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This weekend retreat will provide a refreshing, energizing yet deeply relaxing space through Hatha yoga teaching suitable for all ages and all levels of abilities. It is 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 very experienced 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 (only if 2 of you are booking together), and double room (only if two of you booking or you want to treat yourself to the room for yourself).
The accommodation contains one room for 6, two rooms for 4, 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 men are sharing the room in one of the dorms and women in the other.
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 4 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 4 people in the room for 6, and 3 people in the rooms for 4, 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 3 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 2 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 1 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 will be a weekend of energizing and restorative Hatha yoga and meditation and consists of an inviting and uplifting timetable over the weekend of Hatha yoga classes by very experienced yoga and meditation teacher Marie Quail from Northern Ireland, an introduction to meditation and deepening of your practice, breathing practices and breath awareness, Hatha yoga classes using precise alignment using Iyengar style teaching, Restorative yoga and yoga Nidra, and enjoy meeting like minded people in this relaxed friendly environment.
The yoga practice will be tailored to each person’s needs, and there is no comparison between different people. Marie breaks down the postures into very manageable and understandable steps. It is ideal for beginners, but also with a wealth of information for regular practitioners.
Marie’s own yoga practice began with physical yoga postures and her appreciation for pranayama and meditation took many years to develop. For that reason, Marie teaches physical postures with a lot of care and attention to physical detail of the postures while also bringing in a focus of the breath allowing beginners to focus more on the physical detail, while more experienced practitioners will be able to use the breath to go deeper into the practice.
Some of the postures are quite gentle and encourage you to ‘let go’ of trying too hard physically and to tune inwards to get in touch with how you are feeling right now in this present moment.
Marie’ instructions are detailed and she utilizes demonstrations and observation of teaching tips into her classes and also teaches Vinyasa (movement of postures coordinated with the breath) when she feels it is appropriate.
The yoga practice will be gently invigorating and energizing, sometimes working with Vinyasa-style flows, and sometimes slowing down to work with alignment and feeling into your experience.
Drawing on her own experience, from Iyengar, the Bihar school of yoga and yoga therapy traditions she offers classes that focus on alignment, personal inquiry, releasing and opening to what is there. Each of Marie’s classes is well balanced, and there is a good variety of all forms of postures both gentle and invigorating.
On this yoga retreat, you will have a guided outing on Saturday which will consist of either a hill climb or a walk by the sea followed by lunch at one of the local restaurants or cafes which is a great way to sample the best of the locale cuisine in the Burren.
Some of the classes are restorative and involve some gentle releasing postures. You will also practice supported restorative postures that facilitate deep, yet gentle release, and renewal on many levels. These restorative yoga classes are great for ‘letting go’, and bring a deeply relaxed and nourishing feeling to all levels of your being.
Marie also teaches yoga Nidra which is an ancient practice which guides you into a very deep state of relaxation and the whole process is very powerful for relaxation and transformation on all levels. Marie ensures that each person finds a comfortable sitting posture, and uses various props to help find more comfort and ease with the practice.
The meditation is introduced in a very easy way for complete beginners, and through practicing twice each day, each participant becomes more comfortable with the practice so that they can continue at home after the retreat.
On this weekend Marie will also teach ‘breath focussed awareness’ meditation, and her teaching will be suitable for complete beginners as well as regular practitioners. If you have never practiced before, by the end of the weekend you will have a range of different practices that you can take home with you in order to continue with your own daily practice no matter be it 10 minutes each day.
Karma yoga is a way to carry out a task and watch oneself in the process. One tries not identify with the ego, and try not to be attached to the fruits of one’s work, but one carries out the task to the best of one’s ability. This is an opportunity to get to know oneself. It is also an opportunity to put in your own good energies to help others without looking for a reward. Karma yoga teaches you to let go of the ego and a closer understanding or insight into your internal world.
In yoga ashrams and yoga centers, out of practical necessity, Karma yoga is used for the smooth running of the center in a shared way. All tasks possible from growing and preparing the food, building, cleaning, maintenance, and D.I.Y. are carried out by the course participants and ashram residents itself, bringing not only an appreciation for the basics of life but also challenging the ego.
Recognizing that this is also your yoga holiday, in the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre, this important yoga component has been incorporated in a light practical way which ensures all who come to experience the Karma yoga concept and at the same time giving benefits to the center is a very practical way which is good for all on the course.
During this course, you will be taking a turn to tidy away the tables and counters in the kitchen, load the dishwasher, wash and dry any dishes that do not fit into the washer, clean the kitchen, sweep the floors and set the table for meals. Please be aware that you will be expected to take part in Karma yoga as part of the yoga course, but also note it usually takes no more than an hour over the course of a weekend.
If you don’t feel you could participate in this activity then perhaps this course is not for you. Karma yoga is a wonderful way where course participants contribute to the well-being of the others in the group and also the smooth running of the center.
On Saturday 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.
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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The food at Burren Yoga and Meditation 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 to 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.
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 Burren Yoga knows about any special diets when you fill in your booking form.
During the guided outings, Dave will bring you to one of the local restaurants or cafes for lunch. Dave knows all the best places in the area and the restaurant owners look after you very well, giving you the best table and making sure you are well looked after.
Although all the food prepared within the center is vegetarian you are welcome to try whatever catches your fancy on the menus of these excellent places to eat. The places you go include the Ballyvaughan tea rooms where Stephen Spielberg flew in especially for the cheesecake, Linnane’s seafood restaurant, and much more.
There is real tea and real coffee at the yoga center and a huge range of herbal teas. The water comes from Burren Yoga's own well which is 160-foot deep into the Burren rock and comes out crystal clear with many natural elements which are very good for you. All the water is filtered and you are welcome to bring your own bottle to top up during your stay. You are also welcome to help yourself to tea or coffee in the kitchen at any time during your stay.
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 6 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 5 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.