3 Days Live Like a Monk Bhakti Yoga Holiday in County Fermanagh, Ireland

Yoga Retreat Northern Ireland

Grab this opportunity to enjoy some time to reconnect with yourself and nature. On this weekend retreat, you will learn about Japa meditation, take meditative walk along forest track, and practice yoga and Tai Chi. Held on the peaceful shores of Upper Lough Erne, this retreat is led by experienced instructors. You will return home feeling refreshed.

Meet the instructors

Tim & Frances
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Highlights

  • Hatha yoga session
  • Rejuvenating Tai Chi session
  • Introduction to Japa meditation
  • Walking meditation along the forest track
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and complimentary herbal tea
  • Take part in early morning temple visit
  • 2 nights accommodation

Yoga styles


3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Yoga studio
  • Free parking
  • Library

The retreat center has private single rooms, twin rooms, and triple rooms. You can either book a room privately for yourself, share a private room with a friend or two, or share a room with others on the same retreat.

Single rooms available on all retreats. Also, on some retreats accommodation may be shared with other attendees. If you're not used to this, don't worry! This is part of the retreat experience and helps to create a large family atmosphere.

Also, you won't be spending so much time in your room anyhow - the retreat is so packed with events, exotic experiences and friendly interactions, that you hit the pillow tired at night, and then the next morning you jump out of bed and are out walking or jogging through the countryside by the shores of Upper Lough Erne, hearing the morning chorus of the birds.

Program

Friday

  • It is recommended that you arrive early and book an optional therapy available at the retreat center
  • 18:15 Dinner
  • 19:00 Tai Chi with Frances, followed by meditation with Tim. There will be an introduction to Japa meditation. Japa is the soft personal chanting of mantra, generally using wooden chanting beads. It is a daily practicee of monks. This meditation assists oneself with mindfulness practice, focusing and paying attention to the holy sound brings a sense of peace and contentment.
  • 21:00 It is recommended that you go to bed early

Saturday

  • 05:30 Wake up bell
  • 06:00 Japa yoga meditation using sacred wooden mantra beads
  • 06:35 Leave for ferry trip to island and visit temple using the temple's ferry boat. The crossing takes four minutes
  • 07:00 "Greeting of the Deities" in temple (some spiritual music arranged by the famous musician George Harrison is played during a short meditation, followed by sacred chant music)
  • 07:30 Temple morning lecture based on ancient Vedic texts
  • 08:20 Meditation walk with japa beads around the forest track on the island
  • 09:45 Breakfast, followed by a rest period back at the retreat house
  • 12:00 Practical work, like working on the land weeding and helping in the production of organic vegetable (one hour 30 minutes)
  • 13:45 Lunch
  • 14:45 Depart for the Killeshandra forest park walk. Thirty minutes of this one hour 15 minutes walk will be dedicated to Japa walking meditation
  • 17:15 Arrive back at retreat center
  • 18:00 Return from the walks, relax, chat, massages, etc. Dinner available from 6:45 p.m.

Sunday

  • Early morning: time to reflect, read, explore outdoors, meditate or chant on beads - as you wish
  • 08:30 Hatha yoga - yoga exercises for health and well-being. Suitable for beginners.
  • 09:50 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Meditative visualization with Tim
  • 12:10 Cross to island for temple sacred chant music and just to relax on the island. This is the normal day-visiting time for visitors in any week
  • 13:00 Optional talk on the Vedic philosophy of ancient India. You may also use this time, or part of this time to explore around the 22-acre wooded island
  • 14:00 The Sunday feast in the temple
  • 15:00 Return back to mainland and departure

Instructors

Tim McEvitt
Tim left his home at Dublin when he was 18 years old to become a Krishna monk, which was initially a bit of a shock to his family but now everyone is happy. He trained at Bhaktivedanta Manor temple near London and then lived in the temple on Inish Rath Island for eight years. While in the temple, he studied Vedic philosophy from the ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavat Purana, plus he learned kirtan-yoga and sacred chant music.
Frances McHugh
Frances McHugh is an expert Tai Chi teacher. She graduated from the Irish College of Traditional Chinese medicine in 1996, has a postgraduate training from the Nanjing Railway Hospital, and she also graduated in medical Qi-gong in 2009. Frances gives classes in therapeutic exercise and relaxation through Tai Chi. Her classes are suitable for practically anyone. She designed a way to do the exercises while sitting after an injury she had herself, although typically Tai Chi is meditation performed while walking and standing.

