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On this retreat, you will explore the meaning and relevance of creativity to your yoga practice – both on and off the mat. Just like the yoga practice generally, the creative element within yoga spans physical, mental and spiritual dimensions in addition to both theory and practice. Viewing the yoga practice both as a creative endeavor in and of itself and as an enhancement to your creativity serves to enrich your practice all the more. Together, let's dive in to The Creative in Yoga.
Accommodation is provided in beautifully furnished 5-metre bell tents. Nestled amongst the lemon and orange groves, the bell tents are simple but sumptuous, with electricity and comfortable beds. Each tent can sleep up to three people. Crisp bed linen and pool towels are provided. There are solar hot and cold powered showers facilities. Internet access is available. There is a small shop on site for all those little essentials you might need.
Yoga style to be taught during this retreat is mainly Hatha and restorative with small doses of flow, plus introducing practices of Animal Yoga™. In Jenny's sessions you can expect to linger luxuriously in some postures to really reach those deeper places in yourselves on all levels and to delve into a deeper relationship with each posture too. The morning sessions shall focus on an energizing Hatha practice with the evening sessions focusing on a soothing more restorative practice – a perfect balance. For Jenny, the philosophical aspect of yoga is just as important as the physical so you can expect to hear words of wisdom and inspiration as you make your way through your postures. You will of course be paying close attention to your breath during your practice and exploring its use in different ways.
%What students can expect in Jenny's yoga sessions: Variety! Sure, you'll be working hard to your own "edge" but also there'll be ample relaxation and stillness in decadent doses as well as much needed opening, lengthening and releasing of many nooks and crannies within the body – all complemented by contemplation, knowledge, compassion, imagination... and many a smile! Jenny aims for authenticity in each session and to create an atmosphere conducive to listening to and respecting your own body. In short, you'll be enchanting all the senses and basking in the widest possible glory of what yoga can offer for the opportunity of silencing, soothing, strengthening, stretching, softening and serving the mind, body and soul. All yoga sessions take place on the beautiful Bagend platform which boasts a heart-warming and remarkable story of creation and surrounding sensational views! Prepare to be bedazzled!
This is a sample timetable and may be subject to change. There will be one workshop a day, it may be in the morning or afternoon. There is also the option to visit local markets on Wednesday and Sunday.
The theme of this retreat is The Creative in Yoga. You will explore the meaning and relevance of creativity to your yoga practice – both on and off the mat. One way of interpreting yoga is as a method to foster – or create – more unity in the world. Also, yoga refers to a trinity of forces in our practice and life, one of which is the creative force (the others being preservation and dissolution). We create our breath every time we enter our practice; and our breath quite literally creates us. We create each posture – and in turn, with practice and knowledge – each posture can create some kind of effect on ourselves and even the wider world. This holds true for wider yogic practices such as mantra recitation, holding mudras, meditation and meditative dance. In every yogic activity we are consciously shaping and creating a practice and receiving the resulting effects. It could be said that we are, ultimately, the creators of our lives (at least the aspects we can control). On this retreat, we will approach our yoga practice as both an art and a science. In addition to the theme guiding our yoga sessions, the theme will expand into our meditation practice and workshops too.
There shall be two sessions of meditation each day: first thing in the morning, bright and early in Bagend’s lovely homely little cabin (or indeed in a nice little corner on the land somewhere if that takes our fancy), and then another session post evening yoga. Let us start and close the days in peace. Jenny really loves sharing diverse styles of meditation so that everyone can find a style that works for them. Meditation is all about creating spaciousness in the mind. It is often defined as one-pointedness within yoga. So, one can be meditating whenever they are focusing purely on one thing and on nothing else – so much so that they feel they are even becoming that one thing they are focusing on. Jenny personally finds the definition from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying helpful too: “meditation is the space between two thoughts”. We’ll be exploring trataka (candle-gazing), sound meditations (using our own sound and external sounds), sitting meditation, walking meditation and yoga nidra too.
There are ample cushions to help make everyone comfortable and you can also lie down if you really feel the need. We can also support ourselves sitting against a wall. It’s important that we are comfortable when meditating otherwise we’ll just be distracted by the discomfort and not return to the practice. Little and often will be the approach to the meditations, each session lasting between 10 and 20 minutes.
