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Yogaprema is delighted to be returning to the wonderful Braziers Park in Oxfordshire, which is the perfect location for this New Year yoga retreat. There will be a deeply nourishing few days of yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, kirtan (singing), wholesome vegetarian meals, good company, and plenty of time for rest and reflection too. The winter months can be a treat at the manor house as you have the beauty of log fires to curl up with a book or have a chat over a cup of tea.
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The Braziers Park old manor is Grade II listed in the strawberry Gothic style, it has so much character and beauty. There are real log fires, plentiful sofas, and a grand piano among its charms. All set in 57 acres of land with beautiful gardens.
Braziers is a working eco community with sheep, chickens, a walled vegetable garden, and an ancient orchard. The grounds are large and nestled in beautiful countryside, so there are lots of opportunity to walk and breathe the fresh country air.
All rooms are comfortable and charming. There are double, twin, and triple rooms, with one family room. Please book early to secure the accommodation of your choice. All bathrooms are shared. A limited number of single rooms are available.
Flowing, traditional Hatha yoga sessions will naturally open the heart and nurture you to a space of surrender and stillness. A typical class will include asana (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), hands-on adjustments, guided relaxation, chanting, and a taste of philosophy. Typically, each class will last for between one and a half and two hours, and will be a mix of Hatha yoga, Hatha Flow and Sivananda traditions.
The days will begin with silent meditation and a little mantra chanting to open the heart and guide you to a space of inner silence, peace, and happiness. This will be followed by tea and before the morning yoga class your schedule will continue with breakfast, free time, massages, and the afternoon yoga practice.
In the evenings, there will be other activities that may include meditation and chanting. On New Year's Eve, you will also have songs around the bonfire, New Year intentions, a spiral meditation, and you will see the New Year in with positive uplifting mantra chanting.
Arrival time on Friday, December 29 is from 2 p.m. onward and the first yoga class will be at 4 p.m. On Monday, January 1, the retreat will finish after lunch at around 3 p.m.
There is a lovely woodland walk, which is a great opportunity to experience some of the wildlife beauties of the estate.
Sivananda (Sivananda Yoga)
Lila Conway is a certified senior yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and founder of Yogaprema. She has been practicing yoga for 20 years, teaching full-time since 2001, received advanced level certification from Sivananda in 2004, and in 2007 was given the authority to teach yoga teachers as a principal teacher. Lila has spent the best part of eight years living in Sivananda yoga ashrams and centers in India and Canada, being fully immersed in a yogic life of service, study, practice, and teaching yoga to students from across the world.
Swami Ambika (Ceri) is a sanyassin (renounced monk) who has studied and lived in the Sivananda ashrams in India, Canada and the USA for many years. She has been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation for more than 30 years. Swami is an expert senior teacher who truly lives and breathes the yoga life. She currently lives in a remote part of Scotland and runs weekly yoga classes and retreats in Forres near Findhorn. Her classes are full of wisdom, joy, warmth and humour.
This retreat will take place in Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, UK. Braziers Park is a warm country manor house (formally home to 007), set deep in beautiful countryside and the rolling Chiltern Hills of South Oxfordshire, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The location is perfect for a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating retreat.
During the retreat, you will be served delicious homemade vegetarian breakfast, lunches, and dinners.
Braziers Park is very quaint and quirky with plenty of space to nestle down with a book. There's the library, the study, dining room, and an informal space by the log fire and grand piano. There will be campfires, singing and plenty of time just to hang out and chat, meet new people, read, relax, and enjoy being in community in natural surroundings. A variety of massage treatments will also be available at additional cost.
Enhance your stay at Braziers Park with relaxing massage treatments which are available at additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport (LHR). Yogaprema will try and connect you with other participants to arrange lift sharing where possible.
Go to bus stop H5 on St Aldates to catch the X39 or X40. The journey will take approximately 55 minutes on either bus, passing through Wallingford where it may stop for a while or change driver or bus. After leaving Wallingford, it’s approximately six minutes before reaching Braziers’ stop.
You will pass two roundabouts and turn right onto the main road (A4074), travelling straight for a few more minutes when you’ll see large black and gold gates on your left, followed by a small wooden bus shelter. This is the stop immediately before Braziers stop. Don’t get off there or you could get very lost. Braziers Park is not in Ipsden itself.
Ring the bell as you pass this stop, Braziers stop approximately 30 seconds later at the bottom of hill. If you’re unsure, ask the driver. It’s the second "Ipsden Turn" stop. After getting off the bus, follow the lane on the same side of the road (signposted Braziers Park) and it will lead you directly to the main entrance of Braziers five minutes or so away just behind the trees you can see at the end of the lane.
The Braziers Park stop is not listed on timetables. It’s between Woodcote and Wallingford, and is known as "Ipsden Turn" by the bus drivers, but you should also ask for Braziers Park as there are two stops called Ipsden turn. It’s the first one if you are coming from Reading and the second if you are coming from Oxford.
From Reading railway station, leave the station at the main entrance, cross the road opposite, and you will see some bus stands, make your way to bus stop SB. The X39 takes approximately 25 minutes. The X40 turns off for a loop of Woodcote before rejoining the X39 route, so takes five to 10 minutes longer.
The bus drivers are usually very friendly and helpful. If you ask them to, they will try to let you know when they are approaching Braziers’ stop. If you’re on the X39, you will see a sign for Woodcote approximately three minutes before reaching the Braziers stop, you will pass a parking layby on the left with an airfield sign, ring the bell. The X40 will take the Woodcote turn and spend five to 10 minutes travelling to Woodcote and back, so when you reach the main road again and turn left, you’ll be three minutes from the Braziers stop and can ring the bell.
When you get off the bus, cross the main road and walk down the country lane immediately opposite the bus stop. This will lead you directly to Braziers’ main entrance. The main road can be very busy and the traffic very fast. The speed can be deceiving, so take extra care before crossing. There have been several accidents crossing this road. If it is dark, you will need a torch to alert traffic in the narrow lane to your presence.
Visitors travelling by train are advised to go to Reading central railway station and then catch the X39 or X40 bus to Braziers Park, as these buses run from just outside the station. Goring and Streatley Station is around 40 to 60 minutes walk with steep hills, no buses, occasionally taxis.
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