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3 Days Weekend Unwind and Receive Yoga Retreat in Devon, UK

Bala Brook, South Brent, Dartmoor National Park, Dartmoor, South Hams, South Devon, Devon, South West England, England, UK

Nurturing Yoga Retreat in UK

Do you need life to feel more easeful? Can you forgive yourself and accept things when they don't go well? Do you find yourself always rushing and yet still feel you can't meet deadlines and required standards? Would you like a more healthy relationship with food?

If you would like to come to a place of deep rest and to receive profound transformation, then join me, Michelle Levi, for a weekend of yoga and related practices that focus on finding ways to be more kind, nurturing and compassionate to ourselves. As we take time away from our usual stressors we can bring some fresh awareness to our habitual ways of thinking and consciously encourage a more generous attitude towards ourselves and others.

Meet the instructors

Michelle
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Highlights

  • Hatha and Nidra yoga sessions
  • Meditation and pranayama sessions
  • Evening session with songs and bedtime treats
  • 2 nights’ accommodation
  • Forgiveness ceremony
  • Mindfulness of eating
  • Guided reflections

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


2 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 15
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
16:30
Check-out Time:
14:00

Bala Brook is set in the most stunning riverside location right on the edge of Dartmoor, South Devon. There are endless beautiful walks directly from the venue and places to swim the sparkling brook. The purpose-built yoga studio is bright and airy with underfloor heating. The accommodation ranges from single en-suite rooms to shared rooms with shared bathrooms, hence there is a variety of prices to suit all.

Program

The yoga will be suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners. Michelle has over 15 years of experience in teaching a range of abilities. In this retreat, you will participate in various activities such as Hatha yoga, meditation, pranayama, guided reflections, bhajans - singing from the heart, mindfulness of eating - for improved digestion, yoga Nidra - transformative inner journeying, and forgiveness ceremony - consciously let go and lighten your load.

All in all, the schedule, the venue and location, and the generous care from the team will ensure that you are safely held in a nurturing environment, making way for deep relaxation, for growth, and for healing. In the evenings, you will enjoy the chance to sing together. With no need for musical ability, singing is a gentle form of exercise, it works the lungs and heart, oxygenates the blood, and generates endorphins - happy hormones!

Asana

‘Asana’ translates as ‘comfortable seat’ so the intention when teaching asana is to help you find your comfort within each pose so that you may rest there with steadiness.

Always primary in the asana class is a constant connection to the breath to calm the body and nervous system and to connect with the spiritual dimension. Awareness of grounding is encouraged to maintain a body that is stable and free and a mind that is calm and equanimous.

Asana is a wonderful tool for coaxing out the meditation mind into your daily life since, in asana, you apply focus and equanimity whilst moving and not just in sitting still.

Most important is the inner state you cultivate when practicing; there is no interest in imposing or achieving shapes with the body, rather the interest is in finding a way to be inside your body that is peaceful and connected. This ultimately leads you to a greater mindfulness in your daily life and the ability to be present with the here and now no matter how challenging. When you are present with what is, you feel and process emotions as they arise so they have no chance to get stuck unresolved within you.

Pranayama

Pranayama can be translated as the expansion and increase of your vital life force. You absorb prana (life force) most directly through the breath and through your food.

In the pranayama exercises of Hatha yoga, you manipulate the breath - breathing into different areas of the body, using specific rhythms and movements. You learn to hold the breath into energies your system and to increase your capacity to store prana; you hold the breath out to direct the energy in the subtle body with the ultimate aim of purifying both body and mind.

The rhythmic breathing exercises of the Hatha yoga tradition are strong practices which bring profound benefits: they purify the body and the nadis (the energy channels) releasing blockages and stress and helping you feel a greater sense of balance and clarity. Pranayama is an important step on the path of yoga as it helps the individual connect with the universal energy that is all around you and flowing through you.

Holistic Yoga Retreats recognize the power of these practices and thus they introduce them in a safe and simple manner respecting each person’s individuality.

