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Treat yourself to a stress-free weekend of inspiring yoga, calming meditation, relaxing yoga, amazing vegetarian food, and outdoor walks in the hills and by the sea. An ideal weekend to let go of the stresses and strains of everyday life and to let go into a very peaceful and tranquil environment with a gifted teacher and share some time with like-minded people.
At the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre, you have a choice of accommodation of shared room, single room, twin room, and double room.
The accommodation contains one room for six, two rooms for four, three single rooms, and two double rooms. The accommodation can sleep up to 21 people but Burren Yoga only ever takes a maximum of 15 people on any of the retreats.
The mattresses are very high-quality orthopedic mattresses with a top layer of memory foam, ensuring one of the most comfortable sleep. The bed linen is high thread count Egyptian cotton and lovely to slip into after a full day of yoga, meditation, outdoor activities, eating amazing vegetarian food, and laughing and socializing with like-minded people. All the beds are freshly made up before you arrive and there are also fresh towels laid out on your bed.
There are men sharing in one of the dorms and women in the other. Most people come on their own, and if you select ‘sharing’ on your booking form, they will allocate you a shared room with same sex and similar age group.
There are four shared bathrooms (each with a shower, hand basin, and toilet) and an extra toilet shared between the 15 retreat participants. The accommodation doesn't have any en-suite bathrooms at the yoga center. One of the bathrooms has a bath where you can soak and relax.
The shared accommodation has bunk beds. These are not ‘the usual bunk beds’ and the top bunk is hand carved and suspended from the ceiling. The lower bunk is completely independent of the upper bunk with plenty of headroom in between. Please be aware that the bedrooms are very small and there are no wardrobes. There is very little shelf space to store your belongings.
Burren Yoga is trying to have a maximum of four people in the room for six, and three people in the rooms for four, but this all depends on male-female ratio on the retreat. The beds are not normal ‘bunk beds’, one bed is suspended from the ceiling and the other is a free-standing divan underneath it. Most of the beds are individually carved ‘works of art’ by Johnny Ray who carves spirals and curves into all his work.
The rooms do not have any wardrobes. There is limited shelf space for storage. All the rooms are spotlessly clean with underfloor heating, timber floors, and hotel quality mattresses and bed linen. You will be supplied with a bath and hand towel.
There are only three single rooms so you may need to book well in advance in order to secure one of these single rooms. The rooms are very small and do not have any wardrobes. The door does not open fully as it opens against the bed. There is limited shelf space for storage. All the rooms are spotlessly clean with underfloor heating, timber floors, and hotel quality mattresses and bed linen. You will be supplied with a bath and hand towel.
The twin room is actually a small single room with bunk beds. There are only two single rooms with bunk beds so you may need to book well in advance in order to secure one of these twin rooms. The beds are not normal ‘bunk beds’, one bed is suspended from the ceiling and the other is a free-standing divan underneath it. Most of the beds are individually carved ‘works of art’ by Johnny Ray who carves spirals and curves into all his work.
The rooms are very small and do not have any wardrobes. The door does not open fully as it opens against the bed. The room is so small it is only advised for a couple or very good friends, but at least you will have it to yourselves. There is limited shelf space for storage. All the rooms are spotlessly clean with underfloor heating, timber floors and hotel quality mattresses and bed linen. You will each be supplied with a bath and hand towel.
The double room has one standard sized 4.6-inch wide double bed. The room is very small and does not have a wardrobe. The door does not open fully as it opens against the bed. There is limited shelf space for storage. All the rooms are spotlessly clean with underfloor heating, timber floors and hotel quality mattresses and bed linen. You will each be supplied with a bath and hand towel.
This retreat consists of an inviting and uplifting timetable over the weekend of:
This weekend is suitable for all levels from complete beginners to advanced including yoga teachers and regular practitioners. There is no comparison made between people and each person practices at a level that is appropriate to them at the current point in time.
Each will receive the right level of information that you are ready for and the inspiration to either take up yoga as a daily practice or to deepen your understanding and practice and to inspire you to delve deeper and let go of the inner sense of freedom, grace, and love that is within every one of you.
This yoga weekend will include yoga postures and flowing sequences, restorative yoga, breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and mindfulness meditation techniques. In the morning and also in the evening time, Karolina will teach a meditation class. This is suitable for complete beginners, and she will ensure that each person is given guidance on how to find a comfortable sitting meditation posture. This can be different for each person and she will ensure that each person is able to use the props in the best way to suit their own body while also checking that each person’s alignment is correct.
