyasa Flow is a flowing, dynamic, yang style of yoga where each movement is connected to the breath; a moving meditation, which can almost feel like a flowing dance. Each class will include a warm up sequence and some rounds of the sun salutations: surya namaskar A+B. It’s nice to keep a steady pace with these sun salutation sequences, so they will be taught more slowly in the first class. The flow comes very naturally as you build up muscle memory after a few repetitions. Each class will focus on a particular animal pose or classical element, to which we can choose to dedicate our practice. This is a beautiful style of yoga and the pace and poses can be adapted depending on the experience levels and needs of the participants.
Where Vinyasa Flow is considered to be a yang-based asana practice; powerful, warm and active; Yin Yoga is the opposite; soft, cool and passive. The idea behind this style of yoga is to apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body (tendons, fascia and ligaments), with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. Each pose is held for longer than in most other styles of yoga, and the use of props is encouraged to keep you comfortable. Yin Yoga helps to keep our Yin and Yang energy balanced. It is a more meditative approach to yoga and aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality. This is the practice where we will really be able to start connecting deeply with our own nature and the nature around us. Yin yoga is suitable for practitioners of all ages, levels, shapes and sizes.
To work with the natural flow of our energy throughout the day, a more yang, dynamic class will be held in the mornings with a more restorative and relaxing class in the evenings. Some classes may include pranayama (breath work) before the final relaxation sequence.
Your Rustic Retreats journey
This retreat offers each participant the chance to connect deeper with themselves and with nature, using the powers of yoga and mindfulness meditation. There is a certain harmony in nature, and like with life, it isn’t always easy or pleasant, yet the harmony always remains. Like a river which always overcomes the obstacles on its journey to the sea, it may have to take a different path to the one it expected, that was once the easiest, but it doesn’t sway from its goal.
One of my favourite quotes comes from a book by Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea ~ “He strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees”. There is much to be learned from the natural world. The week includes yoga classes, workshops and meditations that can be used specifically to help us center and connect with both ourselves and the natural world. With connection we can begin to understand and with understanding we can start to benefit from the deep, natural peace that resides within each of us and the harmony that spreads itself through every vein of the natural world.
Yoga classes held throughout the week are of mixed styles, with stronger vinyasa flow classes for energising in the mornings and slow hatha-style yoga for relaxing and unwinding towards the end of the day. Some of the evening classes also include some yin yoga, to even out some of the yang energy that many people feel is out of balance in their lives. Movement of our bodies, sitting in postures silently are just some of the ways we can start to more deeply connect with our inner selves. Alignment is an important part of asana practice for safety reasons, but there are no expectations and each participant is gently encouraged to challenge
themselves only if they feel they would like to and they are comfortable. Enjoyment is key, as the hope is that each participant will choose to continue an asana-based yoga practice long after the end of this retreat.
The classes draw in elements of the natural world by focussing on either a particular animal posture or a classical element. Many nature-based poses will be explored with clear explanations for each, including how and why they are connected with yoga. It is common in many different yoga practices that breath is a key aspect and participants will be encouraged to allow the breath to guide their movements. Meditations include guiding participants through natural world scenes (forests, mountains, beaches), pranyama (breath work), creating your safe place (your sanctuary, your room of relaxation), connecting with the universal source, yoga nidra, colouring in animals and candle light focus meditation.
Alone time is very much encouraged to make the most of the beautiful space over the week, be it walks around the grounds, sitting in silence and reading outdoors. Overall the aim is that everyone enjoys their time at Rustic Retreats immensely and feels positive about continuing a yoga practice of their own after they depart, as well as integrating yoga into different areas of their lives.
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
Talk and seminar: Yoga and its connection with nature
A brief introduction is given into some of the sacred animals in yoga history with picture cards. Participants are then asked to select an animal they feel drawn to and look at this animal and its connection with yoga in more depth, using books and materials provided; finishing with individual students or small groups presenting a little about their chosen animal to the rest of the group. This is a great way for everyone to get to know each other and work as a team.
Mindfulness chocolate tasting workshop with “Taste with Colour®”.
This work shop consists of mindfully tasting chocolate, tasting 2-4 different types of artisan chocolate (all vegan), with an optional chocolate free from refined sugar. A “Taste with Colour®” flavour map helps people identify what they are tasting and with the use of this visual aid, participants are enabled to create their own watercolour painting based on what they taste in each chocolate. Tasting with colour is a great way for people to vocalise what they’re tasting, and visualising colours as we taste is a great way to explore these senses. Our connection with food is very important so we can understand and appreciate where it comes from, and this in turn can give us new appreciation for the earth’s gifts and strengthen our connection with nature. This workshop seeks to assist participants in seeing how food can be so much more than just fuel.
Blindfolded nature and animal spirit dance
This workshop takes participants on a journey with music and movement. All participants are invited to use a blindfold, and encouraged to use the edges of their mats as the safe area for dancing. Starting with a piece of music with a medium-fast tempo, participants move and shake every part of their body to warm up. Then 6-7 tracks follow, starting with some slow music working up to a deep and fast-paced piece as the peak, most energetic track, then back down to a slower, quieter piece as the penultimate track; followed by a mellow ending to which participants can melt into savasana. Each participant is free to move, dance, shake, hold in any way they wish. Blindfolds help people not to feel self-conscious as it is good to encourage free movement with no stress to be able to fully access deep within ourselves and awaken our animal spirit. Each piece of music will resonate with a particular animal or one of the classical elements; earth, air, fire, water, akasha (æther) but this will not be revealed beforehand to leave participants free to decide how they move to each track without preconceptions.
Mindful barefoot walk in nature
“A walk in nature walks the soul back home”. Participants are invited to walk some of the grounds of Bagend; this is not an ordinary hike but very slow walking to really appreciate our movement and abilities. Walking barefoot is optional (but encouraged) to help one feel really grounded and connected with nature in a physical manner. Using all of our our senses, touch, smell, taste, sight and sound, walking in time with slow, deep breaths, taking in the healing powers from the outdoors. Part of the exercise includes choosing something natural of interest, focusing on that particular animal/insect/plant, and simply observing it being, making mental notes that participants can share with the group if they would like to at the end of the workshop.
This workshop is part talk and part sound journey. A brief introduction to the Tibetan Book of the Dead and a question and answer session is offered as the first part of the workshop. The second part is discovering and listening to some sound samples from a three-part sound journey composition influenced by this famous book. The music takes one on a journey through the book and the various states between life and death, then beyond. As participants listen to the samples they are encouraged to make notes and drawings and will have an opportunity to discuss and share anything of particular interest towards the end of the session.
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.