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Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in the United Kingdom.
At Lower Shaw Farm, you will try to do all things well. Lower Shaw Farm likes to work and play, make discoveries, and make friends, be serious but also have fun. You will get wholesome food and enjoy the good talk or music-making and storytelling around the fire in the yard, by the wood stove, or in the Circle Garden. You will reckon that today’s stranger is tomorrow’s friend and that life is for learning at Lower Shaw Farm.
You will be accommodated at Lower Shaw Farm. Once home to 70 black and white cows, the farm is now a three-acre oasis in an area of suburban development. It is run as a co-operative by residents Andrea, Matt, and a phenomenal team of helpers from near and far. The main farmhouse has bedrooms for visitors, the kitchen, a dining room for small groups, and the Hayloft, the lovely yoga studio.
The outbuildings have been converted to more accommodation, meeting rooms, and workshops, and there is a beautiful turf-roofed rustic sauna. With its large vegetable, herb, and flower gardens, its shrubs and trees, its puddles and ponds, hens and ducks, black and white sheep, friendly pigs, vintage red tractor, and unspoiled areas for play and exploration, the farm has developed an atmosphere and character of its own. Its outer ramshackle appearance masks an inner order and warmth. It’s sort of wild, welcoming, and very nice.
Yoga works not only on the body but also calms and sharpens the mind and leads to all-around alertness. Iyengar yoga will be taught in a way that is suited to beginners and more experienced practitioners. The classes will focus on postures to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. The weekend will also include sessions on giving and receiving a relaxing and toning massage, covering different areas of the body.
On Saturday, there will be an early morning pranayama (breath control) class, then following breakfast, a two-hour asana (postures) class, and a massage class. After lunch, there will be options to relax at the farm, use the rustic sauna, or go on a led walk in the local countryside. In the late afternoon, there is a restorative asana session and a massage class.
In the evening, there will be either a guided meditation, foot baths, or time to relax around the campfire. On Sunday, the program will be the same as Saturday’s. On Monday, there will be early morning pranayama class and a last asana yoga session. Departures will take place during the afternoon, from about 3 p.m.
Mary Mcinerney is a yoga instructor.
Mary Maguire teaches intuitive massage.
Lower Shaw Farm is located in Swindon, England, UK. The farm is a three-acre oasis in an area of suburban development. It has developed an atmosphere and characteristic of its own with its large vegetable, herb, flower gardens, shrubs and trees, puddles and ponds, hens and ducks, black and white sheep, friendly pigs, vintage red tractor, and unspoiled areas for play and exploration.
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Three daily vegetarian meals will be served. The meals are prepared using homegrown, local and mostly organic food. If you have any special dietary requirements, the meals can be catered upon your request. Please send the inquiry to Lower Shaw Farm.
Enquiries always welcome from individuals wishing to experience life down on this farm and meet other people. Short stays or long stays arranged by mutual agreement. Also, working weekends held about once a month.
Guided exploratory walks around the farm and gardens to discover the animal and plant life, with a chance to feed the animals, take part in seasonal farm activities, and play in the big barn.
A registered charity which runs activities and courses at the farm for local children and their families. These include activity days in the school holidays, healthy cookery classes, etc. Donations to the project are always gratefully received, and are used to put on events, and improve facilities.
An opportunity to team-build in an unusual setting. Juggling, drumming, story-walks, earth oven baking, big barn swinging, and communal cooking are just a few of the bonding activities on offer.
On this retreat, you will enjoy sessions on a relaxing and toning massage that cover different areas of the body. You can also use the rustic sauna and enjoy the foot baths.
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). For more information regarding arrival from the airport, please kindly send Lower Shaw Farm an inquiry.
There are two buses that run from Fleming Way to Shaw. Bus no. 19 leaves from stop E. Ask for the stop just before Brook Field School. The journey takes about 20 minutes. Walk in the same direction as the bus, and at the pelican crossing, take the tarmac path on the left. At the end of the path, turn right and after a few yards, you will find the farm entrance.
Bus no. 1 or 1A to Ramleaze also runs from stand G in Fleming Way. Ask for the Village Inn. Walk between the church and shops, then crossing a side road, look for the leafy footpath that runs alongside some sheltered housing (on the left), into Old Shaw Lane. Turn right and in a few yards, you will see Lower Shaw Farm’s entrance.
Swindon is easy to reach by train. From London, use London Paddington Station or Victoria Coach Station. It may be possible to get much cheaper train tickets in you to book well in advance. Then, you can get to Lower Shaw Farm by bus or taxi.
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