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7 Days Mindful Meditation and Yoga Retreat in Galway, Ireland with Eleanor Dawson

Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre, Cappaghmore, Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland

Yoga Holiday Ireland

Immersing yourself in yoga and meditation for a full week is a great way of developing your understanding of what makes yoga work, and how to build an effective practice. Leave behind the external world, leave behind your cares and worries, and let go in a week of yoga and mindfulness and daily guided outings designed to bring you calmness and inner peace. Treat yourself to a stress free week of enjoyable yoga and deep relaxation.

Meet the instructors

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  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • Deep relaxation and meet new people
  • Breathing practices and breath awareness
  • Daily guided outings by an experienced guide
  • Daily vegetarian breakfasts and dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles

7 days with instruction
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  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Yoga studio
  • Parking lot

This retreat will take place at Burren Yoga, located at the foot of the Burren, one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes on the west coast of Ireland, 40 minutes outside of Galway.

Burren Yoga offers comfortable accommodation with individually hand carved beds by local carpenter, underfloor heating in all bedrooms, and bed linen made from high thread count Egyptian cotton. The room options are diverse and can suit all needs. The buildings are super insulated, designed and built using timber framed buildings which have ceiling to floor windows that provide passive solar heating and amazing views over the Burren Hills.


Eleanor will explore aspects of practice particularly important in the Vinoyga approach, such as building up postures, sequences and practices safely and working around a theme or mental focus. In Viniyoga there is no one “right way”: it is a completely flexible approach. You will also explore how to adapt or modify the classic postures for specific health issues (bad knees, hips etc), all within the all-important relationship between body, breath and mind to allow your full potential to shine through.

Eleanor’s week focuses on a mindfulness practice within a supportive environment, easily accessible to both newcomers and seasoned yoga practitioners. Her teaching uses this mindfulness approach to create an awareness of inner space which allows one to go deeper into the practice. Eleanor’s yoga classes are mindful, enjoyable and centering. There is room for each individual to go at their own pace. An ideal week 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.

This August week retreat is suitable for all ages and all levels, from complete beginners to advanced. Each person will be challenged to their own limit, and no comparison will be made between each practitioner.

Each day begins with a short mindfulness meditation practice and pranayama (breathwork). Beginners will be introduced gradually to mindfulness and meditation, which will deepen and lengthen in practice over the week. At the start of the week, you will only be sitting for approximately 10 minutes at a time. Gradually over the week, as your body loosens up and you find more comfortable ways of sitting, the practice will be extended to approximately 20 minutes.

Dave has a meditation CD available which you can take home with you after the week to help you become more firmly established on your own meditation practice at home after the week yoga retreat.

In mindfulness breath-focussed meditation, one brings awareness to the breath flowing through the nostrils. Instead of the mind being carried away by a train of thought, one simply watches the thoughts and stands back from them. In time this practice trains the mind, and one’s awareness gradually begins to rest in the space between the thoughts. And it is this aspect of the training of the mind during your sitting practice actually spilling over into your normal daily lives, that is a very important aspect of mindfulness. As the week progresses, you will be given guidance on how to bring this mindfulness from your sitting practice, to the rest of your day.

After a lead in morning meditation practice, Eleanor will guide you through an enjoyable relaxing but energizing yoga class in her soft relaxing mindful way. These practices will explore the links between body, breath and mind. Eleanor's Hatha flow yoga classes in the Viniyoga tradition begin gentle with mindful awareness. Gradually loosening up the body, while at the same time Eleanor will guide your awareness to go within… and to get in touch with the present moment. You will use familiar classical yoga postures and sequences, each person working to their own capacity.

You will also explore some variations of the classic postures, using the breath and body in different ways to change your awareness and experience of the posture. The work with the postures aims to be a positive physical challenge for each individual - guiding you safely to a place where you feel stretched but not uncomfortable, so you can inhabit the posture, and learn from it. Gradually one's muscles are stretched as the body limbers up through a range of gentle, challenging and relaxing postures. Eleanor will adapt the postures so that they suit each individual’s body. Each person will be given variations which are suitable for themselves.

The Viniyoga approach uses the breath consciously when working with yoga postures, as well as in seated pranayama practices and as the week progresses, you will explore this relationship, deepening your appreciation of what the breath can offer to your physical practice - the exciting dynamic of body and breath!

And also if you get the right weather conditions, you will sometimes practice yoga on the Burren pavement rock, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Many people have said that the memory of these classes will stay with them for their whole lives.

Every second afternoon, when you return to the yoga center after your guided outing, Eleanor will teach another Hatha flow yoga class. This class will be more restorative and is a great way to remove energy blocks and to simply relax and let go. This inner awareness that develops through the mindfulness meditation will also be brought into the physical yoga classes, bringing awareness to the body/ breath/ mind dynamic and allowing yourself to move into greater stillness, subtlety and peace.

During the week Eleanor will guide you through a deep relaxation practice. This is a very powerful practice for both relaxation and also releasing any inner conflicts. Through spending time in the tranquil and peaceful settings of The Burren and Eleanor's careful instruction, you will become more conscious of your inner awareness. This practice teaches how to ‘let go’ of the constant chatter of the mind to rest peacefully in the present moment. Mindfulness on the yoga mat is taught to prepare the body and mind for meditation.

