So, retreat. The word in itself can stand for so much.
Life keeps on moving, it tumbles out ahead of us, sweeping us up, spinning time and weaving our path. Sometimes, often, we need to retreat, so we can catch our breath, take a moment to actually step back and look at our journey, our-selves, our decisions, our dreams and narratives. Sometimes we need to retreat for our mental health, sometimes we retreat for our body and often it's a bit of everything.
I've been running the retreats for a few years now, one year in Greece and 3 in the UK. They continue to evolve, I learn from myself, from my clients, from mistakes, from ideas, from unknown outcomes and kind feedback.
So, this year, we are journeying deeper, my passion and love for what I do comes alive when I bring a clear theme and journey to the retreat. I find stories, write poems, sing with my bowls, dive deep and hold space for everything to be seen.
In Greece this year we have added on ceremonies and creative activities, as well as the yoga, meditation, journalling, breathwork, soundbaths and integral sound healing.
We start the retreat with a welcoming tea ceremony, time to take a breath, drop into the present moment and practice mindfulness. We take time outside to be just as we are, however we show up, exploring what we need from the retreat.
The Yoga is specially crafted, a complete rebalance and look at the chakra system and 8 limbs to guide you back home, to your inner world of truth and wisdom. I light the incense each morning, the sun rises across the Aegean sea and we move our bodies as the light dances across the water in the distance.
Free time is spent splashing in the pool, brewing herbal tea, journalling, reading, chatting and sleeping. A swing in the hammocks can lighten the heart as you gaze up at the blue sky and dancing olive branches. Or step away from the group and find a quiet moment in the silent zone, to meditate and reflect.
Evenings are the time to unfold, whether it's a deeply restorative yin practice, drawing on the meridian system and practice of RAIN, inspired by Tara Brach, we draw on compassion and kindness to soothe the nervous system and find love for ourselves and others again.
I wanted to take a moment to mention the evenings in the shala, it's such a magical space. wrapped in blankets you are guided into a deeply relaxed state with a yoga nidra, followed by a soothing soundbath. The vibrations travelling through the wooden pannels of the flooring, the sound moving with ease through the night air. Owls hoot, the wind rustles the olive leaves and profound peace is cultivated. Being at one with nature and everything in this sacred space.
Tears are shed, smiles are shared, deep sleep is curated. The healing benefits of these sessions are palpable.
Sound is woven throughout the retreat, it can be profound, and transformative, if you give yourself over fully to be held, healed and seen. We hold 2 group soundbaths, and you have a unique 1-2-1 session with me. Surrounded by the Greek countryside, adds a magical healing dimension to the practice.
Now, the food! Where to start. My mother has been running her villas for over 15 years, her food is second to none. Made with love, years of experience, thoughtful planning and Joy. We share our meals all together sitting by the pool in the shade of the Gazebo. Our meal correlates with our ethos, mainly vegetarian and catering also for vegan, the meals are nutritious, balanced, and inspired by food from around the world.
We practice Ahimsa on this retreat, no meat is served and drugs and alcohol aren't a part of this experience. We encourage time away from your phone, especially around meals, sharing, and practices. This might feel strict, but I learnt in India, 2 months of sobriety and veganism and lots of time away from my phone had a huge impact on me, it meant I was physically practicing the teachings of yoga but also my nervous system actually stood a chance to reset. When we step away from these normalised yet rather damaging behaviours we truly let ourselves rest and feel well again.
We are also practicing with sound, it's unusual to receive 3 sound session over the course of a few days(and bloomin fantastic I might add!), so we nurture the body through these actions, so the sound can be transformative, but I also, as a practitioner I can keep you, the client, safe.
Excursions to the beach and local taverna are wonderfully fun. Sea swims, book reading, beach walking, snoozing and eating the most delicious Greek food. We've added on a mandala workshop to one of the days, where we gather beautiful items on the beach and create natural art. A beautifully creative and mindful activity, where we honour our child self, mother nature and fun!
I think I've managed to mention most of the things we try to bring to the retreat, there's so much more I can chat about ( like to transformative Healing Circle half way through the retreat). But really this retreat is special, it's for those who perhaps know me, or feel in alignment with my values, my practice and journey. For those, like me, who can feel over whelmed at times by the pace of modern life. For those who want to make life long friends and connections, who want to feel free, whoop for joy, howl at the moon and finally rest.
I'd love to welcome you, to this once in a lifetime experience.