Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in Ireland.
Macalla Farm invites you to kick-start your yogic journey with them in this retreat. True to its theme, you will learn to develop your own yoga practice during your stay. Fill your days with meditation and yoga practice, and your senses will be reactivated. Delight your palate with tasty vegetarian meals. A cozy accommodation will be provided. Come and establish your yoga practice at your own pace!
You will be staying in twin room accommodation at Macalla Farm, Clare Island, Ireland. The accommodation is comfortable and relaxing with beautiful views of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick. Two buildings make up the accommodation, one is an ecologically renovated cottage built at the turn of the last century, and one is a renovated outbuilding known as the extension.
The cottages are a mile and a half from the harbor, the main beach, and pub, and two miles from the shop.
Developing a practice is a week-long exploration of Sati yoga, with a special focus on helping students develop their own practice. Integrating mindfulness (Sati in the ancient language of Pali of the Buddha) to the practice of Hatha yoga allows you to slow down, deepen your experience, and increase your understanding of yoga.
The practice of Sati yoga enables you to find a balance between the physical and mental practices of postural yoga and meditation, as well as allowing for the transformational possibilities of the practice to enter your everyday lives.
This unique course combines traditional teaching methods alongside innovative and interactive approaches, creating a supportive environment in which students can build their own practice for the first time or rekindle a practice which has been left aside.
Macalla Farm will be teaching what they feel are fundamental elements to a balanced practice, including sun salutations, asanas (postures), pranayama (yogic breathing), and meditation techniques, as well as the relevance of the yamas and niyamas (yogic ethics). Each course will also be highly individualized according to the experience and interests of the students.
There will be opportunities within the formal classes to self-practice, as well as short sessions between classes when they encourage students to experience being alone with their own practice in the yoga room. The course is designed to be very interactive, with feedback from students are encouraged.
This retreat is suitable for anyone who enjoys doing yoga and wishes to have a practice they can do outside of attending formal classes. Beginners are welcome, as well as experienced yogis who would like some guidance towards renewing their present practice. To ensure students receive adequate individual attention, numbers on these courses are strictly limited to 12.
This retreat will take place in Clare Island, Ireland. Clare Island lies off the west coast of Ireland at the entrance to Clew Bay. The largest of the off-shore is Mayo islands, it has a varied terrain, spectacular cliffs with large numbers of nesting seabirds, and a rich inland topography of hills, bogs, and small pockets of woodland, making it ideal for hill walking.
The island’s complex history can be read through its landscape, from archaeological remains of the Neolithic and Bronze age, to rare medieval wall-paintings in the 14th century abbey, to the "pirate queen" Grace O’Malley’s (Grainneuaile) castle and burial place.
Everywhere, there are traces of past generations, most significant is the 19th century population explosion and subsequent famine when the island’s population of 1600 was reduced by half. Old potato ridges or "lazy beds" are everywhere, the evening sun reveals them jutting out from the land. The island has been much studied, with the R.L. Praeger’s "The Clare Island Survey" perhaps is the most well known.
The island lies roughly four miles off the nearest mainland point, and the ferry crossing from Roonagh Pier takes approximately 25 minutes. The current permanent population of 150 increases substantially during the summer tourist season.
The island has a number of bed and breakfasts, a hostel with a bar/restaurant, a community center and pub, and one shop which is also the post office. There is a primary school on the island, with 22 students and 2 teachers, but no secondary school.
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Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price. All meals are vegetarian and prepared fresh with locally and organically sourced ingredients. At Macalla Farm, they are interested in all aspects of food, including where it comes from, how it is grown, how it is prepared, and how it is eaten.
Claire and Christophe pay great attention to the quality of ingredients they use, nearly all the produce used are organic or home grown. They are vegetarian and the food on all the courses is strictly vegetarian (with vegan and gluten free options on request). Over the years, as they grow more of their own food, producing, and eating meals that are both delicious and healthy, it has become clear to them that food must not only sustain, but nurture as well.
Through the food they serve on their courses and retreats, as well as their seasonal vegetarian cooking courses and mindful eating retreats, they hope to inspire you to eat with this fuller consciousness. One can then re-discover the satisfaction that comes from connecting with real food, food that has been grown in soil that is rich with vitality, prepared in a kitchen with attention and care, and eaten with awareness.
On your free time, you can go hill walking exploring the local surroundings of Clare Island, reading, relaxing, or having private interviews with the teachers.
Please book your flight to arrive at Dublin Airport (DUB) or Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC). Knock Airport is less than an hour from Westport, and there are relatively good bus connections which facilitate most flights from the UK. For scheduled retreats and courses, Macalla Farm will try to put you in touch with another course participant who can give you a lift from Westport, or if numbers warrant, Macalla Farm will organize a shared minibus.
There are good bus and train connections to Westport. There are direct buses from Dublin Airport to Dublin Heuston train station (called Airlink, route 747, this journey takes about an hour). There are also bus connections from Dublin, Galway, Sligo, and Knock airport. See the Bus Eirean website for more information.
The train from Dublin to Westport leaves from Dublin Heuston station and takes around three hours and a half. To arrive in Westport in time, you will need to take the lunch time train. Irelands train travel website is IrishRail. If you are planning to travel by train, it is usually far cheaper to book your journey online at IrishRail in advance, rather than buying your ticket at the station on the day.
If you need your own taxi, expect to pay around 35 EUR for the run from Westport to Roonagh Pier.
Ferries are great for a slower journey and the costs are about the same, though the stress and environmental impacts are much lower! Ferries to Dublin or Dun Laoghaire (a few miles south of Dublin) can be taken from Holyhead (UK). For those coming from the UK who do not wish to fly, a Sail Rail ticket is a great deal.
There are also ferry services from Scotland to Belfast, from South Wales to Rosslare, and from France to Rosslare or Cork.