Yoga is about becoming more fully alive - more fully awake. Instead of being caught up in thoughts…. thoughts of the past… thoughts of the future… and also thoughts of “what if” scenarios….. you learn to instead bring your awareness to the breath… bringing your awareness to the body… into the present moment… and allowing the peace and tranquillity to arise within your being.

A physical practice which challenges you at your own level, followed by restorative rest, breath work and meditation, can leave you with a feeling of incredible well-being - more rested, replenished, spacious and, most important, more present, so you can move out into the world with a new awareness.


This week will include mindfulness meditation classes. These will include an introduction suitable for complete beginners, and will use a breath-focussed meditation practice to help still the mind. This is a great week to learn new skills and yoga techniques, to let go of your cares and worries and to spend time with like-minded people in a truly inspirational setting.

Ideal for anyone who has done or interested in a mindfulness course or looking to deepen a meditation practice. This technique teaches you to be mindful throughout your daily lives.

The benefits of mediation include:

  • Promotes clarity of mind and awareness
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves general sense well-being
  • Promotes positive thinking
  • Removes stress and anxiety
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves the ability to live in the present
  • Improves your awareness during the physical yoga practice to deepen it
  • Opens one up to the peace and tranquillity within every moment
  • Allows a spaciousness to arise within which joy and bliss can awaken

This retreat is also open to anyone who prefers to part-take in the meditation practice and not to take part in the physical yoga classes. Please know that Burren Yoga can accommodate any age or ability and would love anyone to attend the course. All classes and activities are optional, including the asana (physical) practice although you are encouraged to give it a go.

Each person will come away feeling they have found something new within their practice, and worked to their own capacity - opening a door to a new understanding of what it is to be you and to live that to the full! And to be confident to continue some of these practices each day when you return home.

Sample schedule

Arrival day

  • 17:30 - 19:00 Arrival and registration
  • 19:00 Dinner
  • 21:00 Introduction to the retreat
  • 21:30 - 22:15 Gentle yoga and deep relaxation

Typical daily schedule

  • 08:00 - 08:30 Mindfulness meditation class including introduction for beginners
  • 08:30 - 10:00 Hatha flow yoga class in the Viniyoga tradition
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:15 - 14:00 Outdoor trip to Burren
  • 14:00 Lunch at local restaurant or cafe
  • 17:00 Approximate return to center
  • 17:00 -19:00 Free time
  • 19:00 Dinner
  • 20:00 - 21:00 Free time
  • 21:00 - 21:30 Meditation and deep relaxation

Alternate days

  • 17:00 - 18:30 Restorative yoga class

Departure day

  • 08:00 - 08:30 Mindfulness meditation
  • 08:30 - 10:00 Hatha flow yoga class in the Viniyoga tradition
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:15 - 12:00 Farewells
  • 12:00 Departure

Included excursions

Each day after breakfast, Dave will lead the group on a guided outing and you will either do a hill walk in the Burren hills or a walk by the sea. These guided outings are an important part of each eco yoga retreat and it is a lovely way to see some special places in the Burren well away from the usual tourist places.

The secret forest has been described by one visitor as the type of place that fairies and elves live, and when they heard the guests coming they hid out of sight, but did not have time to take away their fairy veils and magic feelings which fill the air. During these guided outings you will stop off for lunch at the best local restaurants or cafes. One favorite is the Ballyvaughan tea rooms where Stephen Spielberg flew in especially to order the cheese cake.

Depending on the weather, you will also go on the boat trip to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea. This is the most spectacular way to see the Cliffs of Moher.


Eleanor Dawson

Retreat location

This retreat is located on the Atlantic coast, at the foot of the Burren, at about five miles from the picturesque village of Kinvara.

Nearby places

  • Galway - 40 minutes

Unique features


  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Swimming


Vegetarian breakfast and dinner made from locally produced organic vegetables, fresh herbs, and spices are included in the price. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local cafe or restaurant during daily outings. Each evening Gearoid the cook who used to work in a Hare Krishna restaurant in New York, will prepare “with love” a delicious vegetarian dinner and many people have said they have not eaten vegetarian food as good as this at any restaurant.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Outdoor activities such as surfing, kayaking, cycling, sailing, and swimming are available and can be arranged upon request.

What's included

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian breakfasts and dinners
  • Daily yoga and meditation classes
  • Guided outings

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Massage treatments
  • Personal expenses
  • Lunch at local cafe or restaurant during guided outings
  • Airport transfers

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Dublin International Airport (DUB) or Shannon Airport (SHN). Transfer information to Burren Yoga is available upon request.

Arrival by bus

The easiest way to get from Dublin International Airport to Burren Yoga is to take the bus direct from Dublin airport into Galway city, and then take a reduced fare taxi from Galway to the center, or else a bus to Gort, and then a taxi from there. Or from Shannon airport to take the bus direct to Gort, and taxi the last six miles.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

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7 days / 6 nights
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Thursday May 28, 2020
(7 days / 6 nights)

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