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Yoga among the sand dunes. Sleeping in a nomad tent of goat hair. Writing under the shadow of a palm tree. Come along on a dazzling and deepening journey through the colorful and hospitable Morocco
The hotels are subject to change, we stay there if there is enough availability.
This riad has been completely restored in 2015, with total respect for the traditional architecture: the fountain, the arches, the large doors and the floors, with the alternation of traditional zellij , tadelack, bejmate; expertly recovered and matched to each other by experienced local craftsmen. It lies in the elegant Mouessine district in a very strategic position: two minutes walk from the legendary Piazza Jamel El Fna, the heart of the Medina.
Two minutes walk from the Koutoubia, Marrakech symbol. All the main monuments are easy and quick access on foot. Even here in the evening, it is pleasant and safe walking in the labyrinthine derb (alleys) of Medina.The 5 spacious rooms available to guests are traditionally furnished and equipped with every comfort. Each has been decorated in a different theme important for the local culture: Music, Desert, Arabic Scripture, Embroidery, Berber culture.
Around the patio two cozy lounges with fireplace allow guests to relax and conviviality. The large roof terrace allows you to enjoy the sun and the pleasant temperature of Marrakech. Here breakfast, brunch, lunch, a mint tea or the zafferemo, or our bio “beldi” juices are served in spring and summer. Possible aperitivo at sunset and (booked in advance) our “beldi” grilled.
This place benefits an unique situation to the world: precisely facing the mythical village of the Aït Benhaddous, site sequenced worldwide heritage by the Unesco. It is an extraordinary family's traditional house (it is the landlord's father who built it toward years 40), most ancient constructed in pisé facing the village, the panorama close the village, the relief, meanders of the river. Historic place, it is also the surviving testimony of the activity of the ksar (fortified village) of a tribe highlander. Magic, the place attracted many film-makers, to use decors of it to measurements and the extraordinary charm.
Accommodations might change due to availability and group size. We always look for the best locations and service. Please contact the organizer for more information.
Roll out your yoga mat. Breath in, breath out. Stretch. Slow down. Feel what is happening inside you. This moment is all yours. This week is all yours. Enjoy the rising sun, which transforms the sand into gold. Listen to the palm trees that sigh in the wind. Enjoy the vastness. The silence. Meanwhile, the hospitable nomads prepare a traditional breakfast and the dromedaries trudge toward the camp. Soon they offer their hump for a ride through the desert and tell the nomads about their unique way of life that is threatened with extinction.
Activate your senses, let your creativity flow and write! About mirages, camel tracks to Timbuktu, ancient desert cities and yourself. What's happening right now? What makes your life shine? What does the simplicity of life and the vast nature awaken in you? In the evening we eat from the tagine and read stories to each other by the campfire under the starry sky. You also experience this colourful country through the eyes of your fellow travellers. Your journey gets an extra dimension.
We start with a welcome drink in a sweet riad in the middle of the old medina in bustling Marrakech. Here, we spend the night, get to know each other and have our first yoga and meditation exercises.
From Marrakech we cross the Atlas Mountains and the UNESCO-protected fortress Ait Ben Haddou: decor of Game of Thrones and The Gladiator. ‘Hollywood of Africa’ as it is called is an ancient city pulled out of clay in an (almost) indescribably beautiful area. We stay in a sweet and welcoming riad in the middle of wild nature: rough mountains with hats of forever snow.
This second night we will stay in a beautiful Moroccan house and practice yoga on the balcony with an amazing view over the kasbah. Every day you receive a creative writing assignment. Discover your unique writing style and learn how to make a story worth reading. We close every day with a meditation.
The following day we continue our road through the dazzling mountain range and arrive at Bivouac Le Petit Prince. At sunset we reach a dromedary oasis M'hamid in the region.
For three days we will be guests in an eco-responsible nomad camp at the foot of the desert. With the team of local guides, musicians and chefs you make the most of the local hospitality, (vegetarian) Moroccan cuisine and surroundings. The nomads welcome us with a traditional diner and music at the campfire. We read our stories to each other.
The coming 3 days are filled with yoga sessions, creative writing lessons, meditation and discovering the cultural heritage of the region. Next to the morning sessions, we will offer you a workshop or excursion every afternoon; a visit to one of the ancient villages, local women weaving unique clothes, a local family, a dromedary tour - or just enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the bivouac. Seven days of yoga and creative writing in a timeless place, a gateway to the mysterious Sahara!
The retreat brings you in touch with yourself, with what requires attention. The funds are yoga, writing, the warmth of the desert, the rich Moroccan culture and hospitality of the nomads. You return home with a gift: memories and stories and valuable insights.
After the last evening under the endless starry sky and the last traditional breakfast, we depart from Le Petit Prince to Marrakech. There is a lunch stop in the Atlas Mountains. We arrive at the end of the afternoon in the riad in Marrakech.
You will find that you have become a close-knit group in a week. Especially because writing is so personal. But you always have a nice memory to carry with you: your own desert stories.
Every morning we welcome the rising sun with a sun salutation. Then the gentle hatha yoga orientated flows take you on an inner journey. Open yourself. Warm yourself. Give yourself loving attention. Yoga invites you to be in the moment. Connect with your body and mind.
Meditation, Thai massage and partner yoga are also part of the program. Fun, playful workshops that are beneficial for body and mind. The teacher tunes into the needs of the group.
Unravel the secrets of a well-written story against a backdrop of sand dunes and camels. Get inspired while touring the world famous Atlas Mountains, the villages pulled out of clay and the endless desert. In the mystical Sahara stories are everywhere to be found. In the quiet of this serene place and combined with daily writing assignments and cultural excursions you easily tune into the creative writing flow. Learn vivid writing, applying tension in a story, use your imagination and bring characters to life.
Believe us, you'll talk about all the beauty for a long while. Sigh when reading your stories and smile at the sight of the bottle of Sahara sand on the mantelpiece. We had not yet returned from our first successful edition or we dreamed about the next. The Sahara gets a place inside your heart. A certain space and silence you can always find in yourself.
The retreat needs a minimum of 4 participants, please ask the organiser for the retreat status.
In addition to daily yoga and writing assignments, we offer writing workshops and lessens in partner yoga and Thai massage. There are also a number of excursions on the program:
Annelies van Dam
Annelies is a yoga instructor, therapist, psychologist and regression therapist. She sees yoga as a path to health, more (body) awareness and deepening of the soul. "My mission is to bring people into contact with yoga in themselves."
Marijke van der Linde
Marijke van der Linde is a journalist/(copy) writer and lecturer in journalism and creative writing at Parnassos Cultural Centre in Utrecht. Her stories are about spirituality, art and culture, and are published in quality news paper Trouw, travel magazine Sawadee and on the website of international art exhibition Sonsbeek. She also helps businesses with communication and writes her own poetry and fairy tales.
Marrakech- Ait Ben Haddou - M'hamid el Ghizlane, Morocco
Healthy, traditional, vegan at request
You can book a transfer from the airport to the riad in Marrakech.
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