On the retreat, guidance is also offered on how and what to eat with a view to increasing and maintaining a healthy level of prana (vital life force). As well as looking at the actual choice of food, importance is placed on the freshness of the food and on how and where it was produced. You will receive advice on how to eat for maximum absorption of nutrients and of prana and also on how to know when to stop eating - The secret of the yogic burp.

Meditation

For some people, the idea of meditation can engender feelings of insecurity and resistance as they compare themselves to an image of a monk sitting serenely in full lotus posture and they imagine him to be resting blissfully with a completely silent mind. However, what people often don’t realize is that the monk has not necessarily succeeded in banishing all thoughts from his mind; rather, he has learned to sit in peace together with the restless wandering monkey mind.

An approach effective in today’s busy life (which creates a generally busy mind) is not to aim to silence the mind but instead to learn to witness it. At Holistic Yoga Retreats, you will be offered a way into meditation that is accessible to all. It is a form of meditation that encourages awareness of what is present with absolutely no judgment: an inclusive awareness that is allowing and compassionate. The more you increase your acceptance of what is present, the more resistance decreases, resulting in greater inner peace and joy.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a guided journey of self-healing, visualization, and deep relaxation. After some preliminary stretching and breath work, participants lie on their back in the yogic relaxation posture shavasana and journey into the twilight zone between the waking and sleeping states. During the various stages of the practice, participants are guided deeper and deeper into the Yoga Nidra trance, where healing and the experience of high states of consciousness occur effortlessly.

Yoga Nidra is an excellent way to develop pratyahara, the practice of turning the senses inward as a foundation for deeper meditative states. The various stages of Yoga Nidra purify the subconscious mind, open the third eye chakra, cultivate the witness state, and aid in the smooth flow of prana (vital energy) around the body and into parts of the being that may have become cut off from it.

Silence (Mauna)

At Holistic Yoga Retreats, periods of silence are included within the schedule in order to enhance the other practices that you do and to support the process of going deeper within yourself. This use of silence on yoga and meditation retreats is very common and traditionally includes refraining from writing, reading, and making eye contact as well. In the retreat, these periods are relatively short, typically from bedtime until mid-morning the following day.

Although this is something that - at least at first - some people can find a little unusual, uncomfortable, or challenging, by the end of the retreat it is always the case that people have come to value and appreciate the contribution that these periods of silence have made to their experience of being on retreat.

Mindfulness of Eating

For some, eating may come to be seen as something that gets in the way of yoga and meditation practice, but in fact, the act of eating itself can be done in such a way that it is as much a meditation as sitting motionless in the lotus position. For those who find it hard to fit in enough sitting practice, the three or so meals a day provide the perfect opportunity to train the awareness, reconnect with the body and to realign oneself with an intention of loving-kindness.

In an age characterized by a bewildering mass of contradictory information about what we should and should not be eating, endeavouring to be more present as we eat might be our best chance of tuning into our body's wisdom and guidance about what is right for us, at this time, for our own particular body. Side benefits of this highly engaging practice include improved health and clearer awareness of the body's needs in general.

Schedule

  • 08:00 - 09:30 Yoga and pranayama
  • 09:30 Mindfulness of eating and breakfast
  • 11:30 - 12:30 Guided reflection
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Group walk/meditation
  • 17:15 - 18:00 Yoga Nidra
  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 20:00 - 21:00 Evening session with songs and bedtime treats

Instructors

Michelle Levi

Retreat location

This retreat will take place at Bala Brook, Dartmoor, England. The venue is a perfect place for contemplation. Used solely for retreats, it offers plenty of space and beautiful open nature to inspire and hold you.

Food

The food served will be delicious, nutritious, and especially suitable for practitioners of yoga and meditation. It will be mostly organic and people on vegan and gluten-free diets are most welcome!

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Tea

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

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

Spa treatments

Massage is available with a sensitive, experienced, and highly trained masseuse (additional cost).

What's included

  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • 3 meals daily

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bristol Airport (BRS).

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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