Retreat location

Discover one of the most ideal spiritual retreats in Ireland with Lake Isle Retreats. The retreat center, Mandala House, is situated on the shores of Upper Lough Erne, 400 meters across the water from Inish Rath Island. The lakeland area is a peaceful sanctuary where you can enrich your body, mind, and soul. Deer and other wildlife wander freely in the peaceful lakeside atmosphere.

The venue is situated in Fermanagh, one hour 45-minute drive from the start of the M3 motorway in Dublin, or the same drive-time from the start of the M1 in Belfast. For spiritual, holistic, and meditation retreats in Ireland, perhaps there is no more fitting and beautiful location as L. Erne, with its 154 islands - five of which were historically the sites of monastic communities from the 6th century.

On nearby Inis Rath, there is a beautiful Krishna temple, and at the retreat and accommodation facility on the adjacent mainland you will be offered a very warm welcome.

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

All food is vegetarian and extremely tasty, cooked with love by vegan chef Carmen Padilla Quiel. Meals are prepared fresh on the day. Vegans can note that most meals are vegan-friendly.

The food is a combination of Indian vegetarian (e.g. samosas, curries, basmati rice, etc.) and "Western" vegetarian (e.g. pizza, salads, pasta, soups, etc). In case you're not so familiar with the cuisine of India and you think "spicy" means hot with chilies, you can look forward to many nice experiences on your retreat.

Remember, when Europeans first started going to India about 500 years ago, one of the prime motivations was to trade in spices. Some probably picked up a few cooking tips as well - maybe they were getting bored with meat and bread.

In case you're a yogi, Vaishnava or someone familiar with a "sattvic" diet, Lake Isle Retreats doesn't use the following ingredients: onions, garlic, mushrooms, vinegar, and alcohol. In Ayurveda, these ingredients may be prescribed for medicinal or other uses, but are not generally consumed by Hatha or Bhakti yogis. If that sounds "restrictive," then you might find you have a lot to learn about non-European cookery!

The venue doen't allow the eating of non-vegetarian foods, defined according to the Vaishnava tradition from India as no meat, fish or eggs.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Yogic
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)

Optional therapies

Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic health system, recommends massage and therapies as a being beneficial to one's health - even for monks! So various options are available by appointment. To enhance your holiday experience, you can book the following therapies at additional cost of 35 EUR for 50 minutes.

  • Aromatherapy full-body massage
  • Indian head massage
  • Reiki energy healing
  • Reflexology (healing and massage of the feet)
  • Head, neck and shoulders massage
  • Aromatouch
  • Sound therapy

Other activities

Mandala House does not have TV; remember the old days when people sat beside the open wood-fire and told stories? Well, welcome back to the good old days. Mind you, Lake Isle Retreats often shows an interesting documentary related to spirituality on Saturday evening. The schedule on retreats is generally quite jam-packed with activities and classes. However, if you skip something here is what you may be doing otherwise:

Your time on the retreat is meant for you to re-experience the simple things in life. Remember when houses only had one TV and you did more reading? You can chat, read, or go for moon-light walks in the evening. You are welcome to go outside any time of the day or night and hear and experience nature in the woodlands by the lake.

What's included

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and complimentary herbal teas every day
  • All classes and workshops

What's not included

  • Optional therapies

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Belfast

  • Coming from the Belfast and the East, take the M1 which leads onto the A4 in the direction of Enniskillen. Twelve miles before reaching Enniskillen, look for the left turn taking you to Lisnaskea.
  • At Lisnaskea there is a primary roundabout beside Lidl Supermarket. Go onto main street here by taking second exit and drive down the road. After one minute you come to smaller mini-roundabout (a painted circle) on main street and take the right turn taking you towards Derrylin on the B127 road, which you follow for five miles.
  • You cross over a first and then a second bridge over the lake (both bridges are approximately 100 meters long).
  • Take next turn left and follow signs to Inish Rath from here. Continue on gravel road towards Inish Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from Dublin

