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Enjoy a weekend that will make you feel totally relaxed on your physical and mental levels. The themes of this retreat are meditation, Yin yoga, Hatha yoga, and some Vinyasa yoga. A perfect mix for everybody that needs some winter boost. After this weekend, you will feel calmer, more relaxed, more energized, more flexible, and probably you will sleep better. You’ll be totally prepared for Christmas madness!
La Ferme du Bois-le-Comte (the farm of the count’s forest) is a century-old farm that was transformed into a wonderful house for guests and a residential center for groups. The farm enjoys a superb position in the midst of nature at one of Belgium’s most beautiful, quiet, and energetically powerful sites. The center offers peace, space, warmth, and lots of pure, unspoiled nature, fresh and unpolluted air, clear spring water, fragrant wood fire, marvelous star-spangled skies and heavenly silence.
The guest rooms were built using wood and other warm, natural materials and colors. All rooms are individually decorated, while the authentic character of the house has been respected. This is the part of the center where you can still feel much of the soul of the old house. The rest is new, ecological, light, and beautiful including the work spaces and bedrooms for the groups, as well as the kitchen and the dining room.
The dining room, lounge, and bar on the ground floor was extended and fully renovated in 2006. It now offers enough space to host guests, groups, and workers comfortably. This new room has lots of natural light coming from large window and doors on the inner courtyard.
There is a sitting area with a wooden floor around the pellet stove and a piano with, according to experts, a marvelous sound. There is always herbal tea, grain coffee, and water from the center's own spring for you. You can also enjoy a frothy Orval beer or try one of the special organic beers and wines.
The sheltered position of the courtyard and the famous micro-climate of the region often make it possible to eat outside from early spring onwards. Eating under the parasols and with views of the green hills is great. The grounds cover ten hectares, gently sloping hills with old oak trees, and full of nice corners to read, lie in the sun, or meditate. The tree hut is one of the favorite spots. The horses have lots of space and you will love to see them gallop over the hill crest.
The newest room, as beautiful and light as the temple room but a little smaller. It measures 10 x 8 meters, south-oriented deck of 7.5 x 6 meters, and has white wood floor. Suitable for dance, yoga and other movement activities, and more.
The smallest room, it measures 6 x 6 meters and has white wood floor and south east and south west oriented windows. It sits on the ground floor.
The largest room, it measures 12.5 by 9.5 meters, south-west oriented deck of 14 x 8 meters, and has white wood sprung floor. Suitable for dance, yoga and other movement activities, and more.
In Hatha yoga, you will get into asanas in a mindful way. You will challenge yourself, but learn to respect your limitations in each and every moment. You will learn how to connect with the sun salutations in the morning and learn how to be more conscious about your mind and breath in your asana (pose).
During pranayama techniques, you will learn to experience the importance of breath in your yoga practice and daily life routine. You will use the breath as a bridge between body and mind to achieve a higher form of consciousness. This raises the content of oxygen, which results in both physical and emotional benefits.
In Vinyasa yoga, you are more active by creating a flow of movement and breath. You will make your body strong and flexible and practice a wide array of asana (poses) by synchronizing movements with breath to feel every inch of your body.
In Yin yoga, passive poses are kept for a longer time. This involves attention, concentration, and patience. These classes are rather slow but deep and ask you to look carefully at your own limits. You will create space and length and allow the deeper tissues of your being to relax.
In yoga Nidra, you will be lying motionless in shavasana. The teacher will guide you trough a deep relaxation for body and mind. It’s a powerful technique in which you can learn to relax consciously.
You are not obligated to participate in every class. All levels of practitioners are welcome. If you have never tried yoga before, don’t worry, you will be guided trough it!
Sarah Jabloune is a smiling and enthusiastic person with the gift of helping people finding their balance through yoga teaching and mind coaching. Sarah is a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher from the Yoga Life foundation. She teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Nidra yoga on a regular basis in her home country, Belgium.
Alexander has practiced a variety of yoga styles like Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Anusara, and Vinyasa yoga. He made the choice for this broad range of styles consciously, first to go broad then to dive into depth. It was in this sequence that he wished to explore the world of yoga. The love this teacher now has for Vinyasa yoga is there for a reason. This style embodies everything that resonated with him along his path.
La Ferme du Bois-le-Comte is located in the southeast of Belgium. The farm borders France and is surrounded by pastures and broad-leaved forests. The most southern part of this region is known as the Belgian Provence because of its mild climate, gentle landscape, and warm atmosphere.