We may have heard our teachers asking us to set an intention or san kalpa at the start of a yoga session. Do we know the background to this and how it links into the manipulation of energy within our yoga practice? We have heard about prana, but do we know what this really is and other connected energies? We will learn about how yoga is believed to channel energy in certain directions and how this connects to various aims within yoga of creating more peace, more compassion and more unity.“The frame has to hold the inner energy properly. Work from the energy body. The energy body, not the physical body, holds the poses.” (Iyengar)
Mandalas are often associated with yoga and the word may be familiar to us… but what are they? Mandalas symbolize the cosmos in a creative visual format. We will learn more about these artistic pieces and how they relate to yoga. We will engage with them in a way we feel drawn to – mindfully coloring-in and decorating pre-created mandalas, mindfully creating our own mandalas or even meditating on a mandala (all equipment supplied). "Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life" (Pema Chodron).
Many of us may have heard of Ganesh or Hanuman. But do we know anything more than the names? What relevance does ancient yogic mythology have to our yoga practice? We’ll look at a few mythologies in detail, see what inspiration and other relevance we can draw from them and see how they can be incorporated into our yoga practice. “Yogic myth has a genius to clothe the infinite in human form” (Eknath Easwaran).
Something all yoga teachers are often asked about is how to establish a home practice. It is something that many of us may have a fear of to begin with. Or it may be something others among us find relatively easily to begin, but then find sustaining it is somewhat trickier! We will discuss the benefits of a home practice as well as some of the apparent obstacles to a home practice and how these may be overcome. We will discover some handy hints and tips about how to approach the beginnings of a home practice, the continuation of a home practice and the enhancement of a home practice. You will have the opportunity to devise a short practice for yourself, ready for your home-coming. “Start slow and discover your own inner teacher” (Kreg Weiss).
A meditative dance workshop exploring our species’ unique and mysterious relationship with rhythm and music! As in yoga, it all begins with the breath drawing us into the present moment and exploring how the body wishes to respond to the sounds and rhythms we will begin to hear. Drawing inspiration and guidance from my training in Ecstatic Awakening Dance, we’ll work toward building a peak in energy and cooling back down to a grounded energy. Being blindfolded (in a safe way) encourages our attention inward and away from external appearances of ourselves and others. Let your body go!"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good" (Edwin Denby).
Jenny at first loved the soft and gentle approach of yoga and she still does. However, as she regained her mental and emotional strength and increasingly made yoga her number one priority, she began to reap the benefits from Ashtanga, Flow Yoga, Bikram and Hot Flow as well as from practicing in different environments including retreats, studios, beaches, parks, Ashrams and at home. Jenny's yoga practice is further complemented by her love of singing and dance and of course she intertwines the spirit of yoga into these too.
Rustic Retreats is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Espuna Mountains, southern Spain. This beautiful site has so much to offer to so many, they have an organic vegetable garden, fresh mountain spring water, solar power throughout, a beautiful swimming pool, earth-bag dome, stunning yoga platform on the side of the mountain, hammocks, orange and lemon trees, a tailor made pinewood meditation / relaxation cabin with views across the valley, outdoor showers so you can shower under the stars, and so much more. Totally off grid, zero light pollution. Stunning surroundings, beautiful, and simple accommodation are part of the Rustic Retreats charming environment.
Stimulate all your senses whilst you absorb the bright colors, beautiful textures, tantalizing flavors, and sublime aromas of the fresh food served at Rustic Retreats. The chef will create a myriad of fresh, healthy vegetarian meals to tantalize your pallet, all using the ripest, freshest, seasonal ingredients that are locally produced either from their very own organic garden and vegetable patch or from the local market and farmers.
Varieties of fruit are growing freely on the site such as lemons, oranges, almonds, pomegranate, and carob to name but a few. All vegetarian meals are lovingly prepared by a trained chef in the outdoor kitchen and are served 'al fresco' whenever possible. All meals are included in the price. The meals have been so popular with the clients that they are looking at producing a recipe book for next season.
All day snack menu is available but cost is not included in the price. Alcohol is available at a small extra charge.
Fly into to Alicante, then it's a 2-hour train journey (6 EUR) through the beautiful Spanish countryside down to Totana station where Rustic Retreats will collect you.
Arrive at Totana station where Rustic Retreats will collect you.
You can get a taxi from the airport which would cost 170 EUR and upwards. Also, there are car hire options at the airport.
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