  • From Dublin, or the South, take the M3 from Blanchardstown in the direction of Cavan.
  • As you approach Cavan Town, take the third exit at the main roundabout following the signs for Enniskillen and Ballyshannon. Follow this road and after 14 minutes, you arrive at the Belturbet Roundabout (do not take the earlier turn-off for Belturbet town)
  • Continue on straight taking the second exit here towards Enniskillen (you're continuing on the same N3 (M3) road which began in Dublin). Continue on for eight kilometers. Take a right turn at Teemore Cross.
  • The sign says: Lisnaskea 9 - you are now in County Fermanagh and road-signs are in miles. Follow this road for two miles going in the direction of Geaglum Quay and Inish Rath Island. Continue on this road to its conclusion, following the signs to Inish Rath Island. (just before you come to Geaglum jetty there's an Inish Rath 1/4 mile sign).
  • Continue on gravel road towards Inish Rath for 400 meters until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from the North

  • Coming from the North (Derry, Donegal, Omagh) aim for Enniskillen. The road approaching Enniskillen is the A32.
  • In Enniskillen, aim for Dublin on the Sligo Road (A4). A mile out of town center, take first exit or go left at roundabout following signs for Dublin.
  • Ten miles South of Enniskillen you come to Derrylin. On the other side of this one-street village take a left onto the B127 towards Lisnaskea. After three miles look for the Inish Rath Island signs from here. The first sign will have you make a right turn off the B127. *Continue on gravel road towards Inish Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from the West

  • Coming from the West (Sligo), aim for Enniskillen. Before entering the town take a right (or second exit) at the roundabout and aim for Dublin on the A509 (N3).
  • Ten miles South of Enniskillen you come to Derrylin. On the other side of this one-street village take a left onto the B127 towards Lisnaskea.
  • After three miles, look for the Inish Rath Island signs from here. The first sign will have you make a right turn off the B127. Continue on gravel road towards Inish Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Arrival by airplane

Fly into either Dublin, Belfast, and Derry. Each of these cities is a similar distance by road from Inis Rath Island and Mandala House. If you are not hiring a car then Dublin may be the most convenient airport destination.

Nine times a day a Bus Eireann coach (the national operator) goes through the airport and brings passengers to Belturbet (the small town closest to the venue in the Republic of Ireland). Ground staff at the airport will assist you to find the location of the bus stop, which is a very short walk from the main exit of the airport building (specifically you want Zone 10, Stop 2, Route 30).

You're looking for the bus with "Donegal" as its end destination. Tickets are 26 EUR return. The coach at about 1:50 p.m. is the time most convenient for you for arriving for the retreats, in general.

Aerlingus and Ryanair operate into Dublin. Easyjet and British Airways operate into Belfast. Note: in Belfast there are two airports, Belfast City and Belfast International. If you fly into Belfast, you'll need to get into the city center to take a coach from Belfast Europa coach station.

Arrival by boat / ferry

From Great Britain, especially if you live in the vicinity of a ferry port on the Irish Sea, travelling by rail (or coach) and ferry is a fine alternative to travel by air. For example, visitors from Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Wales, and the English midlands can access Holyhead in North Wales by rail or coach. Once you arrive at Dublin city center, you're on a coach from the central coach station (Busarus) to get to Mandala House.

Arrival by bus

Large towns close to Inish Rath Island are Enniskillen and Cavan Town. Enniskillen and Cavan are 25 kilometers away, but you can get closer to the retreat center with the national coach services of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

From Dublin take the Donegal line from the main (and only) coach station in Dublin city center (Busárus). Ask for a ticket to Belturbet. The journey takes about two hours and 20 minutes. From Belturbet, you need a taxi. A taxi from Cavan will cost approx 35 EUR and a taxi from Enniskillen will cost approximately 30 GBP.

From Belfast, there are buses every hour from Belfast to Enniskillen. You get off at Maguiresbridge, about 12 miles before Enniskillen. Then, take a taxi.

Arrival by taxi

Via Rep of Ireland: Benny Corby, with his family and friends, are the cheerful local taxi service. If you arrive on the Bus Eireann coach at Belturbet, the car journey to Lake Isle Retreats, Mandala House near Inish Rath Island costs 15 EUR. It is suggested that you phone that morning to make a provisional booking. Almost two hours after leaving Dublin, the coach stops in Cavan town for a five to 10-minute break. From the moment this bus departs again, you should phone Benny and tell him where you are. He will then know you will be arriving in Belturbet 15 minutes later.

Via Northern Ireland: If you arrive on a coach from Belfast, get a taxi to take you from Maguiresbridge to Mandala House near Inish Rath Island. The journey will cost about 11 GBP.

GPS

  • N 54° 11.482' - W 007° 29.409'

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Sunday March 24, 2019
(3 days / 2 nights)

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