Join me for a deeply peaceful yin and restorative-only weekend in the stunning Elmley Nature Reserve this October.
Surrounded by 3200 acres of wild grasslands, this family farm and reserve is home to a vast array of wildlife including barn owls, wild fowl, waders and migrant birds en route to Africa.
Our home will be the beautifully refurbished Scandi-style cottage, replete with luxury bedding, a wood fire and 360° views across the landscape. A haven of absolute quiet, I for one am looking forward to cosying up on the sofas and watching the weather roll in!
As we prepare to move toward winter, we’ll be taking inspiration from the natural world by turning inward and shedding unwanted energies, holding patterns and blockages in the body. We'll be working into yin and restorative sequences designed to slough away dull and sluggish energy so we can step into the season with fresh eyes, clear digestion and bright minds. For those who want to sink into the quiet, fresh air and healing beauty of nature, this weekend will be the perfect way to get out of London, nourish the body ahead of the run-up to Christmas and press pause as the winds of change come blowing through the season.
Body-work sessions with the resident holistic therapist and Reiki master, Roz, will be available to compliment your practice. Not to be missed - this woman is so good she doesn’t even have a website and is reputed to have hands of magic!
What is yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a meditative, contemplative practice where we move mindfully into floor-based stretches, or up against what we call our ‘edge’, and hold for 2-4 minutes at a time. As we hold, we explore how our experience shifts: first observing the mind, then releasing physical tension deep in the body’s tissues until both mind and body become still. A beautiful and often profound practice for developing greater self awareness, trust, release and exquisite peace.
What is restorative yoga?
Restorative is even more passive, more luxuriously restful and even slower than yin. We work predominantly with the support of bolsters, blankets and bricks to support the body in long-held, floor-based poses for up to 15 minutes and in doing so, engage the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest and digest function) so as to bring mind and body into very deep rest. The brain waves slow right down to theta resonance, meaning we enter a meditative state somewhere between wakefulness and the unconscious. This is where we resolve issues, experience dream-like states and emerge feeling a little dopey, very well-rested and very gentle and peaceful. Plus the whole body receives the benefit of healing in this state. Pure bliss!
Details: Teatime, Friday 18th October - Teatime, Sunday 20th October 2019
The vibe: Super-chilled. Like waaaaaay gentle
Suitable for: All abilities
Price: From £378 for a triple, with double or single occupancy available for an additional cost while stocks last (first come, first served). See below for options.
Includes: 2 nights accommodation, all meals lovingly prepared with local produce by Elmley's in-house chef & all yin/restorative practice: A long, welcoming Friday evening practice, 1.5hr Saturday morning and evening sessions and a deep dive 3hr Sunday afternoon workshop before departure.
Optional Extras: 1hr body-work sessions with the magical Roz
3.00pm Arrival in time for tea, settling in and having a wander
4.30-6pm: Evening restorative practice
7pm: Autumnal supper and an early night with the evening stars
From 7.30am: Help yourself breakfast
8.30-10am: morning yin practice
Free time to read, nap, walk, hang out or have a massage
3.30pm Tea and cake
4.30-6pm: Evening restorative practice
7pm: Autumnal supper and time to rest as you like
From 8am: Help yourself breakfast
9-10am: Morning yin/meditation/silent walking
11.00am: Hearty brunch
Free time to read, nap, walk, hang out or have a massage
1.30-4.00pm: Yin & restorative deep dive workshop. Settling into the poses for up to 15 minutes at a time, we have a chance to go deeper into the subconscious: generally meaning that imagery, solutions to problems or releases from everyday level of thought come up to relieve themselves. We’ll emerge feeling both truly grounded and very light emotionally, ready to return home.
*Please note the schedule is suggested and may vary slightly
Sleeping Arrangements and Costs:
1 Triple share with en suite £378pp
2 Twin shares: £418pp
2 Double beds, single occupancy: £518pp (please enquire about double occupancy)
Getting there: I encourage you to travel eco, taking a regular Train from London Victoria to Swale via Sittingbourne, from where you can share a 10-minute taxi onward to the retreat. If you plan on driving, please let me know if you’d be happy to offer a seat to others.