The meditation technique will be a breath-focused meditation and she will explain the practice and give clear instructions for each person to follow.
During her yoga classes, Karolina gives variations on postures so that her classes are suitable for complete beginners, while those more experienced practitioners will be given variations to challenge each person at the appropriate level and also inspirational teaching to help bring understanding and insight into the practices.
Karolina gives very clear instructions and her classes have a lovely flow to them. Her classes often start with some breath work, giving good guidance on correct breathing, and then gently bring the breathing and awareness to the postures.
Some of the postures are soft and gentle and these are easier for bringing one’s awareness inwards. Some postures are more challenging, but one is always encouraged to only practice at the correct level for one’s own body and ability. Karolina will give alternative postures and variations to anyone who needs them.
Karolina teaches a very balanced class, with some postures lengthening and toning the muscles, while other practices will focus more on building strength and balance. Her classes consist of classical Hatha yoga postures which are held for a number of breaths in combination with a well structured Vinyasa Flow that allows students to synchronize movement with their breath.
Karolina will use bolsters, blocks, and blankets in some of these restorative postures. This will allow the body to rest and replenish itself. As usual on all of the retreats, Karolina will be with you on the guided outing and you will all hang out together.
The morning yoga and meditation classes are followed by a hearty breakfast and then you will set out as a group on the guided outings. Afterward, the afternoon class is a great way to let go after the outing into the Burren or by the sea and this is a lovely way to see this spectacular part of Ireland in a nice leisurely way with a very experienced guide.
Asana and Vinyasa yoga
Asanas are yoga postures. Vinyasa is a series of flowing movement sequences coordinated with rhythmic breathing. Together, they develop steadiness, strength, and vitality as well as fluidity, ease, and release. As a result, you feel more at home in your bodies.
Pranayama or breathing exercises
You are always breathing. Yet, like waves on the shore, footprints or snowflakes, each breath is unique. Paying attention to your breathing is the easiest way to connect to yourself because the breath is the invisible bridge between the body and the mind. Yoga teaches practical, accessible techniques for finding, observing, and balancing the breath. Consciously tuning in this way gives you a tool to calm the mind. In this way, a sense of balance is available in every breath.
Mindfulness meditation techniques
Your thoughts are like clouds being blown across the sky, or projections on a movie screen. Even when the weather or the movie changes the sky is always there and the screen remains the same. Yogic wisdom tells you that there is a peaceful, unchanging matrix that supports and sustains everything else. Learning to observe your thoughts in meditation is a way of getting to know your true selves. Awareness increases naturally lead to healthier, happier choices in diet, exercise, lifestyle, and relationships.
Truly, deeply relaxing is an art in itself. Guided relaxation is a simple way to access that state of letting go. You tune into your deepest intentions, needs, and desires and the body has more energy to heal and regenerate. Karolina's students always tell her they have their best night’s sleep after yoga.
On Saturday, Dave, who founded the center in 1999, will bring the group to a special location within the Burren hills or elsewhere beside the sea. This time spent in the beautiful surroundings of the Burren is guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and full of energy on all levels. These outings are great fun, and a lovely way to get to know the other course participants on the retreat.
The Burren is a spectacular magical landscape and there is always time to stop, take in the surroundings, or to pose for a photo. While you are on your guided outing, you will stop for lunch at one of the best local restaurants or cafes, which is a great way to sample the best of the local cuisine in the Burren. Dave knows all the best places to eat and is always ready to help with suggestions on the best dishes in each of the local cafes.
Karolina began practicing Vinyasa flow incorporating breathing and awareness into the physical practice. Over the years Karolina has taught Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative yoga. She also teaches pranayama (breathing practices), yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), and meditation. Karolina believes that yoga is for everybody and modifies the postures to make her classes suitable for all ages and all levels of ability. Her instruction is very clear and her classes have a lovely pace including awareness of the breath and guiding one’s awareness inwards.
This retreat is located at the Burren. The Burren is a magical area on the wild Atlantic way located on the west coast of Ireland and most of it is located in County Clare, with a smaller section inside County Galway. It is comprised of spectacular shaped limestone hills which plunge down into the Atlantic ocean.
It is famous for its unique range of wildflowers, ancient archaeology, breath-taking geological features, and many internationally known places such as the Cliffs of Moher, the traditional music location of Doolin where one catches the ferry to the Aran Islands, the Aillwee caves, and much more.