A diversity of plants and flowers that are rare in the rest of Belgium grow here, thanks to the exceptionally genial micro-climate. And lots of animals live in the woods surrounding the farm. With a little patience, you may meet deer, squirrels, foxen, badgers, wild boars, owls, herons, or buzzards.
Bois-le-Comte is situated at two kilometers from the village, at the end of a metal road and is surrounded by kilometers of unspoilt nature. As soon as you go outside, you are in the woods and you can roam around for hours without meeting anyone. The scenery is stunning, a paradise for lovers of nature.
You will be served three healthy biological vegetarian meals daily. La Ferme du Bois-le-Comte's kitchen follows the rhythm of the seasons. Many vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, berries, and mushrooms come from their own organic garden and they prefer to use fresh and regional products.
All ingredients used in the meals have the Biogarantie label, which means that they are certified organic. This makes la Ferme du Bois-le-Comte the first (and so far the only) Belgian residence offering meals of 100% organic quality. The meals themselves are basically vegan, no animal products are used in them. Butter, milk, and yoghurt are available at breakfast for those who want.
Chameleux, hamlet in a beautiful valley with a gallo-roman site, and Williers, on top of the hill, are charming old French border villages with wonderful panoramic views. You can have a drink under the chestnut trees at the square Chez Odette. Chameleux is at walking distance from Bois-le-Comte. A very nice walk on the borderline, through the woods, and along a small river.
Chassepierre is a very nice, charming village along the Semois and is surrounded by fields, pastures, and woods. A famous international open air street arts festival takes place here in August.
Stunning view of the Semois in the village of Chiny. You will follow the direction of Léglise or Neufchâteau and cross the Semois, the place is indicated.
Florenville, the church tower, offers the most magnificent view of the entire Semois valley. If the tower is closed, enjoy the panorama from the benches near the church.
Herbeumont features stunning panoramic views from the ruins of a 12th century castle on a woody hill. From here, you can see Le Tombeau du Chevalier (the knight's tomb).
Le Gros Cron in Lahage, near Meix-devant-Virton, is a lovely scenic area where traces of a Celtic settlement from the first century before Jesus were found. Much later hermits lived in the cavity at the foot of the rock.
Le Trou des Fées in Croix-Rouge, near Etalle, is a hill full of small caves where fairies are believed to live.
Muno in La Roche à l'Appel is an important European geological center in the middle of a nature reserve. It features marvellous mapped walks and paths to Muno-Sainte-Cécile for walkers, bikers, and riders. It also has many walks in the direction of France.
The Saint Walfroy Mountain in Margut has beautiful views of the region from the holy mountain and was dedicated to the goddess Arduina, the goddess of nature and fertility. This goddess was driven away by Walfroy, disciple of Saint Martin, who destroyed the statue of Arduina and built a church instead, which became a place of pilgrimage. The present abbey is still called the Ermitage de Saint Walfroy.
A major place of pilgrimage along the road to Compostella. The basilica is a majestic gothic masterpiece in the middle of the fields. It is famous for its nice sculptures and for the black madonna with child who has been worshipped for 900 years in the village. Mothers with stillborn babies used to come from far and near to Our Lady of Avioth because she had the gift of bringing the child back to life for a few minutes so that it could be baptised and could go to heaven. At 10 kilometer from Orval.
The castle of Bouillon is very famous, very touristic, but worth visiting, especially with children.
Gérouville is a village founded by the abbey of Orval and known for its more than 700 years old lime tree.
Marville is a marvelous Spanish style town. Do visit the original 16th century cemetery and the ossuary which counts at least 40 skulls and a warning to remember your mortality.
Montauban is an important archaeological site near Virton where remnants of three successive periods of occupation were discovered (Iron Age, Roman Age, and Middle Ages).
The citadel of Montmédy is an impressive, perfectly preserved fortress built on a rock more than 100 meters above the Lower City. The Higher City was fortified and protected by more than six kilometer long double walls with lift bridges. There is a walking circuit around the citadel which offers a beautiful view of the valleys.
Visit the famous abbey of Orval where you can have guided visits to the old ruins (with a majestic oak tree) and herbal garden, and slides presentation of contemporary monastic life. Also, it is nice to experience the vespers every evening. The abbey is at half an hour’s walk through the forest.
The fortification of Sedan with Europe's largest fortress that measures 35 square meters. It is much less known in Belgium than Bouillan, but at least as beautiful.
Torgny is Belgium’s southernmost village with the atmosphere of the Provence. The village is classified as one of the most beautiful Belgian villages. The marked micro-climate enables wine growing.