Payment: Online bank transfer or via Paypal. Make it easy and pay the full rate upfront, or feel free to pay half now and half 6 weeks before the retreat. Please note that once initial payment is taken, your spot is confirmed and all payments are non-refundable.
Booking: Only 8 places are available on this intimate weekend so if this feels like you, get in touch below and I’ll send you payment details to confirm your place.
My body is breathing like a beast in a field warming the winter. My body breathes for me, steady like a moving mountain, strong like a river. I rest on the rhythm riding the rising and falling like a bird. My emptiness draws fullness in and fullness falls again into nothing, in the stillnesses between, between life and death, hope and despair I am free as urges stir within me and I breathe life in and out into the world. Through snake and ant and elephant lungs, through beast and bird we meet all living things in the air we share. Air is made by breathing this thin blanket of breath over all breathing things which trees repair. PETER ADAMS
In this gorgeous getaway not far from London, I’ll be leading a weekend-long yoga and meditation retreat for those looking to step away, reset and deepen their practice.
What to expect
Join Ellie for a celebration of early summer yoga as we step into a lighter, brighter way of being in a stunning eco-home in Sussex.
After a welcome Friday afternoon tea and a nose around the woods, we’ll relax the mind and body with an artfully-blended yin and restorative yoga session before being led to the dinner table for a candlelit feast of local produce.
In the mornings we'll practice a brightening Hatha yoga and guided meditation designed to stretch, energise and invigorate mind and body. In keeping with the season of light, heat and expansive energies, we’ll be working on poses and breath-work that align with the body’s rhythms. Traditional cleansing techniques will be taught alongside a mindful nature walk in which to delight in the season’s growth and fullness.
For those who know my classes, I love to teach therapeutic embodiment: bringing wakefulness to the whole body through conscious breath, careful sequencing and mindful transition so that we can enjoy greater liveliness, a connection to the whole and a glorious sense of peace and ease. Plus a good dose of the real life stuff - modern philosophy, psychology, a little neuroscience, perhaps :)
Plenty of time between brunch and tea will be yours to walk the beautiful Sussex countryside, curl up in a hammock or on the sofa with a book, natter with friends old and new, or nap and journal the time away. The land has a meditation log circle amid the bluebell woods, a pond and even a fire circle, so who knows what might happen in those spaces?!
In the evenings we'll gather together for quieting yin and restorative as a way of winding down ahead of dinner and a deep, restful sleep.
Most importantly, your retreat time is a sacred space in which to decompress, revitalise and reconnect with nature, yourself and one another. With no need to plan anything other than what book or sunglasses to bring, you'll be free to carve a space in which to bathe in abundant, joyful rest.
Food: the really important part!
All our meals will be provided by the wondrous Alice, whose specialty lies in creating fresh, vibrant, seasonal food high in prana.
As an ex-chef, what we eat and how we eat matters hugely to me, so I've been sure to collaborate with someone who knows what's what!
No need to lay the table, think about food prep or wash up afterwards - all will be taken care of.
The beautiful, sun-filled kitchen and living space
Price & finer details
3 nights accommodation
6 yoga classes
Light breakfast, a hearty brunch, tea and cake and supper all included from a top notch yoga chef
All props provided (though feel free to pack an eye pillow or your favourite blanket/mat)
+ All the nature these London lungs could do with :)
= £490 based on a twin share with 1 double available for a small supplement.
4 of the rooms are en suite with a balcony while downstairs, the 2 remaining bedrooms share a well-sized bathroom.
*Please note that once payment is taken, your spot is confirmed. All payments are non-refundable.
I'll leave you with a gem of a yoga quote to uplift and inspire you:
Yoga is a dance between control and surrender
- between pushing and letting go -
and when to push and when to let go
becomes part of the creative process,
part of the open-ended exploration
of your wellbeing.
~ Joel Kramer
I hugely look forward to welcoming you on what's set to be a beautiful, season-shifting, practice-deepening, rest-inducing, wonder-filled weekend!