The Burren is about 50 kilometers by 25 kilometers in an area running along the west coast of Ireland starting at the picturesque seaside village of Kinvara and running down through Ballyvaughan, Black Head, Fanore beach to Doolin.
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You will enjoy vegetarian meals as indicated on the schedule. The vegetarian food at Burren Yoga has been described as restaurant standard and many people have said they have not eaten such good vegetarian food even in restaurants.
Gearoid, the cook, used to work in a Hare Krishna restaurant in New York and is very conscious of preparing the food with love and the effect this can have on the food that is being prepared. Gearoid’s menus and the care when choosing ingredients are combined with his love for cooking, and his care and attention to detail to both the presentation and the quality of the food that he serves.
The food at Burren Yoga Centre is a combination of the best healthy vegetarian ingredients combined carefully with fresh herbs and spices to produce amazing vegetarian food which not only is a delight for the taste buds and the enjoyment of eating, but one feels good afterwards as all the ingredients have been carefully combined together to be good for one’s health and wellbeing.
The atmosphere in the kitchen is warm and intimate filled with fun and love as people enjoy this amazing vegetarian food.
Burren Yoga can cater for any special diets including vegan, wheat and dairy free, coeliac, or any special diet to cater for allergies or intolerances. Please make sure you let them know about any special diets when you fill in your booking form.
The Burren Yoga retreat holidays are not just about yoga. They are as much about reconnecting to your inner nature through contact with the natural unspoilt surroundings in the Burren.
Many of the guests spend much of their time living in cities. Many of them have quite hectic lives. And much of the activities are very far removed from the natural lives humans have enjoyed for hundreds of thousands of years - until quite recently. It is mainly within the past 100 years that human lives in the Western world have changed so radically. Much activity in life is now related quite heavily to commercialism and consumerism.
One good thing about taking a weekend or a week to oneself at the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre is that one is able to leave behind the fast pace of modern living and to allow oneself to return to the more natural environments which people have evolved to live with over hundreds of thousands of years. And not surprisingly, your inner selves thrive within this natural environment. Even if one did not practice yoga or meditation within the Burren, one would benefit greatly from the peace and tranquility which develops from within in such an environment.
Lough Bunny is a lake about five miles from the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre. It is crystal clear and most of the water is less than chest high, so it becomes quite warm in the summer. Lough Bunny is a great spot during the summer months and is a beautiful pristine un-spoilt lake and an ideal spot for swimming in natural surroundings. The water is very clean and is fed by a number of natural underwater springs.
The silence of the Burren. No cars. No tractors. No aircraft. No mosquitoes, no snakes, or biting insects. And fresh clean air coming in from the Atlantic ocean. This place is like food for the soul. The silence is one thing that surprises people. Many people are so used to be surrounded by noise, whether it is traffic, people talking, TV, radio, or music that when one takes all that away, the silence of nature can feel so peaceful and refreshing.
After a refreshing swim what better place to simply unwind and relax. From Lough Bunny, it is a short ten-minute drive back to the center, the warm yoga room, with fresh incoming air, awaits.
Five miles away from the center is the little picturesque village called Kinvara. The pier at Kinvara looks out onto DunGuaire Castle.
You can go to many locations during your outdoor trips. One location is the Cliffs of Moher. A great way to see the Cliffs of Moher is to see them from the boat trips that you can take. The boat goes right in under the Cliffs, and the height of the Cliffs are staggering seen from that angle. It is a great way to see the huge amount of birds living on the sides of the cliffs including a spectacular amount of puffins.
Kilmacduagh tower is one of the most intact round towers of this type in Ireland. It’s said there have been seven churches here. Kilmacduagh tower and the ruined churches are about five miles from the center.
Other activities include surfing on Fanore beach. There is a surf school located at Fanore beach and it costs 35 EUR for a two-hour surf lesson including hire of a wetsuit and a board.
Depending on the ever-changing light on the west coast of Ireland, the Burren Limestone sometimes looks like lava. The combination of changing light and changing skies, this place is unique on earth.
These hills are ideal for climbing. The limestone rock gives secure footing under foot, and it takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour to get to the top of most of the hills. The scenery over Galway bay and the Atlantic ocean is spectacular. Some of these large boulders were deposited by the glaciers which moved across the Burren millions of years ago. The Burren is often described as looking like another planet. The limestone rock was formed 360 million years ago when it was the bed of a shallow coral sea.
Poulnabrone Dolmen is the most famous dolmen in the Burren. However these days one often sees tour buses at this location. The best time to visit Poulnabrone is in the middle of the night with a full moon. It produces an eerie reminder that one is standing beside a man-made dolmen which is estimated to be at least 5,000 years old. That makes it older than the pyramids. Poulnabrone dolmen is near Carron village and about 15 miles from the center. Many archaeologists claim this is a burial tomb because they found a few bodies buried nearby.
But there is also a belief that these dolmens were possibly used as ritual places rather than burial tombs, as they more resemble an ancient altar raised to the sky rather than a wedge tomb which sits down well into the ground. And that later settlers a couple of thousand years after it was initially built and used for rituals, were unaware of it’s intended use, and used it to bury their dead.
There are many more ancient sites in the Burren which the tour buses do not go near, and sometimes you might visit these sites which are peaceful and rarely visited by anyone.
One feature of the Burren which never ceases to amaze the visitors are the endless miles of stone walls which are seen criss-crossing the countryside and even running up the sides of these limestone hills.
Mulloughmore mountain is a very special place. The silence which surrounds this ancient mountain, unchanged over millions of years.
The limestone rock is excellent underfoot for walking and has a slightly textured surface which gives good grip with walking boots. Mulloughmore mountain is one of the tougher mountain walks that they do, and it takes about one hour to get to the top.
The Burren is famous for its wide variety of wild flowers which do not exist together anywhere else in the world. These range from wild orchids to gentian violets below. One great thing about a yoga holiday in Ireland is that you are not pestered by mosquitoes or other biting insects that one puts up with in other parts of the world. The Burren is a very dry location and you are lucky not to have midges or other small flies either.
Corcomroe Abbey is a beautiful ruined abbey which is about 5 miles from the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre. This is a great place for taking photographs and also an interesting place to explore.
These outdoor walks are not like a hill climbing club which rushes up the hill hardly taking the time to stop and rest. Most of the walks could be better described as strolls in nature, taking time to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings and sometimes just taking the time to put up the feet and enjoy the peacefulness of your surroundings. Depending on the group, some of the walks are more challenging and can last for two or three hours.
Taking time in nature is always fun and feels great for the soul. This is even more so, when you have an experienced local guide who will take you to the best locations each day, and you do not have to worry your head about where to go or where to eat. It will be all organized for you.
And if you prefer to just relax at home in the yoga center, or to take time out from the group, you are very welcome to do so.
When you are walking in the hills, you will rarely meet anybody else as there are very few people living in this part of Ireland. The green roads through the Burren are mainly used by walkers. However, this part of the world is very uninhabited. As a result, there is no light pollution and many people are amazed at the amount of stars they can see here at night. Coming down the hill one needs to take care, and it is a good idea to bring walking boots as these help protect one’s ankles.
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Transfer not provided
Ireland West Airport Knock
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Transfer not provided
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Shannon Airport (SHN), Dublin International Airport (DUB), Cork Airport (ORK), Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC), or Kerry Airport (KIR). Transfer information to Burren Yoga is available upon request.
The nearest bus stop is in Gort village which is six miles from the Burren Yoga Centre. The recommended bus companies (faster, cheaper, toilets on board) are Go-Bus or Citylink. Do not take a bus to Kinvara. The Burren Yoga Centre is five miles from Kinvara. From Dublin International Airport (DUB), it is recommended to take the bus direct from the airport to Galway city rather than traveling into Dublin city. From Shannon Airport (SHN), if your flight arrives very early, it is recommended that you take the Bus Eireann number 51 bus direct to Galway city and to spend the day there.
Although the train is slower, more expensive, and much fewer times to choose from than the bus, some people prefer to travel by Irish Rail Train. From Dublin take the Galway train as far as Athenry, and then change trains. From Athenry, take the Limerick train as far as Gort.
There is only one taxi driver in Kinvara, and he often has his phone turned off, so it is possible to get stranded in Kinvara. Go to Gort instead, as Gort has many taxi drivers and a taxi from Gort costs approx 12 EUR.
From Shannon Airport (SHN), the reduced fare taxi costs 60 EUR and the taxi driver will team you up if anybody else is flying in close to your arrival time. You need to book this taxi yourself at least 24 hours before you arrive.
From Galway city, the reduced fare taxi costs 40 EUR and the taxi driver will team you up if anybody else coming from Galway close to your time. You need to book this taxi yourself at least 24 hours before you arrive.
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